andhapp Random ramblings

Udemy and Netflix are so alike!

Two different, but somewhat related fields have seen exponential growth in the last few years.

Online learning platforms and On-demand movies/box sets/videos platforms.

To be fair, there aren’t that many of them, but ‘exponential growth’ makes it more dramatic and that’s the effect I am going for.

Udemy, Netflix, Coursera, Amazon Prime, blah, blah, blah.

But, why are you subjected to this universal and mundane information? You know there are online learning platforms, you also know there are online movies platforms, so what’s the point.

Well, the point is an epiphany that I had whilst “enjoying my daily commute to work” watching a course on Udemy.

I realised that Udemy and Netflix are so alike!

Here’s the reason why.

Because a tiny percentage of the content on these platforms is just pure gold and the rest is utter rubbish.

So, the challenge then is to separate the wheat from the chaff.

BBC Snippets

Back in 2010, I had the opportunity of working at BBC with an outstanding and innovating group of people. I worked on a project called, BBC Snippets. From its humble beginnings as a Rails project built on sphinx to micro-services built on top of solr, it was the most satisfying and fun project I’ve ever worked on. To top it all, it was solving a real issue. It reduced the researching and creating snippets time down to a few minutes.

Well, now you can listen to all this from the guy who has been working on it from the start.

Hope you enjoy it!

The Art of Interviewing

Interviewing is surely an art!

Appropriate questions coupled with a prudent approach will do the job. But, then how many interviewers do it properly. Here’s some of the wisdom I’d like to share:

* A 5-min phone conversation is not enough evidence to prove if a programmer is fit for the team.

* A whiteboard exercise to solve a technical test is an API memory test and should be banished.

* Whiteboard is good for discussing technical architectures and that’s exactly what it should be used for.

* Giving a tough maths question to solve as a technical test is not going to reveal a candidate’s understanding of HTTP protocol. Keep things relevant to the job.

* Follow KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle. Programmers like to program. So, give them a relevant problem and a computer and let them do what they like to do.

* Not remembering the entire programming language API is not a bad thing unless you work in a bunker, cut off from the rest of the world.

That’s all for now.

Quote of the day

On big data, John Naisbitt once said:

Drowning in data starving in knowledge.

SIC code for Ecommerce

If you didn’t know, SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification and it’s a way of classifying different industries.

You must be wondering why the hell am I talking about SIC codes. Well, I have been trying to contact people about, the project I have been working on lately. Now, to spread the word, you need contacts with their emails. We have collected a lot of emails from invites but not having enough prospect users at the top of the funnel leads to only a handful at the other end and to truly succeed you must pour in a lot of users at the top of the funnel.

No matter where you buy the list of contacts from, you will have to filter the results by the industry type.’s main audience is online e-commerce stores and after going through the list of 2003 SIC codes, I found 52.60 (Not in Retail stores) which matches perfectly to our requirements. I have not had the chance to explore the results further but I am sure it is what we are looking for.

I hope it will help in your future endeavours.