Monthly Archives: November 2011

How I ended up at a startup

This post was long due.  Lack of free time kept postponing this post.

I left  Yahoo! on August 19th. Why ? Out of many I think pay, environment and freedom were the major reasons. But the work was great, I loved what I did. I started doing UI development last December out of my own interest. I should thank Ramkumar, my manager at that time to allow me to start doing UI. After 3 big projects in which I was mostly involved in UI. I had gained enough experience to call myself a Intermediate UI developer.

I was approached by two startups ( well more than three, I didnt care about the others). Both these startups wanted to do nearly the same thing, both were funded, both were starting from scratch .   I gave interviews for both.  I could immediately feel the difference between a Google/Yahoo interview and the interviews at these startups. These guys meant business,  they were very specific about your code, about your knowledge in your respective field and your thinking ability. More importantly, whether I would be valuable in whatever they were trying to achieve.

After getting offers from both, I had to decide on one. I decided to join iStream . I thought there was immense potential in Indian Content and was bewildered that no-one was tapping this market already.

At iStream, I was given the responsibility of the whole website UI and was also appointed as an interface to two of our third-party clients.  For me this was huge, I have never done a whole website before leave alone doing it all alone.

When I started work at iStream I realised that I was not only doing UI but helping out in a lot of the other tasks. I was also involved in the design of each and every module of the website. I always wanted to do a lot of Software Design, because I  felt that is the most creative part of Software Development. If your design is perfect, coding is just a manual job !.

Mondays didn’t feel like Mondays anymore, I was excited to reach the target, target to finish the website. Deadlines made us miss weekends, we were working without a break. Working more than 12-14 hours a day. A small team of 7  engineers were at full strength only in October, that made some of us work even more before they joined in. It was a great experience to work with like minded people to achieve a single goal. The best part being everybody was pushing equally hard, be it the freshers or the Co-founders or the team leads. Everyone were giving their best.

The amount of knowledge I have gained in these 3 months must have been more than I did in 2 years at Yahoo! and 4 months at Google combined ! To give an example, I knew only YUI before joining iStream, now I am more familiar with jQuery than YUI.  These 3 months have brought in lot of discipline in my work. I have gained the ability to finish a lot of work in 3-4 concentrated hours.

I was very nervous about the shift I took 3 months back, but in hindsight I think I took the right step. And I encourage others to take it up, especially if you are just starting in the industry.

I would like to end the post with a quote from my President of Engineering “You dont own any module. Your users endup owning you”

PS: If you are looking for a job, send a mail to me maruti [at] istream.com

PS2: Checkout the site already ;) http://www.istream.com