Almost every travelling internet user has had an encounter with redBus. It has now become synonymous with travel in India and they
have now reached a place where they are giving back to the startup ecosystem. The bedrock of this amazing business is the ticket buying platform itself, which is a wide assortment of a multitude of smaller products that perform various functions. Being a central ticketing platform, it has to integrate with scores of ticketing mechanisms and at the same time, endeavor to keep the user experience uniform.Building a platform of so many complexities is difficult and this week's Techie Tuesday is the man who has had a hand in almost everything at redBus. From a small town in Andhra Pradesh comes redBus.in's earliest employees, Bhaskar Raju. He's one of the people who can be directly credited with bringing redBus to the masses and we caught up with him as he shared his interesting journey with us.
"I never wanted to join an MNC"
Bhaskar comes from humble beginnings. He says, "My parents are from an agricultural background and most of what I learnt about computers was from college. I graduated from Annamacharya institute of technology in Kadappa and from the time I graduated from college, I knew that I didn't want to join an MNC. There are only those many things that you are allowed to do at an MNC and there is very little room for experimentation. Around 2006, I interacted with Charan Padmaraju, who's the co-founder and CTO of redBus and ever since I have been with the company. Charan is one of my role models and has been a great mentor to me ever since."
The decision to join a startup didn't let Bhaskar down, as he reveals that working with redBus allows him to experiment a lot, work on numerous things and thereby allowing him to continuously learn. "Being one of the earliest members of redBus, the 3 co-founders include me in more than just software and they consider our suggestions on products," he adds.
From the early days to now - A journey with many technologies
Bhaskar reveals some very interesting insights into the early days of redBus and how they went about building the platform. He says, "In the early days, we used to go to various places giving away pamphlets at markets and malls and come back in the night to code. We used .NET to make the first platform and it was very new to all of us. I only knew C, C++ and Java out of college and the founders also were from electrical and electronic background. From then on, I have personally been involved with many projects, such as integrating ticketing data of vendors on the redBus platform and the customer review system that is quite actively used by our customers."
Bhaskar currently is a team lead with the platform team at redBus. "I'm currently working with building Java based products on the AWS cloud platform. In doing so, I'm also getting to learn Node.JS, Big Data applications and other infrastructure related programming stuff. Coming from a products background, I don't think any other place would have let me do this. I am constantly learning here."
Join a startup - Advice to young engineers
Bhaskar has very practical advice to young engineers entering the software field. He says, "Don't waste your time on certifications and other fancy things. Having a certification doesn't mean that you can code. You can learn much more by going to technology events, being a part of technology communities and staying in touch with learned people."
He signed off by urging more young graduates to take to startups and gives them a slight insight into what they can expect - "At a startup, you're going to have to own your job. You can't come with a 9 - 5 mindset. You can't afford it. Here, if your company loses, you lose as well."
Say hello to Bhaskar
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