Sunday, January 23, 2011

Apple App Store Reaches 10 Billion Downloads

Wow !!! Apple App Store reached 10 Billion downloads.

image

Developing iOS Applications

I have been thinking for a while to learn and develop iOS applications but has been putting off due to other commitments. Last week I have finally decided to take the plunge and get started. I am planning to post my travelogue with notes and links to resources of this exciting journey on this blog.  Join or subscribe to RSS Feed or by Email if you are interested.

Courses & Resources

After few hours of watching and reading various content available, I found that there is no place better than the Apple : iOS Dev Center to get started with developing iOS Applications. There are tons of content ranging from working samples,developer guides to full length WWDC videos delivered by none other than Apple’s own engineering staff.

If you prefer a class room style, with a prescribed direction and outline, here are some courses I found on iTunes that are teaching or have taught iOS development.

Stanford University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Madison Area Technical College

UC Davis

Aachen University

Study Group

I am also trying to see if there is a user group or Development community in DFW area or setup a study group myself.

Fast Track

If you want to go fast track, may be this 3 day intensive iPhone Development Boot Camp that costs about $1000 is a better option. Next boot camp is just around the corner, 11th Feb, 2010.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Detecting a Mobile Browser on Google App Engine

uastring = self.request.headers.get('user_agent')
if "Mobile" in uastring and "Safari" in uastring:
  # do iphone / ipod stuff
Via stack overflow

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Living Social : Get The Deal For Free By Sharing It

On LivingSocial, not only you can get emails about great local deals, but you can get the deal itself for Free.

Share for a Free Deal

After you buy the deal, you'll get a unique link to share. If three people buy the deal using your link, then your deal is free.

Now that’s a great deal.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Microsoft .NET Developer Events in DFW, You Must Attend

If you are a budding .NET developer looking to kick start your career in 2011 or advance your career on Microsoft .NET technologies, here are two great events right here in DFW that you must attend.

Windows Azure 2 Day BootCamp : 16th and 17th February 2011

This is a 2-day deep dive program to prepare you to deliver solutions on the Windows Azure Platform. We have worked to bring the region’s best Azure experts together to teach you how to work in the cloud. Each day will be filled with training, discussion, reviewing real scenarios, and hands on labs.

More Details and Registration here.

Dallas Day of Dot Net : 4th and 5th of March 2011

With Phil Haack kicking off the 2 day event with ASP.NET MVC 3, it got 2 days of immersive .NET programs including but not limited to “Windows phone, Azure, C# 4.0, HTML 5, Asp.Net MVC 3, WPF, Silverlight”. The event is priced at $200, but all proceeds go towards helping a cancer patient.

More Details and Registration here.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -Gandhi

Sunday, January 16, 2011

“You don't have to learn the language of a great poet to write beautiful poetry. Master your own instead.”

H1B and H-4 Visa Applications in India Plagued by 221(g) Refusals

Following up a note that I wrote a while back about H1B visa refusals and delays, here is a fresh news brief from Murthy.Com law firm indicating that H1B and H4 visa applications are increasingly rejected without much information.

Visit News Brief Page on Murthy.com

Back in 2009, I wrote “Going for H1B Visa Stamping? Be Prepared To Stay Back For A While” noting that H1B visa stamping is getting increasingly difficult and also taking time and asking reader to prepare well for the delays.

But this new note from Murthy.com is little more disturbing. Job market, particularly in IT sector appears to have picked up lot of momentum in the last few months and hopefully situation will improve in the days ahead.

If you are going for Visa stamping in India, make sure you take all required and any and all additional documentation that prove your eligibility to avoid delays and refusals.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is Programming A Craft ?

Little long but quite a thought provoking article on whether Software Programming is a craft?  I totally love the full post and couldn’t agree more but here are a few excerpts from the post that stand out.

The thing is, at one level software can be described by the utility it provides. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is under the hood as long as it delivers the goods. A programmer can show beautiful software to another programmer, but that’s where the appreciation stops for software per se.

A really great programmer (and I’ve been lucky enough to work with a handful over the years) can out-perform a doing-it-for-the-money programmer by orders of literally hundreds, delivering in hours or days what would take an average developer weeks or months.

A truly skilled programming team can deliver amazing business results in insanely short amounts of time. Let’s go after some of that! I want your experience. I want your knowledge. I want you to show me “the simplicity the other side of complexity,” to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes. It takes a real expert – a real craftsman – to see the elegant simplicity buried away inside the mess we call enterprise software, for instance, and tease it out

 Source : http://dannorth.net/2011/01/11/programming-is-not-a-craft/

On a related note, here is one the best quotes on Software I have ever come to know of.

Software is invisible to most of the world. Although individuals, organizations, and nations rely on a multitude of software-intensive systems every day, most software lives in the interstitial spaces of society, hidden from view except insofar as it does something tangible or useful. 

The primary challenge of every software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity in the face of essential complexity.

-- Grady Booch ( Handbook of Software Architecture – Grady Booch )

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Cravings for a Hot and Spicy Biryani

Its so cold, almost freezing outside and snow from last night is still shining. Its time for a hot and spicy Andhra style Biryani.
Harsha's awesome Biryani
Awesome Chicken Biryani from Harsha's Kitchen 
Hope you haven’t made any New Year resolutions to go all veggie. Even if you did, its time to break rules.

Enjoy and have a great time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Andhra/Telangana : Sri Krishna Committe Report (PDF, 11.4 MB)

Justice Sri Krishna Committee Report on Andhra/Telangana Issue is now available for download, link below:

Download Link (PDF 11.4MB)

You can alternately download the report and full 70MB appendix to the report at Ministry of Home Affairs here : http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=584

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

20 Things I learned about Browsers and the Web

Wonderfully simple and easy to read book for all ages, "20 Things I learned about Browsers and The web" from Google Chrome team. Must read for all that would love and enjoy web.
Wonderful book for all ages by Google 
You can read it online right from your browser or download the PDF version of the book.

If you are curious to know more how a browser really works, you may check this wonderful cartoon book from none other than the Google Chrome team itself : The Chrome, Comic Book.

Monday, January 3, 2011

About A Resolution I Made in Year 1999

Its not unusual for most of us to make resolutions on the New Year’s eve, every year. It’s a great milestone to look back and review ourselves and set our goals for the next year.

Technically, I never made any resolutions on a New Year’s eve. Not that I don’t like to make. I just happened to have a different milestone, my birth day, that comes about a week before the New year’s eve. I do it mostly on my Birthday (:-)).

The Resolution of 1999
I would like to share about one such resolution that I really enjoyed chasing it. Its about a resolution I made way back in 1999, immediately after joining in my first job. The resolution is about teaching at least 1000 hours in the next 10 years.

The inspiration behind this resolution was a teacher I met, a lecturer by name VB (Vijay Balachandran) that taught us English at SMVM Polytechnic, Tanuku. He is undoubtedly, one of the BEST teachers I have ever met and I consider myself to be the luckiest bunch to have that opportunity to learn from him. I will share in a separate post his way of teaching and how it helped a Telugu medium student like me to learn to speak, think and express myself in English and most importantly how he totally changed the way I think about teaching itself.

Having barely taught anything at that time, it looked like a big and challenging goal to have. Big and challenging enough that I didn't teach a single thing for the next 8 months or so. One day, while watching a commercial it struck to me to break it down to least possible or manageable size. So I did. What happened next was unbelievable. If you break it down, it will come to about 100 hours an year or roughly about just a couple of hours every week. Just a couple of hours a week. That looked a lot easier and manageable. ( Do you agree now, Marketers are pretty good at convincing you to make manageable purchases, every day! I do.)

A couple of months later, I got an opportunity to teach C++ to some of my friends and it all finally started towards the goal. Over the next 10 years, I taught C++, Unix, ASP.NET with C#, Investing, Investing for Kids and how small Businesses can leverage Google to grow, at various venues and opportunities. I taught just the same way I learned from my favorite and one of the Best Teachers. 

But I didn’t make it in 2009
However, I didn’t make my magic number of 1000 hours in 2009. End of 2009 was technically more than 10 years. But good news was that I only fell short by about 18 hours. Thanks to opportunities to teach .NET Boot Camps for aspiring Consultants, I fulfilled my resolution in 2010 and picked up a much better pace like never before.

As of today, I have taught about 1167 hours so far.  Exactly, the way VB has taught us English. Not just concepts, but more focus on How to Apply ourselves and those concepts in real world context to solve problems amid real world constraints.

Its good to know 'what is' and 'how does it work', but what about 'how to apply', 'when to apply' and 'when not to apply'. How do you learn some thing in a familiar environment and apply it in a totally different and unfamiliar environment. Where to start? How to approach it? What really matters to tackle new problems?

For instance, when it comes to .NET Boot Camp, I didn’t teach just .NET technology, but what really matters to them to become great consultants and carve out wonderful careers.

Next Resolution ...
Having fulfilled my original resolution, I couldn't wait to move forward and make my next resolution. I have decided to Never Stop Teaching. This will be my new resolution. I enjoyed teaching so much and it’s a great feeling of joy to help others make great careers, help other grow their investments and help others build and grow businesses. And it’s a jubilation everyday I receive an email from a student and says how it changed or worked for them. And most important aspect of teaching, I am learning myself so much, I wouldn't have otherwise. With my new courses Contextual .NET and KidVestors, I have a good feeling I can exceed my own expectations going forward.

Thanks a billion to VB for such a great inspiration, friends and family that helped me stay focused and disciplined in the thick and thin, students, various institutions, their sponsors, churches and temples for giving me opportunities to teach.

I am looking forward to 2011 and years to come, teaching what I have learned and continue to learn and what VB has taught us. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

‘Thought Garage’ find its way back Home, to Blogger

My personal blog,  ‘Thought Garage’ that I started back in 2004 on Google’s Blogger has found its way back home, after moving through various blogging systems including a self-hosted Wordpress. Just one small change though, it got a brand new address to begin the new year.

Here is the URL of the new home

The RSS Feed is available through Google’s Feed Burner at

If you are regularly following the blog on the web or through the Feed, sorry for the inconvenience. Please change your bookmarks and RSS Feed URL. Thank you for your understanding. Will share more about the background of this brand new address and reason for moving back to blogger shortly.

I would like to take this opportunity to Wish You all a Very Happy New year. Hope your dearest dreams will come true this year.

Let’s be in touch.