[Techie Tuesdays] Amit Agarwal, the man who brought professional tech blogging to India – FilmyVoice

200 and 6 kilometers south of Delhi lies Agra, some of the populated cities of Uttar Pradesh. Known as Agravena within the ‘Maharbharata’ and residential to one of many greatest vacationer locations of the phrase, Taj Mahal, Agra doesn’t characteristic within the checklist of high 10 cities in India in terms of know-how or tech expertise. But, greater than one million folks in India and virtually thrice the dimensions of it globally, hold themselves up to date with know-how, owing to one thing created right here.

Amit Agarwal is a typical title in India, Labnol just isn’t. However within the final 11 years, this equation has modified significantly. Labnol.org is a know-how weblog began in 2004 by Amit Agarwal, India’s first skilled blogger. A techie at coronary heart and a author by advantage of his occupation, Amit has much more to supply. On this week’s Techie Tuesday, Amit speaks with YourStory, sharing his journey up to now, his success story and the selections which have introduced him the place he’s at this time.

An engineer in a enterprise household

Belonging to a enterprise household, Amit had an inclination in direction of becoming a member of the household enterprise after rising up. Although he was a studious youngster topping his class, he was by no means interested by computer systems or engineering. Arithmetic was Amit’s favourite topic and that helped him resolve to decide on engineering after his faculty. He was additionally in search of flexibility to do numerous issues and therefore drugs was dominated out. Like a typical joint household, the ladies in his household wished him to remain again in Agra whereas the boys inspired him to do no matter him essentially the most. He determined to decide on engineering as a result of it will give him extra flexibility sooner or later in contrast to drugs. Even at IIT-Roorkee(then REC), he opted for Laptop Science engineering as a result of that’s what college students with good ranks have been choosing.

Academically, issues didn’t change a lot for Amit in school, the place he was among the many toppers in his batch on the finish of the primary 12 months. He recollects,

Once I received a pc, my curiosity was not in direction of coding however on the software program set up aspect. I might be actually curious to know what occurs internally, what information are escalated or modified attributable to set up of a software program within the system. At present additionally, I’m just about doing the identical factor.

Amit fondly remembers his closing 12 months of faculty when he labored on a challenge at Maruti (Gurgaon manufacturing unit) on stock administration,

“At the moment, NetScape navigator was the one browser and desktops have been operating on UNIX working system. We had shared emails (three folks, one e-mail account) and with solely two computer systems within the library, one needed to wait for a very long time to get an opportunity to work on the system or verify emails.”

First (and final) job

Amit graduated in 1999 with an above common tutorial efficiency and joined ADP Inc in Hyderabad the place he labored on database for 5 years. He was working for shoppers like Goldman Sachs and Meryll Lynch on capturing transaction, reporting functionality operating on UNIX, Pearl and PHP. It was a 70-80 member group when Amit joined and his work was acknowledged by folks in a brief span of time. After two years, he was main a group and his focus shifted on administration quite than coding. Amit says,

Among the best outcomes of my job at ADP was that I made good mates. At my work, I used to be placing numerous efforts, together with night-out coding periods. It was an enormous studying expertise for me.

At ADP, Amit learnt so much about tips on how to cope with shoppers, teammates and folks normally. He admits,

I couldn’t have learnt this within the household enterprise. What I’m doing at this time is all primarily based on what I learnt throughout that point. In faculty, the main target was on principle, however with precise reside initiatives, the much-needed sensible knowhow got here.

Start of India’s first skilled blogger

Amit all the time wished to remain again along with his household, but in addition saved his choices open. After spending 5 years at ADP, he was all set to return to his roots, Agra. He additionally received married round that point. Amit recollects,

Once I moved again, the one choice I had was to start out working as a freelancer. Running a blog was extraordinarily new in 2004 and it was a really completely different atmosphere with out social media and different on-line networking/social instruments.

In 2004, Amit turned India’s first skilled blogger and based Labnol. There’s no specific cause for selecting the title Labnol moreover that it was distinctive (in contrast to his title). One of the learn weblog aggregator (Indian filter weblog) in 2005, Desipundit picked numerous content material written by Amit and he received the a lot wanted attain. He participated in weblog camps throughout numerous cities and received seen due to the distinctiveness of being the one one running a blog as a occupation.

Associated learn: Harsh Agrawal’s journey from a name centre to creating thousands and thousands as skilled blogger

Labnol through the years

Labnol’s deal with client software program has not modified over the past 11 years. He takes us by means of the evolution at Labnol,

The fashion of writing has improved so much. Earlier, it was text-heavy whereas now we’ve got extra visuals, (audio, video, and animation). Lengthy kind writing can also be widespread on Labnol now. I’ve been very clear about writing about software program/merchandise primarily based by myself experiences quite than going by information/sources. Although Google Pictures was introduced earlier, solely after spending a month’s time utilizing it, I used to be satisfied to write down an in-depth overview about it.

In accordance with Similarweb, Labnol will get virtually three million visits in a month. Amit says,

“Forty p.c of my readers are primarily based in USA and round 30 p.c in India. Remaining 30 p.c readers are unfold throughout different geographies.”

Labnol began getting cash after a 12 months of incorporation. At present, there are a number of sources of income for Amit which incorporates Google ad-sense, contextual advert networks, direct adverts by means of Blogads & IDG Technetworks.

A techie at coronary heart and thousands and thousands in pocket

Amit considers himself a technologist at coronary heart who desires to create stuff. In his personal phrases,Expertise is my life, I’m all the time desirous about it, even once I’m having a shower. It helps us in turning into extra productive and educated.

Amit had all the time loved constructing a instrument/software program to unravel an issue. For him, it’s an added benefit to have a weblog and the large attain. He has labored on a number of initiatives within the final two years when his focus has shifted from writing to constructing as properly. These embody single web page apps; instruments enabling MP3, transcription on internet browser, podcast gallery – podcast on Google drive, and any others. He has written a number of scripts/apps round Google doc/drive. Amit sources concepts from Reddit (ZeroDollarMovies challenge), mates, customers and boards.

He recollects,

One in all my mates was dealing with points with tatkal reserving due to the brief window for reserving tickets. I considered making the required fields auto fill to unravel his downside. Once I launched it for the general public, journey brokers throughout the nation bought it and it’s used extensively now.

He follows a freemium mannequin of monetization for these, the place a few of the options can be free and extra could be availed at a premium. Labnol’s income is within the vary of some crores per 12 months in the intervening time.

Additionally learn: What took Riyaz Ahemed Walikar to the corridor of fame at Google, Fb, Adobe, Mozilla and Twitter

Studying of a decade

Amit thinks that certainly one of his greatest shortcomings was the lack to construct a group which may have helped him within the growth (and protection) in different areas. He shares the next recommendation for the techies and on-line communities:

  1. A sound code is much less about writing the code and extra concerning the thought course of which fits behind making it scalable.
  2. Hold issues so simple as potential. I favor merchandise which might do just one factor however do it very properly. For instance, Dropbox.
  3. For client product corporations and types, it helps if they’re extra communicative. A variety of notion is constructed and ruined primarily based on how they deal with client issues and queries.
  4. Immediately, there’s an urge to go mobile-only ditching the desktop. I’m undecided if it’s a proper strategy.

What defines India’s high tech weblog?

  1. Solely deal with creating stuff you like and which you’d use your self (and suggest to household/mates).
  2. Construct an answer to unravel actual world issues. There’s no dearth of them.
  3. When you’re planning on doing running a blog full time, please rethink. A variety of components which aren’t in your management will come into play.
  4. Know your limitations. Indianbloggers.org maintains a listing of lively bloggers in India. It retains an account of the blogs which have phased out over time. Typically, the blogger loses curiosity, at different occasions he/she will get a profitable job affords, or finally offers up running a blog for some cause.
  5. Cash ought to be the secondary half. Ardour is precedence, enterprise is second. It has helped Amit write what he preferred and introduced him this far.
  6. Be trustworthy with the viewers and don’t fake to know belongings you don’t know.


You possibly can comply with Amit on Twitter or go to his weblog.


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