AMA

This is a transcript of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session I recently did on the Developers & Hackers Slack Channel.

  • You can join the slack team via this link.
  • The AMA lasted for a week from 4-11 March 2016
  • This is a slightly edited, condensed version of the AMA with a lot of extra messages removed and cleaned. You can access the original at slackarchive
  • All timestamps are in IST and were extracted using the Slack
  • You can find the YML file used to generate this page at GitHub
user message time
hiemanshu

@nemo: whats the biggest item on your TODO list that been pending so long you’ve stopped even thinking about it?

2016-03-04 18:33
nemo

My book.

2016-03-04 18:34
nemo

josd.captnemo.in in case someone is interested

2016-03-04 18:34
nemo

Started writing last year, but have kinda lost momentum.

2016-03-04 18:34
sathyabhat

@nemo: Do you do lot of interviews? What’s the more bizarre/stupid things you’ve heard at interviews?

2016-03-04 18:34
nemo

Do lots of interviews. Bizzare/stupid thing off the top of my head:

2016-03-04 18:38
nemo

The browser makes a second request to the registrar for every https certificate check

2016-03-04 18:39
nemo

So every time you hit google.com, you also hit thawte :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-04 18:39
nemo

Tip for interviews: Your solutions don’t matter as much as your reasoning. If you are able to explain why you took a particular design decision, and give its limits, that’s usually good enough.

2016-03-04 18:43
nemo

Also, people getting confused between hashing, encryption, encoding

2016-03-04 18:41
nemo

I’m still disheartened at the number of people unaware of bcrypt

2016-03-04 18:43
ativerc

I learnt about same origin policy from your blog….

2016-03-04 18:40
ativerc

Very informative blog ….. thanks

2016-03-04 18:40
nemo

Yay! Someone does read it

2016-03-04 18:41
hiemanshu

@nemo: what about md5?

2016-03-04 18:44
nemo

md5 is broken.

2016-03-04 18:45
nemo

https://codahale.com/how-to-safely-store-a-password/

2016-03-04 18:45
hiemanshu

Well let me rephrase, do you think people not using SHA2 or better should move away from md5 to sha2+salt?

2016-03-04 18:46
nemo

If you are ready to move, just move to bcrypt

2016-03-04 18:46
nemo

Because hand-rolling salts is (slightly) harder than bcrypt anyway

2016-03-04 18:47
nemo

Since bcrypt handles that for you

2016-03-04 18:47
nemo

SHA-256 - 3110.2 M/s

2016-03-04 18:48
nemo

From 2012 - http://blog.codinghorror.com/speed-hashing/

2016-03-04 18:48
ativerc

You said on your website that a web dev who doesnt know about same origin policy….. you won’t hire him. Do you think that the current people learning code from odinproject or fcc ….can they reach the standards you think is required for a web dev? Or is formal CS education necessary for this?

2016-03-04 18:50
nemo

My point over there is that web developers should be aware of how the web itself works

2016-03-04 18:51
nemo

I don’t think a CS education is necessary. I don’t have one

2016-03-04 18:51
hiemanshu

I haven’t read the blog post in question, @nemo point me to it please?

2016-03-04 18:52
nemo

Point 7 in this blog post: https://captnemo.in/2015/10/12/get-better-at-software-development.html

2016-03-04 18:53
ativerc

Arent you a masters degree in cs from IITr?

2016-03-04 18:54
nemo

No, undergrad.

2016-03-04 18:54
nemo

And that too in Production & Industrial engineering

2016-03-04 18:54
nemo

Which means I just took 1 java course throughout my entire college

2016-03-04 18:54
hiemanshu

What language/framework/paradigm are you looking at next? something you want to master

2016-03-04 18:58
nemo

I’m taking haskell classes at Nilenso these days

2016-03-04 18:58
nemo

Friend is running them, and he gives homework :disappointed:

2016-03-04 18:58
nemo

He’s planning it for 6 months or so…

2016-03-04 18:58
nemo

Trying to catch up with Rails 5 features on a side project

2016-03-04 18:59
nemo

Elixir is something I want to explore as well, if I get the time

2016-03-04 18:59
ativerc

So system76 and the cm keyboard…. im jelly

2016-03-04 19:02
nemo

I usually leave both at work, though.

2016-03-04 19:03
nemo

My system76 is almost like a workstation now

2016-03-04 19:03
ativerc

What do you use at home? Or travel?

2016-03-04 19:03
nemo

I have a Mac Air

2016-03-04 19:04
hiemanshu

I have the same keyboard.

2016-03-04 19:04
nemo

Which I use for travel, conferences and at home

2016-03-04 19:04
nemo

@hiemanshu: With O-rings?

2016-03-04 19:04
hiemanshu

Without O-rings, but custom keycaps

2016-03-04 19:05
hiemanshu

I have a bunch of O-rings (like 200 of those)

2016-03-04 19:05
hiemanshu

I have O-rings on the blue keyboards

2016-03-04 19:05
nemo

Which keycaps? I’m still waiting for a nice cheap release at massdrop

2016-03-04 19:05
ativerc

When did you start to code? How did you progress to where you are right now? Also vim vs emacs?

2016-03-04 19:06
nemo

Started programming in basic at school. Senior at school taught me C++ because I couldn’t make good things in basic

2016-03-04 19:06
nemo

Started web-development at college. Mostly PHP because that is what someone told me to do…

2016-03-04 19:07
nemo

Slowly moved over to other web-related stuff, linux and so on…

2016-03-04 19:07
nemo

I lurked on reddit for a long time before making an account

2016-03-04 19:07
nemo

The idea was to make a novelty account and start flamewars everwhere

2016-03-04 19:08
nemo

That reminds me of @voldyman’s question on editors. I mostly use sublime/vim for work. More comfortable with sublime because I can manage my workspace better there.

2016-03-04 19:15
hiemanshu

Where did you get the system76 from btw?

2016-03-04 19:17
nemo

Friend carried it on a flight to India.

nemo

I got it shipped to his home.

2016-03-04 19:18
nemo

It’s a nice machine with good specs and everything

2016-03-04 19:19
nemo

But the build quality isn’t worth it

2016-03-04 19:19
sudhirkhanger

How long have you been using i3?

2016-03-04 19:20
nemo

i3 - Since June last year.

2016-03-04 19:20
nemo

I was using cinnamon before that.

2016-03-04 19:20
ativerc

Arrey bhai intro toh nahi diya yaar?

2016-03-04 19:20
nemo

Intro: @nemo here. I work as a software dev at Razorpay, doing things no one else finds the time for

2016-03-04 19:21
nemo

I’ve been programming since school. Doing web development for the last 5-6 years now.

2016-03-04 19:22
nemo

In my free time, I do writing, sketching, and slacklining these days.

2016-03-04 19:22
nemo

Also, I love playing boardgames and retro games (I have a cool raspberry pi setup where we play Tank weekly)

2016-03-04 19:23
nemo

If you are in bangalore and wanna play Dungeons and Dragons sometime, let me know :simple_smile:

2016-03-04 19:24
ativerc

Also why nemo?

2016-03-04 19:21
sudhirkhanger

@ativerc checkout the blog linked above.

2016-03-04 19:21
nemo

I have a shitty blog post about the nick

2016-03-04 19:21
sudhirkhanger

Is i3 good for running things like GIMP, inkscape? Or is it only good for running terminals?

2016-03-04 19:21
nemo

I do run pinta on i3, and don’t face any issues

2016-03-04 19:24
nemo

I guess you can’t run gimp in multi-window/floating mode easily

2016-03-04 19:24
nemo

But the single window mode should work fine.

2016-03-04 19:25
hiemanshu

whats your next music listening device upgrade look like?

2016-03-04 19:29
nemo

Probably an ATH-M50x, if I can convince myself, or a UE Roll

2016-03-04 19:30
nemo

I like my sennheisers, and they are quite cheap compared to ATH.

2016-03-04 19:30
nemo

Quite happy with my current audio setup, actually

2016-03-04 19:31
hiemanshu

You have a HD202 right? Are they comfy for a long period of time?

2016-03-04 19:33
nemo

Nopes, they aren’t

2016-03-04 19:34
nemo

I don’t find M30 much comfortable either, and M50 is just too costly for me to justify

2016-03-04 19:34
nemo

I stream my laptop pulseaudio to icecast in office

2016-03-04 19:35
nemo

And just pick up the music on my phone when I walk. It’s fun sometimes :simple_smile:

2016-03-04 19:35
hiemanshu

ah nice, I used to run a shoutcast server a while ago

2016-03-04 19:36
hiemanshu

@nemo: the M50x isn’t worth it (depending on what type of music you listen), I’d recommend saving up for a nicer pair. The biggest issue there is then having a nice DAC/AMP along with it.

2016-03-04 19:43
hiemanshu

the M50x isn’t very drive-able by most laptops/PCs. You’ll need a nice DAC/AMP to have better control, and the cheap ones screw up with the sound stage too much.

2016-03-04 19:44
sudhirkhanger

@nemo what to you use for power management, screen lock, volume, and display manager with your i3 setup?

2016-03-04 19:52
voldyman

@nemo: vim or emacs? and why emacs?

2016-03-04 19:52
hiemanshu

@voldyman: wrong question, he’s a neovim user :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-04 19:53
nemo

Hehe. Starting editor flamewars is supposed to be my job :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-04 19:53
nemo

power-management: nothing. It’s mostly used as a workstation, as I said. screen-lock: i3, with a composite lock wallpaper. volume: volumeicon display manager: xdm, because that was easiest to setup.

2016-03-04 19:54
nemo

https://github.com/captn3m0/Scripts/blob/master/i3lock.sh

2016-03-04 19:55
nemo

My i3 config is pretty well commented: https://github.com/captn3m0/dotfiles/blob/47ba1ddf79df271c17cf04b7a6a3506fb114976c/files/i3/.i3/config

2016-03-04 19:58
voldyman

@nemo: what kind of work did you do at hillhacks?

2016-03-04 19:55
nemo

I think I covered most of it in my blog post. I helped out with the school program. We went to nearby schools and taught kids rubik’s cubes, basic ciphers, drama etc

2016-03-04 19:56
nemo

hillhacks is very volunteer driven, so I was also helping with the conference scheduling, logistics etc

2016-03-04 19:57
voldyman

(btw i have a similar script for locking, just added a command to switchoff the monitor after a few minutes)

2016-03-04 19:56
nemo

I use xautolock for that

2016-03-04 19:56
nemo

I like showing off my lock screen, so no monitor turnoffs for me

2016-03-04 19:57
voldyman

i did that for a few days then felt guilty for waisting energy

2016-03-04 19:57
hiemanshu

@nemo: what other retro games do you like? Pokemon, mario, etc?

2016-03-04 20:10
nemo

hiemanshu: I’m really good at Road Fighter. Sometimes play Pokemon, but mostly stick to Tank, Tetris, and Tennis (the nintendo one)

2016-03-05 05:35
nikhil

On hillhack, I read about it on your blog, seems a lots of learning. Quick question, how did you get involved in first place, I mean do they have any criteria for accepting the members or everyone can join them to learn and experience?

2016-03-04 20:24
nemo

nikhil: hillhacks is a very open event. There is an online signup and it’s highly recommended you join the mailing list

2016-03-05 05:40
nemo

We had lots of tents so didn’t face any accomodation related issues last year, thankfully

2016-03-05 05:41
nemo

I got involved because sva posted a link to hillhacks on the null mailing list and I got instantly hooked (Hacking in the Himalayas is a great pitch)

2016-03-05 05:42
nemo

abhshkdz / hiemanshu: Can you suggest what you’d go for that’s better than M50x?

2016-03-05 05:51
hiemanshu

@nemo: what about PC gaming?

2016-03-05 06:55
nemo

Contra is harder these days. None of us are good at it anymore

2016-03-05 07:24
nemo

On the PC, I only do linux gaming now

2016-03-05 07:25
nemo

Sometimes on the mac, but limit myself to games that are available for linux

2016-03-05 07:25
nemo

I’ve been playing Risk of Rain these days

2016-03-05 07:26
nemo

Used to play a lot of AoE, still visit the subreddit

2016-03-05 07:28
ativerc

Have you played Roadrash?

2016-03-05 08:15
nemo

I was pretty good at roadrash at one point..

2016-03-05 08:27
nemo

Yeah, I remember spoon getting turbo. Except it was only 20 turbos or so?

2016-03-05 08:27
nemo

And then retype :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-05 08:27
ativerc

yeah

2016-03-05 08:42
nikhil

Just out of curiosity, if you are about to meet Dr. Richard Stallman, what would you ask him? (as he his coming to IITR tomorrow)

2016-03-05 08:57
nemo

Wow. Didn’t know cognizance invited him

2016-03-05 09:02
nemo

I’d ask him which for-profit companies are doing free software correctly

2016-03-05 09:03
nemo

You usually hear him giving negative companies: google/android, facebook is evil and so on..

2016-03-05 09:04
nemo

I’d be interested in knowing if there are any companies he thinks that take software freedom as seriously as he does

2016-03-05 09:04
sudhirkhanger

RMS is as crazy as it gets but respect to the man. One thing he has been very true about is that any use of proprietary software is a slippery slope.

2016-03-05 09:14
sudhirkhanger

I think RMS is secretly Indian. When he has to surf internet he uses friend’s computer so that he doesn’t get tracked. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: #jugaad.

2016-03-05 09:21
tocttou

he said that to promote free software in India we should use the term mukt software

2016-03-05 09:22
v

@nemo: vi or emacs

2016-03-05 11:09
nemo

nvim these days :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-05 11:10
ativerc

@nemo: What’s your usual mode or transport? Legs, Cycle, bike , public transport? Also do you workout?

2016-03-05 12:27
nemo

usual mode of transport is uber in bangalore

2016-03-05 12:27
nemo

Going to get a cycle for commute soon. Still researching

2016-03-05 12:27
nemo

I’d like to get started with running, but for now I slackline every sunday

2016-03-05 12:28
ativerc

What pisses you off everytime that you think of it?

2016-03-05 12:29
nemo

homeopathy, pseudo-science

2016-03-05 12:30
ativerc

Digital India ….. what do you think about it?

2016-03-05 12:33
nemo

We need better architects, if we want to make this a reality. Government + technology has never mixed well together in India..

2016-03-05 12:35
nemo

UPI, for eg, is a nice initiative. I’m still worried about the day aadhar gets hacked, though :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-05 12:35
nemo

Digital India is such a bad umbrella term, btw.

2016-03-05 12:35
v

What kind chair and table you use

2016-03-05 12:36
nemo

No idea what chair this is. Standard swivel office chair

2016-03-05 12:38
nemo

Table is open office long style. You’ve seen our office, no?

2016-03-05 12:38
v

Post pics of your setup

2016-03-05 12:36
v

and your work setup, OS, keyboard and other things

2016-03-05 12:39
nemo

captnemo.in/setup/

2016-03-05 12:39
nemo

Photo of my workplace

2016-03-05 12:43
v

do you like Dory? :see_no_evil:

2016-03-05 12:41
nemo

Haha. That’s my hotspot name

2016-03-05 12:42
v

and whats the password?

2016-03-05 12:42
nemo

Same as the hillhacks wifi password

2016-03-05 12:42
nemo

You’ll have to come to the next one to get that

2016-03-05 12:43
v

I saw you wanted Kindle with ePub

2016-03-05 12:43
v

why not Kobo?

2016-03-05 12:43
nemo

Kindle is better

2016-03-05 12:43
v

the keyboard should not be placed at such height. you will end up having wrist pain in long run

2016-03-05 12:45
nemo

However, I’ve bought too many physical books last few months.

2016-03-05 12:45
nemo

Chair is adjustable, along with the chair armrests

2016-03-05 12:45
ativerc

@nemo: Which Laptop manufacturer would you prefer now….given that you don’t like the build quality of system76? Im asking this for myself….because I learnt after buying a i7 laptop that stable specs, good quality, linux support matter rather than just sheer power….

2016-03-05 12:50
nemo

Hmm, I like the build quality of my Air

2016-03-05 12:59
nemo

But it still doesn’t have wifi support on linux

2016-03-05 12:59
nemo

You can get a pro and install linux on it

2016-03-05 12:59
nemo

Couple of people in our office do that

2016-03-05 12:59
hiemanshu

you watch anime? If you do, why is cowboy bepop your fav?

2016-03-05 13:08
nemo

haha. it’s on my to-watch list.

2016-03-05 13:09
nemo

Don’t watch too much anime. Just the usual: deathnote, FMA: brotherhood, code geass.

2016-03-05 13:10
nemo

Watching samurai champloo these days

2016-03-05 13:10
ativerc

you own any cars…bikes…what your favorite car/bike?

2016-03-05 13:13
nemo

not much interested in automobiles. Would love to own a Tesla someday :stuck_out_tongue: My cooking skills have varied over time. These days I’m limited to maggi

2016-03-05 13:21
ativerc

also favorite food…. eating place and do you know how to cook?

2016-03-05 13:16
nemo

I like Truffles in bangalore.

2016-03-05 13:21
sjacob

Do you like Bangalore? Would you like to move to any other city/place if your office wasn’t a concern?

2016-03-05 13:30
nemo

I like bangalore. Mostly because of the people and the communities here, which I sorely missed while living in places like Dehradun

2016-03-05 13:33
nemo

I’d like to try working from a place like mussorie or nainital someday

2016-03-05 13:33
sudhirkhanger

In your opinion is programming abilities an inherent trait or a learned phenomena?

2016-03-05 19:11
nemo

Give me enough time and I can make a developer out of anyone. Might take a while for some folks, but it’s doable.

2016-03-06 01:02
nemo

You should pick your profession carefully, you will be spending a lot of your lifetime doing it. Make sure it’s something that you enjoy.

2016-03-06 01:03
sudhirkhanger

@nemo what desktop environment/window manager were you using before i3? Do you find yourself to be more productive with tiling window managers?

2016-03-05 20:29
nemo

On WM: I was using Cinnamon with lots of shortcuts for workspace switching. I think I’m more productive with i3, but don’t really have a way to test that.

2016-03-06 01:04
nemo

However, I used to use byobu extensively before I shifted.

2016-03-06 01:04
nemo

I even got the same shortcuts for splits in i3 from byobu. Don’t use them anymore but they helped me switch over to i3

2016-03-06 01:05
hiemanshu

@nemo: can you teach people how to think? because I feel like programming is less writing code, more thinking how you do it

2016-03-06 02:25
hiemanshu

its hard to teach a person to reason the right way

2016-03-06 02:25
nemo

Haven’t taught basic programming in a while, but teaching people how to think is usually someone else’s job.

2016-03-06 02:29
nemo

More relevant is the ability to model a given problem

2016-03-06 02:30
nemo

Even basic things like recognising inputs/outputs for a program.

2016-03-06 02:30
nemo

I think drawing flowcharts and doing all those “write a program for ….” questions in school was helpful for me

2016-03-06 02:31
hariprasad.kulkarni

How does the multi screen i3 work? I’ve never used it multi screen.

2016-03-06 03:47
nemo

It works brilliantly

2016-03-06 04:01
nemo

Exactly as you’d want it to: workspaces can move between monitors

2016-03-06 04:01
nemo

I use Win+Shift+(A|S) to move current workspace to left|right

2016-03-06 04:01
hariprasad.kulkarni

I use h, j, k and l for movement. Just to use my vim muscle memory.

2016-03-06 04:11
hariprasad.kulkarni

More details about the haskell classes that you’re attending?

2016-03-06 04:32
nemo

Notes: https://github.com/abhin4v/haskell-classes
Lesson Plan: https://slack-files.com/T026CAXFZ-F03C4TACH-22a00bae5a

2016-03-06 04:35
nemo

abhinav says he’ll get us to write production ready haskell in 6 months

2016-03-06 04:35
nemo

But I doubt that.

2016-03-06 04:35
hariprasad.kulkarni

How are the classes conducted? I mean physical classes or over something like hangouts?

2016-03-06 05:51
nemo

@hariprasad.kulkarni physical classes at nilenso office

2016-03-06 08:47
ashwinik

@nemo : 2 questions.

  1. Hypothetically, if you have to start a startup today, what will it be about? 2. Fav. Indian startup / small business apart from rzp
2016-03-06 06:21
nemo

@ashwinik probably on my devmail idea

2016-03-06 08:47
nemo
  1. I like Wingify
2016-03-06 08:48
nemo

Other companies I like are hasgeek (not sure if it’s a startup still), nilenso

2016-03-06 08:51
nemo

@ashwinik: Original Idea: https://github.com/captn3m0/ideas#newsletters-for-github

Proper Specification: https://hackpad.com/Idea-Initial-Discussion-WNTdLjDyPhM

Chat: http://friends.hasgeek.com (Join #devmail)

2016-03-06 12:41
nemo

Not a very good idea for a startup, because of the small market size and hard monetization

2016-03-06 12:42
sudhirkhanger

@nemo: Do you prefer working in office or from home?

2016-03-06 06:59
chaitanya

@nemo: Is that cubbon park in your slacklining video?

2016-03-06 07:01
nemo

@chaitanya yes, cubbon park. Go there every Sunday. Didn’t go today. Won a quiz instead :)

2016-03-06 08:49
chaitanya

Also, how hard is it to setup i3? Everytime I look at someone’s setup on /r/unixporn I feel the urge to try it out but then my enthusiasm fizzles when I see that there is a bunch of config involved.

2016-03-06 07:04
tocttou

css on that sub is so good

2016-03-06 07:29
sudhirkhanger

@chaitanya having to setup things other than wm like power management, lock, volume, etc. kills it for me.

2016-03-06 08:35
nemo

I3 has the sanest config among tiling wms

2016-03-06 08:50
sa1

@nemo: Does that guy write production haskell at Nilenso?

2016-03-06 09:20
nemo

@sa1 he wrote production Haskell at his previous gig. Currently does clojure i think

2016-03-06 09:35
nemo

I don’t remember his previous company, just that he did haskell there.

2016-03-06 12:39
sathyabhat

@nemo: How did you get started at Razorpay? Were you working elsewhere/freelancing before RP?

2016-03-06 09:25
nemo

@sathyabhat: The first 10 people at razorpay were all from iitr (From 2 different batches). 8 of us from SDSLabs as well

2016-03-06 12:43
voldyman

@nemo: what do you think about bangalore traffic?

2016-03-06 12:16
nemo

voldyman: Do you really expect an answer here? Standard answer: good weather, awful traffic

2016-03-06 12:40
muditbhutani

I read in ur book intro that u have been coding “ since childhood”. So i thought that is why u were such a pro in your first year. But above u said u only knew cpp and started webd in clg. How u learnt so much so fast? How u managed it with production and industrial branch, it is one of the most hectic branch… What were the habits / situations / beliefs u think helped u a lot in your college years?

2016-03-06 13:01
nemo

mudit: I was only doing c++ before college because I didn’t have proper internet. I gave very little time to acads, which shows in my grades

2016-03-06 14:49
nemo

What were the habits / situations / beliefs u think helped u a lot in your college years?

  • Being part of SDSLabs, where I had some nice mentors
  • Sticking to one thing I was good at, which I happened to find quite early (web dev). Not necessarily a good thing though. @ashwinik did web for a long time before deciding to do his MS and so on..

How u learnt so much so fast?

  • Writing code, making products teaches you faster than anything else can
2016-03-06 14:51
nemo

Also, another thing to keep in mind: I’m probably the worst person to take academic advice from.

2016-03-06 14:54
muditbhutani

That i know. :joy: .. I know enough about you. Nemo is a popular figure here :sunglasses:

2016-03-06 15:06
nemo 2016-03-06 15:06
muditbhutani

You founded labs then you must have been the mentor of others. How others mentored you in labs? :thinking_face:

2016-03-06 15:06
nemo

For the mentorship question, I was in second year when we started SDSLabs, so there were people senior to me as well

2016-03-06 19:39
muditbhutani

I thought information security is your passion. Web d :thinking_face:

2016-03-06 15:08
nemo

@muditbhutani: I had a career choice between software development and software security. Decided to keep infosec as my side hobby.

2016-03-06 19:39
aps

@nemo What is the one thing, you wish that you had completed at IITR/SDSLabs?

2016-03-06 18:52
nemo

@aps: Should have started infoseciitr from within college rather than remotely

2016-03-06 19:40
sathyabhat

@nemo: why did you do undergrad in Production & Industrial engineering when software’s your interest?

2016-03-06 19:44
sathyabhat

(or at least I think you were interested in software since long? apologies if I jumped the gun)

2016-03-06 19:47
nemo

Yes, I was pretty much interested in software.

2016-03-06 19:47
nemo

Shitty decisions when you are kid who just cleared JEE, I guess

2016-03-06 19:47
nemo

Also, Roorkee was close to my place.

2016-03-06 19:48
sathyabhat

do you regret not taking up CS or has your involvement with SDS Labs exceeded what would have been possible with a formal CS learning program?

2016-03-06 19:49
nemo

I don’t regret it much, because for me college was about a)learning on my own b) figuring out what I wanted to do c) getting around like-minded people. IITs, despite the shortcomings in technical education, are really good at these three things.

2016-03-06 21:03
nikhil

Were you ever got confused between choosing a career as a developer or it was always very clear for you? I mean you ever tried in your branch?

2016-03-06 20:59
nemo

nikhil: I am a decent enough production engineer. A lot of P&I work is essentially modelling problems to maths with tools like simplex, linear algebra, and the like. It’s just that I :heart: writing software and making products, far more than I’ll ever enjoy doing cost-benefit or a value engineering analysis

2016-03-06 21:05
nemo

Other career choices I’ve considered: software security, writing.

2016-03-06 21:06
hiemanshu

don’t you already do a different version of cost-benefit analysis with SE?

2016-03-06 21:06
hiemanshu

Value vs Effort analysis

2016-03-06 21:06
nemo

Yes, but we track different metrics, and the customer feedback loop is usually much faster/better in our industry.

2016-03-06 21:08
nemo

And it’s not what we do on a daily basis as developers. Optimising for cost is what you do as a P&I engineer

2016-03-06 21:08
nikhil

Good to know that about you. Still were you always very clear about choosing developing as a profession?

2016-03-06 21:10
nemo

Mostly yes. The only other career choice I gave some serious thought was infosec, but I never really matured much in that (compared to working on products and code)

2016-03-06 21:13
nemo

I knew I wasn’t getting into production as a career choice pretty early on

2016-03-06 21:13
nikhil

Given your choice for development, did you tried working for software giants (Google, MS, FB..) or you were again very clear about starting up?

2016-03-06 21:20
nemo

did you tried working for software giants

I had a couple interview offers, but decided I wanted to try startups first. Being an HN addict would do that to you. Also, not having a CS background meant I would have to spend a few months brushing up my cs fundamentals. I decided to use that time elsewhere

2016-03-06 21:27
nikhil

I wanted to try startups first.

How about now?

2016-03-06 21:42
perverted_sage

not having a CS background meant I would have to spend a few months brushing up my cs fundamentals

@nemo: Some leads on how one can do that?

2016-03-07 01:51
nemo

@perverted_sage: Do the MIT OCW course on algos. Read CLRS.

2016-03-07 05:12
hashfyre

@nemo Do you use any specific time / productivity management techniques to get the most out of a day. Is not needing to sleep one of them, and is it an acquired skill? Does a 16+ hour schedule affect you biologically.

2016-03-07 02:49
nemo

@hashfyre: I don’t think I work on a 16+ hour schedule, especially seeing as I sleep more than 8 hours usually. I use pomodoro occasionally for working on a focused mode

2016-03-07 05:14
sudhirkhanger

There’s an infosec coaching center in my town. The center lead boasts after taking coaching from him his student hacked Google. :joy: :joy: :joy:.

2016-03-07 04:47
nemo

I have a plan to print cards that say:

Ankit Fadia won the charlatan of the year award at DEFCON. Don't buy his books if you wanna learn something.

and go to bookstores and put that in all his books

2016-03-07 05:16
tocttou

A big problem that I face while working on projects is that academics is a big hindrance, especially when my interests are not aligned with it. For example when there is an extra class on Saturday, even if it is for 1 hour, it ruins the whole day and I am not able to do anything then. I am not sure that I am being picky here or is it the same with others as well. So my questions:

  1. How did you manage such situations?
  2. Worst is interacting with profs when you haven’t done tutorials / missed some classes. How was you experience in this regard?

Not necessarily an academic advice; just want to know how you managed it

2016-03-07 05:18
nemo

Short answer: I didn’t manage it. I sidestepped the problem by missing even more classes. Not something I’d recommend

2016-03-07 05:21
nemo

You’ll like reading this, btw: http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html

2016-03-07 05:21
hashfyre

@nemo What is your reaction to a certain level of practiced negligence regarding infosec, when it comes to Indian business, marketing execs and other non-dev organizational people

2016-03-07 07:32
nemo
  1. It’s not just restricted to India. See the link that hiemanshu just posted in #general.
  2. I don’t think that any software developer wants to make insecure products. It’s just that security is lower down the priority list of things compared to features
  3. However, companies ignoring security reports is something I can never understand. Your first priority should be the security of your customers and you are doing them a great disservice by ignoring security reports.

There are still some good companies in India taking security seriously. https://fallible.co/ for eg.

2016-03-07 07:36
nemo

However, security consultancy (where you are the one doing pen-tests, and not running metasploit) is something I’m yet to see any indian company do well

2016-03-07 07:37
hiemanshu

@nemo: what do you think about oauth2? and why do you think it should die?

2016-03-07 07:48
nemo

You and your loaded questions

2016-03-07 07:58
nemo

Secret announcement: I’m doing a webinar on 14th. https://twitter.com/Razorpay/status/706760300863729665

2016-03-07 08:48
nemo

Anyway, doing a webinar on 14th about UPI. Register if you’re interested :simple_smile:

2016-03-07 08:52
ativerc

UPI as in Universal payments something something

2016-03-07 08:52
nemo

Yes. Universal Payments Interface. You can find more details at https://razorpay.com/upi/ (scroll)

2016-03-07 08:55
turtledev

I like how razorpay’s hiring paage says “don’t see a role that fits you ? apply anyway” :smile:

2016-03-07 11:38
sathyabhat

they do require people who know a little bit on security though. At least thats what I got from my wife

2016-03-07 11:40
sudhirkhanger

I find that words like interest, passion, etc. don’t mean so much for me. Not at this age. There’s a necessity. For the past few weeks I have been in frame of mind that in order for me to get work done I need to cultivate and maintain habits. I need to avoid distracting things. Some people who start to excel very early don’t have to think about it. For someone like me it is a big deal. What do you think? In a nutshell perspiration is more important than inspiration. @nemo

2016-03-07 11:55
nemo

sudhir: Wanna write a self-help book? /s

2016-03-07 12:12
nemo

Go build things. Rest all will fall into place

2016-03-07 12:16
v

@nemo: what kind of books you read, what are your fav genre, name your current 5 favourite fiction and (non fiction, too) books

2016-03-07 17:32
nemo

Books

I mostly read Science Fiction/Fantasy these days with an occasional non-fiction mixed in. I’m a Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson fan. Still waiting for Winds of Winter to come out. The best three books I read last year (all links are to my reviews):

  1. Lions of Al-Rassan (Historical Fantasy)
  2. Goblin Emperor (Medieval Fantasy)
  3. The Martian (SF)
2016-03-07 19:06
v

@nemo: WHY PHP, I MEAN WHY, OH GOD WHY

2016-03-07 17:33
repmovsd

LOL

2016-03-07 19:00
nemo

PHP: I do php/js at work mostly, but love writing Ruby. I’m currently running php7 on dev (and soon on prod), which makes writing code so much more better. There are still issues, yes, mostly regarding inconsistent APIs and names in standard library, but having access to a nice package manager (composer/packagist) can clear most of these. I still call bullshit on the php/scale argument, though.

2016-03-07 19:09
v

@nemo: if you had a chance to erase a programming language completely from everyone, kill it, which one it would be? And why Javascript?

2016-03-07 17:34
nemo

Death of a language:
I don’t think any language deserves to die. Not even Javascript. Especially not javascript, because that would probably trigger a global economic meltdown. No javascript =

  • more than half the internet stops working, preventing even this ama from continuing
  • facebook dies a sad death, along with spotify, netflix, google (which survives somewhat)
  • Chrome stops working, because even the <chrome://settings> page runs on javascript

By eradicating javascript, you have killed node, mongodb, spidermonkey, and businesses worth billions of dollars relying on things as simple as grunt.

2016-03-07 19:15
hiemanshu

what do you think about ruby’s performance, really bad thread supports and GIL? and why do you want to kill it? :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-07 19:15
nemo

and I thought you did RoR?

2016-03-07 19:15
hiemanshu

When I started the job, I didn’t know RoR, now that I do, I want to move away from it :stuck_out_tongue:

2016-03-07 19:16
nemo

I was reading this (old read) earlier today: http://www.kalzumeus.com/2011/10/28/dont-call-yourself-a-programmer/

2016-03-07 19:19
nemo

More particularly this quote:

Most software is not sold in boxes, available on the Internet, or downloaded from the App Store. Most software is boring one-off applications in corporations, under-girding every imaginable facet of the global economy. It tracks expenses, it optimizes shipping costs, it assists the accounting department in preparing projections, it helps design new widgets, it prices insurance policies, it flags orders for manual review by the fraud department, etc etc. Software solves business problems.

2016-03-07 19:20
nemo

Ruby lets me write my code cleaner and faster than anything else.

2016-03-07 19:21
nemo

GIL is still troublesome, though. For me, your code should run as fast as it needs to

2016-03-07 19:23
nemo

And if I need to a different language for a particular purpose, I’ll do that gladly

2016-03-07 19:24
hiemanshu

but what about trying to do anything at scale, do you rewrite your current Rails app?

2016-03-07 19:26
nemo

I break it down into services, figure out the bottlenecks, and would have a list of low-hanging fruits.

2016-03-07 19:34
nemo

Scaling is not something you can just wish into thin air.

2016-03-07 19:34
nemo

You always have plans and know what all things you can optimize and improve

2016-03-07 19:35
hiemanshu

I know, I might end up just rewriting our most computer intensive parts with a different framework

2016-03-07 19:35
nemo

Exactly.

2016-03-07 19:35
sudhirkhanger

@nemo who is your favorite Game of Thrones character?

2016-03-07 19:28
nemo

sudhirkhanger: Arya

2016-03-07 19:35
ativerc

Stick them with the pointy end.

2016-03-07 19:56
turtledev

@nemo: following up on @v ‘s question. What if you could replace javascript with one language. Which one would you choose ?

2016-03-08 05:57
nemo

Lots of people have tried it: http://www.skulpt.org/ (Python) http://trydecaf.org/ (Ruby) http://moonshinejs.org/ (Lua) along with attempts like Dart itself

2016-03-08 05:58
nemo

none of these are transpilers. They either modify the browser runtime

2016-03-08 06:00
nemo

Or run a VM inside javascript

2016-03-08 06:00
nemo

I’d probably go with lua, but I haven’t really given it much thought

2016-03-08 06:01
turtledev

Cool! Lua is quite nice. Its like js, but more minimal.

2016-03-08 06:02
turtledev

and without all the weird behaviours.

2016-03-08 06:02
perverted_sage

@nemo Tried lisp/ml family? Thoughts?

2016-03-08 06:35
nemo

Not much to have an opinion. I’ve gone through some of SICP

2016-03-08 06:36
repmovsd

first computer?

2016-03-08 06:56
nemo

P4, 40GB hdd, 128MB RAM. Windows 98

2016-03-08 07:01
repmovsd

which year?

2016-03-08 07:07
nemo

2003, I think

2016-03-08 07:11
sudhirkhanger

@nemo which file manager and terminal emulator do you use? Are you Ubuntu guy as far as server distros go?

2016-03-08 14:41
sudhirkhanger

is now running i3 :sunglasses:.

2016-03-08 14:42
nemo

Ranger and pcmanfm

2016-03-08 15:16
nemo

Urxvt

2016-03-08 15:16
nemo

Mostly ubuntu on servers

2016-03-08 15:16
muditbhutani

How much competitive programming you have done?

2016-03-09 13:26
nemo

I have multiple hackerearth profiles, but can’t find the one with my ruby submissions right now

2016-03-09 13:35
nemo

The last time I was trying out CC, I ended up doing this: https://www.hackerearth.com/notes/how-i-found-a-bug-in-hackerearth/

2016-03-09 13:35
nemo

I liked codewars better: http://www.codewars.com/users/captn3m0

2016-03-09 13:36
nemo

I want to try out https://starfighter.readme.io/docs/what-is-stockfighter-faq soon

2016-03-09 13:36
nemo

Haven’t gotten much time

2016-03-09 13:36
muditbhutani

Favourite books related to web development or hacking?

2016-03-09 13:29
nemo

Kevin Mitnick’s books are a nice fun read.

2016-03-09 13:36
nemo

The nice part about our industry is that most content is freely available online

2016-03-09 13:50
nemo

My favorite recommendation is Don’t Make Me Think, which is such a great book that I think all developers should be forced to read it

2016-03-09 13:50
hariprasad.kulkarni

@nemo: How do you catalog the books that you’ve read?

2016-03-09 13:47
hariprasad.kulkarni

Do you have something like goodreads?

2016-03-09 13:47
nemo

Yes, I use goodreads extensively

2016-03-09 13:49
nemo

You can follow me at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6170741-abhay-rana

2016-03-09 13:51
sudhirkhanger

What do you guys think of RBI at work? Payments are such a mess in India. Who do you think is response for this mess? RBI? Visa/MasterCard? Banks? What do you think of wallets? Ola Money? Pockets? Chillr? I don’t use them because of how fragmented our system is.

2016-03-09 15:47
nemo
  1. The only reason wallets are popular is because they bypass the RBI 2 factor guidelines
  2. RBI has managed to hold our economy pretty well. Their stance on 2 factor is understandable, even though it doesn’t let SaaS companies mature in India at all. NPCI on the other hand is trying really nice things with UPI and IMPS and so on. RBI is even doing a consultation on Card Acceptance Infrastructure currently: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/MDRDBEDA36AB77C4C81A3951C4679DAE68F.PDF.
  3. There is a lot of regulation in the payments industry (which is kinda needed) that inhibits growth and experiments. However, the only authorities RBI grants this power to are banks, which are monolithic and slow and very risk-averse. However, a few banks like RBL are doing good stuff here. The regulations I’d want to attack are those that prohibit private players from doing [X] while allowing banks to do [X]. Opening a bank is next to impossible in India, and as such, you are left to tying up with banks and hoping you get decent terms.
  4. Wallets will hopefully die out over the next few years as we move to better payments infrastructure (things like UPI). They fragment the ecosystem and should not be allowed to flourish beyond a certain limit. Otherwise, you face the same risks as China, where a single private provider (AliPay) controls the majority of the online payments market. Contrast this to somewhere like US, where you have digital wallets, but no one uses them (like AMEX ezeclick) because the incentive for using them isn’t high enough.
2016-03-09 15:56
ativerc

@nemo: PayTM is offering even kirana shops to get payments from customers using PayTM wallets. The process is very simple. Just a internet connection for the kirana shop and the customer and a QR code. Your payment is done.

Does the UPI offer this level of simplicity for small PoS like kirana shops? On the other side will banks support the required accounts when the kirana shop links his UPI or digital wallet to the bank? Or will they block it and demand some additional tax as well?

2016-03-09 16:09
ativerc

“where a single private provider controls the majority of the online payments market.” is so scary

2016-03-09 16:10
nemo

UPI kinda does, but it’s still early days. It’s not even live yet.

2016-03-09 16:10
nemo

Merchants can initiate collect payments easily, which open a upi:// intent on android etc

2016-03-09 16:10
nemo

This can be made into a QR code easily

2016-03-09 16:10
ativerc

I’m really waiting for that talk on 14th. Also they need to rev up the IMPS and MPIN and USSD. I have a Mobile Banking no (MPIN) also tried the USSD based thing but it was so confusing. When I went to the bank because of some problems, they said what’s a USSD?? and didn’t really cooperate with me to understand the MPIN and IMPS funda.

2016-03-09 16:13
nemo

MPIN is separate from USSD, actually

2016-03-09 16:13
ativerc

But one needs the MPIN to access the USSD thing do we not?

2016-03-09 16:14
nemo

yes, but it’s separate infrastructure

2016-03-09 16:15
nemo

Which they are improving and making better with UPI

2016-03-09 16:15
nemo

See http://www.npci.org.in/Product-Overview-NUUP.aspx

2016-03-09 16:15
ativerc

I know…its a separate infrastructure…

2016-03-09 16:15
nemo

So, the MPIN acceptance kinda becomes open with UPI

2016-03-09 16:18
nemo

I’ll go into more detail in the webinar :simple_smile:

2016-03-09 16:19
ativerc

Here let me show you a tweet….

2016-03-09 16:29
ativerc

https://twitter.com/pratyushpmhptr/status/652417517357428737

2016-03-09 16:29
ativerc

One says MPIN shud be 6 digits, other says 6 with digits/chars , the other says 6 with digits/char/specialchar

2016-03-09 16:31
sudhirkhanger

I can’t say I am a fan of imps. I don’t even want to maintain one mpin for each bank account I own. I like how ICICI allows you do transfer via neft/rtgs/imps just by using standard ifsc code and account no. We have all grown pretty accustomed to ifsc which are publicly available.

Truthfully users shouldn’t even be concerned about if he is using imps,neft or rtgs for most cases of course.

2016-03-09 17:11
nemo

I think you’ll like the changes that UPI is bringing :simple_smile:

2016-03-09 17:13
vivekagr

Pardon my ignorance on this subject but why do we even need NEFT anymore, now that we have IMPS (that works with IFSC & account number too)?

2016-03-09 19:25
hiemanshu

IMPS has a limit of around 50k(or something) for most banks, NEFT/RTGS goes much higher.

2016-03-09 19:25
hiemanshu

its 5k for MMID, 2L for account no.

2016-03-09 19:26
vivekagr

You’re right, do you know of any reason behind the lower limit on IMPS?

2016-03-09 19:30
vivekagr

Btw on the same note, I find it silly that SBI only allows IMPS transfer during certain hours - http://prntscr.com/ad77li

2016-03-09 19:34
sa1

Its not about banks not wanting better technology, etc. The reasons are financial, it has do with liquidity reasons and the risk they are willing to undertake.

2016-03-09 19:36
sa1

When you transfer funds real time to another bank you(as a bank), need to have much higher liquidity than when you only transfer the net amount you have to transfer at the end of every hour or at the end of every day.

2016-03-09 19:38
sa1

There are chances that smaller banks might not be able to have the liquidity to transfer so much money and other banks want to minimize risks when dealing with such banks.

2016-03-09 19:39
sa1

Read this pdf: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/Documents/paymentsystems/rtgsguide.pdf ah, forgot that this was #ama, I’ll let @nemo answer.

2016-03-09 19:40
vivekagr

Great answer, hadn’t thought of that. Thanks @sa1

2016-03-09 19:43
nemo

@sa1 That is a nice answer, better than I could have answered.

2016-03-10 07:28
sa1

afaik, US doesn’t have something like IMPS either till now: http://www.bankingexchange.com/blogs-3/making-sense-of-it-all/item/5453-when-will-u-s-get-real-about-real-time-payments (edited with better link)

2016-03-09 19:49
shagun

@nemo: “I have multiple hackerearth profiles”. Any reason?

2016-03-10 04:21
nemo

shagun: hackerearth tricked me into creating multiple ones, and they have no way of combining

2016-03-10 07:28
nemo

One from gmail, one because I logged in via github, 2-3 more from other email addresses

2016-03-10 07:29
shagun

@nemo: ask them if they can merge it. I had a similar situation and this is what they told me

2016-03-10 08:54
nemo

Yeah, I’ve been planning to

2016-03-10 08:54
nemo

But it’s not high on my list. Don’t use HE much

2016-03-10 08:54
hashb

@nemo: Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

2016-03-11 18:04
nemo

one horse sized duck. I could probably run faster

2016-03-11 18:30

If you’ve reached this and are still reading, here’s an easter egg for you: I named myself Nemo after Capt. Nemo in 20,000 leagues under the sea.