Tag: Career

Social Networking Etiquette

There are good use full blogs from lawyers stand point on social networking Etiquette. The recent cisco fatty is eye opener on the topic for those who are actively engaged in social networking and collaboration sphere. It must be coincidental, I heard a comment from one of my best friend during the weekend, “common sense is not common to every one” and cisco fatty incident is one of the best recent example for that comment. That comment needs deep thinking to understand purely. Common sense is a relative word.  A set of people may think a set of facts is common sense to everyone. But they are in a sub set and that set is closed (it is true mathematically  and it is called subspace) The real problem is, people in that set think they are in the universal set (super set) but they are not.

Social Networking Etiquette:

  • Collaborate and share knowledge on common topics with out offending anyone intentionally
  • Do not provide and do ignore unprofessional comments or feedback to  blogs, youtube,
  • Consider every one in your network and extended network is your colleague (not friend!) – The difference between colleague and friend is:  Colleague is the one you respect for their value and friend is the one you accept for who they are. In long run, in some cases, colleague will become good friends)
  • Be open, listen and you conclude in socnetsphere (I just invented a word. socnetsphere means Social network sphere)
  • My dad taught this when I was a little, the best way to gain respect is to show it first. That is also true in socnetsphere. If you do not like somebody’s view, that is fine. We all have freedom to have our opinion.
  • Social network is like your lungs. Use it or lose it. We can use social networks effectively to transform our country, our economy, our world & our universe

Career Advises

I mentioned it before in a previous blog posting that I grew up considering Bill Gates as my hero. I never met him. But sometime back, I wondered, what kind of advise he would have provided me, had I met him.

There could be lot more people wondering the same and he might have answered the question generally somewhere.

My exploration started and encountered a book called “100 Most popular Scientists for Yound Adults – Biographical sketches and professional paths” by Kendall Haven and Donna Clark. ISBN: 1-56308-674-3. It is a compilation of popular scientists short biography and their advices. William Gates was in that list and his advises are:

William Gates – Invented Disk Operating System (DOS) and Microsoft Windows computer operating systems. Founded Microsoft Corporation.

Bill Gates would advise you to pursue studies that include mechanical engineering, chemistry, and physics classes in addition to computer science and electrical engineering. Gates would also say that the computer field is driven by consumer needs. The best ideas are those that fill the most basic needs. Develop not just programming skills, but also the ability to recognize needs and create new ideas.

Erwin Schrodinger is not in the list and it is a disappointment for me. The book contains advices from my other heroes and here is the summary.

Steve Wozniak – Invented the Apple II computer and Co-founded Apple Computer Corporation.
If you are considering a career in computer technology, Steve Wozniak would advise you not to specialize too soon. Spread yourself over several disciplines. You must have a foundation in the basics – math, physics, material science, electrical engineering – but don’t be afraid to study anything else that interest you. Search for new ways to combine departments and disciplines to your advantage. And never think that it’s all been done already. People probably thought that way in Rome thousands of years ago. There will always be new inventions simply because there’s a need inside us to express our creativity and inventiveness.

Albert Einstein – Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1921
Practice and develop your mental powers: dream, imagine, and wonder. Take the time to let your mind wander through a problem. Einstein believed that learning is the servant of imagination, and that curiosity and inquiry are the foundation of learning. He also would advise you to get used to teaching yourself. Investigate, read, probe through the areas that stir your passions. University classes are valuable but can never be custom designed for your specific needs as can you own studies.

Richard P. Feynman – Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1965
A cornerstone of Richard Feynman’s belief was that each scientist was responsible to question and challenge theory. No field can develop without rigorous, constant challenge to its hypotheses and assumptions. Above all else, he would advise students to first ground themselves in math and logic. Master all forms of math and their orderly application because mathematics is the language of science. Also learn the skills of reasoning, logic, and analysis. They will guide your questioning. Begin serious studies with physics, thermodynamics, and chemistry before advancing to particle physics and nuclear physics. Finally, open your mind to unexpected sources and ideas. All the world is a science textbook and the ideas you need could be lurking around any street corner, not just in textbooks, science journals, and labs.

Dennis Gabor – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics, 1971 and invented holography.
If you are considering a career in physics, Dennis Gabor would advise you to consider adding mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering classes to your physics curriculum. Engineering approaches offer practical perspectives to the complex and theoretical problems of physics.  Engineering courses also create a problem-solving orientation that is invaluable in the world of physics.

Max Planck – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918
Max Planck’s primary advice to anyone planning a physics career is to master mathematics. Math is the language of science. If math is not your servant and ally, it will always to your enemy. During undergraduate studies gain a basic understanding of all fields of physics and related fields such as thermodynamics. Specialize in graduate school and commit yourself to staying with that field. It may take decades of struggle to arrive at a point where you can know what questions to ask, recognize the answers once you find them, or begin to understand the answers. Understanding math and being persistent now will produce understanding and advancement later.

Werner Heisenberg – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics – 1932
Werner Heisenberg believed that any study of physics should start with mathematics. Math is the language of science and any scientist should be completely familiar with the concepts and techniques of this language. Heisenberg often advised students to seek out and study under the masters in their particular field. Masters are those who have created the last step in the path of scientific progress. The next step will be taken by those who learned from those taking the current step. Finally, study, study, study. It takes considerable work to reach the forefront of any scientific field. Yet that effort is mandatory for those who expect to achieve.

Niels Bohr – Awarded Nobel Price for Physics, 1922
His Advice: Start by gaining a solid understanding of math and classical physics methods. Then seek out the researchers at the forefront of the specialties that interest you most. Apply to those schools and find ways to study under the current leaders of your field, the ones breaking new and revolutionary ground. Volunteer if you must, but work with the leaders. Sign for their classes. Attend all their lectures. Work with them until your own ideas and questions are begging to be investigated.

Max Born – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics, 1954
Every successful science career must begin with a full mastery of math. That foundation will allow you to understand and decipher the implications and relationship of all other fields. Born said during several speeches late in his life, “I always consider my knowledge of mathematics to be one of my greatest assets.” Max Born advised to resist the urge to specialize during their undergraduate studies. Instead, generalize. Study all the fields you can. Questions and studies will often lead your across field boundaries.

Paul Dirac – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics ,1933 (shared with Schrodinger)
Paul Dirac was a shy loner and reticent to advise others. Still, he consistently acknowledged the value of his study in engineering, both electrical and mechanical, before he turned to the study of hard sciences. Engineering trained him to be practical and pragmatic and to approach complex problems in a straightforward, step-by-step manner.

Wolfgang Pauli – Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics, 1945
Wolfgang Pauli tried to never offer advice to others, believing that each person and career was unique. However, he advocated several principles that he would advice any student to incorporate into his or her early studies and careers. Demand precision and exactness in your won work and in that of others. These are habits that you must teach yourself early in a science career. Study mathematics carefully and learn from its precision and rigor. The value of your science and your science reputation will be measured by the care with which you perform both analyzes and computations.

General mentoring advise..

I was asked by many mantes that how they can get a promotion in the organization. Well, it is a difficult question to answer. For anyone in an organization with any responsibility to move to the next level is contextual. In most of the organization, the organization structure is hierarchical, that is a pyramid, and higher you climb the pyramid, the lesser the growth opportunity. The top most of the pyramid is a point which is a person like CEO, CIO based on the organization you are in.

How to go to next level?

In an organization, generally, no body is going to tap your shoulder and ask you to move on in your career step. There are lots of opportunity exist in an organization and it is up to an individual to learn and grow in an organization. It is generally true. Luck is also a factor and persistent hard work creates luck.

Key principle to keep in mind before anyone consider to go to next level.

  • Be great in what you are currently doing (master the subject and be evangelist in that subject)
  • Let everyone know that you are really great in what you are doing. Do it shamelessly.

If you follow the above two principle and you consistently do it over a period of time (time depends on your position and organization) AND you need to ask this question to yourself. Are you ready for the next level? You need to honestly answer this question to yourself. Do NOT answer yes because of power, money, prestige etc. Honestly and truthfully answer to yourself. If the answer is yes because you think you are qualified to the next level then start build the network through mentoring. Perform mental shadowing. Observe the members in the organization who is in your to be level and analyze how they are performing their daily operation, how they deal their situation in a daily manner and position yourself in their shoes. How they did certain things, how they answered few questions asked in the town hall, deparment meeting, staff meeting etc and position yourself how you would have done it if you were in their position. Perform a variance analysis. The key is to select the top successful person in your next to be level. A role model.

If you keep doing this, I’m confident you will get where you want to be.

Do what you love, until you find what you love, love what you do!

When I was in my 3rd and final year of my undergraduate computer engineering, I grew up considering and picturing Bill Gates as my hero and guru. I and my close friends (2-3) knew every interrupt and various AX (accumulator) values in MS-DOS and wrote numerous application using those interrupts including parallel port drivers, graphics editors (interrupt 10),Unix – DOS bridges, 8088 Micro Kit-PC communicator drivers and etc. We read almost all the books available in the subject during those days. Ray Dunkan books on MS-DOS internals were our favorites.

It was clear to us that we (I and few other friends) were passionate about solving hard valuable problems and always dreamed big and marched towards it.

Our singer software consultancy service start up company and its success was an evident we dreamed big and marched towards it. It was my opinion, that my friend was thinking tooo big at that age. He wanted to mobilize $200,000,000 at the age of 21 years old. In spite of significant success as a software company, I was scared to deal with that kind of money and that was the moment I thought money was not what I love. But money is required to lead a decent successful life but it is not all I’m after.

Before I started my software consultancy service,these were the ambitions I had tried and didn’t know if I really loved to do.

  • Intelligence officer (similar to FBI,CIA, wrote entrance exams when I was in 10th grade)
  • Indian Air Force Pilot officer (got admission as airman but decided not to join)
  • Cricket Wicket Keeper ( I was always the star wicket keeper at the age 14-20 in all the leagues I played and I always thought I would play for the state. When I was not selected for the University in my 3rd year engineering, I lost the hope. I would have had worked hard if someone more talented got selected for the university. I heard the person was selected for University had political and economical influence in the selection process) I lost my hope completing becoming a cricketer. It was better to have those kind of experience earlier in my life.
  • Movie director – It was my back up plan during my senior high school. In case, if I do not get into engineering school, I wanted to progress as a movie director. The days I grew up, if the students do not get into engineering or medical school, their life was 90% sunk. I didn’t have any hope I would become successful in my life if I do not get into the engineering school. In case, if I do not get into engineering school (I hate medical science, I know that very early on) my plan was to do go to cinema school to become director. I always analyzed the movies in micro level, screen plays, story, acting, choreography and etc whenever I watched movies.
  • Professor, I got a job offer at my college at end of my 8th semester. This was my second job offer I turned down before 21 years old. and always wanted to do it close to my retirement but not to start the career with.

The point is, we all try to find out what we really love to do. It is not that easy to find out. Generally speaking, we all do not know what we really love to do it until we put an effort to find out. The moment you know what you love to do, you can work towards it and thrive in that area like Steve Jobs. Nothing can stop you. Even if some one fire you from your own start up company, noting can stop you. You can turn around and fire up.

Until you figure out what you love to do, as Steve faced in his life, are you ready to face a tough road? (Like Steve encountered, are you ready to walk 6 miles to get a decent meal once in every week?) The moment you are married and have kids, you can not think just about what you love to do it. You need to do something to bring food on the dinner table to your family. So we all forced to do something. It may be practical for those are single and independent to sit and think what they love to do it and take a path similar to Steve Jobs.

My Proposal:

To thrive what we do, we need to know what we love to do and at the same time we need to do something to move forward in our daily life. I always have this mental model with in me. I think, I have been working for the toughest boss for past 15 years, my consiousness. Believe me, it has very standard than any direct boss I had in my career. I always work for me first before I work for anyone and my consiousness always have highest standard than anyone I directly worked for. By adapting this mode, the consiousness will be forcing us to love what we do. Either we do a quality work or we do not do it. Mean time, spend at least 1 hour a week to explore your self what we really love to do? and eventually find it and do it for rest of the life.

Do what you love, until you find what you love, love what you do.