Josh Software: Making its mark in Ruby on Rails

Pune is now increasingly becoming the hot-bed of Ruby on Rails activity in India and Josh Software Pvt. Ltd. are strongly making a mark in this field. Satish Talim of recently talked to Gautam Rege, one of the founders of this company.


Satish>> Could you tell us something about yourself – your background, where you are based?

Gautam>> I was born in India. I have been in Pune, one of the busiest IT hubs in India. I have done my computer engineering from Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) and have passed out in the year 2000. After working for a few services based companies like Zensar and Cybage I got exposure to product companies like Veritas (now Symantec). It was always my aim to be self-employed and when I found the right partner in my friend Sethupathi Asokan, we both started Josh Software Pvt. Ltd. As is in India, you just have to love cricket. Sethu (as he is lovingly known as) and I played cricket for Veritas and the bond did not stop there. We went on to become good friends and now partners in business.

My father served in the Indian Army for 20 years before taking pre-mature retirement. He and my elder brother have started an environment friendly firm called Mailhem Engineers Pvt. Ltd. which has been working in the Waste Management area for the past 15 years. The determination and grit I have seen in my brother and father has greatly helped me in my software business.

Satish>> Could you tell us a little more about Josh Software Pvt. Ltd.?

Gautam>> Josh Software Pvt. Ltd. is a one and half year old company. We are primarily into software product development. This is quite a different area. We are neither a product company nor a services based company. We build software products for others. Our claim to our success has been our ideology: “You bring to the table your domain knowledge, we bring our software skills and together we build a software product”. Josh Software Pvt. Ltd. was earlier Josh Consultants Pvt. Ltd. but Sethu and felt to change our name to showcase our software development abilities.

We are based in Pune and have core skills in Ruby On Rails, .NET, C++ and Java. Given our personal work experience we have worked on virtually all UNIX, Linux and Windows platforms. Cross platform development is our forte and we aspire to be one of the top software product development companies in India.

Satish>> Why did you choose Ruby on Rails (RoR) as a framework?

Gautam>> Ironically, we did not choose RoR; RoR chose us! For a major part of our career, Sethu and I had both been exposed to the traditional languages and frameworks. Having worked with functional languages like C and object oriented languages like Java, C++, Python came as a revelation to me. The concept of an object oriented scripting language fascinated me. Ruby was still not in the picture until a couple of years back when we were building our first product. Judging the very tight deadline to get the product done, we started turning our heads towards new emerging web frameworks. There was RoR, which we adopted and have not fallen ‘out of love’ since then!

The open source world, the seamless coding of Ruby and the ease of use, drove us crazy. I preach that if one writes about 100 lines in C, it can be done in about 50 lines in Perl and about 25 lines in Python. But Ruby could well do it in 15 lines. This is not based on any theoretical or practical grounds but simply based on my personal experience in using these various languages.

Satish>> Were there any surprises in working with RoR?

Gautam>> What would be an open source tool / language without surprises? Surprisingly there were very few in Ruby. However, after getting familiar with newer and newer Rails plugins like ActiveScaffold, I did find some unknowns, some surprises and some bugs. Lack of documentation was sometimes frustrating but the lean mean and simple Ruby code of the ActiveScaffold plugin, put our doubts to rest. There is still some way to go in RoR core APIs too, but at the pace it’s moving it will be only a matter of time before it becomes the de-facto tool for web development (unless it already has!)

Satish>> Getting back to Josh Software, what are your future plans?

Gautam>> We plan to expand our horizon into various industry sectors. Currently we have been developing products in the Financial, Engineering, Medical and IT sectors. We do intend to drive RoR into these sectors with more vigor. We are also building our own Medical Software in the Critical Care domain for which I do ask you to stay tuned.

Thank you Gautam for taking out time from your busy schedule and talking to us.

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