Joining a startup?

There are two types of people in the world. One who can only do a job whole life. Others who can never tolerate a job. I am the latter. Where do you belong?

Most people don’t join a start up because of a very basic reason. The risk factor.

In the beginning its all very exciting and fascinating to call yourself a CEO or Management level post. Not necessary that you’re qualified for that!

But joining a start up isn’t something alien. The following are some points which I will share out of my experiences.

The Fear Factor: Have a mentality to convince dependents. Most Indian middle class families are job oriented. Parents prefer their children to secure a good if not high paying job and a good life than themselves. Government job in India is most secure and most boring. So where’s the challenge and excitement? NONE!

The Indian society is divided into two main sections. Families and social network which has very high regard towards a job. In most bengali families if a groom is a businessman they will think twice or even thrice before giving their daughter for marriage. They will invest money in education so that he can secure a good job. But a job after all. On the contrary, the Gujarati or Marwari family will always try to settle their son with some business by giving them some initial capital. Some families strongly believe that education up to high school is enough for the child to join his father’s business!

When joining a start up one should be ready to convince the social network around that “Hey I’m doing a start up, the boat is gonna be rocking but I’m up for it…”

And once you say you up for it, be ready to pickup any job that comes to you. It can be just anything! From serving tea to cleaning desks. If you’re not comfortable in that you shouldn’t even be reading this blog!

Treat your start up like a child. Feel motherly pride in doing anything for it.

Failure: Some people fail. Don’t give up. Understand that its a business after all. There will be times when you’re amazingly happy about winning a project or cracking a deal and other times when you’re almost down and nothing works your way! Be ready to face it. Be ready to accept it. Consider the two ends of a pendulum and imagine that on one side there is joy, happiness and on the other side there is disappointment, sadness. Your journey in life is like a pendulum. It never stays happy forever and never stays disappointing always!

Financial crisis: Most people have family pressures, bank loan, EMI to pay. They will never think of starting a startup. A secure job makes you a man-eating tiger. Once a tiger has tasted the blood of a man, he will never go back to other animals. From one man to other he will prey. Similarly job seekers will seek jobs. From one company to another and another. But one must understand, the person who is putting you on a job is a businessman after all.

Problem with start ups: We all know start ups have low funds, poor infrastructure and blah blah and everything you may have read elsewhere. But a practical lesson comes when your team members have difference in opinion. Who is right and who is wrong? Mis-communication , less communication, self respect , ego all put more oil in the fire. The team breaks. A divorce happens and the child suffers.

Strategy: Have a long lasting strategy but flexible one. A start up should like water. Should take the shape in anything which holds it. If it doesn’t it becomes too rigid and breaks when strong winds blow. A start up is more client oriented. Its really crucial to have a balance in concentrating between what you DO and how you Sell. Teams of B-techs and MBAs do a good start up but you don’t have to be a MBA or a Btech to do a start up!

Be a real tiger, not a man-eater. Feel free to put your points!

jQuery Online Training

I will be conducting an online training for jQuery enthusiasts in association with ITVidya.com More details can be found here: http://twrl.in/nvdm

Learn how to create dynamic, visually-appealing web applications from two experienced JQuery developers in this 8 weeks online training with practical project

Learn how to use the jquery and how they all fit together, to develop web applications like the pros.
Get hands-on coding experience and answers to your questions so you can start creating your own JQuery application with confidence.
Save time and frustration by focusing exclusively on jQuery development for 8 Weeks with expert guidance.
All Online!
Live weekly webinars

Stop using rediff

I have reasons to believe that rediff’s code quality has become really pathetic day by day. Delivery managers aren’t paying attention to the feedbacks. They keep putting bad code and pile up stacks of powerful servers to hide their bad programming practices!

Its high time Rediff ! WAKE UP!

After my initial post on a full quality analysis of rediff which can be found here I thought they would improve the quality but they went worse. Neither did they improve the quality but they left out loop holes for themselves for hackers to hack in.

The below screenshots would explain:

rediff_bad_coding Click to enlarge

rediff_code_horror Click to enlarge

I did email the product manager, but he asked me to wait and I’m still waiting!!

Picture 3 Click to enlarge.

So now I’ve decided that I will stop using Rediff, and go to other news sites which are good for my browser.

Kolkata …

Lot of things happened last week while I was in Kolkata. I was on a hunt to find a good office — Aparantly I didn’t get any good one. A few of them were good but the prices have hiked up a lot. Not worth the space!

If someone is reading this blog and can help me out, I would be most delighted. I need good office to accomodate 10 people for a software house.

It also happened that I attended the Kolkata Tweetup on Sunday. There were 16 people who had come in at Park Street Macdonalds. Wide range of age groups starting from school students to working professionals ( we didn’t have any sr. citizen!). It was fun to meet the mix bag of young and a little oldies like me!

Lot of discussions took place, Overall it was a light evening.

kolkata-tweetup

I formally announced the launch of @KolkataTech (http://www.KolkataTech.com) which is inspired by @PuneTech (http://www.PuneTech.com). Its very rare that some IT event or anything related to IT happens in Kolkata. There are many reasons to it. Barcamp took place after all the cities had 4-5 Barcamps already! Some of you would like to read my earlier post about why there wont be a Barcamp in Kolkata  (http://hussulinux.blogspot.com/2008/02/barcamp-kolkata-why-kolkata-still.html)

But the point is that the bongs are catching up and they are doing it good. It just needs some motivation.

I’m planning to have a good social and technical networking in Kolkata once my office is setup. Hoping to have some techie talks session, camps etc to guide out the new generation of kids

Besides just technical things, I am planning to venture out on Finance domain + Stock and Forex markets. Lets hope the Marwadi’s in Kol (who have lotsa black money convert it to white) have their portfolios done by my company!

All this and more coming up from September 2009. Stay tuned..

apachectl : Beauty of apache controller interface

Every tired to change apache config from a program and then wondered how to restart apache. Here’s a solution. APACHECTL.

When you do restart of apache, it will kill all the current sessions. But with apachectl you have option to restart the server gracefully without killing any previous sessions. This way all further connections will take up the new settings.

I’ve been doing this for a small little experiment, I wanted to add dynamic subdomains, So I had to edit the apache host httpd.conf files and we all know we have to restart the server after any config file is changed. So here’s an alternative. Change the config files from your PHP or CGI etc, and then call this apachectl.

The command is :  apachectl graceful

For Ubuntu and debian system the command would be : apache2ctl graceful

Here are some quick references from Apache’s official page:

start
Start the Apache httpd daemon. Gives an error if it is already running. This is equivalent to apachectl -k start.
stop
Stops the Apache httpd daemon. This is equivalent to apachectl -k stop.
restart
Restarts the Apache httpd daemon. If the daemon is not running, it is started. This command automatically checks the configuration files as in configtest before initiating the restart to make sure the daemon doesn’t die. This is equivalent to apachectl -k restart.
fullstatus
Displays a full status report from mod_status. For this to work, you need to have mod_status enabled on your server and a text-based browser such as lynx available on your system. The URL used to access the status report can be set by editing the STATUSURL variable in the script.
status
Displays a brief status report. Similar to the fullstatus option, except that the list of requests currently being served is omitted.
graceful
Gracefully restarts the Apache httpd daemon. If the daemon is not running, it is started. This differs from a normal restart in that currently open connections are not aborted. A side effect is that old log files will not be closed immediately. This means that if used in a log rotation script, a substantial delay may be necessary to ensure that the old log files are closed before processing them. This command automatically checks the configuration files as in configtest before initiating the restart to make sure Apache doesn’t die. This is equivalent to apachectl -k graceful.
configtest
Run a configuration file syntax test. It parses the configuration files and either reports Syntax Ok or detailed information about the particular syntax error. This is equivalent to apachectl -t.

The following additional option is available, but deprecated.

startssl
This is equivalent to apachectl -k start -DS

Notes from China

I really enjoyed my recent trip to China. I would like to share with you some of my experiences.

My Flight was from Calcutta, India to Kunming, China. From Kunming a local flight to GuangZhou.

I really liked GuangZhou. Nice climate, nice young people! I was there to attend 105th International Import Export fair. Its not mykinda game of business altogether but I agreed to it thinking what’s the harm to explore.

I rather describe the entire visit in pictures.

c5 Canton Fair Ground

c3 Opening ceremony

c4 Fair Grounds

c2 Costs only USD 5000

c1 Area surrounding the fair

c6 Speaking on stage — software imports

c8 felicitation

c7 Pretty Girls dance show

shopp Shopping in GuangZhou

shp Fun!

From GuangZhou I went to HK and then back to Kunming. Overall it was a nice short trip and the fair was quite interesting!

SSH proxy – Running SSH over blocked ports, SSH on mobile phones, SSH over HTTP

Imagine yourself in a scenario where you’re a behind a firewall and cannot access the SSH, or you’re controlling your servers via your mobile. Here’s a quick way to manage your servers through HTTP via command line. You can fire scripts, run shell commands etc.

Be careful, it will not ask you any username/password and runs with username Apache/SYSTEM.

The script is tested over linux and windows servers!

ssh-over-http1

ssh-over-http2

All you need is an Apache server with PHP installed. Just create a PHP file and insert the following code.

Put in a comment if this really helped you!

//— BEGIN OF CODE—-

<html>
<head>
<title>HussuLinux SSH over HTTP…</title>
</head>
<body>
<form id=”form1″ name=”form1″ method=”post” action=””>
<label>Enter Command
<input type=”text” name=”cmd” />
</label>
<input type=”submit” name=”Submit” value=”Submit” />
</form>

Output :
<textarea cols=”100″ rows=”30″>
<?php
$cmd = $_POST[‘cmd’];
if ($cmd==””)
{
//Do Nothing!
}
else
{
echo htmlspecialchars((shell_exec($cmd)));
}
?>
</textarea>
</body>
</html>

//— END OF CODE—–