Demystifying Sugars: When, What and How?

Dr. Pooja Chaturvedi

All of us have, not just a sweet tooth but ‘sweet teeth‘ and sweets are a mandate when it comes to festivities and celebrations. With Diwali just passed by and New Year just around the corner, celebrations are going to continue for long and sweets are going to be unavoidable. So here’s a short pick where we can indulge in the goodness as much as we want to, still being cautious, to take care of our teeth while our tongue enjoys the sugary festivities.

There is so much of an uproar about how much of a devil SUGARS are, when it comes to our oral health, however, if thoughtfully taken, its really not so much of a jeopardy. So the questions may arise




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Goodbye MPJ | Fun Fun Function

I started watching Fun Fun Function around 4 years back and watching his last stream tonight has made me very very emotional.

I felt that I have grown along with him. His videos on softer aspects of life, programming and job were like a mentor supporting me. I used to look forward to watching those videos.

Although, I did not programme much in Javascript but related a lot with his videos on thinking around code. Like all the meta stuff around programming.

MPJs videos made me communicate around code much much clearer.

It’s sad to see him go away but I think all good things come to an end.

I would like to thank him for his contribution to the programming community.

On Notice Periods

My thoughts on revamping notice periods in companies.

Notice Period by definition is the time period between the resignation date and last working day of an employee.

Most companies in their legal agreements with employees decide a-priori the duration of notice periods which can range from 30-90 days.

Notice periods more than 60 days are heavily biased towards an employer. Employees, in most cases, have no option but to serve the time.

On the other hand, no employer likes to wait for 2 or 3 months for anyone to join and yet they themselves may have a policy of 2 to 3 months of notice period.

Superficially, it seems very hippo-critical.

Proposal to revamp notice periods.

Notice Period = Opportunities Period

We should rename Notice Periods to Opportunities Periods and make following a mandate for an employer. Under this Opportunities Period program:

  • Companies have an opportunity to resolve employees issues which weren’t obvious or could not be communicated earlier and have reached a stage where she/he has to look for opportunities elsewhere.
  • Employees have an opportunity to discuss their issues and companies are obliged to work in a time bound opportunities period to resolve the problem or at-least put forward a proposal to eventually resolve the problems. (Sometimes, it’s likely that problems are long term culture issues which when pointed out need prolonged time period for resolution).

The culture in the industry around notice periods is extremely toxic, rather switching jobs in general. Employees secretly start searching for newer opportunities, lie about their leaves when interviewing at other places during weekdays( some companies do allow anonymous leaves with no explanations required but one may have to give reasons for their leaves (another sign of a bad culture) at some smaller or tightly knit companies)).

It’s understandable that companies want to keep attrition rate as low as possible. Therefore, going an extra mile to retain an employee can vastly affect the economics of hiring and retention simultaneously.

However, a great amount of psychological safety environment should prevail a priori in a company for such an Opportunities Period program to work.

Talk to them, understand them.

When one resigns, employers should understand true reasons. Such an examination can either be conducted by the HR department or could be the immediate manager. If the employer can truly understand the reasons behind one’s resignation, then there’s no notice period altogether. The catch here is that most employees either can’t or don’t want to reveal true reasons perhaps due to cultural or personal reasons.

If the company concludes that they can’t really do anything about resolving the issues, then help them look for a right company which can solve their problems in a company’s network.

Some of these ideas may sound a little optimistic or idealistic. I don’t think there is a secret sauce to hiring and retention. All one can really do is experiment and figure out what works for you, your company or your industry at large.

What do I do at conferences and meetups

A lot of people often ask me for reasons I attend conferences or meetups and what essentially I do at these conferences ? I believe blogging about it could be a good way to reach out to a larger audience.

There are several things I do at conferences and meetups apart from listening to amazing talks – Enjoy sumptuous lunches, Making “conference friends” – friends I meet only at conferences and later interact on Twitter! There’s of-course much more to it. I ask questions. A lot. I try to interact with as many people as I can.

One of the common doubts which people have is that what should I talk about to people I don’t know. Maybe this blog will help them with few pointers.

Thinking upon the kind of questions I generally ask, they tend to fall into following categories:

Questions I ask fellow attendees

  • How does your day look like at your work place ?
  • Do you do anything specific to make yourself get better at your job ?
  • How do you manage your time to get maximum efficiency ?
  • How do you refresh yourself when you feel you’re burnt out.

Questions I ask speakers

  • How do you manage time to do a talk proposal and prepare for it ? (Of course I am assuming you’re really good since you’re proposing a talk or are invited to give one :))
  • How do you prepare your slides ? Do you follow a theme on which you prepare your slides (minimalistic or full of examples or story building..)

Such questions help me understand their perspective and how they are working or doing similar kind of stuff I do differently. The idea is to not copy-paste the ideas shared by others but more so to understand the ones I can adapt to.

Questions I ask sponsors

This is one of the most important things I do at conferences. Meet the sponsors and spend time with them. Sponsors are an integral part of any community-driven conferences like PyCon India conferences, GopherCon India conferences. Most companies sponsor from hiring perspective. I visit their booths to ask following questions and you should too! (apart from accepting goodies from them 😉

  • If I am talking to someone from engineering team, I often ask them about their technology-stack, best practices they follow ?
  • What is the most challenging part of their job at their company in their job role ?
  • What’s their hiring process like ? What are the softer aspects of a candidate that they’re looking for ?
    • This is not only important if you want to get hired but also if you wish to understand the hiring process to follow for your company or startup.

If you’ve got interesting questions that one should discuss in conferences and meetups, please comment!