What does a good Ruby on Rails programmer in India desire?

I have been trying to hire my first full-time Ruby on Rails programmer in India and the experience has been disappointing. I recently posted this article here on the Bangalore Ruby Users Group:

Hello People
I am new here – India Web 2.0 scene and Bangalore RUG, been trying to
get a grasp on the landscape here – How is the work environment for
web startups and the ecosystem around it. Its been really great so far
from almost all aspects. The energy is infectious, the market wide
open and a lot of cool development happening.

But I am having a hard time figuring out the talent pool here. For the
most part, people don’t really care about what we or other startups
are doing. RoR Coders that we have met so far don’t start off with
asking about what we are doing or using or innovating on. The first
question happens to be ‘what are you offering?’ and we are always
taken aback. On top of that, why are Indian coders working for Indian
companies talking to an Indian entrepreneur quoting hourly rates in
dollars?

I get the economics of demand and supply. But is there no
rationalization and no interest in creating something cool out of
India? If nothing else, then talking about that before the
conversation gravitates to Rs. (oops $) and loses all enthusiasm.
Almost all startup founders I spoke to warned me about the talent pool
and the shortage of quality committed creative coders, but I am still
kinda shell shocked. We are willing to pay top Rs. and maybe more if
the guy/girl is right, but is that all that matters here? Please tell
me there’s hope for startups who want people who love their code and
can do more than figure out which is their next project.

I would love to hear back from everybody on here.

Balling in Bombay

I have been back in India for over a month now and have been traveling as much as I can. It’s been about three and a half years and I am keen to get a sense of understanding of the markets. There’s no doubt that there is a sense of urgency in the way business is conducted – “Next Please“. I have been to 3 different cities so far and on to the third one as I write this and in simple words, I am excited.
In almost every industry that I have tried to look into and meet appropriate people, there is growth. Growth = Opportunity = Challenge = Change. I am looking into a project in the manufacturing sector in Bengal along with a virtual product that can be developed and deployed from almost anywhere with partners in 3 time zones and its been fascinating so far. Executing a ‘real’ project in Bengal has its own pros and cons, loop holes and black holes. A manufacturing plant is worlds away from the intellectual world of web technologies. That’s not to say that it doesn’t require its own level of expertise, planning and networking. But execution is another story. Compared to what’s possible in 0s and 1s, this is at a snail’s pace.
I can’t imagine what it was pre-1992 and even in the ’90s. I am grateful to be in India at this time and all that it brings with it.

Local Travel on the Web


I just discovered Geobeats. Its a great resource for videos of places all over the world.
I think I am going to do some more research and write up on this genre of video sites.

iPhone @ WWDC – Why are they not loving it?

I don’t get why the world is not in love with the iPhone even more. Yeah I know, that’s almost impossible. But what is this outrage over no SDK? It takes Web Apps and AJAX apps. Waitaminnit –
We can write our own apps on our favorite phone.
Such apps are crazy easier to write compared to all traditional apps. And I can get what I want on my phone. Sure, I wont write everything that I will crave. But, there are thousands of experienced coders out there who will. Its going to be awesome. Imagine Greasemonkey gone ape crazy on the iPhone. I can’t browsing Flickr without the Auto-Pagination and Instant Zoom scripts buzzing smoothly on Firefox. I can’t stop thinking about what all we can do on that beautiful little screen.
Let’s just get over the fact that Jobs & Co have not kept this awesome device locked up only for the hardcore coders. That is big news! B-I-G!

Moving

Sorry for the big lag in posts, been moving for the past week.  Somehow each move holds change, and promises so much. Always good to change. We all need to change to be relevant. Once, we stop trying to be relevant to ourselves, our world, our families and friends, I don’t know what else remains.

Cutting Costs is Key – Here's how

Dario D’Onofrio guest blogs over at Profy.com today, sharing some of his experience with the rest of us. Every business on this planet has two golden rules – Cut costs & Higher profits. No matter how big you get or how small you start, you always have to know how and where to cut costs. I was fortunate enough to have a great mentor who taught me how to bite the bullet, even at time I didn’t want to. For the rest of the readers who aren’t as lucky, Dario’s post gives you a lot of fodder for thought. Here are 11 ways a startup can think of cutting costs:

  1. Look into projects according to your background
  2. Ask your family/friends to comment on your project
  3. Observe your competition before spending money
  4. Keep your ideas secret
  5. Negotiate with suppliers
  6. Don’t tell media what you are doing in the first stage
  7. Be flexible
  8. Spend more time thinking than doing
  9. Be ready to give up when everything goes wrong
  10. Run a blog to keep in touch with users
  11. Don’t hire, outsource instead

Run your Community

I almost feel embarassed to say that I did not know about Matthew Haughey of Metafilter, till I stumbled across his blog – fortuito.us. It’s newly launched but if the quality of the content is any indication, its definitely here to stay. He obviously has enough experience running a successful community (46,000+ users at Metafilter, running since 1999) and shares some of his tips with the rest of us. Here’s an excerpt:

  1. Take emotions out of decisions
  2. Talk like a human, not a robot
  3. Give people something they can be proud of
  4. Bring users in during community decisions
  5. Moderation is a full-time job
  6. Metrics spread the work out
  7. Guidelines not rules

Macnerds Win with Parallels 3.0


I have used VMWare a bunch of times with Linux and found it to be too much of a burden to give up dual booting. I just found out about Parallels Desktop 3.0 and its what I wish I had years ago. Now with OSX ported to run on Intel chips, this is the cherry on top. This would be a real killer deal if Apple shipped this stock instead of Bootcamp. And even in their new Apple Outlet machines. Better late than never!
Highlights:

  • Cross OS File & App Integration (part of SmartSelect)
  • Shared Folders (Coherence 2.0)
  • OpenGL & DirectX Support (run Quake 4 if you want/can)

Last.fm & CBS

Om Malik has a very interesting post over at GigaOm regarding the Last.fm acquisition by the old media behemoth – CBS:

 It is a community of like-minded (or same taste) music lovers that continues to grow. To distort a cliché, let a billion radio stations boom. CBS could start making money with the obvious business of selling music, but the real thrill would be if CBS takes this (to use another cliché) wisdom of crowds, and turned it into a tool for programming its on-the-air play lists.