Irrationally Exuberant Musings on Technology

Career Girls

November 2, 2014

A friend shared this delightful site recently:

If you have a daughter and want to help her see that she can be anything that she dreams of being, check out this site with her. You can see videos of women in many different jobs ( astronaut – check, physicist – check, executive – check … and many more). Yes, it’s sad that we even have to do this, but unfortunately there is too much marketing that our daughters experience daily that makes them think many things are only for men, and we have to relentlessly counter this when they are young.

Thanks Career Girls.

CoderDojo “Interactive Web” Session 5

May 21, 2014

After a whirlwind five weeks, last night was the last session of the CoderDojo “Interactive Web” series of classes. The sustained effort of developing the content for each class was exhausting, but it was all worth it; seeing the ~60 boys and girls see their browsers come alive with their own code was a joy to behold. I am not quite sure how (miracle, maybe?) that I managed to complete teaching all the material I had planned in these five weeks. We went from rudimentary knowledge of HTML to a fully functional, single page web app featuring Bootstrap, jQuery, Parse, OpenStreetMap, Leaflet and FontAwesome. The gist of the app is to present the user with a web form to which they can add some data including geolocation. This data is saved to Parse and then displayed on a map as interactive, animated markers.

You can see the finished app here Click the “Remix” button at top right to fork the code and create your own version of the app.



Code For India Hackathon

May 16, 2014

For the third time, my daughter and I teamed-up for a Hackathon. This time it was at Google for the “Code For India” Hackathon. The goal of the Hackathon was to create solutions to solve challenges related to problems in India. We picked the challenge related to advancing financial literacy for kids through gamification. Our solution called “Kaisa Paisa” (means “how money”) is a game plus simulator. You can check it out here:

Since the Hackathon ran late, we didn’t stay till the end. Today, I was at the TieCon and happened to see a story about the Hackathon on the front page of the IndiaWest newspaper. Imagine my surprise when I saw this paragraph in the story:

Teams competed for several prizes donated by Google and Intel. The “most popular” project – Kaisa Paisa, an app for AIF that allows kids to develop financial street-smarts through games – was developed by Nik Kalyani and nine-year-old Gia Kalyani. The father-daughter team received a Moto G smartphone for developing the winning application.

Read the full story here:

How exciting!







Check out some of the cool artwork my daughter created for the app:

CoderDojo “Interactive Web” Session 1

April 23, 2014

Yesterday was the first session of a new series I am teaching. Organized by CoderDojo, the session was geared towards kids who have prior HTML experience. Through the series, I am going to introduce kids to interactive web development and Cloud services. We had the session at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus and had a full-house. My daughter Gia was a co-presenter.

In this session, I introduced the kids to CSS and added a fun design element. They had to create their own Mondrian art, using CSS.

Here are some stats on attendance:

Ages – how many attending

  • 9 years old – 12
  • 10 years old  – 8
  • 11 years old – 14
  • 12 years old -12
  • 13 years old – 8
  • 14 years old – 4

29 boys 27 girls

Experience with HTML

Hours – how many attending

  • 1-10 hours  – 23 ( but should have had previous web class)
  • 11-20 hours  – 20
  • 21-50  hours-  9
  • 51-100 hours – 2
  • 100+  hours- 2

And some session materials:

Session Handout (PDF)
Session Deck (PDF)

And finally, some photos:



Here’s a tweet from nestGSV’s Julia Figuerido who made her mentoring debut at CoderDojo:

Mojio-Hertz Hackathon

April 6, 2014

My daughter and I teamed-up at the Mojio/Hertz Hackathon at NestGSV Silicon Valley yesterday. Our app — GoodGaadi — was the winner of the Social category. It uses real-time telematics to aggregate driving data to the Cloud. It then scores the data and enables individuals to have a safer driving competition with friends, family and colleagues. It’s the gamification of safer driving!

Winning was very exciting, especially for my daughter. This was her second hackathon and so far she has won a prize in both. This time, the prize included an XBox One, $500, Mojio devices and of course, bragging rights.


Mojio’s technology and API inspired us to build this app. It has never before been possible to aggregate real-time data from multiple vehicles on the Cloud. The Mojio device is a small cellular device that plugs into the port of any car manufactured since 1996 and streams real-time data about your car to the cloud over the cellular network. (Learn more here — )

But our motivation came from elsewhere. Each year, over 30,000 people die in automobile accidents in the U.S. Countless others get injured. The cost to our economy is over $150 billion annually. We can change this. If each person makes small changes and eliminates bad driving habits such as hard braking, sudden acceleration, hard turns, excessive speed etc., over time, our roads will get safer and fewer people will get injured or die. Driverless cars will help, but for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be human drivers and making roads safer will continue to be a challenge.

We are looking forward to working with Mojio to bring GoodGaadi to life. Tell us your thoughts on safer roads and safer driving and our approach to this problem.

Our concept page is here:

Please Like our Facebook page:

And in case you are wondering, “gaadi” is the Hindi word for car.

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