For beginners interested in software

1) For web development , get  into http://www.wordpress.org and its a pretty easy software to start making websites on.

You can maybe spend say 10 $ a month so that you can buy some server space on http://www.bluehost.com and tinker with his own website /blog in the meantime.

For learning language CSS ,PhP and HTML are the way to go.

2) If you knows some languages already, try  to make a Facebook application , and then play with Google’s open social API,or game, as that will get his interest besides giving him a skill thats useful. Ipod developer’s kit is another hot area to experiment.

3)For designing software solutions I would recommend the Microsoft Certification program. Try  to learn 1 language like Visual Basic or into .Net programming.These platforms will still be useful in coming years.

4) For statistical/business software try  to learn a language called R, which is good for data mining (www.r-project.org) . its quite easy to learn and has a good graphical user interface too.

5)For software careers it is best to learn multiple types of softwares to hedge your bets.

For sustaining interest, you  can join and network with fellow programmers using bulletin boards especially boards on http://www.google.com for google code and microsoft developers area..

6) You can also download Ubuntu linux (www.ubuntu.com) , which is a free Linux based Operation System (like Windows) and  be more familiar in it. Also add openoffice from http://www.openoffice.org This gives you perspectives on open source software.

7)I recommend him getting summer internship in a software startup (especially any software company in Silicon valley or Bangalore) ,and with established companies (like http://www.google.com , http://www.facebook.com,www.infosys.com

Software developers are the un-sung heroes of today’s modern world!!!

All the best !

Easy Ways to Secure Network Data

 Easy ways to secure network data without letting your IT team into fooling you in more servers  or certifications than you need.

1 User login passwords can be cracked and even the encryption will eventually need a password too. Most people use rather easy to crack passwords anyways.

2  you can use or even insist on the password feature within office documents , and within zip documents, and within outlook pst files.

The actual practicality is that people rarely keep track of multiple document passwords, and once a password is known /guessed , it compromises the whole system ..say for an ex employee,keyboard loggers, other ways to read data directly from the hard disk etc.

That cant happen for encryption.

So I would first implement a strong password policy , which is the first step for any company. This means using special characters, characters,numbers and automatic changing of passwords after 1 month.

3 Also laptops should have desk locks provided and compulsory before going away from the desk.

4 The next layer is encryption for data using private key/public keys and for login to the desktop/laptop .An inexpensive encryption solution is to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy ) for encryption. You can also have open source free encryption softwares .

5 Another layer is have closed circuit cameras or motion trigger alarms in the office activated after say 6 pm or after office hours.

6 Implement multiple solutions using a test control approach on various PCs and then evaluate usage for 1 month before deciding with the big contract.

7 ISO 27001 or BS7799 and certifications help make clients comfortable, but do not enhance data security in any special way given the huge costs.

8 Have training videos for social networking used by hackers or people breaking in to system. Eg. Calling Board numbers for cell phone numbers

9 Try and eliminate as much paper as possible. Printouts, faxes etc. A compnay I know replaced all paper with blue paper just to impress clients. Same principles applied when guards were checking senior management bags. No searches etc.

This is also good for environment too (Use that for impressing clients !), and its better to buy bigger monitors or have an encrypted wireless lan than  have tonnes  of paper too.

All systems can and will be broken given time and resources to deviants. Using these steps reduces the ease and probability of laptop loss escalated to data loss in wrong hands.

Outsourcing Analytics:Maintaining Quality

1 use an instant messenger like skype so people dont exchange too many emails and can clarify things in a two minute call

2 stick to SLAs. if someone didnt design the SLA ‘s correctly have weekly metrics report. weekly team meetings and monthly higher up review meetings help.

3 Insist on offshore quality management like ISO 9001 or Green Belt, which are the default in It services.

4 insist on an attrition or team retention clause in your SLA. team members leaving will be biggest drop in your quality.

5 Have once a year on site trips . helps the training and the bonding too. its cheaper for off shore team members to fly on site , because the have lower actual costs.

6 have penalty clauses in SLA, insist on free credits for missed deadlines or bad quality project, its only fair..

7 always have an exit clause which specifies that offshore vendor will pay for transitioning process to newer member and have a liability clause too, its mostly taken care by their insurance company

8 Having a wiki helps in documentation , insist on all codes,logs to be sent to you with comments so as to review how the project was completed rather than only when something is wrong

9 trust in god, but lock your vendor’s contract

Ning with the Xing

Recently created a social network on www.ning.com.The site is quite cool , as it allows you to create your own social networks.

It has features for blogs,forum,ADS,rss and even Open Social Gadgets. You can view my bad attempt at creating a social network here …http://startupsindia.ning.com/

If you plan a more commercial venture the rates are even more decent,from the Ning Site

Run ads on your social network
You can use any ad serving service you’d like. You can also use this premium feature to protect your social network from showing any ads at all.
$19.95 per month
Use your own domain name
If you own your own domain name (also known as a URL or website address) and want to use it for your new social network, you can.
$4.95 per month
Remove Ning promotional links
This will remove the “Create Your Own Social Network” button from the top of your social network.
$7.95 per month
Increase your quota
If you are concerned that your new social network will exceed 10GB of storage and 100GB of bandwidth, you can purchase more storage and bandwidth from us.
$9.95 per unit per month

 ”

And I got interviewed on my views at another much better Ning Network called Analytic Bridge. You can view the interview here .And post comments .

http://www.analyticbridge.com/group/interviews/forum/topic/show?id=2004291%3ATopic%3A11703

As I Sleep


 

 

As I sleep, eyes shut, dreams deep

Long lost in the embrace of slumber

Comfortably cold, now comfortably number

 

Rehashing over the daily blows,

The cheap tricks, and the flows,

That bedeviled me and made me stray,

Things that made an awry today.

 

Reflecting perhaps tomorrow is,

A better day, less bitter please,

Hope survives like a phoenix ash,

Credit cards emptied and too little cash.

 

The misery and the despair, and the mocking fun

Lesser mortals address me as one.

 

Nah , its better to keep on sleeping,

Deep down easy, up away dreaming.

Lost for a couple of hours at least.

Life’s tougher than this soft sheet.

 

That covers me in white, tip to toe,

All set now , ready to go,

Six feet under in a temporary death,

Sleepy dream suspend poisonous breath.

 

Should I end it all, with a quick pill or two.

Lost behind the suffering too.

Or shall I rise again and punch away,

Back the darkness from where it came to stay.

 

Punch it hard, punch it still,

Don’t speak now, just jab to kill.

 

rocky2.jpg

FaceBook loses out to Google Driven Initiative…?

These are early days , but almost all the top Facebook application games like Triumph, Dope Wars Online etc are starting to get versions on MySpace and hi5. This basically means that the Facebook era of exclusive applications may face a threat from the open source applications of Google driven APIs that enable developers to make games that transcend all social networks.

This space is heating up, and the latecomers to the social networking party might just Facebook as the harbinger of Web 2.0 crash just as NetScape was to Web1.0 crash.

Speaking of which, the Mozilla Firefox browser is Beta Stage for Version 3. Yes…it is a cool one….and Yes the Force is Strong within Google despite the share price..:)