Saturday, October 31, 2009

A full circle

During my stint as a software engineer, I'd always believed that I'm a software engineer by accident. I'd never wanted to be in software and had always wanted to be in the hardware side of computers.

More than 5 years ago when I started working, the software company I'd worked for was developing the whole software for a machine which was similar in functionality to an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Then I'd enquired with a senior there, if we Indians could build the software, then why not venture into the hardware as well. I was told that this was not possible, that we Indians could not get our hands dirty by taking risks in products, and that we'd rather earn our bread and butter through software services.

A few months ago when I joined Vortex, my work has come a full cycle. Vortex, an Indian company that grew out of IIT Madras, makes ATMs it designed from scratch. Inside the machines one can see a symphony of different branches of engineering - the mechanical Cash Dispenser Modules which dishes out notes from a stack, the electronics with all the sensors ensuring that no two notes are counted as one, the embedded software which makes it all meaningful for the ATM users to see and withdraw money.

An Indian company is making its bread and butter by making products designed indigenously for the Indian market. I have indeed come a full circle professionally.