In Brief: Shunya One Ep. 19

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This week, we are joined by Siddharth Sharma, CTO at People Interactive, Shaadi.com. Siddharth talks about his journey through coding and how he set up his consulting firm, SmartMonkeys. The conversation also covers the technology ecosystem for coders in Mumbai and Pune and his work at People Interactive.

He gave his perspective about the real tech talent in the country:

I don’t know of many companies that really have a tech DNA at the start. Many of the founders I’ve worked with have a very very strong business sense. But without someone at the top who knows how software is built, it gets challenging and it gets challenging in very banal ways.

Shiladitya enquired about what Siddharth thinks is the way forward to help change the core ‘Tech DNA’ in companies. To which he responded:

The platform has changed right, the platform is digital now, it is the internet now. It works at scale. You need to deal with this platform. And the way you deal with this platform is through technology. And the problem I think is that building software that works, building products that work on the internet is like literally, I can’t think of any other human activity which works at this scale which is an industrial activity and is yet built by hand. It is an artisanal thing almost, you have people sitting there crafting this code by hand. Every other industrial product out there gets built by machines. You build the factory or you program the robots and they make this thing for you. But this is artisanal in a way and the problems that we solve are extremely complex in the sense that you can’t always predict what’s going to happen when you do something. You build something, you put it out in the market, it breaks; the users say I can’t try to figure what you are trying to do with this. You need to constantly keep iterating on these things and that iterating process I feel is very natural to the programmers and it is not so natural to the business guys.

He also spoke about the current situation with coders and their skill set.

Many of the really really great coders I know they’ve often been to courses like NCSTs or MCA somewhere. I don’t know if computer education is lacking but I really feel it could have been much more widespread. The average college graduate today is not really been given the skills that are going to work in 2017.

Listen to the full episode here: