Today is my last day at Infibeam.

I’m going to miss working in this environment because I learned a lot about ecommerce and online buying in India. For example, I was surprised to know how much sales go up during Diwali (in hindsight, not so surprising, of course) and was surprised at the amount of online buying that happens from Tier II cities. Then there was the learning on the huge amount of logistics that happens – the part where the customer visits the website and clicks on the Buy button is just 1% of the total stuff that happens behind-the-scenes.

I am also thankful to Ajay and Infibeam for getting me into the Rails wagon, I’m finally starting to see the light. Learning a new language and framework from scratch to delivering a full ecommerce platform in 4–5 months was a fascinating experience. And soon, anyone can set up their own online store on top of Infibeam’s infrastructure.

Infibeam has done many things right, has many things to improve, and rumors say they may face many challenges in the future. All in all, that’s a good thing. Infibeam launched at the right time and is helping to grow ecommerce in India, and it will continue to do so.

But alas, it’s time for me to move on. I can haz plans.


Listening to Stand Up by The Prodigy

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to read a physical book vs. online books, then you’ll be happy to know that the A Byte of Python book is now available as a printed hard copy.

The best part is that the hard-working translators can also publish their translations and sell the printed copies, benefiting both the readers and the translators.

I had received many requests from readers for hard copies of the book and I’m glad to finally get this working. Interestingly, I was previously trying to get the book printed via CreateSpace because the book would automatically get listed on Amazon.com (since CreateSpace is owned by Amazon). However, their process was not streamlined and confusing. Worse, I couldn’t get the PDF in their required size formats because of a bug with mwlib.rl.

I got tired and decided to try Lulu and I was very surprised. They are miles ahead in terms of usability of their service as well as wide range of options and sensible defaults. For example, it was a pain waiting for manual approval of the book by the CreateSpace staff and it is an unnecessary delay every time I upload a new version. On the other hand, Lulu made it very easy to design a rudimentary cover using their process. Overall, I was able to make the printed copy available for purchase in a single evening.

Of course, all this is possible because of the ability to generate PDFs from a wiki, thanks to the nice people at PediaPress.

Update: For Indian readers, the book is now available via pothi.com.