Archive | September, 2012

What makes Google’s Maps so good!

28 Sep

Now a lot has been said about how disastrous is Apple first foray into its own Maps. For those who are not aware, with iOS 6 Apple has pushed Google Maps out of its system(an app is yet to come, if at all it will!) and replaced with its own Maps app. I may cover what I have discovered in the new Maps in a different post but lets say if I use that to reach somewhere, I seriously don’t know how I will go and where I will end up.

But comparing Apple Maps and Google Maps is a  bit unfair as Google Maps has been where it is now with 7 years of humongous work. Give some time to Apple and I am sure it will reach or even cross where Google will be!

More on the interesting and insightful article –

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/what-makes-googles-maps-so-good/

Enjoy the read!

IPMA Event Coverage : Excel for Product Managers

25 Sep

First a bit about what IPMA is all about –

India Product Management Association (IPMA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, grassroots organization with chapters in Pune and Bangalore. Our Mission is to Foster Product Design and Innovation and Catalyze Product Management/Marketing Talent in India across software, mobile, hardware, telecommunications sectors in the IT industry. IPMA organizes knowledge sharing and networking forums such as Speaker Series, Workshops, P-Camps etc.

IPMA regularly conducts events for Professionals in the industry and specially relevant to those who are in the area of Product Management.

This time it was about Excel which is a valuable tool in any Product Manager’s tool kit.

Lets get started…

Day/Date/Time – Saturday, 22nd September, 9:30 AM

Venue – The beautiful Yahoo campus at Embassy Golf Links, Domlur, Bangalore

Trainer – Anand Vishwanathan, Microsoft

Topic – Excel for Product Managers

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the splendid Embassy Golf Link made it even more so! I would love to work in any of the companies here just for the luxury in the form of their sprawling space! 🙂

It was my first trip to one of most widely known tech companies on the planet! Yes they have been sidelined for sometime thanks to the Apples, Googles, Microsofts etc but now since a star ex-Googler  : Marissa Mayer has taken the helm in the form of CEO of Yahoo, Yahoo can certainly look forward to even more interesting  and fun times in a good way! Why even more?? Well to start with Yahoo has started free food for all which has started in their offices in US to begin with! And very recently Marissa sent a memo to all their employees giving a list of smartphones(iphone5, s3, motorazr, etc) of which they had to choose one…for free! Now its not about the freebies which is commendable to me but the confidence which Marissa has shown in her employees in these very challenging times. Yahoo is probably going through their worst phase ever since they came into inception and these freebies will further put their top-line under pressure but imagine the confidence each and everyone will get from this move. Now each one will be renewed in their endeavor and work to make sure Yahoo comes back to glory! Anyways…lets not divert here!

I was very excited to see how a Yahoo looks like and though I didn’t get what I expected, it still is a beautiful office! One thing I don’t understand is why the security guards have a cribby and stern look on their faces. Don’t they know what a smile is? Or is it part of their job not to be friendly?? Hmm…

This workshop was at 2nd floor, after registration and registering our laptop serial numbers, after passing the blocks which you would normally see in Metro stations, we took the elevator and onto the 2nd floor. Crossing a typical office space lined up with cubicles…we reached India Gate!!!,  which was the name of the training room! Name is quiet quirky, though I didn’t get the link!

Training room was one big room which can comfortably sit 64 people and which consisted of 2 different training rooms separated by a partition. One can easily remove or close the partition as per their requirements. Room itself was quite nice and colorful and gave a feel good factor to it! Though I was the first to enter soon enough the room was comfortably packed!

Packed Crowd for the workshop

Session was opened by Anand Xavier(Yahoo) who is part of the organizing committee and is Vice-President of IPMA along with Ravi Padaki(Yahoo) who is the founder of IPMA.

Ravi Padaki, Founder of IPMA giving a brief intro of what IPMA is all about.

Now it was time for the trainer  – Anand Vishwanathan to get started. Since it was a hands-on workshop, we all were required to download certain files on which we could work upon. Anand started showing the demo and we all followed him. Some of the topics covered were –

  1. Formulae
  2. Charts
  3. Pivot Table
  4. Macros
  5. Goal Seek
  6. Data Validation & Analysis

Trainer – Anand Vishwanathan taking the stage!

Considering we had a very short time of 2 hours, Anand could barely touch on all the above without us getting lost, which I have to confess I did get lost with the quantum of things to do in Excel. At present I would be using less than 5% of Excel! 😦

Anand is a seasoned trainer and has been conducting such workshops for years now. It definitely shows as he had a nice flow to the entire session and knew what he was talking about. The session was very interactive, with every now and then questions coming up.

Overall the session was definitely useful to at least start exploring the capabilities of Excel.  Yes longer duration sessions are even more useful and beneficial, but its a start and I am not complaining! 🙂

If you are in Product Management or aspiring to make it part of your Profession, I highly recommend joining IPMA. Please don’t judge from their site which – they are aware – needs a revamp and are looking for Volunteers to help them do the same!

See you at the next event!

Cheers!

Google I/O 2012 : Whats brewing at Google lately!

17 Sep

P.S. – I should have posted here long time back, but better late than never!

Day -1

Day-2

Though I am an avid Apple user, its exciting to see what Google is doing with its Android and other products!

Below are the few things which excited me the most about their latest Mobile OS : Jelly Bean –

1. Send email to all meeting invitees from the calendar reminder itself. This is super useful.

2. Smart app update, just update the portion of the apk which has changed instead of downloading the whole thing again. This will make the update super-fast and save on data also if you are using 3G.

3. Maps available offline. Useful for obvious reasons!

4. Nexus Q – social streaming device. It looks beautiful!

5. Google Plus Events, pre, during, after. What a cool way to gather all photos from various people for a particular event.

6. Auto sync of chrome across devices and even the signed in info, login/password gets synced. If I have opened some sit on Chrome on my Mobile or on any other device, same would reflect on all my devices which have Chrome. Say for example, I am on some site on my laptop and I have to leave for lunch. Even while having lunch I can see the same site on my phone or tablet or any other device! And since its already opened on my laptop, when I open on any other device, the page is pre-fetched! Super cool!

Googlers are doing some real zappy innovative work…but then whats new in that! 🙂

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