/ˈnʌməsteɪ/ a respectful greeting said with hands joined together!
Note: This is updated version of my manual. For the old version, you can read it here
Namaste! I'm Ajey. I was born in Banda, India, a very small town in northern india, grew up there. My studies took me to Allahabad and Bangalore. In the last 25 years, I had setup my own printing business, self learned programming, professionally learned accounting, lived in Bangalore, London, Chicago, Pune, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and now live between Singapore, Jakarta and Bangalore. I started my career as a graphics designer, then later ended up writing software for last 25 years. I love to play strategy games (Age of empires, Civilization, Chess) and draw/paint. Recently I stated to draw again.
So this page is about “how to deal with me” as person. because I fundamentally believe that everyone else is right about me and dealing with me is constant expectation mismatch and a cage fight in a very interesting way.
I'm a Software Engineer at the core, My first principle is that I work for people and people work with me which results into me talking to many people. I see myself as swiss knife in tactical situations and an empowerment advocate in strategic terms. I have played various roles in my life and recently at GoJek, now I work with Sequoia Capital as Technology Partner.
In my role, I will work with the CTOs and CPOs of Sequoia’s portfolio companies to provide insight and expertise in building and scaling engineering, data science, product, and design functions.
I am sure the perspectives I am trying to put you through and context I am trying to give you are my side of stories and perception. They might be wrong - because one side of the story is never true, since it's based on human perception, but you are welcome to correct me. Because I know that "Saying I don't know, and accepting the mistakes" are two most important traits to be a good colleague.
You can reach me on twitter
My responsiveness in decreasing order if you work at Sequoia : Whatsapp, Email, Slack, Telegram
if you want to talk to me or communicate to me publicly then reaching through twitter works for now. :-)
I am converted extrovert, so I sometimes put perceived information through my introverted lense, that means, sometimes I see what I want to see, so I try to confirm with people on what I perceive, the way I want you to tell me what you think is walk up to me and tell me what you feel.
I keep my professional life within the confines of office premise, that means that we can argue, agree to disagree, but still can have an amazing dinner! I don't bring official matters to any personal meetings or outings.
I don't initiate one on one conversations, just because I run out of time, in turn I am perceived as one of the most difficult people to get time from, but if you really want to talk to me, just call me! I almost immediately respond to calls, because I know you will call me only if it's urgent. Sending me an email has response time ETA upto a week. I have gotten feedback that I am difficult to reach over the years, but here you go with my secret to reachability.
So I'm ok with being engaged however you are comfortable. Take as long as you need to. Use many words or few. Use chat, email or call me or meet me in person. Whatever works for you. I'll adjust, and won't judge.
Finally, I have strong opinions that I strive to hold as long as I am shown better ways, so I'm always easiest to persuade with logic and always ready to learn, I always look for traits in people who come with problem & solutions with it, always give me options to choose from and always tell their opinions on something before seeking mine.
I really enjoy working on complex strategic product problems involving software engineering, design, data science or scaling.
I have a strong interest in software design, team building and how they work with org design.
I believe that the way product evolves over a period of time, organisation should evolve as well.
I have always followed John Ousterhaut and now he has a book around the same topic, please read A Philosophy of Software Design by John Ousterhaut.
I prefer being reasonable and transparent. I encourage transparency in general - especially around communication When you ask me a question, I will always ask you the context for the question, that helps give you more elaborate and explainable answers. I also prefer egalitarian meritocracy. As a consequence I work more effectively with people with whom I can straight-talk.
Evaluating performance is often the largest part of a leaders' responsibilities.
I don't like anyone being judgemental. I don't like biased or judgemental views, I don't like people forming opinions about others based on few events or the way they behave. I believe in long term and transparent professional relationships, that means, you will find me very unbiased or aloof towards people. and I am working on reducing the bias in my own evaluation of any given person; I make a conscious effort to avoid forming an opinion based on what a handful of people tell me about someone.
I'm not great at this, and am always open to feedback. Here's a list of my people related biases I think matter most.