I’m Feeling Lucky: Falling On My Feet In Silicon Valley

Douglas Edwards

(Penguin, Rs. 399)

Life was going smoothly for 41-year-old Doug Edwards, who was all set to lie back and spend more time with his wife and kids after putting his marketing career on autopilot. Then he joined an Internet start-up called Google, and his life was no longer the same; in fact, it was no longer his own. This is the story of what it is like to work for a boss who is never, ever wrong, and what it is like to put in 16 hours of work, wondering when you’ll meet your family, that is, if you ever got out of office!

It’s about what it feels like to work with the most brilliant, and annoying, people on earth...

Funny and candid, this is an insider’s account of a ‘reluctant bystander’s’ life among geeks.

LOSER Life of a Software Engineer

Dipen Ambalia

(Fingerprint, Rs. 150)

At one time or the other, the following questions might have popped into the heads of those of you who are part of the IT industry.

— Are arranged marriages related to the Software Development Life Cycle? If so, how?

— For you to command better appraisals, what should your parents have named you?

— Why does your project manager always give you a new task just when you’re about to sign off for the day?

— Why are dumb, attractive software engineers always sent onsite?

If you are yet to find the answers, pick up Dipen Ambalia’s book. He has some interesting, and invariably hilarious answers to questions such as these. For like many in the IT sector, he too has struggled through years of terrible appraisals, dumb instructions, Bell Curves and belles’ curves. And has arrived at the solutions.

Tubes: Behind The Scenes At The Internet

Andrew Blum

(Viking, Rs. 499)

In April 2011, a 75-year-old woman deprived Armenia of its Internet access when she cut a buried cable with her garden spade. That January, Egyptian authorities simply switched off 70 per cent of the country's Internet connections in an attempt to quell a revolution. In 2009, a squirrel chewed a wire in Andrew Blum’s backyard, slowing his broadband to a trickle. That led him on a quest… to find out what Internet actually is.

Well, he found out this. Internet is not a concept nor is it a culture. It’s most certainly not a cloud. It’s just a bunch of tubes… hundreds of thousands of miles of fibre-optic cable that criss-cross the globe, pulsing with trillions of photons of light, linking us via anonymous exchanges in secretive locations with vast data- warehouses.

This is a fascinating look at the Internet and demystifies this hidden world that’s made up of a remarkable group of people who design and run the Internet everyday.