Tejus Parikh

I'm the CTO and co-founder of WideAngle and I write weekly about building startups and the technology that powers them from Atlanta, GA, the startup capital of the south. Follow me on twitter or subscribe to stay in touch.

Speaking at Atlrug

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 13, 2015

Tomorrow at 6:30pm I'll be presenting Rivalry's experience with AngularJS to the Atlanta Ruby Users Group. I'll talk about how Rivalry uses Rails and AngularJS together, what we've liked about it and what we haven't. I'll also touch on the upcoming Angular schism from a technology founder's perspective.

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Slides from Atlrug

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 16, 2015

The talk I gave at Atlanta Ruby Users Group went really well and I was really happy with the quality of the Q&A. People get really passionate about their favorite technologies and the audience brought both their experiences and passion up in a very productive way.

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GT Startup House

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 19, 2015

After the 1996 Olympics games, GT acquired a lot of apartment style housing. The housing is great for privacy and creature comforts, but it's not great for community building. Especially given the disposition of the average tech student. Tech has looked to themed housing to help fill the gap and foster community. Startup house is one example. At the beginning of January, I had the privilege of speaking to these students and their friends. What follows are some of the highlights of our conversation.

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Why you should work for a startup

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 28, 2015

Startups drive much of the discourse in our modern software culture. Its seems like everybody has a story of how their buddy went out west, raised a boat load of capital, and was a billionaire by the age of 30. Of course, someone else is quick to chime in with the stories of pizza and Redbull infused late nights and people sleeping under their desks. Riches can be made, but at what cost? If you want to just be a normal human being, working at a startup sounds like a horrible idea. If you do think that, you’re wrong.

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Why You Should Work in Services

Posted by Tejus Parikh on February 03, 2015

My last post covered why someone should work in a startup. While startups get a lot of press, they are hardly the only option for career minded engineers. Services companies are another option that can provide a tangible boost to one's career path.

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Why Work for a Big Company

Posted by Tejus Parikh on February 12, 2015

In engineering culture, Big Companies are the anthesis of all that is holy. They are process driven, curmudgeonly, backwards-thinking, and political. These aspects are not desired disfunction, but directly caused by the largest challenge facing any large organization: scaling with the number of people. This is the reason you should work at a big company.

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Three Types of SaaS Value

Posted by Tejus Parikh on February 25, 2015

One of the things I've had to learn as CTO is how to categorize the value of the product. I've come to realize that the value of the sale is somewhat distinct from long term value to the customer. Within the SaaS ecosystem, the sale is often if the product can solve a problem. Long term success of the engagement depends on whether the product does solve the problem and the product falls into one of the buckets below.

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The Hidden Benefit of the SaaS Model

Posted by Tejus Parikh on March 17, 2015

At WideAngle, we recently had a release with one of a CTO's nightmare scenarios. The release shipped with a bug that caused a key action to occur multiple times. When users started reporting issues, customer success, product, and the CEO jumped into action. More than pride in our product, the unquestioning support from the entirety of the team came from the fact that supporting our existing customers was the best business decision. This is one of the great hidden benefits of the SaaS model.

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Replacing One Bias for Another

Posted by Tejus Parikh on March 23, 2015

Most software engineers know that a technical interview has as much in common with real life working on software as Guitar Hero has to do with playing in a rock band. To worsen the situation, the traditional technical interview rewards certain skills and characteristics that can often lead qualified candidates out in the cold. Jon Evans wrote an article detailing an alternative approach. However, all Evans proposes is to substitute one set of bias and false rewards with another.

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The question you should ask when hiring for your startup

Posted by Tejus Parikh on April 03, 2015

Ask yourself this question when hiring Original photo

It's spring, the season of growth, and recruiting is top of mind for many of the companies at ATV. During one of my conversations with a colleague, he asked me "well what would it take you to join my company?" This is a question that hiring managers don't ask themselves often enough while designing and working through an interview process. It's too easy to focus solely on the companies needs and completely neglect the impact of the experience from the candidate's perspective.

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Enterprise Viral

Posted by Tejus Parikh on April 17, 2015

Viral spread is relevant to the enterprise Original image

Consumer products have long utilized the viral effect to spread awareness and increase the utility of the offering. Facebook was great when it was just your college friends, but value increased greatly when it became the easiest way to keep in touch with your family living half a world away. The consumerization of enterprise is one of the biggest trends in B2B software and we're starting to see the the similarities extend beyond UX to include "enterprise viral."

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RailsConf 2015

Posted by Tejus Parikh on April 26, 2015

RailsConf 2015 was local and in downtown Atlanta this year, making it the perfect opportunity for my first RailsConf. For starters, I whole heartedly appreciate the effort that goes into staging a conference of this size. Lining up venues, negotiating with hotels, managing vendors, attracting quality speakers, and just getting people through the process takes a lot of time and effort. It's an impressive undertaking for a non-profit organization relying on volunteer support. For that, the team behind the conference deserves some kudos.

That said, my company spent a good deal of money and three days in a critical period for my team to go. With that context, I didn't feel like I got enough out of it to go again, especially not outside of my home city. What follows are my thoughts on why.

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What Enterprise Viral Means for Sales.

Posted by Tejus Parikh on June 11, 2015

One tangential storyline to the consumerization of enterprise technology is the need for products to be Enterprise Viral. Like every change to an established go-to-market strategy, going enterprise viral has significant effects on the business, especially sales and product development. In this post, I'll take a look at the impact enterprise viral has on Sales.

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Product Drives Enterprise Viral

Posted by Tejus Parikh on August 03, 2015

The Enterprise Viral growth strategy impacts other aspects of an organization, but is fueled through the product. It is the product's responsibility to prove the value proposition, be engaging, and turn users into advocates. These are great generalizations, but what are specifics that drive this type of product?

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Small Steps to Diversity in a Tech Startup

Posted by Tejus Parikh on August 13, 2015

A team constructed with wide ranging experiences and backgrounds can be much more than the sum of individuals. While I like building teams filled with unique individuals, doing so can be difficult in the homogenous world of early-stage startups. The reasons why this is are numerous (and contentious), but that does not mean it's impossible. These are some of the things that we've found while adding to the diversity at WideAngle.

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WordPress, Apache, ELB, SSL

Posted by Tejus Parikh on August 21, 2015

One of my favorite features in ELB is using it to terminate SSL. It saves me from having to manage the certificates in Chef for multiple different webservers. Getting WordPress fully over to SSL with ELB termination turned out to be a little more complicated than I thought. These are the steps that I followed to get WideAngle.com served up over HTTPS.

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The Next Step In Atlanta's Startup Evolution

Posted by Tejus Parikh on September 04, 2015

In a recent conversation with a local VC we both commented on how the VC-backed software industry places a premium on ex-management and executive talent from large West Coast firms, but considers individuals that reached the same status in Atlanta as detriments. These are my thoughts on why that is today and the changes on the horizon that will improve that dynamic.

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What the VW Clean Diesel Scandal Can Teach us about MVPs

Posted by Tejus Parikh on September 24, 2015

I can easily picture the scene. A conference room filled with top executives are digesting the message from the CEO. He wants VW to be the #1 auto manufacturer in the world by 2018, which cannot be done without breaking into the hyper-competitive and well served North American market. The question for the executives is what can be done to differentiate the brand and attract customers to the showrooms.

The marketing guy hits on an idea, the American is saturated in everything except diesel vehicles, an area where VW already excels in. The engineering head expresses concerns, the American emissions standards are very strict. Meeting them would negate the performance benefits. But then he remembers one of his engineers boasting that they could tell if a test was done on the road vs in the lab based on sensor data alone. It was gamble, but a plan was quickly hatched to put in the hack to test if there was a viable market for selling diesel passenger vehicles in the USA.

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The Importance of Staying Focused in a Vibrant Environment

Posted by Tejus Parikh on October 11, 2015

The Atlanta Tech Village is a constantly buzzing startup space with a coffee shop, kegs in the community room, ping-pong tables, and a few hundred dedicated startups. The companies inside range from a founder, a laptop, and a dream to VC backed orgs with seven figure run rates. Irrespective of the state of your company, there's someone there that's been there before and done that. Early stage companies need to be careful to not allow this benefit to become a distraction.

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One of my Favorite Design "Hacks"

Posted by Tejus Parikh on November 08, 2015

Building software for humans is hard. One might think the increasing importance of computing in an average persons life would make the job easier on UX designers and engineers. In fact, the opposite is true. New software's success rests on its builders creating it to be easy to understand. One of the most important ways to accomplish this is illustrated by one of my favorite design hacks: the always open Mac Finder.

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Job Search Advice for Code School Bootcampers.

Posted by Tejus Parikh on November 17, 2015

The next step after attending a Code School Bootcamp is finding a job. As someone that's been in the industry for a while I often get asked for pointers, tips, and just general ideas for starting a career in programming. These are my thoughts and four key pieces of advice on about how to get started.

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Refactoring: When a Par 4 isn't a Par 4

Posted by Tejus Parikh on December 22, 2015

Refactoring is a startup CEO's least favorite words. The official definition reeks of ivory towerism, the casual one implies that a refactoring task is to spend effort accomplishing nothing. Despite this refactoring is critical in a rapidly growing codebase. To understand why, consider a Par 4 where there is a forest between the tees and the fairway.

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