JSFoo Pune 2020

On component architecture, performance, security for front-end, and emerging trends

ImpactFoo : Tech-driven impact, impactful tech, and some banter

Submitted Feb 12, 2020

A full-stack software developer decides to exit a profitable business that he helped build, to take sabbatical from full-time tech, slow down, look around, and explore. Through his monthly backpacking trips to various locations within India, he tries to look at things from fresh perspectives. Two years of slowing down and backpacking later, he decides to take sabbatical from the sabbatical itself. Designing, building, executing, and assessing real-life impact becomes the core idea of formulating technology contributions once again. Small impacts for millions of lives, one impact at a time. Or larger impact for a small number of lives, one life at a time.

This talk is an entertaining mix of snippets from a personal journey, insights, observations, and an open-ended channel for Full Stack as well as UI practitioners to approach real-life impact doing what they are the best at.


What to expect? (2 minutes)

Background (5 minutes)
Past life as a techie and a voluntary conservationist
Relevant anecdotes from conservation and backpacking journey

Observations and Insights (5 minutes)
What does impact mean in different contexts?
Designing a solution for impact vs designing an impact for a solution
Need-based technology interventions

Guiding principles / concepts for impactful tech (5 minutes)
Interdisciplinary or intersectional approach
Inclusion of various topics from humanities and social sciences, such as sociology, cultural anthropology, ethnography, linguistic geography and dialectology, alongside time-tested and/or the latest and greatest frameworks, libraries, and practices.
Balancing between buzzword compliance, boring tech, and no tech
Active Citizenship

Notable mentions of ongoing and upcoming projects (5 minutes)
Archiving and documentation
Data collection, representation, and action
Open Data
Civic projects such as the National Optic Fiber Network (NOFN) a.k.a. BharatNet and the Common Services Center as ancillaries to data governance and dissemination of civic facilities in India.

Probable opportunities for Full Stack and UI practitioners to step in or step up (5 minutes)

Opening comments to initiate conversations for the rest of the day (2 minutes)

Speaker bio

Nikhil is a technology agnostic full-stack developer and a conservationist. He is the former CTO of Jombay, where he helped build a profitable venture from an early stage startup to a growth stage company. Jombay now has presence in multiple countries, and a suite of products based on industrial psychology applied for corporate capability assessment and development. Post his exit from business, Nikhil has been backpacking to various locations in India and regularly indulges in immersive travel. Nikhil has worked on several aspects of conservation with various private and government bodies such as Municipal Corporations, Gram Panchayats, Forest/Tourism/Health/Education departments, and so on. When not traveling, he independently consults with early and growth stage companies to design, architect, and build solutions, set up developer experiences and processes, and advise CXOs on tech strategy. Nikhil currently dabbles in Ruby, NodeJS, React, cloud native, and serverless ecosystems.