Vivek S Jain

Personal Blog of an rtCamper

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Whom you should hire?

This can be your ++ criteria when you interview a prospective team member.

Automation can be setting up a software who does recursive jobs or training another team member.Ā 

Start Small – WordPress & MVP

"Release your idea into the market. See how it is being adapted. Then take theĀ decision to invest time and energy inĀ building a complete system around your idea."

This is the suggestion I usually give to my clients, particularly to the boot-strapped start-ups. Starting small, only with the core features, and releasing to the audience as v1 is what is usually termed as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Once an MVP is validated, clients can then focus on rebuilding the platform from scratch for the holistic vision of the idea keeping in mind for scalability,Ā  reliability and security.Ā 

WordPress fits best for MVP needs. Apart from the out-of-the-box features such as the various content types, WordPress is supported by robust e-commerce features with payment integrations, readily available themes, newsletter integrations,Ā  analytics tools to measure traffic and conversion rates, and smart forms solutions.

MVP also makes senses for a project with a huge scope. Slicing the project's scope into smaller chunks with iterative releases. The first release focus in this case always is to have core features out for the users.Ā Ā 

When MVPĀ  doesn't work -ļ»æ
Read – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/11/when-minimal-viable-product-doesnt-work.html

WordCamp Mumbai – Feels Like Home

I attended the fourth edition of WordCamp Mumbai this Saturday. After attending many WordCamps in last few months, #WCMumbai feels like coming to the home of WordCamps. šŸ”

We (Me, Rahul, Radhe and Joel) started off for WordCamp on early Saturday morning. We took the customary pit-stop for our favorite Dutta vada-pav. We reached the venue by the time registration just started.

After setting up the rtCamp sponsor desk, we had our breakfast. I am mentioning breakfast specifically to brag the awesome idli-chutney (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idli) served with tea. #WCmumbai feeds WordPress and food hunger with all the love. šŸ˜Š

Meeting rtCampers & Other Friends

This WordCamp gave me a chance to meet many of my fellow rtCampers after a long time. Though we all talk regularly over Slack/Zoom but meeting everyone personally and having lunch together was very warming.

Rahul Bansal from rtCamp gave a talk on Writing PHP ā€“ The WordPress Way! This talk, he says, is very close to his heart. Like for his talk it was full-house for few other sessions too.  I really liked the variety of topics and content of the talks I attended.

More WordCamps

WCMumbai brings most of the meetup groups at one place. There were organizers, volunteers from many other WordCamps that were held in this and in the previous year (2016).

The best news I got was that WordCamp Nagpur, WordCamp Kanpur and WordCamp Ahmedabad are approved and the organizers are now shortlisting dates. More fun lined up this year. šŸŽŠšŸ•ŗšŸ»

Two-days & One-day WordCamps

Since last few months, I felt that having one-day WordCamps is better as it probably was easier to organize and to attend for non-local attendees.

This WordCamp changed my perception. It indeed can be more challenging to organize a two-day WordCamp, but as an attendee I felt I had more time to talk to everyone. More time to extend a conversation. More time to attend sessions I wished to attend. Moreover, I could re-initiate the conversation with someone that I left off on day one. Breezy.

Diversity

This WordCamp had the most diverse audience. I met users planning to move their personal blog to WordPress, students curious to explore WordPress as a career option, developers/marketers/QAs interested to join companies, companies interested to build partnerships, and enterprises looking for professional help. Kudos to organizers for knitting this community.  šŸ™šŸ»

Post WordCamp Dinner

This section is here to just display the coolest thing at the WordCamp. šŸ˜

#wcmumbai #dinner #jalebilove

A post shared by Vivek Jain (@svivekjain) on

It was a pleasure to meet fellow community people. And a big hello to the ones whom I couldn’t meet. I really hope we meet in the next or the first WordCamp in your city.  ā“¦ šŸ™ŒšŸ»

Demo is Worth a Thousand Updates

A regular ongoing project has multiple tasks/modules being executed on day-to-day basis. Client’s lifeĀ becomes really easy whenĀ they get regular updates about what’s going on. Predictability (more on that soon) of updates ensureĀ there is no anxious moment for them.

But at the same time, there should also beĀ a room for demos too. All the updates areĀ fine till client get curious what’s actually isĀ being built.

Let your clients know when they could expect demos of the ongoing work.Ā Weekly, bi-weekly or maybe have aĀ QA site whereĀ latest codes are pushed at end of the day. Let your client see what’s being worked upon.

IĀ usually roadmap a project with demos in mind. For example, what is the smallest feature set that my project teams can show in two weeks, then in 4 weeks and so on.Ā The initial demos can be just the bare-bone of the requirement, something really raw.

For agile projects, demo anyways is scheduled at the end of each sprint and here having a QA site works best.

WordCamps – Traveling, Learnings & Muses

The last 2 months have been great. I attended three WordCamps – WordCamp US, WordCamp Pune and WordCamp Udaipur.

WordCamp US 2016 – WordPress

This was my first trip to theĀ US and I was excited by the prospect of meetingĀ many ofĀ our clients, business associates and community friends whom I have only met virtually.

Rahul has nicely summed up our trip details in his blog post. Most of the meeting and events we did it together. Here are few pictures that I clicked.

It was great to experienceĀ the dedication and awareness everyone had about their businesses and work.

WordCamp Kochi Diary

WordCamp Kochi, the first WordCamp in South India and my first time as a speaker at a WordCamp.

Reaching Kochi

Me, Joel Abreo (yes there are two Joels in rtCamp šŸ˜›), and Sanket started off with our Uber ride to the Pune Airport on Friday evening. I was really surprised to see theĀ long queue at every check-point at the airport. It’s time that we should get a bigger and better airport soon.

We took our flight toĀ Bangalore at 1 AM and our next flight was at 8:30 in the morning. This long layover meant we had aĀ lot of time to kill. šŸ˜€

We all wanted to eat at Subway but the store was under cleaning. The staff told us to wait for 30 minutes. We waited but even after 30 minutes, we were told to wait for another 30 minutes. We gave up, had a nice Hatti-coffee and checked-in for the next flight.

Having another 6 hours to go, we all went off to sleep in the waiting area.

We woke up after few hours and boarded the flight. It was a 40 minutes flight.

Day 1 – Food & Friends

After reaching the KochiĀ airport, we took an Ola to Time Square Hotel at Marine Drive. It was a one hour drive with a good view of theĀ backwaters.

One of our colleagues, Rahul Prajapati (yes we have two Rahuls too in rtCamp šŸ˜›), reached few hours before us. All four of us decided toĀ skip breakfast and go for lunch directly. We were hungry,Ā very hungry.

Except Joel, rest of were veggies. But as Joel wanted to eat some seafood, we decided to go for a place there we can find both. Luckily, our Hotel’s restaurant had aĀ really good menu. I ordered a South Indian Veg. Thali, Joel order Fish Thali, andĀ Sanket, Rahul had Punjabi food.
I couldn’t figure out what was served in the Thali, but it was great.

After lunch, I headed back to the room as I hadĀ some calls and emails to take care of. Rest of the guys went to Fort Kochi.

In the evening, I met Chandrabose, an ex-rtCamper. We went toĀ Marine drive, chatted and then went to eat an authentic dosa that I was craving for.
I found fruits and juices’shop, and surprisingly road-side Chaat-waalas at many places. We share same food tastes it seems.

Juice Shop

Later in the night, we all went toĀ Park central Hotel to meetĀ other WordCampers.Ā For a moment, I felt WordCamp Pune is still on. So many people I met in Pune, then in Udaipur and then here. We indeed are a part of a very warm WordPress community. šŸ™ŒšŸ»

DAY 2 – WordCamp Day

Joel and I woke up a little early in the morning to go through the PPT slides. We all then got ready and headed for the venue that was 5 km from where were at.Ā It was a usual sunny Kerala day.

I loved the idea to use LCD that the organizersĀ had out upĀ throughout the venue. AĀ good way to reduce the paper and flex footprint.

Hari started off with the opening remarks. His session and crowd management was fantastic. At every WordCamp, I felt theĀ majority of attendees doesn’t come back to the tracks after a break. But here, I saw almost everyone backĀ to attend the session right on time. šŸ˜€

Lunch was great as you can figure out from this tweet. šŸ˜Š

Sessions

I attended the opening session by Nagesh Pai.Ā He was really kind to mention the work rtCamp is doing with India Express project.
Off-topic – He and Alex were the only two attendeesĀ in the Malayali attire. šŸ™šŸ»

I also attended Amit’s Session on MVP, Harshad’s session on Caching, Dephanee session on remote working, Sudhar’s session and Mahanghu’s session on support.

My talk started at 2:30 PM. My session was aboutĀ Handling clients, the human way!Ā I felt great to be on that stage and share my experiences and learnings. Speaking about a topic comes with a challenge to make everyone in the audience understandĀ your point. A good experience to be on the other side.

Amit’s (from wpoets) notes covered my session nicely on this Twitter threadĀ here.

You can find the slides of my talkĀ below. IĀ would love to hearĀ from you all for any feedbacks for my session and for any tips for client management.

WeĀ all then headed for the after-party, where we cut the Wappu’s birthday cake and had a good time chatting with each other. Psssst. we also talkedĀ about WordCamp Asia. šŸ˜¬

Thanks to these guys in green for organing this great event.Ā Hope to see you all at a WordCamp soon. šŸ˜Œ

PS – I reached Pune today morning after another night of long layover at Bangalore airport. Please excuse the typos as I am still very sleepy and partly hungover because of the after-party last night. šŸŗ

My Experiences At WordCamp Nashik 2016

This Sunday, IĀ and 13.5 other rtCampers attended the WordCamp Nashik. Why 13.5, you may ask. See the pic below ??

Reaching Nashik

Since I had some personal commitments on Saturday evening so I left for Nashik late in the night. I reached Nashik in just 4 hours.

I met Radhe at the alighting point and we reached the venue together. We had quick breakfast near the venue itself.

The WordCamp

I am short of words for the selection of the venue.Ā It was absolutely perfect in terms of the arrangements and accessibility. The auditorium for the talks was really nice and it was fit for theĀ number of WordCampers.

I can’t appreciate the organizers enough for getting so many things right. Apart from the basics, they didĀ few thoughtful things to encourage other meetup groups.

They did face the dreaded “projector problem” for a brief moment but that was not a show-stopper. You could feel the harmony when Nirav from Appsmagnet patiently handledĀ it while his talk started.

I didn’t get a chance to attend all the sessions as I spent most of my day meeting my WordCamp friends and other attendees. I attended aĀ panel discussion thatĀ was very well moderated and hence gave aĀ good perspective of the panelists about building businesses on WordPress.

The other aspect that I liked was the food. The catering was professionally managed by the catering vendor. This was my first WordCamp where I didn’t find anyĀ queue for lunch food counters.

I left for Pune early so couldn’t attend the after-party. My other colleagues attended it andĀ they did have great fun.

Overall, it was aĀ great time spent with the community friends. Plus I now have more expectations from upcoming WordCamps. ?

See you Soon

WordCamp UdaipurĀ 2017 is next on the calendar (as it seems). Ā Udaipur is my hometown and I can’t wait to meet you all there.

Update – I am also attending WordCamp US in December. Drop me a messageĀ to connect there. šŸ™‚

WordCamp Singapore 2016

Last monthĀ I visited Singapore with Rahul to attend the WordCamp Singapore and meet few of our clients there.

We had to take a flight from Mumbai at 1: 15 AM Saturday, so we started early on Friday evening from Pune. Traveling to Mumbai by road is always exciting as we get to eat vada-pav (Indian Burger) at a foot joint on the highway. Joel also accompanied us till Mumbai as he had a flight to catch on Saturday evening.

Day 1

We reached Singapore on Saturday morning. First thing Rahul suggested was to get SIM cards. We also bought the NETS card that we used in to use local transport.

We took a Uber to the hotel, freshened up and headed straight to Little India to have lunch and meet some friends. Being a vegetarian, I had to settle down for whatever options I had. RahulĀ did a quick search and suggested Murugan Idli Ā for trying South Indian food. Ā Excellent it was! Though I had to spend SG$ 11 for a dosa and a pair of Idlis, it was worth every penny.Ā ?

In the evening we went to Marina Bay to see the Laser show and explore the areas around it.

img_7151

Day 2 – Free Day

I and Rahul wentĀ to Maxwell food centre. Rahul had this delicious chicken dish and I hadĀ a fruit platter.

Rahul's and my lunch

Rahul’s and my lunch

We then went to Sentosa Island as our Hotel receptionist told that it was a good place to explore. Ā A local lady was kind enoughĀ to suggest us to take the bus to Sentosa instead of the monorail. It saved us 4 SG$. This left a great impression of the local people in Singapore. I found them very warm and helping.

At Sentosa, we settled down at aĀ restaurant right at the beach. While returningĀ we went to a Casino. I earned SG$ 16 on aĀ bet of SG$ 2 card game. I cashed out right after, hence proving house doesn’t win always ?

casino

DAY 3

We went to meet a client in the morning.Ā After the meeting, we went to a temple nearby and then went to Orchard street for some shopping.

ByĀ evening we headed for Azucar bar for the Speaker dinner. It was a great feeling to finally meet people from the community.

Day 4 – WordCamp Singapore day

Excellent venue with superb connectivity. The Microsoft facility was great and I was really impressed with the WordCamp organisers to put up such a great venue.

WordCamp was aĀ two-track event. I was able to attend a couple of sessions only as I spent time talking to other WordCampers there.

After the WordCamp, we all had to meet at Azucar for the Afterparty. Rahul headed to meet Mahaghu at Maxwell Food Center. I went for aĀ stroll towards the Merlion Park. I spent almost an hour there.Ā Since the afterparty venue was only a mile away so I decided to take a walk till there. The route was same where the F1 race was scheduled the very next week, so took the chance to see the track.

Day 5 – Client Visit & Shopping

We went to meetĀ one of the oldest clients of rtCamp – Rotimatic.Ā I finally got a chance to see the machine in action. They were gracious and made some great dishesĀ out of the Rotis. ?

After the meeting, Rahul headed for the Airport for his further travel toĀ attend a meetup in Bangkok. I had a half-day to myself that I decided to use to explore the local market. I inquired with the receptionist and some local people.

After some hard work, I found Bugis street.Ā I shopped clothes and accessories for my wife and other family members.Ā In the evening I met fewĀ friends that I made at the WordCamp.

Day 6 – Back Home

After a great breakfast at the Hotel, I headed for the airport. I reached very early so explored the Singapore airport and bought a bottle of wine. I spent almost 30 minutes at the auto foot massager.

The airport authority kept my perfume bottle as its quantity was more that 100 ml. A really bad feeling to lose your stuff like that.

I reached India and this signboard at the custom liquor shop cheered me up.Ā It isĀ from a famous Bollywood song that celebrates drinking. It reads “I haveĀ not committed a theft by drinking a little”. ?

We are now planning our trip for WordCamp USA. Looking forward to meeting many new people there.

Istanbul, Again

Liverpool FC – Knocking out the favorites, since 2005.

There is an element of craziness involved if you are a Liverpool FC fan. You should always be prepared to get your mind go on a joy ride if it’s an European night at Anfield.

2-0 down, 3-1 down, but never down and out. LFC scored three unanswered goals within 30 minutes, and against a team that has best counter-attack in the world.

And this is what a good leadership can do.

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