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· 4 min read
D Balaji

dev fest 2023 banner

The grandeur of Devfest 2023 unfolded at the prestigious Lalit Ashok, where Google developers took center stage to orchestrate a symphony of innovation. The event served as a vibrant platform for the dissemination of information, featuring insights into new products, APIs, and captivating informational sessions. Here, we delve into the top 10 takeaways that marked the essence of this year's Devfest.

1. AI Takes Center Stage

The developer landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift towards artificial intelligence, as revealed by comprehensive analyses of developer surveys conducted by eminent organizations such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, Developer Surveys, and JetBrains. The data presented showcased the undeniable trajectory towards the integration of AI across the developer ecosystem.

2. Vertex AI and Duet AI Unveiled

Hall 1 witnessed an in-depth exploration of Vertex AI and Duet AI, unraveling the intricacies of these cutting-edge technologies. The sessions provided attendees with valuable insights into the functionalities and applications of these powerful tools.

3. Android 14 APIs: Elevating the Premium Experience

A premium Android session captivated the audience with a focus on Android 14 APIs designed specifically for premium phones. The emphasis lay on delivering high-tech specifications, longevity through security fixes, and a seamless experience on larger screens with enhanced polish.

4. UX Design for Foldable and Flippable Phones

The evolution of foldable and flippable phones necessitates a distinctive approach to UX design. The discussions highlighted the need for unique designs tailored to large screens, presenting developers with the challenge of crafting engaging user experiences for these innovative form factors.

5. Generative AI Unleashed

A spotlight on generative AI on the backend and the introduction of the Gemini API as a replacement for the Palm API stirred excitement. The Google AI Studio was presented as a playground for developers eager to explore and experiment with the capabilities of the Gemini API.

6. Accelerating Prototyping with Open Source LLM

Open source Large Language Models (LLMs) emerged as a key tool for fast prototyping. To stand out in a crowded landscape, developers were advised to customize or enhance LLMs with specialized data, fostering innovation and differentiation.

7. Flutter Engine: Navigating the Browser

Insights into the Flutter engine and its functioning on the browser illuminated the audience. Flutter web's utilization of canvas as middleware between the Flutter engine and DOM was a pivotal topic, shedding light on the nuances of web development with Flutter.

8. Prompt Engineering for AI Sanity

The critical aspect of prompt engineering took the spotlight, with complex examples illustrating its necessity to avoid "AI hallucination." Understanding and refining prompts is essential to ensure the ethical and accurate functioning of AI systems.

9. Gemini Nano: On-Device ML Powerhouse

Gemini Nano, a Large Language Model tailored for on-device ML tasks, was introduced, promising a leap forward in the capabilities of machine learning on mobile devices.

10. Optimizing UI for Tier 3 Regions

Addressing the challenges posed by low-end Android devices prevalent in rural India, developers were enlightened on optimizing user interfaces using performance metrics like Time to First Byte (TTFB) and end device compute metrics. This strategic approach aims to enhance the user experience in regions with limited processing power and network strength.

In Conclusion

Devfest 2023 witnessed a diverse audience converging from various states in India, attesting to its significance in the developer community. The content shared was nothing short of groundbreaking, offering Google developers a glimpse into the future. Despite a few organizational hiccups, such as lengthy queues and seating shortages, the event served as a beacon of innovation and collaboration, leaving attendees inspired and eager to embark on their next development journey.

GDG website

· 3 min read
D Balaji

Useless Youtube Gear

In the pursuit of YouTube success, many content creators find themselves on a quest for the perfect gadgets to enhance their production quality. I too embarked on this journey, investing in four gadgets with the hope of elevating my content. However, hindsight has brought clarity, revealing that these purchases did not contribute significantly to my YouTube success. In this blog post, I'll delve into each gadget and share the lessons learned.

1. Whiteboard and Marker Pens: Simplicity vs. Practicality

At first glance, a whiteboard and marker pens seemed like a practical investment to recreate a classroom setting for content demonstrations. However, I soon realized that this setup required a level of confidence and was better suited for academic content. For my YouTube endeavors, originality, presentation, uniqueness, and searchability took precedence over the traditional classroom approach.

2. Digital Pens: The Unanticipated Learning Curve

Digital pens promised seamless scribbling and emphasis during screen sharing. Unfortunately, the reality included a steep learning curve. The basic digital pen I initially purchased turned out to be of little use without acquiring the specific skills needed. This experience underscored the importance of thoroughly researching and understanding the tools before making a purchase.

3. Software for Editing: A Windows Update and More

Video editing is an indispensable aspect of content creation, and I invested time in updating my Windows and learning the nuances of video editing. While I achieved some success, the hardware limitations of my PC hindered the production of high-quality, full-HD videos. This realization highlighted the need for a balance between software proficiency and hardware capabilities to meet the standards of modern YouTube content.

4. Lavalier Microphone: Battling Ambient Noise

Capturing pristine audio in a less-than-ideal environment posed a significant challenge. Despite the assistance of a lavalier microphone, the ambient noise from barking dogs and honking drivers persisted, preventing the attainment of studio-quality audio. This experience emphasized the importance of considering the external factors that can impact audio quality and exploring alternative solutions.

Conclusion: A Pragmatic Approach to YouTube Success

In conclusion, achieving YouTube success requires a blend of skills, awareness, and time commitment—factors that I found myself lacking. While certain gadgets, like a camera stand and a reliable camera phone, proved to be useful, the shift towards shorts and reels emerged as a more practical strategy. Testing content with shorter formats allows creators to gauge audience response without the need for an expensive infrastructure required for full-length videos.

Aspiring YouTubers should prioritize understanding their niche, refining their content, and gradually investing in tools that align with their evolving needs. Rather than hastily diving into full-length videos, a strategic focus on shorts and reels can provide valuable insights and pave the way for a more sustainable path to YouTube success.

To grow Youtube channel in a lean way, focus of shorts creation and pivot in a inexpensive way

· 3 min read
D Balaji


In the dynamic world of content creation, platforms like YouTube have played a pivotal role in connecting creators with their audiences. As someone who embarked on a YouTube journey in 2020, I experienced the highs and lows of content creation. However, after three years of dedication, I found myself at a crossroads, leading me to make the tough decision to step away from the platform. In this post, I'll delve into the three primary reasons that prompted me to bid farewell to YouTube and explore an alternative path that aligns better with my goals.

Reason 1: Landscape has changed

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in content creation as people sought new ways to spend their time. The demand for content was high, but by 2023, the landscape had transformed significantly. Educational content creators faced a daunting challenge of standing out amidst the crowd pullers like news, comics, and film-related content. Unfortunately, educational content struggled to capture the audience's attention, making it increasingly challenging for solo creators to thrive.

Reason 2: Posted content does not get promoted

While YouTube serves as a vast platform with immense potential, getting content noticed became an uphill battle. The algorithmic changes and sheer volume of content meant that creators had to rely on their existing subscriber base or invest in promotional efforts. For those starting from scratch, breaking through the noise proved to be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. The lack of organic promotion made it difficult for new creators without a substantial audience to showcase their work.

Reason 3: Form over content

The evolution of content creation standards brought forth new challenges. The days when a front camera sufficed for creating engaging content are long gone. Today, success demands high-quality cameras, aesthetically pleasing backgrounds, captivating thumbnail graphics, and more. The time-consuming process of adhering to these visual standards often took away from the core focus – the content itself. This shift towards a more polished presentation, while visually appealing, did not necessarily translate into increased viewership.


In light of these challenges, I've decided to retreat from YouTube content creation and refocus my efforts on traditional blogging. Leveraging the power of AI tools, my blogging endeavors have seen a resurgence. The efficiency and effectiveness of these tools have allowed me to rediscover the joy of content creation without the constraints and challenges posed by the ever-evolving landscape of YouTube.


The decision to step away from YouTube was not made lightly, and it's essential for content creators to regularly reassess their chosen platforms. While YouTube remains a giant in the industry, the shifting landscape and challenges faced by solo creators necessitate adaptability. For those seeking a more flexible and personally fulfilling creative outlet, exploring alternative mediums, like traditional blogging with AI enhancements, might prove to be the key to sustained success and satisfaction.

· 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.