2018 in review

It is again that time of the year when I reflect back on the year gone by. It’s a useful exercise and helps me put things in perspective. It does also make me feel as if so little have I achieved in this previous year but that doesn’t really matter eventually. Each one of us is trying their best. If one knows that they’ve put their honest effort to the best they can, I think that’s what really matters.

I’ve put together some thoughts on things that did go well, things that didn’t go too well and what did I do most of the time of the year at work. In the end, I’ve put together a list of values that I wish to follow in my future life inspired by Kenneth Reitz list. Go checkout his list.

Stuff that I am happy about

First 10k and half marathon run

I completed my first 10 km and half marathon this year. It was a true test of my patience, determination and grit. I sure had to train for it and retrospectively, I know I did not train enough for it.

My legs pained a lot after the run but I am glad I could reach the finish line.

It made me think that running a marathon is similar to our life. Sure, there’ll be obstacles in your path but the aim is to keep moving and approaching the goal. Progress matters more than the speed. There will always be people and system around you to support but it’s you who will have to lift your feet, even if it’s paining the most, and reach the finish line. Every level of pain is worth it when you reach the finish line.

Hero acquires stakes at Zenatix.

It’s rewarding when others show confidence in you.

As a young kid, I have travelled a lot with my father on his road trips. Back in the days when we did not have the luxury of Google Maps, we used to stop by to ask people our way. There are always kind people who are willing to show you the path and put you in right direction. Angel investors and early stage VC capital companies are much like those kind hearted people who understand the pain of what it’s like to be lost and are keen to help you out.

As we used to move ahead in our journey, we encountered people who were willing to go an extra mile to help us out. I remember once an aged man, must be in his late forties showed us the direction to our destination. Our face sort of informed him that we needed more help than just the direction. He politely asked us if he can get on board and help us reach our destination. Hero Electronix, a Hero group company is like that well intentioned wise man who is willing to go an extra mile to help a traveller reach his destination. Sure, that wise man wanted to go that direction as well. I knew he was clever as well.

Stuff that I am not so happy about

No progress with iottales.com

IoT Tales was a blog I started last year but never really did anything after that. Except 2 blogs which I am not too proud of as well, nothing more ever happened. I will have to be more determined to build it.

Creating content has always been very close to me. There was sure a time when I even contemplated doing it full time only to realise that it wasn’t that great an idea.

I even bought some equipment for audio recording purpose which is as of today appreciated as a good showpiece in my bedroom.

I plan to make better use of it this year for sure.

How did I spend most of my time at work


We as a team spent a considerable amount of time in hiring. We could hire 5 awesome folks to our tech team.

Hiring right people is really hard and extremely important at the stage we’re in. It’s natural for anyone to get excited by the external perceptions that’s built. We’re looking for a character which will gel in with our culture as well. That along with technical skills needed makes hiring extremely difficult.

There were times when I was exhausted. It’s only times like these which test your patience. I am thankful that when I’d almost given up on it, I had my colleagues who stood up back me up and take on the hiring baton from me.


I mentor 4 people at work. It’s been hard for me to shift from a programmer in individual contributor role to manage and mentor a team of engineers. I believe it’s a skill in itself to think broadly and have a larger vision to plan engineering effort to execute the vision. After all, vision without execution is hallucination.

It wasn’t something which came to me naturally and I struggled with it over the year. I am thankful that I have great people at work who have been supportive and made my journey easier and worth while. I am slowly getting hang of it.

Key Thoughts

While on the treadmill this morning, I curated following list of values. This is inspired from a list by Kenneth Reitz .

Keep Running
Do Sleep Well
Always be curious
Drink lots of water
Persistence pays off
Be more in the present
Be Honest and Speak Up
You're not the smartest
Accept change gracefully
Your health matters the most
Be calm, confident and assertive

I’ll keep striving in 2019 as well and keep progressing on things that matter to me day after day.

If you are still reading, you are awesome!



PyData Delhi 2017 Experience

I attended PyData Delhi 2017 over this weekend which was the first conference organized by PyData Delhi chapter at IIIT Delhi. In fact, it’s one of the first PyData conferences in India. If you wish to be a part of the community, join the meetup group

The conference was organised at the beautiful campus of IIIT Delhi.

I had a lot of fun and learned a lot over the two days of conference. Conferences are my way of taking a busy-break in my own way. I attend for workshops, talks, conference-friends-reunion and most importantly — the  hallway tracks.

Day 1 started with an awesome opening keynote by Siraj Raval on Mathematics behind Deep learning. It was a good introduction with a walkthrough of a deep learning code in a jupyter notebook. It was fascinating how Siraj could abstract out complex stuff and made it simple to understand.

Another talk which I particularly enjoyed was by James Powell. He live refactored a Python code to generate Newton’s Fractal on stage. The crux of refactoring involved around not using numba as a dependency and still maintain the same performance. He attempted to attain it by utilizing numpymethods which are mostly unknown to programmers who do not understand ins and outs of numpy library. I believe that doing that sort of refactoring live on stage is a commendable job. Post his talk, I had a good discussion around NUMFocus organization and PyData community at-large  and how working professionals can contribute back to the community like PyData.

Key Project Takeaways

Firefly — Firefly is a small library which exposes a function over an API. So essentially, one can call a function as one makes a API call over REST method. I’m definitely motivated to explore this sweet library further. Over the next one week, I would deep dive into the project to understand the components and perhaps blog about it as well.

NetworkX — In my discussions with James Powell, we discussed quite a few short- comings of NetworkX library. Since I am not completely familiar with it, this can be a good time to strengthen upon some of the basic knowledge I have about the library. By the way, if you’re looking to learn NetworkX, I highly recommend taking up this online course offered by DataCamp.

Overall I had an amazing time meeting so many smart people. I highly recommend everyone to attend PyData Delhi 2018 as well. If you’re looking to attend another super-awesome Python conference – look no further and attend PyCon India 2017 in November in New Delhi.


GopherCon India 2017 Experience

3:30 am flight to Pune – just to optimise on the cost and time!

Awesome. Totally worth it.

The GopherCon India 2017 was extremely well organised by Emerging Technology Trust with an excellent Master of Ceremony- Gautam Rege. The conference began with a keynote talk by Frances on “context” package and was followed by several interesting talks on a variety of topics. Overall there existed a good mix of architecture as well as implementation level talks. It was the third edition of GopherCon India attended by close to 300 delegates with representation from 12 countries.

Key Talks

Following are some of the talks which I particularly liked.

  • Fast and Scalable Machine Learning with GoLang by Vidyasagar Nallapati – Talk slides
    • Vidyasagar talked about how they built data pipelines using services written in Golang at EMC2, their reasons for exploring Golang as a programming language.
  • Building Distributed Timeseries Database in Go by Matthew Campbell – Talk Slides
  • “Flogo – A Golang-powered Open Source IoT Integration Framework by Kai Wähner – Talk slides

My Lightning Talk – Server Monitoring using Influxdata

I got an opportunity to give a lightning talk on ‘Server Monitoring using Influxdata’. I detailed about how at Zenatix, we’re using Influxdata’s TICK stack for monitoring our servers with right alerts in place. I followed it up with demonstrating some Golang code for writing a Telegraf plugins. Talk slides

Lighting Talk Slides

Key Projects Takeaway

My discussions around projects revolved around IoT and Data Analytics. Following are some of the good projects that I’d like to try out in-depth.

  • Flogo – Open source project written in Go for IoT integration. It’s a project released under BSD-style license. It’s definitely one of the projects that I would like to explore from the architecture standpoint.
  • Gobots – I came to know about this through on my hallway discussions.
  • Vulcan – Matthew is his talk detailed on how they built Vulcan on top of Prometheus at DigitalOcean. This issue on GitHub details on why Vulcan exists.

The Hallway Tracks

These are tracks which happen when you’re interacting with attendees in the hallways. One of the core reasons why attend most conferences!

In these ‘tracks’, I discuss about the problem we’re solving at Zenatix and also get a perspective on what others think about it.

I had an amazing discussion with William Kennedy on writing a proposal document before planning any feature/bug. According to him, one should try to bring in “Why” before writing any line of code.

According to him, while writing a proposal document, outline it in the following manner.

  1. History of the problem – Give users a flavor of the problem with information around the problem. This is more like the literature survey in academic publications.
  2. Problem definition and why you’re solving it. – Mention the core of the problem and reasons for solving it.
  3. How we’re solving – Details on how we’re going to solve it.

I highly recommend everyone to read his blog.

Overall Experience

I had a tremendous learning experience at GopherCon India. The GoLang community in India is pretty young. There is a lot that needs to be done to spread the magic of Go around. I believe conferences such as these are one of key factors in determining the success of the community. Kudos to everyone involved with GopherCon India 2017.