Category Archives: General

The Psychology of Doing Nothing

I ended up on YouTube, via hacker-news or somewhere else, to watch a lecture which made me realise what I have been going through.

Please watch the following lecture on \”The Psychology of Doing Nothing\” by Professor Helga Drummond. You can also read the transcript if you don’t want to watch whole video.


I recently came to know about Toptal. I am impressed and happy to see that some of the top developers of world are contributing and making difference through Toptal’s platform. I want to be among them for only one reason:

  • I want to work on (and contribute to some of) the best, useful and challenging projects with possibility to collaborate with some of the top/best developers/designers of the world.


NodeSchool is a fully community driven effort and is 100% open source. This means that anyone can use the NodeSchool materials and/or host an event.

I have set up NodeSchool Kanpur chapter, and I hope to organise (with help of like minded people) a couple of workshops on Node.js (and web-development ecosystem around it).

I am looking for mentors and co-organisers, if you are interested, let’s have a conversion.

Data Visualisation

Infographics have become things of everyday. Data is more meaningful when it’s visually displayed.

Some links, you might find useful:

Please share links (in comments) to any interesting and inspiring articles or videos or apps. I would put those in above list.

Delegate Carefully

While running a business or teams, we delegate a lot of responsibilities to individuals in our company. Over delegation can be counter productive and stressful if not managed carefully.

While management gurus suggest to delegate almost everything, I differ and don’t recommend that to technical entrepreneurs/leaders. We need to be in shape (technology, hands on skills) by doing tech stuff while we have to wear another hats (management, operations, etc.)

I delegate enough to empower my team to do things better than I can. I never delegate everything; I try to be an active participant instead of one on sidelines reading only mails/reports.

What I am up to?

This is how my 2014 passed, or what I am up to:

  • riding my motorcycle a lot
  • hacking electronics and IoT using OSHW
  • dockerising things (apps, services)
  • playing with Apache Mesos, and ecosystem around it
  • hacking projects using Javascript (framework, toolchain, node.js, ES6 way of doing things) and web-standards (HTML5, CSS3, components, etc)
  • got Google’s Widevine certification (as required in one of projects). Personally, I like non DRM’d content :-)
  • built a Chromecast app using dash.js, modular Widevine DRM with node.js based proxy service for licensing, and Java for content encryption and packaging
  • been reading a lot of stuff through hackernews
  • helped and built stuff: QRizq, Diziana, 99doodles, IndieReign and other projects
  • not having meetings (waste of time)
  • not interviewing candidates who are not worth anyone’s time. [should do another post: sad and bad state of technical education in India]
  • bunch of other things I can’t recall

Did you notice that I have been mostly playing (or having fun)? On other side of it, I have also been thinking what’s nex; I think, I have figured that out.

At present, I am still involved with couple of projects mentioned above. I have also taken up a couple of interesting consulting assignments around technologies mentioned above along-with my old love (flash/actionscript).

MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses

MOOC is known to everyone these days. I am enrolled in some of the courses on Coursera, Edx, Udacity, Stanford, and others most of the time. I sometimes look at Khan Academy’s lessons/courses as well. We are living in a time which has made learning things so much easier compared to what we have a decade back or earlier.

Anyway this post of mine is not about reiterating facts and benefits of MOOCs. I rather want to talk about an idea which I found in my notes written many years back.

Yesterday, I found an old note (written during Feb/Mar 2006) on my Yahoo! Notepad. I think, I wanted to present this idea in an upcoming BarCamp Bangalore. I couldn’t give my talk because I fell sick on the day BarCamp happened.

Following is what I found:

While I was sleeping, I dreamt about my school days and I woke up suddenly in the middle of night. I started thinking, how cool those days were.

Since I was also thinking about some idea for BarCamp before sleeping, something struck my mind…
How podcasting/videocasting can be used in education (school, colleges, training institutes etc) combined with the philosophy of open-source, knowledge-sharing.

For example, in a school a teacher is teaching Maths/Physics…if the entire session is recorded (audio/video) and uploaded to some site (like Yahoo! Podcasts, Odeo, YouTube etc)…Not only students from the same class, who were present or absent but also students from other schools, students from remote villages/small-towns with decent internet connectivity can benefit…

This requires, schools to be more open and willing to share the knowledge and adopt the technology in this fashion. Technically, it is quite feasible, my prototype requires following:-

* Broadband connection
* Account on YouTube!, Y! Podcast or on Odeo account
* An high-res webcam and a microphone..
* A web application written in Macromedia Flash/Flash Media server to do the entire recording, locally…

What I expect that someone comes with a Web 2.0 app like Odeo, where you can do publishing with their API in real-time as well as should be able to upload pre-recorded content. At present, Odeo, Y! Podcast etc lack publishing API…which is I think is important…

I like the idea of Odeo channels, if it’s little more improved it can be like a TV channel…

I think, such things have great importance and we should really start thinking that how can we improve society, education and system with the best use of technology….

We’re Hiring Developers!

We have been working on bunch of products (, and others) for sometime. To take these products to next level, quickly and elegantly, we have recently started expanding our team.

We are starting our new development centre in Noida. We want to connect, talk to and hire smart and passionate developers (hackers) who love to work on products in a small company or a startup (like ours).

We are looking for:

  • bright and smart guys
  • one who can fit in our (small team/company/startup) culture, and becomes a great team player
  • can learn, adapt and use cutting/bleeding edge technologies
  • can inspire and mentor others
  • importantly, loves building cool, useful and scalable products/services

Experience, we would like to see:

  • Application Developer
    • Proficiency with web standards and frontend (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, etc.) development
    • proficiency with one ore more languages (Python, Ruby, PHP, Scala, etc.)
    • proficiency with analytical approach to problem solving
    • has worked or very interested to work on other frameworks (Django, Rails, Symfony, etc.)
  • Mobile Application Developer (iOS or Android or both) – apps/games development;

Details description can be found at

We are not rigid about number of years (of experience). We think experience comes out of depth, challenges one has taken, and how many great problems one has solved over the time. If someone has all that, we are happy to talk to him/her.

If you are interested or know someone who is good fit; I would appreciate, if you can connect with me (aqabiz at and share details.

IndieReign – Discover a world of independent film and have fun doing it

My team and I have been working on bunch of products/services for last 3-4 years.

IndieReign is the one, we have been mostly focused on, and took care entire engineering and technical architecture.

It is a platform for indie filmmakers to promote, distribute and monetize content. It is actually more than that.

IndieReign runs on open-source software stack (for everything including video transcoding) with exception of Adobe Flash Player (used for video playback), and Amazon’s cloud.

Please share your feedback.

Update: Whereabouts

Just in case, you still follow this blog and wondering about me? I thought, it would be fair to leave some details on that.

  • In Kanpur (my hometown)
  • spending most of time on (or around) IndieReign,
  • learning electronics and trying to build something,
  • yet to grow to team, because it is hard to find and get right ones :-)
  • still does ActionScript, mostly for fun stuff,
  • might start blogging again; got so much to talk about, and share.

Thank You

This post is dedicated to people and companies, who allowed me to work with them. They hired me when I was nothing.

I messed up so many times, yet they kept supporting me. I was not up to the mark, yet they were optimistic. They told me the truth and helped me grow to what I am today.

In last one decade, hundreds of people influenced and inspired me. It would take days to write their names, I would probably do that one day. Thanks to every one of them

I can’t imagine, if I would be what I am today without their trust and support.

Here is list of companies and people (managers, leaders, mentors), who trusted me and allowed me to work with them. I am very thankful to them for everything they did.

Tata Interactive Systems
  • Vivek Kashyap
  • Pavan Kota
  • Anubhuti Kashyap
  • Ashutosh Pathak
  • Nimpee Kaul
  • Nikhil Puri
  • Rohit Sharma
  • Albert Lewis
  • Vikas Dwivedi
  • I. V. Nagendra
  • Victor Grigorieff
  • Vidya Murti
  • Lauren Park
  • Ramanarayanan Krishnaiyer
  • Susan Lally
  • Kari White
  • William Taylor
  • Manish Jethani
Yahoo! Bangalore
  • Vijay Ramachandran
  • Sapna Chandiramani
  • Raghuram BK
  • Hemang
  • Adarbad Master
  • Abdul Qaiyoom (friend, mentor and brother)

I need X to do Y — Syndrome

Most of us have or have had this syndrome “I need X to do Y”.

  • I need to join X course to learn Y
  • I need to X training to start doing Y project
  • I need a Laptop to start programming Python; Desktop doesn’t make me productive
  • I need an iPhone to start learning iOS programming; Simulator doesn’t make it feel real
  • I need to join Gym to workout; Workout at home doesn’t work :-)

Get over with it this syndrome:

  • Start learning/doing as soon as you get curious about anything, we don’t have to wait to do X to start doing Y by ourself.
  • We can always do X, but who is stopping us from starting with Y?
  • Wouldn’t it be better to get our hands dirty and try to learn more about Y by ourselves?

Eventually we have to do it by ourselves, doesn’t matter if we do X or not. It is more fun and engaging when we do Y by ourself; it is also a litmus test, if we really want to do Y.

Discipline and Passion matters. I wish, I had more of these in me.

Illusory Superiority

Illusory superiority is a topic of psychology, and it is considered to be one of many positive illusions relating to self.

I am not a psychologist. This blog post is based on my observations about this topic in context of coginitive tasks and something highlighted by Dunning-Kruger effect  (Research – PDF).

In my experience, if the culture of place, we live or work doesn’t provide enough challenges and competiton (validations), it’s so easy to get dilusional about our actual competence and  have illusory superiority.

In my own experience, we stop learning and improving once we get to a certain level (in an organisation). We think, we know what we are supposed to. We think, we are great or good enough for tasks in hand or in job?  I believe, these are symptoms when we start living with “Illusory Superiority” or “Distorted Reality” or “Cognitive Bias”.

One of many ways, I avoid to have this distorted view of reality or illusory superiority or coginitive bias is by looking beyond the boundaries of my organisation/city/country. I look up to great people in community at large, places (great companies) and practices. I try hard to follow the gurus and be like them.

Another way is to think like, ‘I am a software-developer/technologist and I work at X place/company’ NOT ‘I am a software-developer/technologist in X place/company’.

The difference between these two statements is, former makes me live in actual reality, and look beyond and place myself in larger community). Latter might make me live with distorted/percieved reality, and place myself in a smaller community (organisation, place, country).

As a leader/mentor, we need to challenge and help our team so that they keep living in reality. We have to do it, carefully, without affecting their self-confidence.

Thoughts: Open Standards and Technology for Movie Rental Business

I have been thinking about open-standards for movie-rental business. I searched to find about such standards but I couldn’t locate. Do you know of any?

Basically, a set of specifications/protocols which can be implemented by different players in movie-rental chain. Players include studios, distributor, application-developers, portals, et. al.

Rough thoughts:

  • A studio/distributor implements this specification/protocol and exposes API  for metadata/streaming(or playback)/file-access from their own server
  • Third party developers use the API to to pull metadata and play the content
  • Third party developers can charge the user and split the revenue with content owner
  • Or, studios/distributors can enable payment-gatway APIs as part of their offering
  • Content is always played directly from studio/distributor’s server
  • Studio/distributor have total control over their assets and also charge based on subscription/per-access
This would solve many problems (billing, stats, etc.), however, there would be concerns:
  • someone (end-user, third-party developer) might try to cache/save streams as file and distribute
  • and other concerns?
Once we have specifications and protocols in place – a stack using open-source technologies can be built as template, and made available so that everyone in chain can use/customize it to build their part.
I wanted to talk about it on twitter but 140 chars were too short to express my thoughts. Anyway, it’s good to have a blog post in place.
Please share your views.