Founders Circuit
Collection of inspiring entrepreneur stories, startups and struggle

"Engineers tend to be very impatient and expect clear cause and effect relationships in everything they’re experimenting with."-Sidu Ponnappa,C42Engineering

C42Engineering is startup venture co-founded by Sidu Ponnappa, Aakash Dharmadhikari and Niranjan Paranjape in the year 2010.

Sidu got his engineering degree in Computer Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) in the year 2005. After completing his graduation, Sidu co-founded Activ, CodeMonk, TrustedRishta and C42Engineering. He has also worked with ThoughtWorks for more than five years as a Senior Consultant.

In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, Sidu talks about C42Engineering, various products offered by their company, the working of RubyMonk and a lot more.

Please read the following interview to know more!

Sidu-C42Engineering-CrazyEngineers1Sidu Ponappa

CE:  Hi Sidu. Could you tell our readers more about C42 Engineering?

Sidu: C42 Engineering is a boutique software consulting firm based out of Bangalore. We started up in 2010 to serve a growing need for high quality software delivery.

India is traditionally a volumes market whose main differentiator is low cost. We wanted to focus on quality as a differentiating factor with any cost benefits being incidental.

We work with domestic firms to help improve the performance of their engineering teams. We also handle offshore product development for ambitious startups, primarily those based out of the Bay Area.

CE:  What are the various products offered by C42 Engineering?

Sidu: We currently have two products: RubyMonk.com and BureauBuilder.com.

RubyMonk is a free e-learning product that teaches the Ruby programming language. We have about 300,000 customers who use the product annually and it is listed on the official Ruby language website as a recommended learning resource. When we launched, we were on the home page of HackerNews for 24 hours.

BureauBuilder does for matchmakers what Shopify does for retailers: Customizable online matrimony websites on demand. BureauBuilder is still in alpha with about 500 end customers currently using the product.

CE:  How does RubyMonk work?

Sidu: RubyMonk depends on what we call “eval as a service” - throw any Ruby code at it and it will securely execute it and return the result.

This is combined with a custom content management system optimized for learning and engagement to create the overall experience.

Sidu-C42Engineering-CrazyEngineers4Sidu-C42Engineering-CrazyEngineers2The Team

CE:  If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Why?

Sidu: 

Take more risks. The only thing that slows me down is the concern that anything I venture into should not jeopardize roti-kapda-makaan - the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid, basically.

I’m assuming the lottery would fix that.

CE:  Tell us about your growing up years. Did you ever think you would be running your own company someday?

Sidu: 
Yup. That was the plan back then. Startups were already making waves and I knew this was what I wanted to do by the time I was in high school. I also loved writing code, so serendipity happened.

CE:  What is the hardest thing you have ever done? How has it helped to shape you better?

Sidu: Watch my mother battle cancer. You can’t ever quit, I guess. Quitting is easy.

CE: When was the last time you were nervous? How did you make sure that you completed what you wanted to?

Sidu: Every day, especially if I’m doing something new. If I’m not a little nervous every day, then that’s a day I’ve failed to push myself out of my comfort zone. Cliched, but true for me.

I still find it very hard to get things done consistently. No good answers here from me.

Sidu-C42Engineering-CrazyEngineers3The Co-Founders

CE:  If you could go back into time and live in one era, which would you choose?

Sidu: I wouldn’t. We live in very interesting times, and they’re going to get exponentially more interesting over the next century or so. I’m actually thrilled to be alive right now and would have loved to have been born just a decade or two later.

CE:  Thank you for your time. Any message for our readers?

Sidu: You’re welcome.Engineers (well, at least me) tend to be very impatient and expect clear cause and effect relationships in everything they’re experimenting with.

If you want a project to be successful, don’t focus exclusively on the tech - that’s the easy part because you’re an engineer. Pay equal or greater attention to the fuzzy stuff necessary to bring a project to fruition. Topics like marketing, anthropology and economics are crucial, but ignored because they don’t come naturally to us as engineers.

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