Mobile City

Vineet Aggarwal
Vineet Aggarwal
Technical
Head,
Mobile
Technology,BrickRed
Technologi
es
The Journey: Early days to how I got here

Over the past 9 years, my only mantra is to do focused research in technology and see the industry trends. I believe that you need to be better than people around you and change yourself according to the industry changing demands.

I started my career as a 3D game developer and developed exciting 3D Games. During the initial stage, I realized that the mobile industry would be the next booming industry and this had led me to join SKJ Technologies, as J2ME Developer.

My career boosted when I got an offer to lead the mobile division in Compare Infobase. I led a large team of 20 mobile developers and was soon promoted to Project Manager as an acknowledgement for my performance.

I developed a lot of key mobile properties and mentored group of freshers to the next level. Here, I developed my skills in project management, presales and designing project architecture.

But soon I realized that Android would be the next big thing in mobile industry and J2ME will soon vanish. Therefore, I joined Rhythm Mobiles, as Technical Manager and delivered various projects on Android and learned about mobile VAS industry. This had given me a chance to work with major telecom operators.

Android gave new dimension to my life. Currently Im handling the mobile division in BrickRed Technologies and now my apps are coming bundled with Mobile handsets and tablets across the globe. I use Agile methodologies for successful delivery of projects and focus on effective project architecture. The company has provided me enough opportunities to shape up my career.

I believe hard work should be focused and you can win your customer only by providing solutions to him. These days I am moving myself to cross-platform apps and open-source, as my research says this will be next big thing in mobile space.

Android Training

One day, I got a call from a training company in Hyderabad for online training to US students on weekends. It changed my outlook and I realized that sharing knowledge is a good way to connect with the developers community. I got an invitation from Times Group and had given three webinars on Android for them and got overwhelming response. My photograph was published in Times of India and Economic Times for my work. It has been an exciting journey so far from a software developer to being the head of mobile division of one of the topmost company in India.

Decisions That Mattered

Three important decisions changed my life. They are

a) The decision to enter mobile industry over 3D gaming industry was painful but successful for me. I took this risk because I saw 3D gaming will get more time to evolve in India. Mobile Gaming was a promising career option as mobile VAS industry was growing in fast pace due to telecom operators.
b) Research is my strongest point and I knew Android would soon become dominant force in mobile industry and therefore I left a 1000 people company to join a 50 people start up company.
c) Due to long working hours, I was not sure that I would be able to start training with my job. I started waking up 2 hours early to provide online training to students in the US. Good reviews boosted my confidence and today I am training 1000 students in one session. The mobile community now appreciates me for my contribution.

The Inflection Points In My Career

1. Joining BrickRed Technologies provided a platform to move from a Mobile Consumer Industry to an Enterprise. It was here that I achieved my dream of having my apps preloaded in mobile handsets.
2. I started android training on my moms advice. My Mom has always been a guiding force for me. She helped me take key decisions in my life. She advised me to share my knowledge to the mobile community. The success of my webinars and training has helped me increased my knowledge.

Work and Role: Then and Now

I started my career as software developer and coding in Java. After 9 years of professional career I still code in Java but these days I am bundled with responsibilities. I am in-charge of development, project management, team mentoring, research on new technologies, presales on mobile technologies, Client management, working on open source, product designing and keeping myself updated to the latest technologies.

The point is as you move up the ladder, you need to be more focused and drive yourself with more responsibilities to build up your future.

Two Years down the Line

I view myself in the role of a technical architect and looking forward to groom myself to the role of Director level or Chief Technical Officer in a good company. I may move outside India to explore more opportunities.

What I Learnt Along the Way

My brother once told me from his experiences that supposed you are a goalkeeper and you save a hundred goals in a match but people will forget that whenever you missed to save a goal. The same thing applies to the professional industry. You do a lot of good work but one bad feedback will spoil everything.

Some of the key lessons:

a) Always try to maintain a good relation with your clients, your seniors and even with your juniors too. If you are working in a team then your team success should be a priority. This led to my team receiving the Best Team Award from the company.
b) Criticism is your friend and it keeps you on ground. Always try to improve your weakness and increase your strengths.
c) Write down what mistakes you have done in your last project and how you can improve them.
d) Both verbal communication and written communication matter these days. So give them equal importance.

Your Profession: Then and Now

These days, Client works on Agile methodologies and you need to change accordingly. Pressure and opportunities were less in earlier days.

The shift in mobile technology from J2ME to Android and iOS tells you that you need to keep yourself updated with new technologies.

These days, there is a decline in quality of skills but the mobile industry is still in a steady growth.

But one thing that will not change is the importance of knowledge. Industry always value knowledgeable minds and this trend will continue.

Trends to Watch Out

The demand for cross platform apps will increase as mobile network connectivity is improving. Smartphone usage will increase exceptionally due to 3G and 4G networks. Mobile social media will become a huge business. Big Data technologies will change enterprise mindsets. For people like me, this is the time to start thinking on solutions and take advantage of the market.

My Advice If You are Starting Out

Mobile domain is a very good space to start ones career. But one should be ready to learn new technologies as the change is rapid. The industry is promising and is expected to grow at a good rate in the coming years. But the industry demands hardworking people who are ready to adapt themselves in the challenging environment.

Facebook and Google have created enough space to grow our ideas. Take advantage of Opensource technologies like Android, Google App Engine and build your path.

The Areas of Specialization:

If you want to start with Android improve your Java and OOPS. Same way for iOS you need Objective C. Currently mobile developers should focus on these two technologies: HTML5, and JQueryMobile. PhoneGap is a good choice for cross platform apps but will take of lot of time to evolve.

Do We Need Certifications?

I have not done any certification but I took part in many developers conference. Android does not asks for any certification, but I believe certifications like SCJP will surely improve your programming concepts. A certification may bring more opportunities but what matter are practical knowledge and the various ways to apply that knowledge.

Books/ Websites I Recommend.

I recommend developer.android.com for Android and Apple Developer forum for iOS. Beginners should watch webinars on specific topics to gain more. Here are few links:

1.http://www.techgig.com/webinars/UI-Design-Patterns-and-Best-Practices-for-Android-Developer-8
2.http://www.techgig.com/webinars/Mobile-App-Development-Series-Session-2-Location-Based-Services-and-Google-Maps-in-Android-App-Development-27
3.http://www.techgig.com/webinars/Android-  App-Development-Mastering-Data-Storage-Techniques-151
4.http://developer.android.com/videos/index.html
5.https://developer.apple.com/devforums/

Last But Not the Least:

You can contact me at vineetmobile@gmail.com for taking any advice or discussion. You can also connect with me on Linkedin. Just type two keywords Vineet android and you will find me. I am always there to help you. And keep on doing research.
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