FreeCAD – Another nice FOSS

The world of FOSS is really exciting, once you start exploring, everyday you find a new thing. The good part is you feel complete freedom with no boundaries. In last few years I not just tried but also adopted many free open source software in my work like Libre Office, Gimp, Inkscape and many more.

Recently I started building my house and was thinking to go with a planned approach. There were two choices in front of me; one that I should go to some architect and second that let’s do it by my own. And I decided to go by second option.

Few months ago while I was exploring about free CAD softwares, I found FreeCAD. I liked it but thinking to use it somewhere, and this was an opportunity for me to try it for a purpose.

I was completely new to this kind of work but I have enjoyed it so far, and still exploring. I started with some YouTube videos as this is the most convenient way to learn basics. I explored workbenches and documentation. The two workbenches I explored the most are Sketcher and Arch. It reminded my academic days when I used to draw such thing using drafter on drawing sheets.

Below is what came out as a first draft of the project I took to build.Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 10.11.36 PM

I am yet not done, still working on this. It makes me really feel nice that I could be able to get here in just few days.

In last I would like to thanks to the FeeCAD community. This is really a valuable contribution to FOSS word. For those who just want to get started in CAD I believe this is a really nice platform.

 

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Do we really understand each other?

It’s very common and you must have heard it multiple times that “Socialism plays an indispensable role in the success of an organisation”. Even big names of the market like Google, Facebook etc. say that they prefer social person compared to super productive chicken. But what exactly this socialism stands for?

In a team it is usually evaluated with less number of conflicts in teams, how much time team members spend together, how they party together etc. But is socialism limited to this only? Well… It is just the tip of the iceberg and these factors can be seen as an indicator that you have a socialised team.

Recently I conducted an activity in my team. The activity was devised to make team assess how well we understand each other while working together. The observations I made were really interesting. But before jumping onto the observations I would like to share a little  background why I thought to conduct such an activity.

On thing which always remains on the top of my mind is how can my team learn and apply new things to be more efficient in their work. On the course of doing so my team conducts weekly presentations on various topics. But bringing that knowledge to actual practice is still a big challenge to overcome. In order to figure out solution to this problem, I took an analogy, and compared these presentations with the theoretical classes of the firefighters or soldiers. And decided to conduct a mock drill through an activity to assess how that knowledge is used in action.

The activity was pretty simple, it was what we assume we do everyday. We decided to build a computer game. We chose game because that is much close to the real world and things can be visualised easily with real world examples. But this time nothing was expected to be coded, instead the idea was to create design on paper using flowcharts, UML diagrams or whatever team will prefer. The whole project was divided into modules and each module was given to a pair of developers and then activity started. After two sessions below were my observations.

  • It is really hard for the people to figure out scope of their modules.
  • People are not able to conclude how their module will communicate with other modules to exchange data or events.
  • People don’t use same terminology to exchange their thoughts.

These problems are actually not related to the technical competencies, instead more related to socialism in work.

Another buzzword in the market related to software development is “Agile Development Methodology “.  And agile works on the foundation of a team which understand each other really well. And this is the only reason why less documentation is done in agile.

Now…you must be thinking what’s the solution then? Well the solution which comes to my mind and I am trying to follow seems simple just like this problem. Considering and practising this as the part of daily work. Continuing the analogy I took, army does mock drills for making solders understand each other at work and parties to make them emotionally connected…..after all we are humans and driven by emotions.

 

 

Google IO 2016 – Day 2 and Day 3

In my previous post(Google IO 2016 – Day 1) I took you through my first day at Google IO 2016, now lets tour through the second day of excitement.

It was around 7:15am in the morning of 19 May 2016 I was ready for Google IO. My today’s plan was to have Indian breakfast before arriving there at Google IO. From Redwood City, where I was staying I took Caltrain to Mountain View. Close to train station there on a road there were many restaurants, I tried to find  one Indian restaurant there, but none of open at 8am there, so I decided to reach and have breakfast there at Google IO itself.

I took the shuttle bus and reached to Google IO, quickly had my breakfast and rushed to my first session of the day “VR at Google” by Clay Bavor, Google at 9am.

Virtual reality is one of the less explored avenue in technological world, and Google is pushing really hard the bounds of technology to get deeper into the world of virtual reality. In my quest of new exploration it was really an interesting start of the day at Google IO. It was really incredible to see the future of user immersive user experience. Below are the major highlights of the session.

  • Virtual reality
  •  Daydream
    • Daydream ready smartphones
    • Headset & Controller
    • Apps
  • Daydream mode of in smart phone even for doing fundamental things in phone, like reading text message.
  • Headset gives uses a incredible sense of presence. But this is just to look around.
  • Controller bring interactivity in the virtual world provided by Daydream mode. You can use that as a laser pointer or a tennis racket.
  • Daydream apps can run in Daydream mode.
  • All this together provides incredible VR experience
  • Daydream in Ureal 4 game engine
  • Daydream in NDK announcement
  • Android Daydream enabled home screen, Play Store, YouTube
  • Daydream in Unity game engine
  • Jump camera system and processing software, product Odyssey built in partnership with GoPro. This is for capture 360 videos. A cinema grade high quality camera IMAX.
  • Project Tango with Daydream

I am wrapping up this article but there was a lot more than this…really an amazing experience I had!

Google IO 2016 – Day 1

In my previous post(Google IO 2016 – A Day Before The Event) I shared my experience how I spent my first day in USA, now I will take you through my first day at Google IO for which I was there.

It was another exciting day for me in the USA, as today also there was something new and exciting, GoogleIO; for which I waited for a long time. It is also a kind of a dream come true for me to attend the GoogleIO in person.

My day started at 6am when I woke up, I was ready to go within half an hour. I was so excited that I was thinking to rush to the event venue very first at 7am, which was the time for badge pickup followed by breakfast at 8am followed by Keynote session at 10 am, but as I reached train station I lost my train and next train was after half an hour, but it was okay as I had already picked up my badge on yesterday and breakfast won’t take much time, I will definitely be there before Keynote. I spent my half an hour there on train station chatting with a local person, and then took my train to Mountain view followed by Google IO shuttle bus and I was there in 40 mins before the Keynote session. I took my breakfast there by having some doughnuts and coffee.

The venue was having a lot of crowd there with the attendance of 7000, I didn’t expect that. While moving around there I met with a guy Colin, engineer at Amazon and had some chat with him while waiting for entry to Keynote session, also we clicked some picks together with my Cannon EOS700 DSLR camera on tripod, purchased just before the trip. IMG_0147.JPGFinally entry to the amphitheatre started and we were allocated with seats in different section. As I entered there there were huge displays with running animations on them. After sometime a special music started there and I noticed there were a guy and a lady playing that music from a cabin mounted on big pillars, those cabins were actually for the cameramen.Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.46.31 PM.png It was really nice music, they played it for 5-10 minutes.

There I met one more Indian, he clicked my pics there in amphitheatre but I didn’t have much interaction with him as session got started.

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Finally Sunder Pichai, CEO Google came on stage to address the Google IO with a warm welcome. There was a huge excitement and enthusiasm in the crowd. IMG_0201.JPG

In Keynote Sunder along with other Googlers introduced us with their plan and products for the future. It was quite exciting to hear directly from the horse’s mouth about the future of the technology. The hot cake topics they discussed there were

  • Android N
  • Android Development Tools
  • Progressive Web Application
  • Firebase
  • Day Dream
  • Machine learning
  • Google Home
  • Android Wear

Right now I am not digging these topics but will definitely share more on these topics, what I learnt from there in my future posts.

Session ended at 12pm and it was time for the lunch. I went out of the amphitheatre explore what veg options are there for me, but unfortunately didn’t find much. The lunch was available in boxes. I took one veg box from there with cold drink. I didn’t like that lunch but anyhow I finished that.

After that I was ready for the next session “What’s new in Android” at 1pm by Chet Hasse, Lead of Android UI toolkit team at Google; Dan Sandler, lead of Android System UI engineering team at Google; Romain Guy, engineer on Android graphics and UI technologies at Google. I had seen so many their online tutorials  to learn Android development, and it was really great to see all of them together on the stage and hear them directly. In that session they covered the following things

  • Android N developer preview, Android latest version
  • Android N: Performance, Productivity and Security
  • VR Mode in Android
  • Android Instant Apps: real apps, without the installation
  • Android Wear 2.0: UI changes and standalone apps
  • Android Studio 2.2 Preview: a new layout designer, constraint layout, and much more

Again, I am not going to dig these topics in detail, I will share my learning in future posts.

It was 10 minutes to 2pm and on my list next session was “Engineering cinematic experience in VR” but as I reached there there was a long queue for the session. I stood for some time and realised the place cannot accommodate these many people and I definitely won’t be able to make it. So I thought to go and attend some other session on some different topic, but everywhere there was huge crowd, so I decided not to go in any session, instead go in sandbox area to see what was exhibited there.

There in sandbox area I explored various projects and experiments and discussed with googlers regarding the same.IMG_0218.JPG

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After roaming around in sandbox area for one and half hour, I was feeling tried as today it was quite sunny. So I decided to have a cold drink and sat under a tree to take some rest. I sat there for half an hour. Interestingly I was not alone there, everybody was feeling tried there, many were there under the tree taking rest.

Then again I was ready for the next session which was about to commence within 20 mins at 4pm. This time I decided to get into the queue early so that I can get a chance to get in.

I had chosen “Introducing Project Tango Area Learning” as my next topic presented by Wim Meeussen, Google. It was not every relevant topic but I wanted to explore new things as well. There in that session discussion was on following topics

  • Augmented Reality
  • Area learning
  • Motion tracking
  • Application based on Tango
  • Tango devices

The session got ended in 35mins and then I headed to next session “Angular 2 and Progressive Web Apps” by Alex Rickabaugh, Google and Rob Wormald. As said earlier I was going to explore something new in this session. I had an idea of web application with AngularJS, I had worked on some samples of AngularJs but never did any project on that. But that was enough to understand the talks. Moreover Progressive Web Apps, one of the biggest hype there, was something new to me.

  • User experience in Web Applications
  • Angular 2
  • Service Worker
  • Angular Universal
    • Pre – rendering (On server)
    • Integration with Node.js, ASP.NET and others
    • Increased performance, SEO, Shareability
    • Caching
    • Routes
  • Data binding
  • Pre-compilation to reduce the size
  • Offline compiler
  • AngurlarFire(Firebase integration)
  • Push Messaging
  • ionic framework
  • Web Components
  • Angular CLI
  • Web worker for multithreading

After this session in the quest of something new I headed to the next session “Make shinier, faster mobile games with Vulkan” presented by Hai Nguyen, Google. It was one of my interest area 3D graphics, I enjoyed the session and here are the topics I got to know about in the session

  • Vulkan support of Cinder
  • Moving from OpenGL to Vulkan
  • Validation Layers(For debugging)
  • Basics of Vulkan
  • Porting within Vulkan

And this was my last session of the day, I was very tired and no energy was left. But how could I leave the event without experiencing the last thing of the day, concert. So I decided to stay there for half an hour for concert. IMG_0264.JPG

During the concert I made one more friend there Mardav, a Gujrati mota bhai; who works there with MailChimp. We roamed around for some time together chatting and eating there. But I didn’t eat much there as food was not of my taste.

But then one thing really good happened, I got my click of the day with Sunder Pichai, while he came there in concert for a short period of time with his family.IMG_0272.JPG I was just about to leave the venue I got a call from Kariem Hussain, the guy I met with in my flight form Amsterdam to Seattle. So I went to him and he introduced me with his brother and friends. We spent a some time together and all were amazing guys. IMG_0279.JPGWe really had a great time together.

Then I took shuttle bus and reached Caltrain station and then to my hotel. And I got into bed so that I could be able to get up early in the morning for another exciting day at Google IO.

CONTINUED…Google IO 2016 – Day 2

Google IO 2016 – A Day Before The Event

In my last post(My First International Trip to USA – How I Reached there) I shared my journey with you from New Delhi to Redwood City, California; and now come with me to share experience I had there in one of the biggest software developer festival on the globe, GOOGLE IO.

It was 7am in the morning of 17 May 2016, and I was ready to go to collect my Google IO entry badge from Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View for the event on tomorrow. I was having whole day to explore the city and roam around as well. Mountain View was five stations away from the Redwood City by Caltrain, so I had to take Caltrain to reach there and station was half a mile away from my hotel, so walked along the streets to get there. One thing was really impressive there on the roads, a button for pedestrians to cross the road.signal_button.jpg On my way I took my first breakfast in USA there at Burger King, which was very close to my hotel.IMG_0114.JPG

Then I reached to Caltrain station and took my train to Mountain View. As I got to the Mountain View station I was thinking which way to go, right at that time I saw a person standing there with a board in his hand. The board was having “Google IO” written on that; I was aware that there is free shuttle service available to Google IO, I asked from that person “Are you here for the same?”. He responded, yes! and I took shuttle to Shoreline Amphitheatre. There I got myself registered and got my badge.IMG_0124.JPGAfter getting registered I was waiting for the shuttle to get back to Caltrain station, as per my plan I was having full day to roam around and explore the city, but where to go, even I was not having any clue, then I met Karl Hoeft an Australian guy, Head Information Systems in some IT startup. I had chat with him and joined him to explore the Mountain View. He was not natively from US but had spend 2 years in US, so was bit familiar with US.IMG_0127.JPGThen we took shuttle bus to reach Caltrain station. His hotel was nearby within Mountain View itself, so decided to go to his room first to take some rest as the day was very sunny. We spent around one hour there, after that we decided to have lunch. I was not aware of the kind of food available there, so I completely relied on him. We decided to go to Chipotle, a Mexican restaurant, which was more than a mile away from the hotel. We decided to walk to the restaurant. There he suggested me to have Burrito Bowl, a Mexican cuisine, and we both took the same. After spending more than half an hour there in restaurant we went to a Tennis store, Karl was thinking to buy some T-shirt for his son from there, but couldn’t be able to find one he wanted. After that again we explored the streets there for around one hour and then Karl decided to go back to his hotel, so he moved to his hotel and I took Caltrain to get back to my hotel.

So far everything was going really good, unfortunately till the time I reached to my hotel I was not feeling well, my stomach got upset. I decided to take some rest as I had already made multiple trips to toilet. I slept till evening and after waking up I was feeling better but not absolutely alright. I though this was all because I spent whole day in the sun. I went out to have dinner and explore the places around at 9pm. I couldn’t find restaurant of my desire with something simple and similar to Indian food. I again decide to go Chipotle to try something else. This time I tried Burrito Wrap. Then went back to my room to sleep, so that I can get ready on time in next morning, after all Google IO was going to start tomorrow for which I was there.

CONTINUED…Google IO 2016 – Day 1

My First International Trip to USA – How I Reached there

Just like many of you, travelling abroad was a kind of dream come true for me when I travelled to USA for Google IO. It’s been almost two weeks since I arrived back in India and finally now I got a chance to share my experience with you.

This was not something exciting for me only but was equally exciting for my family, boss, friends, colleagues and team as well. I shared this excitement with all of them. My family helped to get all the shopping and packing done. And my boss…he is really great guy…he acted more than a perfect travel guide for me. He managed to draw out time from his hectic daily schedule to tell me each and every minute detail about how to reach, what to do, what to eat, where to visit and even what to carry for my personal use, and not just this but also did all my bookings.

This journey started in midnight at 12AM 16 May 2016 IST with Uber cab I called to drive me to the Terminal 3, IGI Airport, Delhi. This was my first time to IGI airport and was feeling really excited to board the flight. As I reached there I checked in my baggage, went through all security checks and finally boarded onto Boeing 787-9 twin jet aircraft(operated by KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES), it was quite big aircraft. I had flown one time earlier as well in domestic flight but this experience was a lot different. It was a long journey of 8 hours 20 minutes to Amsterdam, Netherland but in the joy how it got passed I don’t know. Continuously and again and again I was just looking into screen available to me for entertainment for my flight status like how high I am flying, what is the speed, where exactly I am, what is the temperature outside, I was playing with that just like a small kid in his toy car. But it was a connecting flight I had to change my flight on Amsterdam to Seattle and then from Seattle to San Jose. And those flights were not that exciting as I got tried till that time after travelling for so long.

In my next flight from Amsterdam to Seattle I got my first international friend. I met with a guy named Kariem Hussain, an Android developer from Austria. He was also heading to GoogleIO. We spent 10 hours together in flight chatting, discussing, watching movie. On Seattle he took different flight to San Francisco as he had book his hotel there and I took flight to San Jose. Also after very long time, I posted something on Facebook. I posted my each checkin of Airports on Facebook.

kariem

Finally, I landed at San Jose at around 7pm in the evening on 16 May 2016 PST. But my hotel was there in Redwood City few miles away from San Jose International Airport so I had to take bus to Caltrain Station, which directly goes to Redwood city. I was waiting for the bus at bus stop. It was a completely different experience for me that no one was around just one Japanese lady was there on bus stop. I had a chat with her for 15 mins, she also clicked my photographs.

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When I reached to Caltrain station, again no one was there on station, I was surprised as Indian don’t have habit to see such loneliness everywhere. One more fascinating thing was there, nobody used to force anybody there to buy tickets for the ride, not even anybody used to check anybody’s ticket. Everyone there used to get the ticket from ticket vending machine by their own. People behave so responsibly it was again surprising for me.

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Then finally after travelling for more than 27 hours I reached to my hotel at around 10pm PST, I was tired and hungry. I was not aware of the that location and was thinking form where I will get food at 10pm. Fortunately, the hotel manager was Indian, a Gujrati Mota Bhai and he arranged three parathas and some veggi for me. Finally I got into the bed as I had to got up early in the next morning to collect my badge for GoogleIO.

CONTINUED…Google IO 2016 – A Day Before The Event

 

I Think I Need To Service My Car

An organisation can be compared with a machine which takes inputs and produces output, to monitor this there are various reports. Whether you as a developer or a manger if you always have more than required resources and you just care about the result no matter how that is achieved then this article might not be relevant to you. I know for most of you it not the case.

As we all look for the best results, so the internal working of the system matters for us. Results matter but should not be at the cost of quality or stability of the system. We optimise our code so that the application will consume less bandwidth, low memory and less CPU cycles, similar kind of optimisation is required in management as well so that results can be achieved with optimum way in terms of time, resources and satisfaction.

Reports in the system are the abstracted view of the system which an organisation needs when it is growing from a start-up to a big company of the market. Sometime report says considering input and output everything is good and improving. For example we are delivering our work on time or as per the high level parameters reports are saying system is doing good. But these parameter are just like parameter shown on car dashboard like fuel, temperature, speed, kilometers. Can you predict when you car will face a breakdown. No, that will appear on the dashboard when it is already happened. The better way to predict the breakdown is to open the bonnet and check the engine closely.

It all seems we are doing good and growing as per the statistics we have on high level about the company i.e. as per the the abstracted view of the whole system. I also agree on the same. Comparing the organisation with car, seeing my car dashboard, yes we have covered a long distance and we have enough fuel to go head as well and engine temperature is within limit. But what is engine really in good condition or require maintenance as car might need maintenance after travelling some distance. To analyse the same I conducted a survey with the grass root level employees or you can say on the engine of the car. Out of my total finding, my one finding was fuel supply is not good to engine and we have to run on highway ahead. So far we couldn’t recognise the supply on our dashboard as we were travelling through the streets and never tried high speed to travel. Let me bring back you to the context, the analogy here is, fuel is requirements gathered from the client and engine is team developing application including developers, testers, project coordinators  and leads. I found the information flow in the system need to fixed as the information is not flowing in the team through correct channel which may put us in trouble in future when we’ll get some challenging project. The important thing to note here is this problem was no where depicted in any management meeting or any report.

You can also compare the car dashboard with the management meetings and the survey I conducted as open bonnet. Both matters so both should be considered while creating the plans and processes. I would like to end this article with the conclusion “We should service our car and do not just rely on the meters there on dashboard before a new journey”……..;)