The Journey : Early Days to How I Got Here
I have had a different experience than most of my friends working in bigger organization. After close to 2+ years in a big service industry, I chose to move to a small product company. And in the last 5+ years, from developing Symbian applications alone, today I head the mobile applications development for all the platforms at Eterno.
Decisions That Mattered
I was earlier with a very big services company, and then around 5 years back in 2006 moved to a small company with no employees at all. A fresher and I were the first members other than the 2 directors we had. This was a tough decision back then, but now when I look back, was a great decision. The learning is different, exposure is a lot more, and I have enjoyed my journey so far.
The Turning Points
To deliver in such a small setup without much guidance from anyone was again a big problem. But as it is said, it is problems which make you struggle and best of the learning come from struggle, I got opportunities to learn a lot and overcome the challenges.
There have been some hiccups at times, specially the phase where my responsibilities shifted from developer to manager over a period, it was a different challenge.
Work and Role: Then and Now
Way back when I started my career in 2004, I joined Satyam, and worked on services front for almost 2.5 years. As I was new to the industry, I was very limited to doing what I was told and try to learn as much. But my learning where limited, as was the exposure.
5.5 years in Eterno, I have been handling different roles of a developer. From developing only on Symbian to now managing the mobile development team, and designing solutions that work end to end in products like NewsHunt, my work activities have changed completely. Now I think more in a broader way, rather than staying limited to a technology. Also, another realization is that any particular technology is not what is tough to master, but able to think across technologies and design solutions for target users is what is more challenging and fun.
Two Years down the Line
I think I am enjoying designing and developing applications, and would continue to design and develop more such applications. May be 5 years down the line, would want to create some applications of my own, which are big scale applications! May be, my own start-up! Dream as of today J.
What I learnt Along the Way
- Be truthful and patient.
- Do not compromise on learning, give it more importance than Salary. Not that you should compromise much on Salary
- Take criticism on your work as feedbacks to improve.
- Give more importance to what the end user of the product wants, he is after all the one who will pay or give you revenue if it is Ads based model.
- Keep the usage of the products simple to use.
Trends to Watch Out For
- Space/domain? What do those trends mean for you from a career stand point?
- In mobile space, there are many players.
- When it comes to smart phones, the most trending are definitely Android and iOS, depends on the user region which you are targeting. Windows 7 is another one to look out for.
- If you are targeting feature phones, J2ME is still at large.
- If you are targeting existing customer base, in some regions, Symbian is still large (though not growing).
- I believe technologies will keep changing and each technology has its cycle. What is more important is to understand the end to end picture when designing for these technologies.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
I would recommend anyone not just to understand specific mobile platform, but understand the product on the whole. It is easy to code in one of the technologies, one can learn Android, or iOS, or any other technology say in 2 months !! or at max 6 months !!
But while learning these technologies, do dig deeper and understand why are you creating? For whom are you creating? and last but not the least, how are you creating end to end working solution, not only in your technology, but your colleagues too
Do We Need Certifications?
Certifications give a sense of pride and helps professional life in the longer runs. So if any technology specific certification courses are there, go ahead. Like I did my Symbian certification around 4+ years back.
Books/ Websites I Recommend
You would find plenty of books and recommendations on Google.but what is more important is that once you have read any fundamental book, you take examples and modify them to begin with, and then think of simple use cases and create some applications yourself, that is the best way to learn. Go, get your hands dirty!!!
Last But Not Least
keep your hunger to learn. Learn as much as you can, and the benefits will follow you.