Books our CEO has read in the first half of 2016

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott

Books are our best friends here at Wingify and we take our friends quite seriously! Our Founder and CEO, Paras lives and breathes books. Quite a bibliophile, there's hardly a day when he doesn't read. So we took to his twitter account to make a list of all the books he's read in the first half of 2016. 

These are the 26 books Paras managed to read in the first 6 months of 2016

1. Why Information Grows by César Hidalgo

Note: Interesting #book but not very cohesive. A bit rambling

2. The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen 

Note: Good management at big companies leads to downfall. What an excellent #book. Worth reading twice

3. The Big Picture by Sean Carroll 

Contains almost everything worthwhile to know about a lot of stuff. LOVE this #book. Please buy and read today.

4. Economic philosophy by Joan Robinson

Couldn't read the entire #book (skipped last chapter). This is meta commentary on history of economic thought.

5. The Air Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller

This 1964 edition is my dad's copy. Miller writes beautifully and this #book describes America of 1940s.

6. Execution: the discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan

An OK #book with some insight. Biggest learning: shameless confrontation of reality is the topmost trait.

7. An Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins

What a wonderful #book to finish in Leh. Candid and inspiring story behind one of my favourite scientists.

8. Principles by Ray Dalio

This #book goes in my re read list. An absolute gem.

9. The Everything Store by Brad Stone

Wow, well written. So fascinated by Amazon. This #book is a must read.

10. The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch 

Been waiting to read and finish this #book. A fantastic explanation that makes a lot of sense. Highly recommended

11. More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby 

What a fantastic #book. Highly recommended

12. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson 

@jonronson writes lucidly. This #book is recommended.

13. Minecraft - real inside story by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson 

Well written. Short and sweet #book

14. Programming The Universe by Seth Llyod 

I wish there was more structure in this #book. Great insights but not very tightly written.

15. Them by Jon Ronson

Nothing like finishing a #book on a holiday. Very funny book about conspiracy theoriests.

16. Trigger Warning by Mick Hume

Wow, what a #book. Shattered so many myths about free speech. Highly recommended.

17. Theory of Nothing by Russell K. Standish 

Wow, this #book packs a lot. Got recommendation from Tegmark's Mathematical Universe. Requires re reading.

18. More Fool Me by Stephen Fry

Humorous but couldn't finish the #book. A bit of a drag in the end and too long.
 
19. So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson 

Interesting topic in this #book. Social media amplifies human emotions - both good and bad.

20. The Brain and the Meaning of Life by Paul Thagard

Had high hopes with this #book but couldn't finish. Very bland writing.

21. Our Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark

Deeply unsettling, yet exceedingly beautiful #book. Highly recommend reading it twice.

22. From Eternity to Here by Sean Carroll 

What a magnificent #book. I will highly recommend it.

23. The Brain Electric by Malcolm Gay

I wish this #book had more science.

24. The Man in High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Alternative history where Germany and Japan won world war 2. Interesting #book but could have been exhaustive

25. Darwin's Ghosts by Rebecca Stott

Very insightful #book on how theory of evolution was perhaps inevitable. Written like a novel, a page turner.

26. The Heat and Dust Project by Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha 

What a start of the year, what a delightful #book

Which books have you read and enjoyed in these 6 months?

Nikhil's recital: What it's like to intern @Wingify?

In May this year, I started my internship at Wingify, and they just crushed my old belief of internships! This was my first time interning at a big company like Wingify and I have never learned as much in 2 months. Before joining as an intern, I had offers for internship and I was very confused about which one to join. At last, after discussing it with my seniors, I joined Wingify and, now, I think it was the right decision. This is a radical place. The culture and the environment gives you new enthusiasm to towards your work or should I say, the chilling environment of the office can make even a depressed person get the best out of himself, though I am not :P.

I was the first intern to start here, this summer, followed by twelve more interns. On the first day at work place, I reached at 10:00 a.m. as I was not aware of the flexible timings. After a while, the HR came to my seat and introduced me with my mentor. And within a short period of time, people were talking with me very frankly as if I had been working for them for quite a while.

My work here mainly included Backend Development and VWO Chrome Extension Development In VWO App, they provide a feature called 'Plan' to users, in which a user can create Observations for their tests and can attach Hypotheses to the observations. In this, I was given the task of building a feature which could upload multiple hypotheses and observations simultaneously which will solve the problem of creating one hypothesis and observation at a single time. This in turn, would provide user a nice planning experience and also let's him import his existing data to the feature. I also worked on the VWO Chrome Extension with no experience in extensions development. 

Apart from work, there were quite many activities like monthly Hackathons, Company Camp, Wingify Talkies and much more, which easily attracts all the enthusiastic techies. 

The atmosphere is so exciting and cool or I should say they made it. Also, in the shadow of huge experienced people, one can learn and explore any technology right from the beginning. But the best part of it was not only the work, it was about party, jokes and importantly being friendly towards your colleagues and passionate about your work. This place and internship taught how to be you and know your potential.

The most satisfying thing about the internship was that I was fully involved in the company's operations and not treated separately, like interns elsewhere. The learning experience I earned owing to this was invaluable. I picked up a lot of things in relatively short time, and gained valuable insights into not only our own sector, but also the other sectors. I got considerable exposure and, now, well equipped to make a decision on how to proceed from here onwards.

Interning with Wingify was a wonderful learning experience. It is a great place to work and party hard \m/.

A Wingifighter's account of speaking & listening at the JSChannel

It's been accounts of all fun and play on this blog for quite some time. Fun and play, while a dear part of our culture, doesn't complete the picture. Everyone at Wingify is expected to push towards being the best in what they do. And when you are pushing yourself to be the best, its a good idea to learn from the best in the field. 

Attending tech conferences is a good way to ignite some fresh ideas and sustain the love for our craft. Last week, Bangalore hosted JSChannel, one of the most sought after JS conferences in India. JSChannel hosted 'best of the bests' speakers in JS Community along with expert JS trainers in workshop/live-coding sessions.

Wingifighters weren't ready to give up on this opportunity and off they went. Both to talk and to listen. Here is the experience of Rachit, as he recollected his two days of learning. 

DAY ONE: Three Wingifighters (Dheeraj, Rachit, Himanshu) were ready for the two-day learning with lot of fun.'Ember.js' creator Yehuda Katz the key note speaker was the best start that you can expect from a conference for the first day. The key note was packed with insights about Ember js like new rendering engine (Glimmer 2.0) is on the way, Ember-CLI is evolving. This was followed by a very interesting live node JS debugging by Dave Kerr. He showed the full utility of node-inspector like live reloading feature. He was seriously a funny guy :P and cracked some serious bad jokes. We broke out for lunch after these sessions.



Second half of the first day began with the most awaiting talk for the day WEBGL by Farhad Ghayour. That was my first experience with 3D world in programming. And the good thing is that it was also live coding event. We build 3D 2048 game step by step with all the nitty gritty.

First day ended with the very interesting talk by OYO rooms CTO Ajay Shrivastava on how to utilize Agile for the best. The topic was 'Aggresive Agile with well lubrication'. He told us about how to focus on solving problem instead of blaming on others. As we all know running on water and development is easy if things are frozen first. So he told us about the solver team which include people from each domain (Designer, Product manager, Business analyst, Developer and Tester) and the mission is to solve the problem. A small problem is assigned to them and all of the them are responsible for solving the problem from the beginning. In this kind of approach each and every person is equally responsible for the end result and people cannot blame on each other.

DAY TWO: Second day started with the Lea Verou talk that actually told us about how to write good API's, flaws in current API system and how to write self explanatory API's. It was basically the discussion of simple and elegant way of writing your API so that developer don't need to look into it again because we all know "code is written once and read many times".

Second talk of the day was given by Pavithra Kodmad about the WEBPACK with detailed example. It also include the comparison of various tools like gulp, grunt and lot of others.

Then came the most awaited talk for the second day by our Wingifighter, Dheeraj Joshi on 'Securing your web application'. It was his first experience but he actually rocked the stage. He showed lot of good demos about CSRF, XSS attacks. And also shows us live hacking on the real website which was fascinating. After the lunch there was another talk on the DESIGN CONSCIOUSNESS by Dave Hoffer which included the workshop on how actually you should think in terms of design. The day ended with the live coding by Erik Rasmussen which showed us how to use 'Redux-form' step by step guide. He showed us how we evolve in terms of submitting the form from  refreshing the page by sending the complete control of the page to the server to the React-Redux form submission without even disturbing the user experience.

 

Find the speaker deck of Dheeraj's talk here--> Secure your web application by Dheeraj Joshi
If this doesn't whet the nerdappetite, please head over to our engineering blog to learn more about our engineering craft culture.

Signing off with a happy picture where Himanshu cracked a bad joke with Pablo Picasso. 



Wingify runners at The Great India Run!

After multiple rain checks, the third Sunday of July saw the occurrence of 'The Great India Run'. The event had lot of interesting twists from rechedules to cancellation of the 21 K run at the eleventh hour. But our Wingify runners know that there's nothing like training and tuning the body and showed unfaltering enthusiasm. Here's a post run picture of our runners:)

Until the next run!

Sales team camps at Tiger Camps!

Corbett, the name rings many bells - Tigers, Jungles, Safaris, and what not. That’s what the folks in Sales chose. Having a penchant for making outings memorable, they didn’t disappoint this time. Beating the heat with more heat!

Off they went, in cliques of 4 - 14 bleary-eyed travelers, grunting & scowling at the ungodly hour the journey had to start (4AM!)

With 4 talented drivers, varied song playlist (from Calvin Harris to Chikni Chameli), ample amounts of fluids, and the “very healthy” McD breakfast, they covered the 7 hour journey within 5.

Choose the Tiger Resort (unlawfully so) as their abode for the next two days, it was a quaint place located in a serene location. With comfortable rooms, lovely pathways (see pic - courtesy Anmol), and a welcoming staff, it felt like anyone’s dream away from home.

Excited and tired, the team looked for the pool to beat the scorching heat. However, besides a dried up river stream (another story), they couldn't find anything. The so-called swimming pool was full of sweaty construction workers and not the bikini-clad women they were expecting!

Disappointed and hungry, they went to the restaurant area hoping the food will be better.

The Food - And Boy they were not disappointed!

Lip-Smacking, Luscious, Succulent - words cannot define the divine offerings those waiters clad in white, served them!

Using copious amounts, the ravenously hungry team gouged down every single inchling of food, so that something could sooth their ever-hungry palate (Too verbose, yes I ate a dictionary for breakfast! :P)

Talk of upturned fortunes! They finally got a pool! Tough negotiators in Sales they are, Raj & Himanshu got them a great deal on a pool in a nearby resort - free of cost of course

All dressed up in trunks and shades, the Sharks went swimming! :D (Picture below)

While Vibhuti played the DJ, Anmol sent tsunami waves with his swimming! After a game of some sort of volleyball, the team could finally chill out!

Safari time - eager to see some tigers, all geared up in shorts & sneakers, the team split in two jeeps and started the excruciatingly long journey into the forest

The excitement ebbed away when all they could see were jackals, barking deers, paw marks.. and even ...  Jaguars (cough.. Rohit)

Afterwards, Bhavan took matters into his hands and called the team together for a nice game of cricket, although picking a knock himself!

Hookah, Late night misadventures & the Australian wallet

Post sunset, when theres not much to do in the forest, the team took to Drinks & Hookah (Courtesy - Varunesh & Kushal), and started their own little party. If the endless jokes by Bharat aka PP (no we're not going to share what it means) were not enough, a select group of people thought of exploring the unknown.

High as a cloud they started their own night time safari near the deserted river stream. Under the stars, in complete darkness, it was like another world. Rightly said by Friedrich Nietzsche “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”! Under the stars and open Skies, they spoke of love, life and death!

How can a trip be complete without a little faux pas? So a certain someone, lost a certain wallet! But by the grace of Mohammed (not the god, but the guy who found it), the wallet (known to be of Australian origins) was shipped back to its owner!

All in all, another day in the life of a sales guy - Exciting, Risky, and Unpredictable! 

Friday camp spoiling for Wingify Pune

With multiple products and fast iterations, this month, like every other month was hectic. Monthly camps at Wingify provide not just a window for reflection on what has happened that month, it also gives us some time to come together and play our favourite games and get indulged a bit. 

This friday, we partnered with Cologne, a natural spa, to arrange for relaxing head massages for everyone at Wingify Pune. 

As Friday evening drew closer, their 7 member crew welcomed people to enjoy a head massage, sitting in the comfort of the office. Needless to say, everyone who emerged after the massage looked super sleepy and had a wide grin of relaxation throughout the evening. 

Did you say pictures or it didn't happen? Here are a few.


Wingify runners get bitten by the Pune monsoon bug

In the last post, we celebrated Wingify Runners, a small and growing cult within Wingify. You know what they say about passion being infectious, don't you? Rachit, one of the members is now working from our Pune office and he decided to take advantage of the gorgeously green western ghats. This saturday, lads from Pune team ran the Pune Monsoon Running (10k) marathon. 

Some were painfully unaware of their bodies and some were quite jubilant on overcoming them. I've heard running does that to you. 

Here's to running a long distance, together.

 

Wingify's first run in a midnight marathon

Gurgaon, recently named back to its original name, Gurugram, hosted its first midnight marathon. A lot of Wingifighters ran their first marathon and successfully finished it. 

Running marathons is slowly gaining street cred at Wingify and Sandeep Singh, our PM is the backbone of it. 

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.” 

― Christopher McDougallBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Here are a few pictures that capture the first milestone of Wingify Runners. 

Beer + Bhaang + Bhangra = Wholly Celebrated at Wingify

It turned out to be an evening of overindulgence – too much dance, too much color, way too much booze. But much before the madness peaked, everyone was already in the groove for Holi celebrations, turning up in carefree clothes and faded whites. The office too was done up beautifully in colorful décor.

The dhol-beats set the pace as everyone let their hair down.

Besides all the razzmatazz, we also had a bunch of games going on. What got the most volunteers? (Beer) Golgappa competition. 

The party-nosh was all about street food. We binged on pakoras, golgappas and sweets.

And the fun continues…