Who is the most intelligent/ learned Indian ever?

Answer by Anonymous:

I am surprised that no one mentioned Vashishtha Narayan Singh, Man who challenged Einstein Theory.
  1. He was born in a very rural and underprivileged village named Basantpur in Bihar, India.
  2. He is a former NASA mathematician.
  3. He is the record holder for Bihar Board in Matriculation Examination and Bihar Intermediate Education Council for Intermediate Exams at Science College, Patna.
  4. He holds a PhD degree from the University of California.
  5. He taught at IIT Kanpur, TIFR, ISI Kolkata.
  6. He is currently under treatment for schizophrenia.
 
Dr. Vashishtha Narayan Singh Challenged not only Einstein theory, E = MC2, but also Theory of Gauss.
It is said that, when he was in NASA during Apollo Mission, there was a glitch in the computer then he started computing himself manually and his calculation was proved to be right when the computer started working again.
He is a great example of talented mathematician and yet again India has failed to recognize him and use his services like many others.
Source: Wikipedia
PS- some of the facts regarding relativity theory needs verification, will update as soon as I'll find a trusted source.

Who is the most intelligent/ learned Indian ever?

Are software engineers really worth their salaries, including those working for Google or Facebook?

Answer by John L. Miller:

I've asked myself this a lot over the years. The answer *has* to be "yes" on average, or they wouldn't be paid this much. It's still hard to believe, and feels wrong compared to, say, what someone who does manual labor earns for a living.

How could they possibly be worth it? The answer is intuitive. An economist or business student could explain it better, but here's what I think.

Software engineers produce a product with a high development cost, and a very low incremental (per-unit sold) cost. Yet the company's revenue scales (roughly) linearly with the number of copies sold / used.  This makes the ability to produce that first copy of the software INCREDIBLY valuable to the company.

For example, suppose the first copy of Windows 95 took 333 people 3 years to produce, at a (then) per-person, per year cost of $100k/person/yr. That would be $100M in development costs. Now, suppose each copy of Windows has an incremental cost of $1 to produce and distribute, and is sold for $101 revenue by the company. If the company sells 10M copies, that's $1B in net earnings. If it sells 20M copies, that's $2B in net earnings. All with very little extra work. You just have to have the software to sell, and have it of a quality that WILL sell.

Suddenly $100k doesn't look so expensive. And for the best software engineers, the ones who induce a multiplier effect on quality and productivity (yes these exist) in their products… How much would you pay for those?

The numbers are fictional, but the idea is sound. It's still ridiculous, but then, so is the sums of money at stake for the company. Software companies are NOT charities. They're competing for a pool of developers, and for the most part, paying what they have to to get the developers who best make them money.  If they could pay 1/2 as much and still get the developers, you'd better believe they would, because it's more profit.

This applies to service companies such as Google's search & ads business too, though in their case, they are selling the space for ads served in the answers to each search request entered into their search engine.

Are software engineers really worth their salaries, including those working for Google or Facebook?

What is it like to work in the Kindle Store team in the Amazon Development Center, Chennai?

Answer by Vivekanand Kirubanandan:

I know quite a lot of folks who work in the Kindle Store team in Chennai and I was quite familiar with the Engineering team, mid-level management, Senior management (in Chennai), and their counterparts in Seattle.

On the whole, it is a fun team to work with. The engineering team is great. Work is exciting.

The "Digital" space is exciting and eBook space has a very strong fan following. The projects are usually high impact. On the flip side, the projects tend to be on a tight schedule. As an engineer, mid-level manager, senior management, every one needs to be good at managing their time (and balancing the work). This is not unique to Kindle Store (or even Amazon), it is true for IT in general.

What is it like to work in the Kindle Store team in the Amazon Development Center, Chennai?

Which is a better company to work for in India among Amazon, Akamai, Microsoft, Flipkart, Directi and Google?

Answer by Anonymous:

I have worked in 3 among the above mentioned companies so it makes me partially qualified to answer this question.
I am nearing 5 years of experience and that makes me a hopper 😦 but i tend to blame it to circumstances.
I started my career with Directi when it was in the verge of revolutionizing its hiring process. I was among the first few hires who had the experience of participating in programming contest and at that time, not a lot of people on the floor knew algorithms well enough to recruit at the IITs, NITs and IIITs. I along with 4 other colleagues with a decent algorithmic and data structure background used to invest more than 50% of our effort in creating a strong hiring platform. I have been a code chef administrator and a recipient of several flowery words from some very frustrated participants. I travelled all over the country hiring people and since I was a fresher, I was greatly motivated by that lifestyle. The thing I loved about Directi was that it is way too casual. I never felt that I left college. I used to wake up at 12:30 PM, brush my teeth and end up at work in the same pajamas. There was not much work pressure and I had the freedom to do almost anything. One of my colleagues was writing an extensible message queue which may or may not be used by the company. It is absolutely amazing to work their and the learning curve is high at least in terms of breadth. The down side is that not a lot of their products, which they make their top talent to work in are very successful. That is why they put more weightage on them. Neverthless it is a very unique company and I had an amazing first year.
My second job was at Amazon. This one was much difficult. I landed up in a team where my manager and I were the first members to implement a system which was eventually going to save hundreds of millions of dollars for amazon (It eventually did ;)). From a super cool college like workplace, I was suddenly thrown into a blast furnace. Amazon is known for burning its employees and my team was a startup inside Amazon. I have worked for 40 hours in a row without sleep. 60-70 hours a week was normal and no one complained. The thing I hated most about Amazon was its on call schedule. There are times when I stood outside the movie theatre resolving bugs on phone as I miss the climax. The best thing about Amazon however is the growth it offers. I joined as an SDE with the standard amazon offer for 1 year experience and by the time I left, which is 2 years post that, my salary was 2.5 times of what it was at the time of joining. I also greatly admire Amazon's developer tools. I think it beats any other company by a very big margin. It is almost 5 years ahead of the second best competitor.
My third job was at Google. Google's biggest asset is the average IQ on the floor. All the companies you mentioned above, the smartest engineer from them combined won't be half as smart as an average engineer in Google. Google tends to hire the best engineers in the World even for cleaning their toilets. Google engineers are frustratingly smart and therefore though it does an amazing job of making its employees happy, a lot of my Google colleagues have a tough time finding opportunities which truly challenge them. It is almost like being a really really small fish in the biggest pond in the World. I worked at their Mountain View headquarters and there were all sorts of freaks like Topcoder targets, International Olympiad winners, JEE rank 1 etc. around me. Succeeding in Google requires a lot more than individual skill. Everyone is 10x more motivated and if you put a certain amount of effort to grow by 3 levels in some company, that effort might only raise your level by 1 in Google. So it is upto you if you are up for that kind of challenge.

Depending on what you value the most make an appropriate selection. I would recommend, if you are able to get through Google, don't let the opportunity slip. The probablity of making into the other companies is higher. Google calls you if you are really lucky :).

I made this anonymous because of some intended/unintended criticism. If you need to know anything else, drop your mail id in the comments.

P.S. Above is my individual experience and might differ drastically from what the original situation is.

Which is a better company to work for in India among Amazon, Akamai, Microsoft, Flipkart, Directi and Google?