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Community > Manoj Verma
Manoj Verma

Manoj Verma

CTO

TechAhead

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Manoj Verma is a member of:

The Journey : Early Days to How I Got Here
I started out as a System Programmer with Vigorsoft before moving into
Enterprise Development with HP India. At present, I am doing a lot of
work in the mobile space with TechAhead.

During the past 13
years in the IT industry, I have always focused on building a strong
foundation in the basics of technology, while keeping an eye on trends
and looking for ways to adapt technology to meet the current demand. I
was never married to any particular domain, language or platform,
instead preferring to remain an IT solution provider. I believe this as
my strength.

While looking for new possibilities, I have always
placed a lot of importance on understanding the requirement from the
customers perspective. After all, we are in the service industry where
it is essential to look at how our service fares with respect to
usability and utility to the end user.

My mantra of focusing on
the basics has helped me scale up both horizontally and vertically - I
believe that these two are related. For instance, if I provide a
solution to a client for the iPhone, then he will not only ask for a new
advance feature to be added in the next version (vertical growth) but
might also approach us for creating similar solution for the web
(horizontal growth).

In other words, strong basics and customer
focus have helped me scale up the ladder from a System Programmer to a
CTO in a span of 13 years.
Decisions That Mattered
There are several important decisions that have affected my career. This
includes coming into the IT services industry at the right time and
staying at a company like HP India for 5 years instead of switching jobs
often. This helped me gain invaluable experience in several domains
such as Logistics, Education, Warehousing, and technologies such as
Visual Basic, SQL Server, ASP, Mainframe and report generators for both
desktop and web development.

The next important decision was
taking the leap into entrepreneurship by identifying a promising team
and joining forces with them.
The Turning Points in My Life
It was my dream to be a system programmer and a part of some OS
development team or device driver development team. However, campus
placement pushed me into the enterprise software and automation area,
where I explored my capabilities, contributed to the organization and
scaled up my skills.

Subsequently, due to a mishap, I was out
from the industry for almost 2 years. However, I utilized that time by
working on my weaknesses, and building my strengths. This was a turning
point for me as I started to believe in myself once again, and it gave
me the confidence to set forth on an entrepreneurial journey.
Two Years Down the Line
I have lot of plans. This includes changing role to become an
educationist in the technology sphere, where I can help to channelize
fresh energy and ideas towards successful implementation. The focus is
going to be on doing something that gives me satisfaction, while at the
same time helping to contribute to society.
What I Learnt Along the Way
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and be clear about your
goals. It is very important to understand that you cant be the master of
everything and focus on the areas that interest you.
Changing Days: Lessons Learnt
How has your profession today been different from the days when you started? When I started out, IT services was a profession. Today, it is more a business with many entrepreneurs trying to capitalize on the rapid growth in the sector. The younger generation is also opting for IT as it provides better job opportunities. However, not all of them come into the industry because they have a passion for IT, but rather because they are attracted by the big pay packages. So, while the number of professionals in the field has increased, there has been a decline in the overall quality of skills.
Trends to Watch Out For
In the future, handheld devices are going to be a part of every
individuals life and every business process. Due to this, Cloud will
play the major role, with both hardware and software being shared. For
technocrats, such as me, this is the time for coming up with solutions
that integrate both hardware and software requirements and planning what
to serve to the customers.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
Domain is a large space with multiple platforms and technologies.
Instead of trying to cater all platforms, I would advise become an
expert in one technology. Another important ingredient for success is to
be fast in execution as the industry is highly competitive in terms of
cost.
Must Focus Areas For the Future
The Mobile domain has various limitations such as small processing
power, less real-estate for application layout, limited power, limited
bandwidth, multiple platforms and a lack of standardization. Therefore,
an optimized solution catering to all these limitations will be the most
sought after specialization in the future. Cross platform development
will also have a key role to play in this scenario.
Books/ Websites I Recommend
In terms of technology, books on C, Java and database will help in
gaining a better understanding of the mobile development space. Rather
than recommending a specific book, I would advise that when reading
about a particular technology, try to concentrate on works from the
originator.

The internet is also a great source for content,
once you enter the industry and start developing solutions. However,
remember that in addition to a thorough study of the domain, competition
analysis is also extremely important.
Last But Not Least
The only additional advice I can give a person starting out in this
industry is that while choosing a career, opt for a field that you are
passionate about rather than being driven by social or materialistic
factors.
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