Know Everything!

stock-vector-jack-king-queen-of-spades-vector-28951519When I was doing my undergraduate I was used to be regularly questioned by my friends on my interests in information technologies being a Chemical Engineer. I used to reply back stating that I am trying to find a link between the two. Though at that time my interests were not really based on what I claimed, I found my job requiring skills in both the areas and hence helping me perform better.

Today I find knowledge of ‘finance’, ‘history’, ‘psychology’ and ‘economics’ are essential to move up. Many technical people want to stay focused in their areas of interest which are mostly very narrow and expect to gain expertise in that field. But the whole idea can be challenged. Lack of knowledge in subject areas which seem totally unrelated can be a hurdle to professional growth even on technical areas of focus.

Knowledge of ‘history’ and ‘culture’ is very important to understand why your counterpart in an overseas affiliate behaves differently, knowledge of ‘finance’ is very essential to understand why and how top management decisions are made, knowing ‘psychology’ can help handle your sub ordinates better. Applying technical judgments in business world will fail miserably. Many technical people feel decisions are forced upon them because they fail to understand business needs and in a globalized environment they feel deserted when they fail to understand the history, culture and psychology of their colleagues.

Even technically many people want to ‘focus’ their expertise only on certain technical areas. Either they consider other areas not as challenging as their areas of expertise or they feel even their focus area is too much for their lifetime. And even to reason this behavior, knowledge of Indian culture and psychology is important. In Indian society ‘engineering’ enjoys higher status as compared to basic sciences, literature… And if you apply some ‘statistics’ you will find that this is purely linked to the higher average pay engineering graduates enjoy. Whether the JOBS really do any ‘engineering’ is a BIG QUESTION! I personally felt science more challenging and difficult than engineering. And today when I read the ‘history’ of ‘science’ itself it is difficult to make judgments on the validity of engineering we are doing now which are again based on science.

From childhood this idea has been drummed into us again and again: stay focused, jack of all trade makes king of none etc.. It might be true if our objectives are broader considering our lifespan on earth. Pathetically these objectives are too narrow or too ‘technical’ that it prevents achieve these objectives. Most of the seemingly unrelated subjects are highly correlated and technologies have very small lifespan. Hence to be successful it is essential to ‘KNOW EVRYTHING’

Note: The word ‘technical’ is not used with the right meaning in this blog. Even I was stamped non-technical by few people. To them technical is IT and rest of the world is non-technical 🙂

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My Earlier Web Shares

Sharing information to the world via the web has always fascinated me. In earlier days at college I have tried publishing some of my interests via geocities. It was the time i tried and tested my skills in HTML and Photoshop. It was a simple beginning, but it was the start to my current advanced websites in WP & Drupal.

I have republished these sites now.

Sugar on Web: This site is based on my project ‘Energy optimization in Sugar mills’

http://old.shankarananth.com/sowf/

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Computational Methods in Chemical Engineering: This site is based on my literature survey on Optimization and other computational methods.

http://old.shankarananth.com/CMCE/

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Please note that the links and email addresses mentioned may not currently exist as these were last verified during 2003-2004. Yahoo geocities is already shutdown.

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Lost in the Clouds!

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When I first heard about cloud computing I was wondering if it was really worth the fancy terminology. To me it was just a marketing term for hosted applications. My first experience started three years ago when I moved my Website’s email from my hosting provider to Google Apps. At that point of time I never knew it was Cloud computing or specifically SaaS I was moving too. To me Google Apps was much better than my hoster’s email due to reduced downtime.

As usual it requires media hype for me to look back what things actually are. One’s own knowledge is the hurdle to learn new things. Over confident of knowing what it is I didn’t really track the developments though I keep hearing people discuss. But that’s also the problem with SaaS, it is difficult to see any difference.

It was Google App Engine that made me rethink. Though I registered my first application long back, only recently did I try to deploy my first application (‘Hello World’ of course). A small program but it still brought me a lot of insight to what things are. As a solution provider I wonder how this technology is going to change the world of computing. Though there is a big crowd out there harping on security issues on the cloud I don’t really see them as issues. It is only for the cloud consultants and the security companies to market their businesses.

I really admire the PaaS of Cloud Computing. My library application was on the shelves for a long time due to lack of time and build custom application accessible from the internet and also integrating it to my drupal powered website. With Zoho creator it is just a few clicks and four hours (to upload data) on a weekend, Wow! the application is up online. Integration with drupal? don’t worry la! Embedding the form on a drupal page is just that simple (http://www.shankarananth.com/site/index.php?q=node/49)

The biggest thing that would change the way people think at cloud computing is the time one spends on hardware and software maintenance. A chemical engineer and a solution provider I feel annoyed on more of my time being spent on fixing these issues rather than focus on my core competence.

Cloud computing is the definitely next big thing!

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