A woman developer's survival guide

Often I notice and hear that women developers find it hard to cope with the norms of IT which eventually leads to them switching to a non-STEM career. Clearly, a large number of women demonstrate inclination towards STEM fields during high school and college, but when it comes to pursuing a career the number reduces exponentially.

Custom Toast

Certainly, toasts were boring and I'm sure you have resorted to a better message library but you could now use custom views to display toasts.

So, now you can dress up your toast to show some simple app messages/notifications. You could also have an image in them. If you would have to add a custom toast layout to a toast to show a message, you would have to do the following.

Create the custom layout for your toast.

Story of a naturalist

Job description: Naturalist
Experience: Rookie

Finally, it was our graduation day. We almost wound up, ready to go, I was mentally strategising as how to clear my backlogs, until one of my friends popped a venomous Indian Cobra out of his backpack. My thoughts suddenly blurred. Most of us got jumpy gasping for breath. Was he out of his mind! - I thought to myself. He laughed and explained how he and his friends were volunteering for the noble cause of rescuing wildlife and rehabilitating them. The incident greatly moved me and helped me rethink my priorities in my life and career. I felt a purpose to join them and very soon my passion for wildlife grew exponentially with time. My new found love for animals and specifically for tigers strengthened my decision to move from Bangalore to Ranthambhore to pursue a career as naturalist. 
Despite, Ranthambhore tiger reserve accounts for only 1400 sq kms of land, it provides a substantial natural habitat for almost 60 tigers, which is one of the biggest in the whole of India. Considering, that tigers are highly territorial, and is known to require about 60 to 80 sqkm per tiger depending on the prey-base, Ranthambore’s Tiger Reserve stands as a living example of tolerance, coexistence and evolution of tigers. Working as a naturalist with Oberoi Vanyavilas it is enthralling to observe the behavior of various flora and fauna of the park. The terrain is hilly and is situated between Aravalli and Vindhyan mountain ranges. The park is populated abundantly by species of tall ‘Dhonk’ trees and less of shrubs which enhances one’s chances of spotting a tiger. Usually, tigers in parks like Bandipur or Savandurga hide in the bushes when they see humans approaching but tigers in Ranthambhore walk freely in the woods which makes sighting a tiger beyond common. In Ranthambhore, tigers cannot find hide-outs easily as the wilderness simply doesn’t support it. This difference in behaviour of tigers in various provinces help me infer that wide open spaces in forests has an impact on changes in the behavioral traits of tigers.
Ranthambhore provides the perfect ground for studies and research about the behaviour of the tigers and has an edge over any other parks in India because chances of spotting a tiger at this national park is 60 percent. In other words, one can spot a tiger at least once in 2 drives through the forest which helps in observing the tigers closely. This means the onlookers mostly never go back disappointed.

My first drive was during the month of September, considered off-season, when the park is closed because of monsoons. For a wildlife enthusiast like me, the drive was more than perfect. My first encounter of a tiger numbered T-8 with her 18 months old cub at Ranthambhore left me speechless. The tigers are generally numbered for identification purposes as different tigers are spotted in different zones. I admired the family with amaze. Me and a couple of others sat in the gypsy watching the majestic tigress stroll around us. It was perhaps a breathtaking experience. I had never seen a tiger in such less proximity before in my life. She walked and played in the water along with the cub for almost about half an hour, carelessly ignoring us humans as we tried to stalk her. Soon we watched her disappear into the open grassland ignoring the cub. We waited in the same spot wishing to see her again. But after we started driving for a while, to our dismay, T-8 dragged a Nilgai (blue bull) fawn in her mouth right in front of us at about a distance of 5 metres. I was absolutely psyched to comprehend what I had just witnessed. As a naturalist, to watch such a mighty beast hunt her prey was one of my dreams come true.

These days, I can say, I spend most of my time studying these beasts which have become a part of my life. I also enjoy sharing knowledge with people who are genuinely interested in understanding the lifestyle of animals. Also I found some knowledge of photography and videography helpful in supporting my role as a naturalist. I along with a few friends help people to discover new places for treks, nature walks in the forests and also develop a skill-set in wildlife photography. I was able to find my passion during my college days and turn it into a career. Any other career choice could never be as fulfilling as what I’m this moment. I can now proudly say, the word “career” is over-rated, it is simply what we can make of ourselves. Only if we expose ourselves to new knowledge can we find what drives us one day.
Now is the time.
Today is the day.
Start exploring….

Sandesh Guru.
The naturalist.

Getting pampered by animals is my new hobby. :P

Gradle: Print dependency graph for Android

While using gradle build in Android Studio or IntelliJ you might face the duplicate dependency issues when you have multiple libraries using the same dependencies and each might have different versions added within them. So, it becomes important to print and take a look at what dependencies each library has and exclude them.

So, to print the dependency graph for all dependencies of the app module.

Go to terminal and type in the root folder.

gradle :app:dependencies


gradle app:dependencies

Few things to keep in mind while switching jobs

            In the last 6+ years of my career, I have worked at multiple firms in different roles and every time I changed a job, the experience has never been more fulfilling. Besides the process of finding a new one, which could get excruciating at times, I learned something new about the job types, technology and the people I associated with. I can honestly admit it was NOT one of the easiest things to do in the initial days of my career. Now, I can proudly say my journey from Mumbai to Bengaluru to Berlin has not been anything less than adventurous. 

Hosting Sencha app on Raspberry Pi

     I'm super excited as this is my first Raspberry Pi project. If a tiny computer allows you to do a plethora of things effortlessly isn't it great? Particularly for Linux users playing around with Raspberry Pi should be a child's game.

      What I'm trying to attempt here is pretty straight-forward. I will be hosting a Sencha app on Raspberry Pi by making it the web-server.


  1. Raspberry Pi with Raspbian OS running on it. 
   2. An ethernet connection.

Sexism and Feminism go both ways

Difference between Android ART and Dalvik runtimes

         In Android, all apps run on the Virtual Machine called 'Dalvik'. Dalvik was the primary VM since day one and did not see major releases or patches when compared to almost every other aspect of Android.
        Android apps come in the .apk file format, where the Java classes are converted into DEX bytecode. The DEX bytecode format is independent of device architecture and needs to be translated to native machine code to run on the device. This applies to both ART and Dalvik runtimes. 

Tutorial three: How to set up a git repository?

Local git repository:

             Setting up a local repository is pretty simple. By local repository I mean making your project a git repo on your work-station.  

            Open git-bash. Navigate to your project folder. In my case it is \android-test.

  Sowmya\android-test$ git init                                                     

Why do cell phone batteries explode?

          Ever since the inception of battery technology in 1700's, we must admit that there hasn't been much of a revolutionary breakthrough to account for even after almost 300 years. Batteries have only been re-engineered by either shrinking, using different electrodes or by packing them differently. The amount of energy that is produced by fossil fuels is much more compared to the electric batteries, the reason why they need to be more tightly packed  to increase the efficiency making them more vulnerable and dangerous.