Category Archives: General Information

And its time to move on – Thank You Zoho!

Today is my last day at Zoho.

After 10 years of a comfortable job, I’ve decided to get out of my comfort zone embrace my dream.

When I joined Adventnet (now Zoho), I made up my mind to work in the company for 2 years, quit and join Infy/CTS and settle down in US of the A 😉  I thought that there wouldn’t be anything for me to learn after 2 years in the company. But time flew so fast that it is already been more than 10 years.. And I’m still learning something or the other.

There were quite a lot of ups and downs in this journey, but there was something to be learnt in every step.

10 yrs @ Zoho

After playing different roles in various teams, I had an opportunity to start something new from the scratch. The main goal was to connect Zoho with various Cloud apps. We started with Zoho Gadgets, The turning point of my life at Zoho happened when I did a fun project that integrated Zoho apps with Google. Sensing its potential, I was asked to take that up as a high priority project, which was techcrunched 😉

Later on, I started to closely work with Google team by tightly integrating Zoho business apps with various Google Services. And Google invited us to speak at their annual developer conference Google IO ‘11. I showcased Zoho – Google Tasks integration in front of a larger audience. That was my first experience speaking in a larger event outside Zoho.

After steady progress in the feature updates, we became one of the largest vendors in Google Apps Marketplace and started embracing Google everywhere. We even teamed up with Google to give away Chromebooks for free.

Everything came our way and my super focussed team made sure that they did all the hardwork in every single integration. And we went on to become a Premier Technlogy Partner for Google.

I have had a chance to interact with almost all the Zoho teams and have worked on a lot of fascinating projects, with great product managers, engineers not only in Zoho but in Google, Dropbox, Box and recently with the Microsoft team as well 🙂

I’m really proud to have worked in a company which has a very good work culture with an extensive learning atmosphere and one which also happens to compete in the same league as Google/Salesforce/M$ 😉

Yes.. I’ll be missing quite a lot of other things – mainly the office, many of my friends, chess games, team trips, friday fun, corporate tournaments, Ping pong games, carrom club, badminton, cricfest, fun projects, recruitment drive, and of course the yearly pilgrimage to Google’s office 😉

Above all, I’ll be missing my awesome ZGadgets team. Personally, I think that I’m a better manager than an engineer. I was fortunate enough to hire a bunch of a very talented engineers with the right attitude. And we produced some amazing work together. I treat everyone in my team as my family and is heart wrenching to leave them.. They’ve made sure that my journey in Zoho is a memorable one. I’m very proud of them and wish them all success.

My team made sure that I have a grand farewell. I typed most part of this post from my mobile. Thanks guys for the Google Nexus 🙂

This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my mentor Raju for helping me turn my dreams into reality. I have never had a chance to report to him directly, but he has been my mentor all along and made sure that I went in the right path even when I made mistakes. He has been an inspiration .. without him this post wouldn’t have been possible at all. Thank You Raju!!

Writing this post has made me realize that, this is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. Though it was really a tough decision to take, I really hope that this will help me in shaping up as a better individual..

I’m really excited about the move and the new opportunities. At the same time I’m sad about leaving my team members. I owe them so much for their support and encouragement over the years.

My first love will always be Zoho!! Thanks Zoho for shaping up my professional and personal career as well 😉

It’s now time to pull up my socks and go explore the world on my own!!

Signing off from Zoho!!

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Droid Hackathon at Home -> A fun app :)

Recently, favourable winds in my direction at work ensured that the Senior Management handed me the responsibility of leading my team into developing an Android app for a newly launched Zoho app. In a very short period of time, we were able to release the app (Thanks to my super focussed and passionate team) and it so far, our customers are loving it. During the course of development, we came across quite a few of challenges and I personally learnt a lot.

After all these experiences, I was toying with the idea of developing an Android app (a fun app) in one night/day – more like Droid-hackthon at home. I decided to take up this challenge on August 14th night and planned to come up with a working app before Aug 15th night.

The previous week I saw Anjana playing with her iPad (Yes all mobile devices at home are her’s only and not ours 😉 ) She says “A” after the tablet says A and taps on it… and repeats B and so on. I noticed that the FREE version of the app had only 5 alphabets and in order to get 26 alphabets, I had to upgrade (what the heck).. So there was my app requirement, staring right at my face. I decided to write a complete alphabet app on my own and take it up on Droid-hackthon day.

Started working on this app (August 14th – 9 PM) by choosing the different fonts for the app and deciding on the features to be added in the app. After putting everything together, I was able to come up with the working version in 5 hours time. I wanted to put this app in Google Play Store on Aug 15th itself, but (80/20 rule happened) due to some family commitments, I was not able to spend time to finish off the app completely.. Somehow managed to work on it last night and published the app in G Play Store 🙂

Here is what you will find in the app:

With this colorful app, Kids will love learning the English alphabets.There are 7 different fonts in which alphabets appear in the app . A different version comes up each time you tap on the magic button or anywhere on the screen. The app contains flashcards to teach your kids and also a quiz to check how well your kid has learnt.

Curious to know how the app looks? Take a look at the below screenshots,

Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-46-14 Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-46-24 Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-47-56

Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-47-18 Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-47-01 Screenshot_2013-08-28-15-46-32

Go ahead and install the app here

Android app on Google Play

If you like the app, do rate it in GPlay Store 🙂 If you find any missing features or any glaring mistakes, do comment it here.. will get it rectified 🙂

I’m planning to do Droid-hackathon at home in coming months as well.. So you can expect atleast one fun app for every single month.. Stay tuned!! 🙂

Bow woow – a new Android app!!

The Kids FlashCards app that I published last month turned out to be quite popular in Google Play Store.. Thanks +Anjana for asking 🙂 The app has crossed 2500 installs so far and is being used world-wide in countries like US, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore etc., Of more than 1000 apps in Kids Flashcards category, the app is listed in the 9th place in Google Play Store. I got emails from app users praising the app and how useful it is to them. Some even said that the app was their kids’ favourite lunchtime routine.. All this positive feedback motivated me and the excitement was out of the world when some folks at my office called and thanked me for the app 🙂 All this pushed me to come up with one more app for kids.

On a lazy weekend, as usual I was playing with my lil angel.. I took her outside our home and noticed a something new… Whenever my overzealous daughter saw dog, crow or parrot, she screams Kakka Kakka or bow bow boww on top of her voice until the poor animal goes out of her sight 😉 That is when I decided to that my next app would be exclusively for animals. Despite her busy schedule (running behind our daughter all the time 😉 ) my wifey helped me collect a lot of pictures of domestic and wild animals, birds, baby animals etc., and edited them all to fit them in the mobile layout.

It will not be fair if I didn’t mention this special person +Balaganesh who extended his help in the UI design for this app.. He spent a weekend and gave me the UI design with all the necessary specifications/icons.. I was pumped up after seeing the super make over of the app and immediately worked on giving life to the UI design.. I burnt midnight oil for nearly 5 nights to get to a working version of the app.

Here are some details about the app,

feature-image

With this app you can introduce your child to wildlife in all its glory.. With over 100 high quality flash cards and sounds, your child will have a wonderful time amongst the different kinds of animals, birds, insects and reptiles.. Learning is so much fun for preschool kids with these colorful and interactive flashcards. Bring a complete zoo right to your mobile phone with this app and watch your kids learn the names of animals and birds in days!

  • Colorful flashcards with animal names, pictures and sounds.
  • 6 different categories from the animal kingdom.
  • Great for tiny tots and toddlers alike.
  • High quality pictures.
  • Easy swipe action.
  • Child friendly screens and navigation.
  • Sound On/Off option.
  • Random/ Alphabetical order option.
  • Can keep your kids entertained anywhere, anytime!
  • Its free and will always be.

Screenshot_2013-06-02-17-54-22  Screenshot_2013-06-02-17-54-49  Screenshot_2013-06-03-16-38-33

Go ahead and try out the app and let me know if your toddler likes it!!

Android app on Google Play

As usual please do send me any bouquets or brickbats about the app 🙂 I’m all ears!!

P.S: In the last post, I promised to write the technology used and the challenges that I faced during app development, but didn’t have enough time to write it down.. If you’re still looking for it, wait for the next post 😉