Ravi Mohan's Blog

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Rest Of The Year - Plans

I just rolled off a Telecom Fraud Detection project that saw the successful deployment of one of my core foci - Artificial Intelligence. My next project in 2006 will be in my next major focus area - compilers.

I can't talk too much about this in public yet but I can say that till about August middle/September beginning (tentative deadline) I will be building a production quality compiler for some custom hardware. Large parts of this project (if not all of it) will be open sourced at the end of the project, once the code base is stable enough. Parallelly I hope to help one of my friends bring out a product, and do a serious upgrade of my mathematics skills.

Life is good.

[Context Switch]

If any readers of this blog want to meet me, the Agile India Conference, (where Rajesh and I are doing a linked pair of talks on Robotics) is a good chance to do so.

I shall be talking about language design issues in robotics and Rajesh, on the problems of implementing custom firmware . There are many other interesting sessions on the agenda ( I particularly look forward to KD's speech on the impact of Culture on Agile Practices - knowing KD, this promises to be a real blast), so if you are in Bangalore (or can get to Bangalore, don't miss the fun. (Registration will open later tonight).

Update : Registration for Agile India 2006 is now open.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ravi,

How does an independent consultant find work? In India? Is it all contacts?

Ravi said...

Hey,
I don't know how the "normal" independent consultant finds work but so far the work has come to me ! (shades of mohammed to the mountain :-) ). generally people talk to other people about needing some skill sets/solution and eventually somone reccomends me. That is how it has worked so far fwiw.

Praful said...

Very Interesting post. One question ravi, how many companies do we have in India which engage in such projects ? can you name a few ?

Ravi said...

Praful,

My NDA s are very strongly worded so I can't really speak about the details of the work I do, (at least not on a public website :-) )


However your question can be answered very easily.


a) All my work is not confined to "companies in India" (Whatever gave you that idea?) The "party" for which I am developing the compiler for e.g is not an Indian entity. Nor do they have an "offshore development centre". And neither are the rates I charge "Indian " rates :-).

b) any company outside the "outsourced enterprise software with per hour body count based billing" category , (say copmpanies that build products, whether web based or otherwise) often undertake very complicated projects often involving deep computer science/maths etc.these need not be software conmpanies at all. Ofr eg a manufacturing firm trying to optimize and assembly line needs extremely powerful customized software.

c) In The Telecom Fraud Detection Space for example, some key players (by no means all) are IBM, Intel, HP, Ericcson,HP, Subex,, Neural Technologies etc etc. Except the last (which is based out of the UK), everyone has branches in Bangalore/India.

d)So in a nutshell companies that engage in "advanced projects" = all companies of a certain complexity level in India - the "offshored enterprise bodyshopper" folks.

That is a very large number. To tap into these needs you need some skills beyond java/jsp/j2ee/dotNet blah but that is a separate issue.


Hopefully that answrs your wuestion or at least helps you answer it yourself :-)

Praful said...

Ravi,
i think i got the gist of what you tried to convey.
I dream of following your foot steps and do something more
meaningful with my life. But to be very honest i cannot promise myself that i would never do any half assed jobs again my life. I cannot afford to jettison the mundane work that i do now because it puts a roof over my head, feeds me and pays my bills. I cannot do any immediate radical change. But i can work towards a gradual change.
Kindly share your views on how another body in the enterprise world(read praful) who is just another Engg graduate from just another Engg college (again read praful ) do more meaninful things in life. Let me say unashamedly that i did not join my company because i felt i was born to write code, i did so because i saw that, thats what half of India does now. I saw that the so called dudes (or sepoys in your words)in the software companies earn even more than what IAS/IPS officers do and have far far less wisdom/knowledge/judgement. I joined the horde !..But after two years in software i realise that there are many (like you) who are at a certain level from where they can change the way the world would look tomorrow. Peopel to whom their job is nothing less than a religion.
You wrote that you spent a decade in the enterprise world..i have
spent just two. Can you show me the way to rise to the next level? I do not want to end up as a manager working with nothing but excel sheets. Hope you have the kindness to do so.

Ravi said...

"I dream of following your foot steps and do something more
meaningful with my life"

This is frankly a very frightening statement! I have not reached any heights or done anything significant to be worthy of being "followed". If you must follow someone , follow folks like Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Peter Norvig, Paul Graham. You *really* don't want ot imitate me, belive me!! :-)

Even In India there are brilliant hackers who are way above me in talent and hard work. Maybe most of them work in the USA but they are Indians just the sanme.


"I cannot afford to jettison the mundane work that i do now because it puts a roof over my head, feeds me and pays my bills. "

This is very valid position. There is nothing "bad" about doing this.

"Kindly share your views on how another body in the enterprise world(read praful) who is just another Engg graduate from just another Engg college (again read praful ) do more meaninful things in life."

I really would like to give some advise, but to teach or give advise on something one should be a master of the subject. I am far from being in a position to tell others how to transform their lives radically! My life is tough enough and i have to struggle very hard to keep it on an even keel!

"Can you show me the way to rise to the next level?"

well *this* should be fairly simple. What prevents you from getting some of the in the areas of your interest (whether those be in software or not) and working through them in your spare time?

Or play teh guitar for a couple of hours a dyay? otr go trekking? or.. or..