Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello World!

All literature on computer programming languages start with a "Hello World" example. I thought it would be appropriate to pay my homage to K & R as I start the first post on my blog. I am off to a really late start in the world of blogging, where everybody is a content creator and there is (fortunately or unfortunately) no master editor for the Internet who hand picks content that he/she thinks is worthy of being published, unless of course, you live in a country that filters the Internet. Fortunately for me, I live in a country that allows me to post my thoughts freely. 

It makes me wonder why I haven't really blogged in so many years? I have been a programmer since my high school, have had a computer and an Internet connection for the longest time that I can remember. I love reading blog posts and like to express my strongly biased opinions, whenever I am in a discussion! I am certainly not the next greatest writer but I have an opinion about the current happenings in technology and would like to share my thoughts with the rest of the Internet community.The beauty of blogging is that it costs me nothing (thanks to free blogging sites) and it is probably of no value to anybody but me. Despite that fact, I would really like to jot my thoughts and leave these footprints on "the URLs of the Internet" so that one day I can go back and take a peek at my flow of thoughts. So, back to the question, why not until now and why now, especially when most people have moved on from serious blogging to microblogging on Facebook, Twitter and lately on Google+?

My dilemma, for the longest time has been - am I the brand or am I part of my employer's brand? I have worked (and continue to work) for software companies but every time I wanted to blog about something, my constant worry was that I might inadvertently reveal some company secret or my opinion may not be the same as that of the company that I work for, causing some sorta PR heartburn. I have written a couple of blog posts in the past but left them in the draft state and never hit the "publish" button. I did not want to be "the guy who left the iPhone 4 prototype in a bar" or "the guy from Microsoft who got fired for tweeting about an upcoming Nokia phone". Additionally, there are all these "analysts" on the web who look for crumbs such as updates on LinkedIn or career postings on the web to interpret what a company is working on and I did not want to post something and inadvertently land up being be "that guy".

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not the big kahuna at the place where I work. I am one among the large army of trained monkeys who can program on command! Lately, I have been bumping into a bunch of blogs where employees of big companies blog as themselves instead of the company that they work for. For example, Matt Cutts, the search-engine-spam-crusher at Google, blogs and makes appearances at podcasts like TWIG, where he primarily comments as himself and not as a spokesperson for Google. I have also noticed some bloggers placing a disclaimer on their blog separating them from the company that they work for. What really inspired me to finally start publishing this post was the flood of thoughts that filled my mind after reading a post on my buddy's blog about "the need to code" and a link to another article that talked about this geeky urge to constantly program. This reminded me of my life as a programmer and I decided that I would finally start blogging and free those mindless mumblings that run in my head as I go through various tech news articles, program, read blog posts and tech articles or listen to podcasts which sometimes form some conflicting opinions in my head and keep spinning like an infinite loop. Blogging about it will help me CTRL+BREAK out, put the thought to rest and move on ...

So, if you are a hacker, hope you enjoy my mindless mumblings and comment on my posts but if you are somebody fishing for info, do yourself a favor, read the disclaimer on the header and move on - these are my thoughts and mine alone.

The praveenster has finally spoken.