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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Grails & Groovy Development - Part-1

Grails is a web application framework based on Groovy language. Groovy and Grails run on top of the JVM.  Grails is basically a dynamic web development framework based on the Convention over configuration principle.  Grails work based on conventions and reduces development time with the help of development tools to generate lot of boiler-plate code. 


Installing Grails (Mac OSX Lion 10.7.4):

1. Download the latest version of grails from grails.org ( I downloaded Grails - 2.1 version) 
2. Copy it to some directory like /Users/mmm/Applications/
3. Set the GRAILS_HOME  and PATH environment variables
  •       export GRAILS_HOME=/Users/mmm/Applications/grails
  •       export PATH=$GRAILS_HOME/bin:$PATH
4.  Now close the terminal and re-open and you should be all set to create some test grails web apps. 
5. Grails come with in-built tomcat server. Try create-app, create-controller, and run-app commands. 
    Refer to the Grails documentation page for more details: Grails documentation




Development using Spring Tool Suite Eclipse IDE: 

1. Download the Eclipse Spring Tool Suite from here: http://www.springsource.org/downloads/sts-ggts
2. Extract the archive file to a folder and copy it to a location where you want to place the Spring Tool suite libraries.
3.  Locate the STS executable icon inside the folder and click on it.
4. It should open the Eclipse like IDE.
5. You can create new Grails project in the following way.  It's very similar to Eclipse Java based web development.  Refer to here for more documentation: Grails & STS

























Friday, September 9, 2011

My participation in "Hacking education Contest"

Recently took part in the Hacking education contest conducted by DonorsChoose.org and made it to their showcase.   Really encouraging and hopefully it'll give me the push to do better in any future contests.  Got a $100 gift card to donate it to it to the school projects.

My app name is : projectsnear.me - which will help donors to explore the projects easily to donate and share the information.

Projects Near me

Showcase at DonorsChoose.org website:  Showcase


Reading "Life- Is What You Make It" - By PETER BUFFETT

Currently, I'm reading "Life- Is What You Make It". Interesting book written by a person who was born in one of the richest families on earth- Warren Buffett.

Important points to be noted from this book:

  • Normal is what you're used to

    Core values are the foundation for everything : Trust, Tolerance, Education, Personal Work Ethic.

  • No one deserves anything

    Author tries to bring out the real meaning of "deserves". In simple words, he tries to prove that people born in affluent families are in one way are losers. In a sense that there's a good chance that they lose the opportunity to earn the real reward of their life by working hard and making most of their life.

  • The myth of the level playing field

    Gist: World is imperfect. Everyone wishes it to be a level playing field, but it's not. It's the passionate individuals who wants to succeed need to do all it takes to bring it closer and closer to a level playing field. Also, it's important to identify that all human beings are equal. We should only do things which we're passionate about. Should not surrender to something just because it's advantageous career or financial wise.

  • The ( mixed ) blessing of choice reading.......

Friday, May 20, 2011

Listening to - " The Steve Jobs Way" - By Jay Elliot - Former Senior Vice President of Apple

I'm currently listening to the -" The Steve Jobs Way". It's really inspiring, interesting and lot of things to learn from it. The following are some interesting points I picked up from what I've listened to so far.

1. Steve is the -"Head artist of the apple".

2. Apple teams are termed as pirates.

3. Steve pushes the people to extremes to work hard and improve the performance.

4. He's the person of details. Ex: Though not from technical background, he used to understand every other detail of the mac design from semi-conductor chip to the casing.

5. Steve is the role model of everybody at the apple.

6. Steve envisions the products he designs and develops from end user or customer's perspective.

7. He goes to any extent to appreciate the work of his employees. Ex: Personally emailing apple retail store associate to appreciate him on his performance in handling the customer request, personally handing out hundred bills as token of appreciation to the workers on factory-floor, or personally giving bonus check to one of his engineers at his desk.

8. Steve is always energized and enthusiastic. Always in hyper mode to present products to people with a splash in his presentations.

9. He instilled design thinking into building the apple products. Thinking and designing them in a artistic way rather than creating computers as squared plastic or metal boxes and including software with better and intuitive User-interface. Things at apple got the current shape based on the Steve's creative customer-oriented thinking.

Oh! boy, lot to learn from him.
Some brain-storming videos of Steve Jobs at NEXT

From "Good to Great - By Jim Collins"

On my recent flight to India, I started re-listening (b'cos actually started this book long time back. But, didn't had time to make notes.) to "Good to Great-By Jim Collins" and made some short notes.
I found some interesting points to be noted, if I ever want to run a company or start a business.

1. Nepotism doesn't work if you want to build a great and successful company.

2. If you want to build a successful company you need to have guts to cut-off your own arm when it's effected by cancer. In the sense, guts to take unpopular decisions which are good for the company.

Ex: Walgreens sold their restaurant business, Kimberly-Clark's Darwin smith sold paper mills which are used to be their core businesses.

3. Luck also plays a wide role in building a great company.

4. Good is enemy of great.

5. You need to have guts to put yourself in the front-row to face any problem.

6. Qualities of top-most level-5 leaders:


  • Never boast about success.

  • Take full responsibility.

  • Charismatic.

  • Fanatically driven.

  • They'll have guts to take hard and unpopular decisions.

  • For them, company is the first priority

  • Never settle for less than great results.



7. what takes it to build great company:

  • Strong discipline and culture.

  • "First who and then what". Either on the bus or off the bus.

  • Sell off the problems but don't sell people.

  • Great vision without people is irrelevant.

  • Right people doesn't have to be motivate or managed.



Strong points to understand and remember. As per a punch line in the book, "If used right, technology can be accelerator of momentum in business, but not the creator of the momentum". Not sure if this still relevant to latest technology only companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There are some key things worth noting from this :

1. Understanding the Hedge-hog concept which revolves around three circles : a. what you're deeply passionate about ? b. what you can be best in the world at ? what you cannot be best in the world at ? 3. what drives your economic engine ?

2. Building a good-to-great company or becoming good-to-great will be a cumulative process.  Cannot be a overnight success.





Sunday, January 30, 2011

After listening to -" A Whole New Mind- By Daniel Pink"

Again, I just started recently listening to this book " A Whole New Mind- by Daniel Pink". I started using audible.com's iPhone app to listen to audio books to keep up with my schedule. So far I really liked the iPhone app and it's seamless integration with audible.com.

Coming to the book, I really liked it. It gives some good information about two different sides of the human brain. It explains, what kind of thinking is important to succeed in this new competitive era. Author presents qualities and importance of left and right hemispheres of the brain. He calls it L-directed and R-directed thinking.

Bottom line to understand from this book :

  1. Left-directed thinking helps in calculations, and logical thinking. ( Useful for : Programming, accounting jobs, etc,)

  2. Right-directed thinking helps in compassion, caring, emotions, etc., ( Useful for high concept and high touch jobs like Artists, designers, creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, etc,)

  3. For new kind of jobs, L-directed thinking needs to be complemented by R-directed thinking.



Points to be noted:
This book emphasizes following 6 qualities (referred to as senses by author) required to be successful for the next-gen of professionals. It seems the following are qualities of R-hemisphere (R-directed thinking) of the brain. :

  1. Design thinking

  2. story telling

  3. Symphony and synthesis

  4. Empathy

  5. Playing games, sense of humor, and fun

  6. Doing meaningful work and spirituality



After listening about the design thinking in this book, I really got inspired about the art and design. I thought the following points mentioned by author are worth to be noted :


  1. Embedding design thinking into student's curriculum.
  2. "MFA is new MBA."
  3. "L-directed thinking which helps in number-crunching, programming, etc is necessary but not sufficient."
  4. Author mentions about the changes being taken place to support this kind of design thinking. Like embedding art and design thinking and courses into medical student's curriculum, companies, and government agencies.
  5. He says, new kind of jobs require - " High touch and high concept skills" which fall into the above mentioned 6 senses.
  6. "L-directed thinking needs to be complemented with R-directed thinking".
  7. "Design is a classic whole minded aptitude".
  8. He mentions about - how each and every thing in this world we use is imagined, designed, and created and emphasizes the importance of art and design in our daily life. Without art and design we will not be able to see the user friendly and aesthetic qualities of the things we see around us. Personally, I feel aesthetic qualities will improve the productivity of our work.
  9. "Good design can change the world."
  10. Bad design can lead to bad results.
  11. These are my favorite examples about design:
    • Patients treated in well designed hospital wards required less medications to recover and feel good compared to others.

    • Students studied in improved and well-designed school ambience improved their scores.

  12. To be designer neeed to be an agent of change.
  13. He suggests the following things to improve the design thinking:
    • Keep a design notebook

    • Carry a design notebook

    • Make a note when you see good design

    • Experience design

    • Carry a camera and take pictures of good and bad design

    • Choose a design that bothers. Think about improvements. Read design magazines


  14. Websites mentioned in this book:


  15. Become a design detective: how does it effect the 5-senses by looking at an object ? Why this object tickles the sensation and why not other ?





Still there are many things to note down about this book...........................

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Notes after listening to: "Where Good Ideas come from"- By Steven Johnson

After watching a TED presentation of Steven Johnson's "Where Good Ideas come from", I got interested in the book and bought an audio book. I came across some cool interesting facts and points while listening to this book and made some random notes. I believe in Steve Jobs saying- "Dots in life can only be connected going backward." So, I think this notes will help me in some way in future where I can connect back.

1. It seems as per some scientific and IQ studies: the more disorganized your brain is, the smarter you're.

2. Reading books from different fields give us opportunity to find new ideas.

3. Steven Johnson takes example of Gutenberg's printing technology. Gutenberg takes the screw press mechanism used in the agricultural production to press the grapes and olive oil seeds to design the printing device. It is described in the book as Exaptation. Exaptation - taking ideas from one box and applying to problems in another box.

4. Google is a "Serendipitous engine" - realized after reading this book. That appears to be true for me. As a programmer, whenever I try to do some research on some new technology or technique to use in my projects I always get something more to learn.

5. Brainstorming opens the hunches and new ideas.

6. Connecting hunches is important.

7. Idea exchange places are important. We need to create a environment to connect and nurture the hunches.

8. "Being wrong forces you to explore."

9. "Good ideas are identified welcomed because the Signal-to-noise ratio is high."

10. "People who have broad social networks are very creative which are diverse."

11. Keeping the spark alive throughout the development process of a project or idea is important.

12. Urban life is good for new ideas.

13. When we don't have to ask for permission, innovation thrives.

14. " Good ideas spill over. They stand against the giants that come against them."

15. "More than one formula exists for innovation."


If I used any phrase from the book, I tried to put them under quotes. This summary is from "Where good Ideas come from" - By Steven Johnson.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Future of mobile phone technology

Future of mobile phone technology. It's really interesting to see where it can go.