Happy Engineer’s Day [Can We Have More Hackers Please?]

Today is Engineer’s Day (birthday of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, an eminent Indian engineer and statesman) and while last year, I wrote about the difference between engineers and software developers, this time I wanna stick to a four lettered word.


Eat this:

A Stanford student Feross Aboukhadijeh builds a real time Youtube instant search and within few minutes, gets a job offer from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley.

Another 15 year old develops iTunes Instant search in less than 3 hours and makes his way to glory !

Well, these are examples of hackers and at the core lies, an engineering soul.

A few weeks back, I spoke at BITS Pilani’s Bplan event and one of the key messages I tried to pass on to students was to start hacking without spending a lot of time into building a business model etc.

To me, hacking is the first seed of entrepreneurship – most of your hacks won’t go anywhere. You hack, you fail, you hack again and this time you market your hack, you might fail but the acceptance of “failure is part of the game” DNA gets injected in your blood. And obviously, you need this attitude when you are a full-blown entrepreneur. India Has Got Talent [and Hackers]

Who is an Engineer?

Engineers are concerned with developing economical and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics and scientific knowledge while considering technical constraints. The term is derived from the Latin root “ingenium,” meaning “cleverness”.

Basic ingredient lacking with Indian ecosystem is the dearth of great engineering mindsets (most of engineers are forced into engineering and have no real interest beyond job placements).

The world-changing solution comes from those who want to solve a pain and not from the community which wants you to define your pain and put a mpp plan for the same (read: Can Indian Society produce Gates/Larry/Zuckerburg?”).

And if you are an engineering student, my sincere suggestion – Hack. Hack. And Hack.

Play with APIs – be it WordPress, LinkedIn (whatever) and create something amazing. It need not have a business model from the day one – but has to have a sense of awe around the hack.

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