Sunday, June 21, 2009

On bench? Help yourself!

There are several occasions when you have nothing to do in office. You sit in front of your system and alternately click the tabs of your browser wondering how to kill time. Here are some of the strategies I found many people use to kill time.

Trade and make money: If you are new to this trade, here's a wonderful article to get you started. Though popular share trading sites like ICICI Direct and IndiaBulls are blocked in many companies, there are several other inconspicuous ones like Sharekhan, RelianceMoney, Religare, etc. that are accessible. The blocked sites can also be accessed using IP addresses of proxy sites like For research, if is blocked, you can try its sister site which basically contains the same information. If shares are not your cup of tea, you can still plan out your tax saving investments for the year and invest online in mutual funds through your online trading account or net-banking account

Pay your bills: It pays to pay your bills online. Not only do you save time but also you earn reward points for paying your utility bills through credit cards and direct debit facility of banks.

Read the daily news: Not able to eek out time for your daily dose of news at home? Many papers like The Times of India and The Economic Times are available as e-papers absolutely free of cost. An e-paper is an exact replica of the printed version.

Check your mail and keep in touch: Even if popular mail sites are blocked in your company, obscure ones like OngoleInfo mail must still be accessible. Create an account and indulge yourself!

Finish your chores: If your office is located in the heart of the city, you could finish off your chores like going to the bank and other offices on weekdays itself.

If you have any more ideas and suggestions, do leave a comment!

DISCLAIMER: Read your company's internet usage policy to know what you are allowed/not-allowed to do from office.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What most people forget to mention in their resumes

As you might be aware, your resume is the most important part of your job hunt and you should allocate atleast a week for preparing and fine-tuning your resume.

Here's what most people forget to mention in their resumes:
  • Understand how Job portals work - You know very well that "WinCE", "Windows CE", "Windows Embedded" all mean the same thing. But if a prospective employer (or a dumb job consultant) searches only for "WinCE" and your resume only mentions "Windows CE", his search will not hit your resume. So sprinkle all sorts of abbreviations in different places of your resume.
  • Awards and appreciation received - Even if you have got a small award or an appreciation mail from your client/boss, mention it in bold on the first page. This is a crucial factor in impressing your prospective employer and getting an interview call.
  • Client interaction and communication - Impress upon people that you have great communication skills by telling them how much you interact directly with clients through mail/conference.
  • Business angle - The manager who decides to call you or not for an interview will be impressed if you mention how much business (in dollars) your software has earned/saved for the client. This shows that you understand the business angle.
  • References - Mention (in the last page) that you can provide references on request. This gives them the impression that you are a genuine candidate.
  • Leadership role - Have you ever handled a small project/module on you own? Even if its a Proof-of-concept, mentioning it on your resume will boost their impression of you.
  • Design - Even if you do not know anything about UML or Design Patterns, mentioning that you have done some sort of small design work (Data structure design, for example) will earn you an interview call
When you apply for important companies, remember to customize your resume based on each company's requirements. For example if the position requires UML expertise and that's something you have worked on, highlight it in boldface. I know it's lot of work, but for dumb people in Hiring department who screen resumes, it becomes important

Avoid gramatical errors in your resume. If necessary, ask somebody to give your resume a reading.

Categorise your skill set based on your profeciency and be honest about yourself as you might be quizzed about each and every detail in your resume.

Last but not the least, your resume reflects your personality. If you take extra care in making your resume stand out and articulate your expertise in a neat and presice way, your employer will have a positive image of you.

All the best!

Visual Studio 2008 - Problems deploying to Smart devices

I am using Visual Studio 2008 and frequently deploy native and managed applications to my Windows CE 5.0 device. One fine day, Visual Studio started giving deployment errors.

Native applications were giving the following errors on deployment:

"Unable to start debugging"
"Catastrophic failure"

Managed applications were giving the following error:

"No such interface supported"

All the advice given in these posts did not help me:

I was able to resolve the problem by performing a system restore to a date when my visual studio was ok. This solved the problem. I also had to reinstalled .NET Compact Framework 3.5.