I am Manager of Software Engineering with Capital One Auto Financial Services’ Technology Division. And first thing first, the views expressed on this website and the articles herein or any of my linked blogs are my own and no way show and/or bear any linkages to my employer or any of my past employers.
I mostly develop in Java, especially Spring and related projects, e.g., Spring XD, etc. Python is my preferred scripting language. However, I never used Python for any large scale enterprise project. I don’t feel the need to switch from Java as far as the web platform is concerned as it does almost everything. I have had concerns with the tooling available for Java. However, with advent of Maven, most of my issues are resolved. I have used Apache Ant before. Due to lack of tooling, I used to like it but in hindsight that was cumbersome. Maven defined project structure for Java is ideal for almost all cases. I once reviewed Gradle in Action, Manning Publication. It was simple looking and seems easy to adopt. However, never used it for any projects. At Capital One, we are mainly a Maven shop and I am pretty much happy about it.
I currently have three machines - a Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 13” 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, second Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 15”, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, and a HP ZBook with Windows 7, 512GB SSD, 32GB RAM. The first one is my personal machine and the latter two are office provided machines. I do my personal work, like editing this website, etc. on my personal Macbook. I have previously used IBM Thinkpad W500, IBM Thinkpad R400 dual bootable with Windows XP and Fedora OS. Now, I personally prefer Macbooks for their design and ease of use. I somehow think Windows has lost the charm it used to have at least for Developer’s local laptop environments. My previous company, IBM, I heard is also moving away from Thinkpads to Macbooks and I think it is wise to switch to Macbooks as you get almost a Linux-like terminal and file system. Not as great but manageable. Add to this the Gestures and other features provided by MBP and no one can beat it. I have heard iTerm is good and also zsh is great but not tried yet. I am not in a hurry to try them. There seem no need to do so at this point.
I have used Eclipse for most part of my life directly or indirectly. However, I lately switched to Intellij IDEA and can proudly say that it was the wisest decision ever. Intellij makes your life much simpler. For the naysayers and Eclipse lovers, I would just say, try Intellij IDEA at least for a month with open mind. You would start loving it. There is an open source Community edition available if you want to try it out. I use Ultimate Edition for work, which comes with extra-features helpful for my needs and requirements as a developer. My employer has paid for my license fee.
I have tried many editors and have eventually turned to Emacs for some solace. I use Emacs for Mac. As I learn, doing stuff on Emacs, I am also learning Emacs LISP. That is a good thing as I love Clojure, LISP dialect for the JVM. For in-terminal editing I use Nano. I prefer Emacs in full-swing GUI rather than in-terminal. I have customized Emacs for Mac usage and I can use almost the same keys that I use for other programs on Mac. However, I prefer to avoid that by discipline rather than a rule. I use tools to make my life easier and not tough. As much as I would love doing things the Emacs-way, I would also like to make my life simple and for that reason I am ready to take my own sweat time in learning Emacs-way.
I use Brew as a package manager for Mac. Suggestions for better package manager with reasons are welcome. On Windows, I prefer using Powershell. I have tried using Chocolatey as package manager for Windows and would say it is pretty nice but in very nascent stage. Powershell is really nice and I hope that it becomes the preferred Terminal on Windows and CMD program is retired. The company developing programs or their distributions for Windows should target Powershell rather than CMD. I don’t know what happened to other PowerToys.
I like watching series/movies/documentaries on Netflix and cable TV. I liked Departures a lot. Murder She Wrote and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are the series that I am currently watching and loving. My son likes Chug Chug (Thomas Train series) and so do I. He likes to watch Kung Fu Panda Holiday, and refers to Panda as Cheetah and I love that. I love the movie too - a 20 minutes refreshing tale.
I own a Kindle 6” Glare Free to read books, mostly non-technical. My preferred way of reading books is the hard-copy. I also read books on Kindle and iBooks apps on my iPhone 6. I left a good 500+ books in India when I moved to US and I miss them a lot. I used to read a lot but after coming to US, that habit has taken a backseat. But still I manage to read something or the other. I was one of the Technical Reviewers of EJB 3 in Action, 2nd Edition, published by Manning Publications.
I have read Indian History a lot. A.L.Basham is one of my favorite authors on Ancient Indian Histories. I can read Discovery of India several times. Whenever I read Nehruji’s books, I feel, as if he himself is talking to me. May be that is because of the Hindi TV series, Bharat Ek Khoj (Discovery of India). I wish today’s politicians had half of his wit and writing capabilities. I am interested in learning about American History. There was a point in time when I was too much interested in East European History and geopolitik but now that is not the case and in that I hold no interest any more.
I also have interest in Physics, Public Adminsistration, United Nations Reforms, Indian Polity, American Polity, Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Sciecne, etc. I try to avoid debates on social media as much as possible but it is always not possible and it is such a big waste of time. I regret after debating online. The time could have been spent doing something better in areas of my interest. I also love solving Sudoku. It is the simplest mind game ever which at time can be really daunting. I always wanted to solve crosswords, but I am not super-intelligent. I admire people who solve them daily. I used to solve the Hindi ones back in India but now I do not as I am not subscribed to any magazine or newspaper non-digitally. I also want to play with a Rubik cube. Never had any opportunity to play with it.
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