In our weekly column A Day In The Life Of, we are trying to step into the shoes of awesome techies from various organisations and sectors who are working in emerging tech areas like big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things, among others.
This week Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Satyanarayana Divi, co-founder and CTO at iRAM Technologies.
Satyanarayana, who is a creature of habit, makes sure that he’s in touch with his spiritual side, despite the crazy hustle-bustle of the modern Indian life. After waking up at 6 am, he practices daily yoga and meditates to focus his mind.
Describing his work as “Jack of all trades”, Satyanarayana says that his day-to-day work consists of things like:
- Hardware design
- PCB design
- Embedded programming
- Server programming
- Web UI
“It is pretty difficult to switch tracks, especially from hardware to software and back,” he says.
Satyanarayana also has specific ideas as to the best tools and techniques a data science or analytics professional must have in his/her armour. “Whatever experience I have with Data Science to date, I suggest professionals stick to basic algorithms and solve their problem by themselves. For Example, I attempted to use the TensorFlow algorithm using MATLAB for Object detection, and it didn’t work because the algorithm needed to be trained with various samples continuously, which required a lot of computing power and was impractical for a situation where the video was not in our control.
In any field, the designer needs to get to the bottom of the algorithm or set of algorithms required. When they start customizing to the needs, it creates wonders,” he explains.
Python is the best alternative for very quick development, and production environment and edge computing. The designer needs to be strong in Mathematics and data structures.
When asked about the current project he’s working on, Satyanarayana said, “Presently we’re working on creating SmartCity solutions, design, and manufacturing of Wireless (Zigbee/LoRa, GPRS) outdoor gateways and vehicle parking. Along with that, we are also working on lifetime battery-run sensors based on earth magnetic field change due to heavy metal chassis (vehicle) presence with Zigbee/Lora as communication. Design development of Servers with Enterprise-class (J2EE) featuring Android and iOS apps for citizens to access the parking status at the city level.”
And what about the ideal team size? Satyanarayana explains that he prefers a small team since it is very difficult to motivate and innovate as a big team. “The psychology and team dynamics work at a macro level with no intensity. I don’t like working with big teams because apart from the highest level of the hierarchy, the lower level team members are generally negatively motivated with hidden agendas and with no loyalty or commitment towards the company. Small teams, on the other hand, always has a singular goal, which is very clear and almost always on target. The developer who is dragging the project can be taken out easily. Essentially in small teams, it is easy to determine whether it is success or failure and hence leads to minimal or no dragging of work,” he says.
But one of the key challenges that Satyanarayana faces at iRAM is regarding human resources. “Hiring the right resources and then training them to suit or align with organisational requirements is quite tough. It is also prone to most imbalances,” he says.
The next step for Satyanarayana is to design and develop smart object detection system using Radar technology. “Radar-based systems are compact in size and precise in detecting the object few millimetres apart. It is possible to track multiple objects OR humans continuously,” he wraps up with a smile.
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Prajakta is a Writer/Editor/Social Media diva. Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, Starbucks, butter popcorn, Jane Austen novels and neo-noir films. She has previously worked for HuffPost, CNN IBN, The Indian Express and Bose.