BCB9 is around the corner

Barcamp Bangalore is back again after a long gap. I am thinking of attending it this time but depends on the actual date and venue. Though I never presented anything in barcamps, I at least get to know what is going on with the start-ups in Bangalore and pick-up a few new technical things. Looking forward to attending BCB9. More to come later….

Miscelleneous Sessions

Attended a few other sessions like Mobile Applications for Indian Population, Open Source Development, Build Your Own Brain(BYOB), OpenStreetmap, etc.

The mobile apps session was sort of a discussion about what kind of mobile applications can be developed specifically for the needs of Indian Population. Some of the ideas discussed were like apps for farmers to send updates about power cuts, daily updates about the cost of commodities, etc. Issues like what kind of UI would be required, affordability, etc were discussed. The other app was to have an Indian calendar and also something related to horoscope, etc. Then came an app for commodities trading. And then was the most interesting one…….apps for traffic updates. There were quite a few ideas about this. So, this was more about different ideas but not about how to actually implement them.

Open source development and BYOB sessions did not seem to be very interesting.

The OpenStreetmap one was slightly interesting. These people were taking the existing maps and then trying to make them accurate by ground verification and then updating them. They had already mapped a few places around chennai and were quite accurate when compared to google or mapmyindia maps. They were calling for the support of everyone to make use of their tools to update the maps. Basic concept was to have a community effort to update the maps.

Session on voice php

Was initially apprehensive about how this session is going to be. But it turned out to be a really interesting one.The guy who was presenting was from TringMe. He was talking about how to power your php apps with voice. This was something new for me and I really liked it. The best part about this was its just any normal php script with just a few more additional functions provided by them. We can have an IVRS based app, a media player or just any other voice app that we can think of using voicephp. We can access our app from anywhere like through web, phone, etc. For developers who would like to test this out, we can signup for free and every user gets a unique phone number as well. So, we can basically access our app by directly dialling that number or even from the web. Looks to be a really good stuff and easy to implement as well. I am definitely going to try this out. There are a number of sample apps put up by them at http://code.voicephp.com/.

The same guys had another session from 2-3 pm but that was more of selling TringMe. It was basically about setting up your own voice portal using the tools provided by them.This didn’t seem to be very interesting.

Sessions kick-off

Here starts the first session on personal branding by altius consulting and I see almost all the people just attending that one single session……these people have got a well prepared ppt and it looked to be more of altius people conducting a seminar and not like a discussion……

Moved to Track#3 and here is the discussion going on change we can believe in (using social networking sites to cleanse politics)……..this initally started with just 5 people and slowly people started gathering….but the presenter didn’t seem to be very interesting…. he says with the help of social networking sites, get people’s support and go ahead to start a party……he says language barriers can be eliminated using social networking……all the while the discussion was about advantages of social networking but at no point I heard anything from him talking about how to change politics using social networking platform…. this guy says lets first have sufficient online presence by forming a group and someday he dreams of this community transforming to an actualy party 😀 ……..I don’t think this session was worth at all……moving on to another one 🙂

Live from BCB8

Here I am at BCB8 @ Yahoo. Its been a long time since I got us so early on a saturday 🙂 . The event is in the Yahoo cafeteria. This time its one big open hall unlike the classrooms in IIM-B. Started the day with a nice cafe mocha at Barista here in the cafeteria.

Coming to the event, this time there are a lot of first timers and even the crowd was not huge. The number of sessions are very less and I didn’t hear anything much in the session intros about the sessions that were previously announced. My first impression about BCB8 is I am little bit disappointed as there aren’t any interesting sessions announced till now…..let me wait and watch if something interesting turns out……looks like the sessions are starting……keep checking for updates……..

Session on How am I driving

This was the last session that I attended on day 1. The talk was given by keshav. He was basically pointing out the reckless driving on bangalore roads. He had personally taken some videos of BMTC buses where drivers were steering the wheel hands-free 🙂 , cab drivers driving negligently and many other such instances. The point he wants to make here was that this guy had approached the BMTC authorities also regarding this…but it was of no big use. And in the process he came to know about an interesting fact about the driver cum conductor BMTC buses. For people who are not in bangalore, here we have got buses where in there won’t be any conductor in the bus and the driver has to issue the tickets as well as drive the bus 😯 ………. quite interesting 🙂 and the hands-free driving I was mentioning above was in one of such buses.

Now when this guy keshav approached BMTC authorities regarding this, he was told that this system was inspired from US….. some NRI has given this idea and BMTC is very happy in implementing this as it would save them having an extra person in the bus. In fact these kind of services were very profitable for BMTC.

So, this is the best example of what happens when we try to implement some new system that was working fine somewhere else. These people had just done a ctrl-C, ctrl-V without any changes. They didn’t even think how feasible it is in our Indian context. With so much of traffic here, no proper infrastructure, how can it work directly here. This is just one example for the traffic woes in bangalore. The BMTC people won’t be worried as long as they get profits. But its the traffic that gets affected just because these buses had to stop near the bus stops for an average of 2 mins more when compared to normal bus services. This would directly increase the traffic woes of bangalore roads.

Now coming back to the session, this guy came up with a new website wherein we can directly send an sms about any vehicle’s driving….just send an sms with the vehicle number and the message and it would be updated on the website. This was designed by some b.tech student as his final year project. I am not sure how successful would be such kind of initiatives but one thing is for sure……..there is definitely need for some drastic measures to be taken to improve the traffic situation here…..forgot to mention the website…its howamidriving.in

Session on startup pains

This session was taken by an IIMB prof Suresh from nsrcel. The session started on a humourous note by the prof actually trying to scare the people who want to go with startups. The discussion initially was much about getting angel funding. He mentions about inc.com during his talk. The talk was supposed to list the pains in starting a startup. Startups need to come together to help themselves, exchange the skills. opencommune.com came up when the issue of infrastructure for startups came up.

  • Angel funding
  • Getting legal help
  • Finding & building a team
  • Getting financial services
  • Finding mentors

Overall it was also a good session. Enjoyed being in it.

Session on agile thought process

Initially at the start of the session I thought its going to be some boring stuff….but by the end of it the session turned out to be a really good one. Came to know about lot of new terms in the session.

The session was basically about – lean thinking, building quality into the process, having smaller batch sizes in a process, etc with specific examples for each one of them. The guy talked about examples of toyota success story, toyoda looms, US missile defense system, etc. There were two books suggested by him that talk about this toyota story….one is taiichi ohno and shigeo shingo . He also mentions about the Just In Time process.

Overall the session seemed to be interesting.