Warning: May contain traces of subjective personal experience.

I moved from Software Engineering to Product Management within my existing organization. This is not a ‘how to get into product management’ post. I don’t believe that you can teach that and I will explain why below. This is for anyone considering a move from Software Engineering to Product Management and wondering how it is on the other side. It is quite possible that you might have already made the switch. In which case, read on.

I was recently asked by someone for advice on how to get into Product Management. The…

A means to an end and not the end itself.

I wanted to talk about a particular way that I think bots can be used but aren’t being used right now: as a prototyping tool. A few months back, I built my first bot (on Slack) as a prototype for usability testing. Let me tell you how I created a bot to use as a prototype in the design process.

Prototyping Using Conversation

Meet TriviaBot.

The Problem

Back in Spring 2016, I was in the final semester of my Master’s degree program at UC Berkeley. For the capstone project, we were building a natural language processing API…

Before actually building bots.

Over the past few weeks, I have been working at the Sutardja Center at UC Berkeley on a program for students interested in working on the latest trend in human computer interaction — conversational interfaces or chatbots. This is a condensed version of a presentation/talk I gave at the kick-off event.

After I talked to other students, I realized that a lot of students were not sure how to begin the process. How do you even think about building bots?

So, here’s an attempt at highlighting simple principles that I have used and you can use…

Using a chord visualization for movies I saw in 2014

Click above for the visualization or scroll down for the screenshot.

Step 1: track the movies you have seen in a year in a text file

No, don’t do that. Recently, I discovered trakt.tv (a bit too cluttered for me) where I decided to input all my data to create a single repository. I ended up with 444 movies. I extracted a dump of the data and mapped it to genres. For this I ended up writing a Java class. I created two json files — one that mapped movies…

A simple service that instantly enables developers to automatically generate questions from input text.

Today, the VANDALS announced the release of the Gadfly[1] Web API that powers the Twitter account, @question_exe, which has been tweeting intriguing questions about articles in the New York Times. The API unifies a set of tools that make it easier for developers to generate questions based on input text without the headache of dealing with NLP libraries. The diligent VANDALS team plans to provide support to make integration as seamless as possible.

The problem of question generation from text is an interesting one addressed by…

Or Why I Love Corridors On Spaceships

Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

That is the actual text in a declaration by Samsung. They claim that the device shown in the film qualifies as valid prior art for a certain iPad-related design patent that Apple was suing Samsung for.

I discovered Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey sometime in the past. I do not really remember when. If you haven’t seen it, you should. …

nikhil

I care about facilitating better conversations between people and software.

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