API Expertise and Specialisation

I spend a considerable amount of my time and grey cells at MotiveSense working with APIs that belongs to different genres namely accounting, payment, consumer services, B2B/B2C, hosting, analytics, social commerce, travel, logistics, eCommerce etc…

Here is ever growing list of 3rd party API experience:

Accounting/Financial

  • Quickbooks
  • Zoho

Analytics

  • Google Anlaytics
  • Mixpanel
  • Optimizely

Ads

  • Google AdWords
  • AdMob
  • InMobi
  • Amazon Product Advertising

Content Management Systems

  • Drupal
  • WordPress

Consumer Services

  • Dropbox
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Maps
  • Janrain
  • Google Oauth
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk

eCommerce

  • Jet.com
  • eBay
  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce

Email

  • Mailchimp
  • GetResponse
  • Aweber
  • Amazon SES
  • SendGrid
  • Mailgun
  • Campaign Monitor

Hosting/Servers

  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon Glacier
  • cPanel

Inventory

  • Brightpearl

Geocoding & GeoIP

  • Google Maps Geocoding
  • MaxMind
  • ipinfo

Media

  • iTunes Search
  • Imgur
  • Medium
  • Flickr
  • Reddit

Payment

  • 2Checkout
  • Braintree
  • eWAY
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • RBS

Security

  • UK Police

Science

  • TED Talks
  • World Bank

Social Media

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Travel

  • TripAdvisor
  • Redbus

Video

  • Youtube
  • Vimeo

Note:

  1. The above list contains only the third party APIs that I had worked with and not the multitude of other custom developed APIs that I had designed and coded. 🙂
  2. This page is frequently updated. And if you need any help when it comes to API development, implementation or API design whether its a REST or a WSDL, feel free to contact me with your requirements.

Why it’s good to keep your mouth shut sometimes ?

A little bird was flying South for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung and promptly dug him out and ate him!

Moral of the story: When you’re in deep shit, keep your mouth shut!

How Dumbos climb the corporate ladder ?

In the corporate world(big or small), you will find lots of imbeciles sitting at the top. You may have wondered how they had reached the top ?

I would like to explain the phenomena with the help of a management story…

Story:

It’s a fine sunny day in the forest and a lion is sitting outside his cave, lying lazily in the sun. Along comes a fox, out on a walk.

Fox: "Do you know the time, because my watch is broken"
Lion: "Oh, I can easily fix the watch for you"

Fox: "Hmm… But it’s a very complicated mechanism, and your big  claws  will only destroy it even more." Lion: "Oh no, give it to me, and it will be fixed"

Fox: "That’s ridiculous! Any fool knows that lazy lions with great claws cannot fix complicated watches     

Lion: "Sure they do, give it to me and it will be fixed"

The lion disappears into his cave, and after a while he comes back with  the watch which is running perfectly. The fox is impressed, and the lion continues to lie lazily in the sun, looking very pleased
with himself.

Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the lazy lion in the sun.

Wolf: "Can I come and watch TV tonight with you, because mine is broken"
Lion: "Oh, I can easily fix your TV for you"

Wolf: "You don’t expect me to believe such rubbish, do you? There is no way that a lazy lion with big claws can fix a complicated TV.

Lion: "No problem. Do you want to try it?"

The lion goes into his cave, and after a while comes back with a perfectly fixed TV. The wolf goes away happily and amazed.

Scene :

Inside the lion’s cave. In one corner are half a dozen small and intelligent looking rabbits who are busily doing very complicated work with very detailed instruments. In the other corner lies a huge lion
looking very pleased with himself.

Moral : IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY A MANAGER IS FAMOUS; LOOK AT THE WORK OF HIS SUBORDINATES.

Management Lesson in the context of the working world : IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY SOMEONE UNDESERVED IS PROMOTED; LOOK AT THE WORK OF HIS SUBORDINATES

Self-Employed Significantly More Satisfied With Jobs

Frustrated with your job? You might consider working for yourself. Self-employed adults are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than other workers. They’re also more likely to work because they want to and not because they need a paycheck.

But don’t count on becoming financially secure if you become your own boss. Self-employed men and women have virtually identical family incomes as other workers but they feel more financial stress, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center Social & Demographics Trends project.

Still, they like their jobs. Nearly four-in-ten self-employed workers (39%) say they are "completely satisfied" with their jobs, compared with 28% of all wage or salaried employees. And only 5% of all workers who are their own bosses say they are dissatisfied with their employment situation, half the proportion of other workers who are dissatisfied.

About 11% of all working adults ages 16 and older are self-employed, according to data collected by the federal government’s Current Population Survey. Their jobs vary widely, from small business owners and consultants to fishing guides and freelance writers. Included in the ranks of the self-employed are private contractors, artists, construction workers, day laborers, farmers and agricultural workers, as well as doctors, lawyers and accountants who practice alone.

Why do they work? Money is one reason — but it’s far less of a factor for the self-employed than for other workers. Nearly a third of the self-employed (32%) say the main reason they work is because they want to, compared with 19% of wage and salary workers. By the same token, the self-employed are less likely than other workers to say they hold a job because they need the money (50% vs. 38%). They also place a higher value on the intangible psychological benefits of working such as feeling useful and productive, and are more likely to say they are working to help "improve society" (55% vs. 46%).

Courtesy

Although this is a US-centric research, these inferences applies to all irrespective of the nationality since the WWW(and globalisation) has surpassed all boundaries.

Phunsuk Wangdung(3 Idiots) = Sonam Wangchuk

Here is an excerpt from The fourth idiot

The character Phunsuk Wangdung from 3 Idiots reminds you of Sonam Wangchuk, who fought against the education system in Ladakh. And won

I didn’t like the film 3 Idiots it was loud, preachy and presumptuous in the manner it delivered its message, assuming that the audience wouldn’t get it if the story were told any differently.
However, when I saw shots of the wood-panelled classrooms and an endless expanse of beige sand set against a familiar backdrop, I felt an instant head rush. This was the SECMOL (Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) campus on Phey where I volunteered for five glorious months of my life.
It was the scene in the film where Aamir Khan’s character goes by the name of Phunsuk Wangdung, which I felt was based on Sonam Wangchuk, the man who founded SECMOL in ’94. Wangchuk, who flunked his class XII boards overcame the ‘failure’ and went on to become an engineer.

With SECMOL, he brought about reforms that completely transformed the Ladakhi education system. SECMOL strived to introduce Ladakhi as the medium of education as opposed to Urdu. When the system finally fell in place, the failure rate dropped as well. Ladakhi students, as expected, fared better and made more sense of the world around them when they were taught in their mother tongue as opposed to an alien language.

Wangchuk’s teachers too believed he was an idiot. Nothing had changed a decade later when he turned into an educator. Teachers refused to fathom why hundreds of students didn’t grasp lessons as easily as say, kids from Kashmir did. In early 2004, when I went to Ladakh to spend five of my most memorable months in the mountain paradise, it hadn’t yet turned into the tourist hub that it is now. Some of the students who I taught had never stepped out of their hometowns and villages and didn’t even know what a train looked like.

So imagine their Geography teacher explaining in Urdu what a stalactite in Ireland looked like. (Oh, but they did trip out on Floyd. And sang along to Time. Well, that experience didn’t involve passing or failing and I’d never felt a bigger high.)

Back to Wangchuk. The man didn’t throw clever one-liners to prove what a genius he was. It was all there for us to see. The Phey campus was designed so that it was completely self-sufficient. Wangchuk got onto the green wagon much before Copenhagen became bigger than a dot on the climate map. The entire campus, comprising 20-odd resident students and 10 faculty members, ran on solar energy. The buildings were built from mud, to stay warm during winter and cool in summer, and we never felt the need for a heater even when temperatures dropped to minus points.

This was the first time I saw a large-scale compost system in place. The compost was used in the substantially large vegetable patch in front of our cell rooms where some giant sunflowers also took root. We stayed quite happily in roughly 6×6 feet rooms called cell rooms for a while. I’m pretty sure we would have kicked up a fuss at our modest living arrangements anywhere else in the world, but not in Ladakh. Not when you open your door in the morning to look out at sunflowers and the overwhelming Zanskar range. Water was pumped up right from the Indus that ran a few hundred feet below.

The students pretty much ran the show whether it was stocking the pantry, fixing anything that’s fixable from light bulbs to printers. SECMOL also had a media centre that trained class XII dropouts to be rural media practitioners, complete with an audio visual set-up (and oh, we were plugged into G3s. I still remember my jaw drop when I looked at all the Macs neatly set up).

The media centre fuelled Ladakh’s only news magazine Ladags Melong. All the students I worked with did their best to contribute to the magazine. The most exciting bit for me, and any teacher would agree with this, was
that they were all so hungry to learn and were the sharpest young minds I’d ever known.

Wangchuk loves people he was always open to volunteers and people like me who wanted to break away from the rut to give teaching a shot, he encouraged management students to do their projects on campus and gives the students the best deal he can.

Along with his partner Rebecca Norman, Wangchuk continues to run SECMOL, with child-like enthusiasm and mad passion. There was never any preaching or stereotyping on campus. Plenty of that in 3 Idiots.

Why you should not work late ?

Mail sent by Narayan Murthy to all Infosys staff:

It’s half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on…
PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing…
And who’s at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look…

All or most specimens are ??
Something male species of the human race…

Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…

And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Any guesses???
Let’s ask one of them…
Here’s what he says… ‘What’s there to do after going home…Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late…Importantly no bossssssss!! !!!!!!!!! ‘

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

Bachelors ‘Passing-Time’ during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they’ve nothing else to do…
Now what r the consequences. ..

‘Working’ (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

With bosses more than eager to provide support to those ‘working’ late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he’s a hard worker… goes home only to change..!!).
They aren’t helping things too…

To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between ‘sitting’ late and ‘working’ late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family… office is no longer a priority, family is… and
That’s when the problem starts… b’coz u start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier ‘hardworking’ guy suddenly seems to become a ‘early leaver’ even if u leave an hour after regular time… after doing the same amount of work.

People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers. ..

Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays… though) leave on time are labelled as ‘not up to it’. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on ‘working’ not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what’s the moral of the story??

* Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
* Never put in extra time ‘ unless really needed ‘
* Don’t stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

Learn music…

Learn a foreign language…

Try a sport… TT, cricket….. ….

Importantly, get a girlfriend or boyfriend, take him/her around town…

* And for heaven’s sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *’Life’s calling, where are you??’*

Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don’t stay back till midnight to forward this!!!

IT’S A TYPICAL INDIAN MENTALITY THAT WORKING FOR LONG HOURS MEANS VERY HARD WORKING & 100% COMMITMENT ETC.

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY SIT LATE IN THE OFFICE DON’T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE THEIR TIME, SIMPLE !

Regards,
NARAYAN MURTHY

My Favourite Success Quotes !

You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.Warren Buffett

A person is a success if they get up in the morning and gets to at night and in between does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.  –Sir Winston Churchill

I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. – General George S. Patton

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.Bill Cosby

What exactly makes Entrepreneurship so hard ?

Lack of a boss.

Period.

 

The lack of a higher authority to give you your next todo item is the single most-important factor that makes entrepreneurship so hard. In school, you have a clearly defined schedule and you have teachers who give you homework which provides something concrete to do everyday. Then they have exams, a definite end point of the whole yearly effort. In college, you have required classes, projects and exams that keep you sane and provide a safety net from being direction less.

Boss is always right, even if he is wrong

In corporate world, your boss sets your todo list. Most likely, every day when arrive at your desk and check your email you have something definite to do, failure of which is likely to annoy your boss. Day after day, the todo list keeps you busy, happy and gives a clear indication of progress.

But entrepreneurship is different. You have NO boss. Nobody would care if you are slacking a bit, nobody would care if you failed to meet your targets, no body would care if your performance is falling month after month. Being self-motivated over a period of years non-stop is hard. Unlike corporate world, you have to set your own agenda for every single day and you have to meet self-defined targets. What makes it even more dangerous that there is no-one (expect you) to notice that you failed to meet targets. There is no-one to do a review meeting or feedback session. It is just you!

That is what makes entrepreneurship so hard.

Article by Paras Chopra