Skip to main content

· 3 min read
D Balaji

As a dedicated frontend engineer, complacency is not an option. Staying at the forefront of technology is vital to navigate the ever-evolving landscape and provide innovative solutions to your clients. In this article, we'll explore four unconventional approaches to keeping up with frontend tech that don't involve traditional blogs or podcasts.

1. Follow the Titans

One effective way to stay informed is by closely monitoring the thought leaders in the industry. These experts not only share their extensive knowledge but also disseminate the latest developments in frontend technology. For instance, Addy Osmani, a prominent figure in this field, is renowned for publishing cutting-edge research and providing real-time updates via Twitter or follow their talks or conferences. Here are some more influential figures to follow:

  • Ben Frain
  • Jake Archibald
  • Lea Verou
  • Addy Osmani
  • David Walsh
  • John Resig
  • Paul Irish
  • Alex Russell
  • Chris Coyier
  • Chris Lilley
  • Dan Abramov
  • David Khourshid
  • Harry Roberts
  • Kent C. Dodds
  • Lin Clark
  • Nicole Sullivan
  • Sara Soueidan
  • Wes Bos

2. Embrace Conferences and Meetups

Frontend conferences and meetups are a treasure trove of insights. While it might not be feasible to watch every presentation on YouTube, you can gain valuable information by skimming through the talk titles. If a particular topic repeatedly surfaces, it's a clear indication of its significance. Here are some noteworthy conferences and meetups to keep an eye on:


  • Smashing Conference (San Francisco, CA, USA)
  • React Advanced (London, UK)
  • VueConf (Multiple locations)
  • Svelte Summit (Multiple locations)
  • CSSConf (Multiple locations)
  • Front-end Developers Conference (Multiple locations)
  • Full-Stack Web Dev Conference (Multiple locations)
  • JavaScript Conference (Multiple locations)


  • Front-End Developers Meetup
  • React Meetup
  • Vue Meetup
  • Svelte Meetup
  • CSS Meetup
  • Full-Stack Web Dev Meetup
  • JavaScript Meetup
  • Web Performance Meetup
  • Accessibility Meetup

3. Dive into the Specs

Frontend development thrives on open standards, and there are no secrets in this domain. A true professional must dive into the technical specifications. Keep a vigilant eye on the following organizations and their corresponding standards:

  • For JavaScript, stay updated with TC39.
  • For HTML and CSS, rely on W3C.
  • Accessibility standards are set by WCAG.
  • TypeScript enthusiasts should monitor TypeScript proposals.

Becoming adept at deciphering these proposals can qualify you as a tech speaker and provide instant insights for your fellow developers.

4. Explore Case Studies, Job boards and Journals

Periodically, top-tier tech companies, such as Slack and Airbnb, release quality blogs that provide invaluable insights. Studying such content, which is tried and tested at scale on millions of users, can lead to innovative breakthroughs in your work. Notable publications, like Thoughtworks' Radar, delve into a wide array of frontend topics discussed at a CTO level, making them a must-read resource for any serious developer.


Staying updated in frontend tech is no cakewalk. The methods outlined above may not be the easiest or most convenient, but they are highly effective. There is no easy way, the above said methods are not the easiest like skimming a newsletter or tech blog but I believe you can ascend to the ranks of an expert frontend developer with the above 4 strategies.

· 3 min read
D Balaji

In the pursuit of professional excellence, one occasionally stumbles upon the state of being set in flow—a harmonious engagement where time seems to slip away effortlessly. Today, as I mark my fifth work anniversary with my fourth employer, I am overwhelmed with the euphoria of this accomplishment. Throughout my career, I have experienced various moments of significance, and in this blog, I wish to share four events that have shaped my journey.

Embracing Opportunities: The Impact of a Tech Conference

As fate would have it, the most promising opportunities often arise when one is least expecting them. Such was the case when I attended the GIDS conference in 2018. Among the myriad of stalls, Sabre's presence caught my attention. Completing intriguing challenges and applying for hiring opportunities, I secured some delightful takeaways from the event. Little did I know that my enthusiasm would lead to a profound connection with the hiring manager, ultimately leading to my employment at Sabre.

Stepping Into Uncharted Territories: The Cultural Shock of Full Stack Development

Having honed my skills in frontend development, joining Sabre introduced me to an entirely new world of full stack development expertise. The experience proved to be both exhilarating and challenging, as I was entrusted with responsibilities beyond the frontend realm. Despite the initial stress, my foundational knowledge in Java enabled me to navigate through unfamiliar territories with confidence and adaptability.

The Challenges of Brownfield Software: A Lesson in Agility

In the dynamic world of software development, greenfield projects often garner excitement, but the complexities of brownfield issues are seldom met with the same enthusiasm. Overcoming these challenges requires not only technical expertise but also strategic proposals to secure the necessary resources. Adapting to the agile development approach, I learned the significance of addressing outdated software libraries and the importance of proactive solutions.

Embracing New Horizons: The Power of Internal Job Postings

Throughout my five years, I remained unbound to a single project, exploring different avenues within the organization. This willingness to embrace new opportunities led to a pivotal moment in my career when I received a promotion to lead engineer. Embracing a role within the Enterprise Design Language team, I was immersed in the world of frontend development, which I found to be exhilarating. The experience reinforced the significance of internal job postings, fostering growth and organizational exploration.


As I reflect upon my journey over the past five years, I am reminded of the power of seizing opportunities, embracing change, and striving for growth. Each experience, whether unexpected or planned, has contributed to my professional development, molding me into a more resilient and adaptable individual. With gratitude for the past and excitement for the future, I eagerly await the challenges and triumphs that await in the next chapter of my career.

· 3 min read
D Balaji

"Balaji at Hosur Book Festival"

As an ardent book enthusiast residing in an emerging city, I have often faced the challenge of finding a well-stocked bookstore or literary hub in the vicinity. However, to invigorate our minds and hearts, the residents of Hosur organize an annual book fair that has become a highly anticipated event on our cultural calendar. Having attended this remarkable fair since 2017, I present here four essential aspects that encapsulate its significance.

A Celebration of Tamil Literature

Happening in the heart of Tamil Nadu, the Hosur Book Fair predominantly showcases an impressive collection of books within the realm of Tamil literature. From timeless classics such as Thirukural to masterpieces like Ponniyan Selvan, the fair offers an array of literary treasures that cater to the diverse tastes of the Tamil-speaking populace. A dedicated book store with books related to Periyar, how about that.

Diverse Religious Book Stalls

A distinctive feature of the book fair is the presence of stalls dedicated to various religious themes and spiritual pursuits. Visitors can explore bookshelves teeming with Islamic texts, works by Isha Foundation, and other publications centered around religious ideologies. Importantly, these stalls respect the individual choices of visitors, making the experience inclusive and welcoming.

Unearthing Literary Gems: The Used Book Stalls

A true delight for bibliophiles, the fair boasts a fascinating array of used book stalls akin to an adventurous treasure hunt. Many of these stalls offer books previously owned by readers or libraries outside India. The books are sold either by weight or individually at a nominal price of Rs 100 per piece, providing exceptional value for those seeking hidden literary treasures.

The Trustworthy Source: Authentic Books from Distributors

In a world rife with counterfeit copies, the book fair stands out as a reliable platform where customers can acquire authentic books directly from esteemed distributors, publishers, and reputable book houses. Unlike some online platforms that occasionally deal in pirated editions, the fair assures visitors of genuine and legally sourced literature. While the prices might marginally exceed those found on certain online retailers, patrons are more than willing to invest in the assurance of authenticity.


The annual Hosur Book Fair has evolved into a remarkable celebration of literature and culture, enchanting the bookworms of the city and beyond. With its emphasis on Tamil literature, diverse religious offerings, captivating used book stalls, and a commitment to genuine publications, this literary extravaganza has etched a special place in the hearts of the attendees. As a devoted visitor, I eagerly look forward to each edition of the fair, for it not only rejuvenates the mind but also fosters a profound appreciation for the world of written words.

· 5 min read
D Balaji

In the pursuit of financial success, individuals often dedicate a significant amount of time to consuming financial news, financial literature, minimalist techniques or simply ask their friends for ideas. In this article, we will focus on four essential pillars of financial success for individuals with an Indian background. By following these principles, individuals can strive towards a more secure and prosperous financial future.

By focusing on steady income growth, reducing liabilities, avoiding major losses, and holding long-term growth assets, individuals can enhance their financial well-being and build a solid foundation for the future.

Steady growing income

Establishing a steady growing income is a fundamental principle for individuals in India who aspire to achieve financial success. In a country where many middle-class individuals experience limited job growth and security, relying on a single source of income can be precarious. Personally they have to rack up atleast one year worth of expenses in a liquid fund or fixed deposit which I categorize as lazy funds.

Its surprising to see senior advocates, doctors, businessmen making handsome income in their late 80s but a retired engineer making nothing other than his pension if any.

Tip #1: Choosing a retirement proof career is key in financial planning.

If you are already mid way through career, start and grow a promising business because business owner cannot be fired or forced to retire by labour laws.

Declining or reduced liabilities

Traditionally, individuals in India would secure employment within their local communities and often live with extended family or in joint households. Consequently, recurring expenses such as rent, electricity, and locking up money in the form of advances or security deposits were relatively unheard of. However, the modern lifestyle has led to an alarming increase in imprudent accumulation of liabilities. Even before securing employment, individuals often find themselves burdened with education loans, followed by payday loans soon after receiving their first salary. While it is not fair to blame individuals entirely, the expenses associated with metropolitan living necessitate managing multiple financial responsibilities with a limited income, leaving minimal room for savings in their 40s.

Maintaining strong family connections, prioritizing children's needs, and preserving cultural traditions can quickly deplete financial resources, making one's 30s more challenging than anticipated. Ultimately, achieving financial success requires generating income several times greater than one's liabilities. If it proves difficult to substantially increase income, it is imperative to focus on reducing costs and minimizing liabilities. Many successful individuals have chosen to retain modest lifestyles, refraining from upgrading furniture, driving smaller vehicles, and using the same vehicle for extended periods.

Tip #2: Avoid the shiny, fad and impractical expenses. Think long term before you commit for something.

Not incurring major losses

It is an undeniable fact that the path to wealth creation has always been filled with risks and uncertainties. A notable story from the book "The Richest Man in Babylon" recounts an individual who lost their investments due to misguided advice when purchasing gold, resulting in poor decision-making. Today, individuals continue to face similar challenges, often influenced by biased recommendations from stockbrokers, mis-selling insurance agents, and other vested interests. Countless individuals have taken leaps of faith only to discover that their ventures led to significant financial losses, whether through failed businesses or ill-informed investment decisions. Such losses can have long-term consequences on one's financial stability and progress.

Tip #3: In new ventures, Diversify even if the returns are less because losing capital means losing the game of financial success.

Create & Holding long term growth assets

Anecdotally, we often encounter stories of individuals who achieved substantial wealth by merely leading ordinary lives and retaining inherited ancestral properties. While inheriting wealth is undoubtedly advantageous, those without such fortune must exchange their money for the creation, growth, and retention of assets.

It is essential to recognize that assets need not be limited to gold, stocks, or land. Owning a thriving tea stall in a strategic location that was once neglected but is now a prime spot exemplifies a valuable asset. Many successful family businesses in India trace their roots back to the entrepreneurial efforts of grandparents who fearlessly embarked on ventures that yielded fruitful returns.

Rather than advocating for excessively frugal lifestyles or sacrificing vacations to save money, it is more advantageous to focus on creating assets that can generate significant returns over the long term.

Tip #4: Put time in creating assets instead of trying to save rupees in short term


The road to financial success is not easy especially when you have a family which includes dependents, a society who pushes new fads like spending 2 lakhs on child first birthday, a govt which introduces taxes on whatever you do and use, a job where growth is like a slow moving train, etc. But good use of money can make you comfortable financially. Its okay to be comfortable than be miserable in terms of money.

Achieving financial success in India requires a combination of discipline, informed decision-making, and a long-term perspective. By prioritizing a steady growing income, reducing liabilities, avoiding major losses, and focusing on long-term growth assets, individuals can enhance their financial well-being and increase their chances of achieving their financial goals.

· 3 min read
D Balaji

Self-taught individuals, boot camp graduates, mentored professionals, accomplished interns, and dedicated experts are some of the remarkable talents that have joined our workforce. While their technical skills are exceptional, it's important to recognize that becoming the best programmer at work entails more than just technical expertise. To make a comprehensive and valuable contribution to our organization, it is crucial to cultivate the following skills:


In the corporate world, even individuals who have been laid off often had a significant workload and a backlog of tasks. This highlights the substantial volume of work within most teams. As new joiners, it is essential to actively and purposefully select assignments that challenge your abilities and contribute to unblocking the team's progress. Additionally, identifying tasks that align with your strengths can further enhance your impact.

Let your peers know your strength through your work that you do.


Being a coder goes beyond the act of pushing code to a repository. It involves reviewing, providing feedback, and improving upon the work done by the team. Many codebases contain sections that have remained untouched for years. By reviewing such code, new joiners can engage in knowledge sharing and take the initiative to improve areas that may be unfamiliar to others.

Being proficient in reading and understanding others' code can accelerate your career growth.


The contributions of individual developers often go unnoticed in most teams. Exceptional communication skills are highly valued in such environments. Developers who can effectively communicate, lead engaging meetings, facilitate discussions, and manage virtual interactions are highly sought-after. Remember that meetings are an integral part of corporate life at various levels. Adhering to basic meeting etiquette, actively contributing valuable insights, and making meetings enjoyable can make a significant impact.

Keeping mum and over talking on the job are dangerous.

Professional Behavior

It is common for young engineers to form friendships within their intern groups, typically with individuals of similar experience levels. However, as young joiners in a professional setting, different expectations apply. Actively engaging with senior engineers and learning from their expertise through close collaboration is essential. Displaying good manners, maintaining a professional demeanor, and exhibiting positive attitudes contribute to professional growth and attract attention within the industry. Simple gestures like a firm handshake, a warm smile, and a proactive attitude establish credibility, respect, and foster positive relationships.

Youre being watched by your peers, behave diligently even when out of office.


A well-rounded professional understands the needs of the team and actively seeks opportunities to contribute rather than being solely focused on individual goals. By honing these skills, you will not only excel in your role but also establish yourself as a valuable asset within our organization.

· 8 min read
D Balaji

Here is a short memoir about the right sizing function happening at all major organizations in 2023.

Businesses Cycles are Real

Warren Buffett is a renowned investor who has made a fortune by investing in undervalued companies. He is also known for his wit and humor. One of his most famous quotes is:

"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."

This quote, which was originally intended for investors, is also applicable to corporate employees. Not long ago, we experienced a period of rapid hiring, with employees receiving multiple offers and corporations going on a hiring spree. During this time, employees were able to negotiate favorable terms, such as high salaries, compensation packages, and positions. However, economic cycles are real, and eventually, companies become overstaffed and their financial results suffer. As a result, companies begin to lay off employees.

The quote "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked" is a reminder that economic conditions can change quickly, and that companies need to be prepared for downturns. When the economy is strong, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and make decisions that are not sustainable in the long run. However, when the economy turns, companies that have been overextended will be the ones that suffer the most. The employees at these companies will suffer the most.

2023 is the year of right-sizing companies, and it is having a significant impact on Indians working in multinational corporations.

The media and press have been reporting on layoffs, and this has created a sense of anxiety and uncertainty among employees. When a common person meets a techie, they often inquire about their job security. The abbreviation "CFBR" is also becoming increasingly common on LinkedIn. This stands for "Commenting For Better Reach," and it refers to the practice of commenting on posts from people who are looking for work.

There are a number of factors that are contributing to the right-sizing of companies. These include the global economic slowdown, the rise of automation, and the increasing competition from emerging markets. As a result of these factors, many companies are finding it necessary to reduce their workforces.

The right-sizing of companies is having a significant impact on Indians working in multinational corporations. Many employees have been laid off, and those who remain are facing increased pressure to perform. The job market is also becoming more competitive, as more and more people are looking for work.


Here are your observations about right sizing and how to mitigate risk, in a more professional tone:

There is no good news

Right-sizing, or downsizing is the process of reducing the size of a company's workforce. This can be done through layoffs, attrition, or a combination of the two. Right-sizing can be a difficult decision for companies, but it is often necessary in order to remain competitive.

There is no good news for employees who are affected by right-sizing. The job market is already competitive, and right-sizing can make it even more difficult to find a new job. In addition, right-sizing can have a negative impact on the morale and productivity of the employees who still remain with the organizations.

Most companies are not actively hiring during this economic downturn.

The Education material may not help you greatly

Right-sizing can lead to an increase in demand for education and training. Employees who are laid off may need to upskill or re-skill in order to find new jobs. However, the education sector may not be able to keep up with the dynamic market nature.

In addition, employers may be reluctant to hire employees who have only recently completed education or training. They may prefer to hire employees who have deeper experience in the field.

Everything looks scary, Generative AI & Self Doubt

Right-sizing can be a very stressful experience for employees. It can lead to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. In addition, employees may start to doubt their own abilities. They may worry that they will not be able to find a new job, or that they will not be able to find a job that is as good as their old one.

Generative AI and other new technologies can also add to the stress of right-sizing. These technologies can make it easier for companies to replace employees with machines. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and obsolescence.

Multiple rounds of layoff disturb morale at work

Right-sizing can have a negative impact on morale at work. Employees who are laid off may feel betrayed and resentful. In addition, employees who remain may be worried about their own job security. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in turnover. Both physical and mental health will suffer.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst

There is no surefire way to avoid being laid off. However, there are some things that employees can do to increase their chances of surviving right-sizing.

  • Join a profitable company. Employees are more likely to be laid off from companies that are struggling financially. Therefore, it is important to join a company that is profitable and has a good reputation.

  • Ensure that your work has a business value. Employees who do work that is essential to the company's operations are less likely to be laid off. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your work is valuable to the company.

  • Become a valuable asset to the company. Employees who are valuable assets to the company are less likely to be laid off. This means being able to do more than one thing, being able to work independently, and being able to think outside the box.

  • Be positive and proactive. Employees who are positive and proactive are more likely to be seen as valuable assets to the company. They are also more likely to be able to find new jobs if they are laid off.

  • Have a financial cushion. Employees who have a financial cushion are less likely to be stressed out if they are laid off. This means having enough money saved up to cover your expenses for at least six months.

  • Embrace rightsizing as part of career and plan accordingly. Avoid spending on lifestyle inflation like a fancy car, flat, etc. Instead, spend time on marketing yourself like personal website, network, etc. Employees have a shelf life like any other commodity.

Other myths

Sure, here are some myths related to right sizing in tech companies, along with some clarifications:

Myth 1: Young and low-level engineers are exempted during right sizing.

Fact: Everyone is examined through a different lens, regardless of experience level or position. In some cases, young and low-level engineers may be more likely to be laid off, as they may be seen as less essential to the company's operations. However, this is not always the case, and there are many factors that companies consider when making layoff decisions. No department is safe during right sizing including human resources and accounting.

Myth 2: Seniors and managerial staff are most hit during right sizing.

Fact: While managerial staff layoffs and top level exits are widely discussed. In fact, in some cases, companies may choose to retain managerial staff in order to maintain continuity and leadership during a time of change.

Myth 3: Contractors will be let go first.

Fact: Contractors will be impacted, but they are not always let go first during right sizing. In some cases, companies may choose to retain contractors in order to finish the ongoing projects. Once the work is done, their contracts may not be extended.

Myth 4: Companies cut all the extra costs before considering right sizing employees.

Fact: While companies may try to cut costs in other areas before laying off employees, this is not always possible. The fancy pantry, expensive office buildings will still operate with some modifications. In some cases, the only way for a company to remain profitable is to lay off employees.

Myth 5: Jobs cut in high-cost centers are moved to low-cost centers.

Fact: This is not necessarily true. While companies may sometimes move jobs to lower-cost centers, this is not always possible or feasible. In some cases, the only way for a company to remain profitable is to lay off employees in all locations.

It is important to note that these are just some of the myths related to right sizing in tech companies. The specific factors that companies consider when making layoff decisions will vary from company to company.


To sum up, right-sizing can be a very stressful experience for employees. It can feel like a runtime exception at work, where everything is suddenly thrown into chaos. However, by following the tips above, employees can increase their chances of surviving right-sizing and finding a new job.

Only during right sizing activities we realize the value of money and time.

· 2 min read
D Balaji

Here is the story behind functional custom email address

Why custom email domains

The custom email addresses look more professional on the resume or back of the truck, hope you got my point. I have seen all sort of weird email addresses on the resume like but the improved version would be

Most developers have a website, why not a custom working email address

Steps to create a functional custom email address

  • Create a custom email on your domains registar which in my case is Google Domains

  • Setup email forwarding

  • Create an alias in your gmail

  • Set app password

  • Use gmail smtp settings, gmail address and app password to login

  • Confirm the alias addition to gmail

  • Voila, we are done.

  • Extra steps, like custom signature for the domain could be added

Next steps

Before we go any further, let me clarify two things.

  1. I am not going to pen down every step in this process, instead I will share valuable blog posts which I referred and grateful for

  2. This is a technical one.

    a. Set up email forwarding by following Google documentation.

    b. You will not create a new gmail inbox but add an alias to the gmail. The gmail UI will show a select dropdown with newly added custom domain

    c. Read the Google Documentation

· 2 min read
D Balaji

Do most resumes come off the MS Word assembly line?

As an interviewer, I have seen a wide variety of resumes, from one-page to eight-page tomes. Very few resumes are well-written and impressive, while others are just lengthy documentation. Some resumes are difficult to read while others have information hidden inside paragraphs of text.

However, the best resumes are those that are visually appealing infographics which are easy to glance and understandable by the interviewer in under 10 seconds. Remember, less is more when you try to make an impression through words and copywriting.

If you are serious about marketing yourself, I encourage you to invest time in creating a catchy infographic resume. This type of resume can be a great way to stand out from the competition and show potential employers that you are creative and innovative.

I recently created a few infographic resumes, and I was even awarded by Canva for my iterative design work on my resume which happened because of my unsettling design spirit. If you would like some help creating your own infographic resume, I would be happy to assist you.

Contact me today to learn more about how I can help you create a winning infographic resume!

My tools of trade

The tool which I recommend for creating infographic is Canva. To understand how to make infographic resumes work for you, read the book "The Infographic Resume: How to Create a Visual Portfolio that Showcases Your Skills and Lands the Job by Hannah Morgan"

The book "The Infographic Resume: How to Create a Visual Portfolio that Showcases Your Skills and Lands the Job by Hannah Morgan" does a good job of presenting multiple infographic resumes written by candidates holding diverse job profiles like accounting, senior management, etc.

Here is my infographic resume variant