An interview with Umakanthan Chandran

Friday, December 07, 2007 at 10:19 AM



Umakanthan Chandran is the current leader in the Developer Hall of Fame and the author of 30+ gadgets.

How did you get introduced to Desktop gadgets?
Actually, I started developing gadgets after I participated in a Google gadget contest in India.

When did you start writing Desktop gadgets?
Last November (2006).

What other programming languages and platforms do you know?
I love coding in all programming languages, particularly in C++ and Java, and I love Linux very much.

What do you think is the best gadget you've written?
Google SMS (Short Message Search) and MegaVideo Downloader.

What's your favorite gadget that you didn't write?
Time Around the World.

Which ones do you think should be written?
Some simple multiplayer games.

What's the most exciting thing about writing a gadget?
Mainly, gadgets are being used by millions of users around the world, and the second is "it's free of cost."

What would you like to see next in the gadget platform?
As a gadget developer I would like to see more APIs and support for more programming languages.

What's your favorite elegant solution to a difficult problem?
Analyze, discuss, and then solve step by step.

What's the most embarrassing bug you ever coded?
It happened in a tool I developed for my teammates to record their daily activities. It should have showed each user his or her own data. Instead, it showed everyone the data of whichever user happened to have changed his or her data most recently. After analyzing the code, I found that the bug was caused by something embarrassingly simple — misplaced parentheses.

What's your favorite book about programming or computers?
I like to read all books related to programming and computers.

What's the best advice you can give to a new developer?
Just read articles written by gadget developers (such as Bijoy, Teo, and Yannick) and by Google before you start. Then your work will become easy.

What's your favorite TV show?
Friends, Lost.

What's your favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings (I, II, III). I watched it over 30 times.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to Desktop gadget developers?
Everyone is doing great! I'd like to say to them, "Come on everybody, let's bring this entire world to people's desktops!"

Big thanks to Umakanthan for taking the time to answer our questions. More interviews are coming, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Sreedevi said...

I am working with him since an year,and delighted to say that above all the things he achieved or he will achieve(he is a genious),he is one of very few wonderful personalities I have ever met.