Seeking feedback – Learning to code workshops using a new technique

Hello all!

We are launching a series of workshops based on a new technique we have been developing and I seek your feedback

Here is the outline:
As a professional who is a non-programmer: Do you think that gaining an appreciation of software development would help your career goals?

Today, senior management and professionals are increasingly required to have a basic appreciation of software design and how software works ‘under the hood’.

Such skills could often make the difference to your role within and beyond your company.

Gaining an appreciation of Software design often translates to gaining some working experience of programming or coding.

However this requirement has three hurdles:
1) You already have too much on your plate and are very busy

2) You don’t actually want to build an app, website or master writing code and

3) Your motivation to attend a course is low because of the above

Nevertheless you do want to get a detailed appreciation of Programming and the development process whilst not compromising your existing deadlines

So, here is what we are testing

If you can read and you can think – you can code

Feyncode – created by Feynlabs – is an approach for rapidly gaining a detailed appreciation of Programming and Computer Science.

We believe: “If you can read and you can think – you can code” and whilst everyone will learn to code, not everyone will use Coding in their day to day work.

Feyncode appeals to wide variety of professionals within a range of disciplines including directors, senior and divisional management, VP’s, heads of departments, leaders and team leaders in marketing, sales, legal, finance, support, HR, logistics and general management.
Feynlabs is a UK company which focuses on the accelerated learning of Programming and Computer Science. Based on a set of new learning techniques we have been testing; feyncode is a new approach to gain a detailed appreciation of many aspects of computer science and programming.

Feyncode comprises of an introductory face-to-face session followed by an online course and a book which is tailored to the learners’ objectives.

This investment could help you leapfrog your career and gain key skills which have a lasting impact

Can you improve IQ test scores?









If you understand how an IQ test works you will understand our approach.
On your first attempt at an IQ test, you may not do well but IQ tests are really all about understanding a pattern to solve questions.

Once you have done several and learnt a set of techniques – you can perform well in the test.

We believe learning to code is the same.

feyncode is a technique to teach programming by understanding common patterns in coding.

feyncode emphasizes reading code and solving problems using code.

By repeatedly reading code, reasoning and guessing responses, seeing implementations, the learner starts to see a pattern in code and in problem solving using Programming.

We focus on three common languages Python, JavaScript and C and by extension also cover these platforms Django, node.js, Phone Gap, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Objective C, Processing

At the end of the course you will not be a programmer but you will understand how to read and appreciate the black art of software development. You will be able to interpret code and determine the implications at a systems level

This will help you make better strategic and management decisions

Coaching and Programming

The foundations of our method also depend on applying ideas developed for Coaching to the realm of Programming.











Various techniques are being tried out in the market including; Online forums, MOOCs, video training and intensive residential courses but these are adaptations of historical techniques and focus on becoming a programmer.

Our approach is inspired from a discipline normally associated with High performance sports /endurance skills coaching.

In this context, when we say ‘coaching’ it does not refer to the typical NLP coach rather, we mean the Olympic level performance coaches / techniques.

Over the last year and a half, we have been improving these methods with students and teachers in UK, USA and Holland.

We have worked with more than 400 teachers, schools and a wide range of students.

And we hope these insights can make a difference to your career

In London, Miami and a few other cities – we are testing these ideas in limited trials

So, here is a summary:

Format: Introductory Face to face session and three months online

Designed for non-programmer professionals who want to get an appreciation of software development and leverage their career goals

Based on accelerated learning

Limited trials – so if interested, please signup below

A small fee (probably around $199 for the entire course – online and offline)

Certificate of completion


Please contact us at if you want to participate

Images – shuterstock

Book review – The Curiosity Cycle by Jonathan Mugan











It’s a pleasure to review The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

This is an important book because the ideas presented here span multiple domains and the author brings a unique perspective from his own experience.

Curiosity Cycle is about preparing your child for the ongoing technological explosion.

The book’s goal is to make children lifelong learners through fostering a sense of internally driven curiosity (hence the Curiosity Cycle)

The author proposes that the Curiosity Cycle is a learning process that consists of building and testing individual models – which will be an ongoing process for every child

The Curiosity Cycle builds on the idea of ‘incomplete models’ i.e. the idea that an incorrect or incomplete models is better than no model at all – as long as the process of creating,  assimilating and validating models i.e. the curiosity cycle is inculcated in a child. The curiosity cycle thus helps prepare children to live in a world of the future in which computers will have a profound effect on every aspect of society

The book is based on the author’s personal experience on how to build smart robots by enabling them to learn about the world in the same way human children do

The book develops the concepts for the Curiosity Cycle and then applies these ideas to a range of disciplines like history, science and mathematics. The objective is: curiosity leads a child to ask the right questions and to make inferences beyond knowledge already given. This helps the child to handle unexpected situations – and in the future with a world dominated by rapid technological change – there will be many such situations

Finally, the author believes that the future population will be divided between consumers and creators (of ideas/content/technology etc). Thus, the Curiosity Cycle is a powerful tool for a child growing up now.

These are powerful concepts and they also resonate with my own work at Feynlabs

I have also used the idea of incomplete models with Rumsfeld’s analogy (known –unknowns) and also the idea of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments ex Schrodinger’s cat) – for example – “What would a computer see? And Why?” i.e. how would the world look like to a computer

As a parent, I have also been deeply interested in my own son’s learning. Back in Jan 2009 – I blogged this – Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped .. and this Of typewriters and murder
geekdad has a great review also HERE and like that review – I also agree that the Curiosity Cycle is a must read book!

The book link again is: The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode)

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode).  Sign up for latest updates. HERE


Application developer alliance launches in Europe ..

 I have covered the Application Developer alliance before ( Joel Spolsky named Chairman of Application developers alliance board of directors) and Application developer alliance: The app economy has a new catalyst

So, its nice to see that the Application developer alliance formally launches in Europe

This is good news because – the app economy is key to European jobs, prosperity and competitiveness.

The eurapp study finds a total of 1.8M jobs in the EU app economy, with €17.5bn in revenues

And yet, that’s just the beginning! The future will be a lot brighter with grassroots innovation and entrepreneurs who will go on to create new companies – all of which will be ‘apps’.

We now accept that we live in a Mobile first world- yet, governments and policy makers have not fully grasped how big the nascent app economy could be.

Apps affect everyone

I am building a start-up feynlabs - which will be an app .. as will many others .. i.e. every new idea is an app

The app ecosystem is also the theme of our conference in Oxford University in May

I will watch this space with interest

Andrew Ng Machine learning course Octave Tutorial transcripts .. (pdf)

OctaveTutorialAndrewNg   Andrew Ng Machine learning course Octave Tutorial transcripts .. (pdf)

Attending The tricky first million and scaling startups events




I am looking forward to attending two almost sold out events – The tricky first million and scaling startups 

Agenda below

If you are there, happy to meet


The Tricky First Million
26 March 14:00 – 20:00

“Your first million revenue or users are the hardest”

The importance of vision: act big from the start
MVPs & staying customer focussed
Selling your dream: to clients, recruits and staff
Raising money: traction, vanity metrics, how to choose an investor
When to hire key team members
Building the right culture


Scaling Startups
27 March 08:30 – 20:00

Building a multi-million pound business

Product quality as a driver of growth
Excellence in Recruiting
Managing company communication and culture
Creating processes that maintain agility and innovation
KPIs & data driven decision-making
How the role of the founder changes with growth


IoT and Machine Learning workshop in Palo Alto – part of the Internet of Things World event






As you know from previous posts, I have been very interested in IoT / Smart cities and Algorithms

So, its nice to conduct this workshop based on the program ”Big data analytics and algorithms for cities” at the City sciences program for the Technical University of Madrid

 IoT and Machine Learning is a unique one day workshop which explores Machine learning techniques for IOT.

The workshop is designed as an exploratory/introductory workshop for participants who are interested in using machine learning techniques for IoT data.

Arthur Samuel, the pioneeing AI scientist, defined machine learning as – ‘The field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed’.  Machine learning includes examples such as the Driverless car which require data from other cars, street lights, people and a range of sensors coupled with the analytics to make real-time decisions.

Hence, unlike programmers who work with pre-defined logic for a problem domain( using statements like if-then-else, loops etc), for data scientistics, the logic is often non-deterministic.

Thus, given an IOT data set, the machine learning algorithm has to deduce a logic based on a pattern in the data.

The first part of the workshop will explain Machine learning techniques. This will be followed by understanding how these techniques could be applied to IOT datasets. We will use Smart city datasets to explore Machine learning and we will explore specific techniques like sensor fusion.

Machine learning techniques we explore are:

  • Supervised and unsupervised learning
  • Neural Networks
  • Machine Learning System Design
  • Clustering
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Recommender Systems
  • Large-Scale Machine learning systems
  • Programming paradigms and Languages for machine learning
  • Computation at the edge or Computation at the core

Problem domains include:

  • Prediction Examples  bassed on datasets (energy, pollution)
  • Optimzation based (traffic routing, commute optimization)
  • Pattern identifying (predict hotspots based on health care data)
  • New business proceeses based on machine learning for objects that have to navigate an unpredictable domain (driverless cars, drones)

Note that this course is introductory but still needs basic understand and aptitude for Mathematics

Please contact me for any queries/thoughts/comments

workshop link  in Palo Alto on IoT and Machine Learning

Mobile World Congress review – from an IOT and Disruption perspective


Here is my review of the Mobile World Congress. This year, for the first time, I was invited to attend the GSMA Ministerial programme as part of my work in being the co-author for Digital world in 2030 report to be released in the European parliament next week

This blog is a personal perspective (i.e. related to the above report – but my own views).

It tracks disruptive trends and I present a perspective / viewpoint on the industry.  It is biased towards IOT – which is also a personal focus – especially due to my teaching for  ”Big data analytics and algorithms for cities” at the City sciences program for the Technical University of Madrid

We now live in a mobile first world. I was not carrying a laptop and this single image (Android with Intel inside) – shows us that we are indeed in a Mobile first world









The ‘Mobile first world’ also explains the sheer size of MWC(85,000 attendees – a 20% jump from the previous year) –  45 restaurants – two  heliports – 1,700 exhibitors – eight exhibition halls – 240,000 square meters (2.6 million square feet)

If you are not a part of it – you are missing out!

So, here are my perspectives ..


Firstly, here is my overall perspective, which I also discussed in my keynote at the Swiss mobile association in Zurich (slides) (smama)

  • The Mobile data industry as it stands today, is about fifteen years old.
  • It is fast growing but mature. We now have a two horse race for devices (considering Samsung owns about 70% of the Android market).
  • In innovation terms, innovation shifts from building networks to creating light bulbs. When compared to electric networks – in the early stages – there was a period in which networking technologies competed (AC/DC – Edison/Tesla) etc. Once that was decided, innovation shifts to creating light bulbs). We are in a similar phase.
  • So, innovation shifts along three dimensions: Horizontal (apps), Vertical (cross stack – ex IOT) and network.
  • Why is network the third dimension of innovation? Unlike electric and power networks which have a 50/60 year cycle – Telco networks have a 7 year cycle (from standardization to spectrum to devices). That means the rate of Telco innovation is also comparatively faster and every network innovation leads to a knock on effect for secondary innovation (ex devices). Hence, 5G is important What will 5G look like and how 5G will shape the technological landscape of countries for the next decade
  • Since 5G is widely expected to be deployed around 2020 – the question then is: How will the market play out between now and 2020? There are some key indicators already:  iBeacon  could be a de-facto standard since it’s an ‘open enough’ standard. (I.e. iPhone and Android devices can both use it). Many of the use cases for mobile couponing etc promoted by NFC – could well be deployed with iBeacon. More interestingly, iBeacon could motivate retailers to open up their WiFi networks and allow others to use their WiFi (in return for instore coupons)
  • Similarly, Hotspot 2.0 would allow us to seamlessly navigate between cellular and wifi networks.
  • This means – by 2020 – we could live in a world with primarily localized connectivity and 5G would then make that connectivity pervasive (like ‘air’)
  • In this world, Operators would have a much better visibility of their customers(through say Hotspot 2.0) and would focus on being much more customer centric by truly leveraging their data (Big Data, IoT etc)
  • To quote John F Kennedy, a rising tide will lift all boats and thus, we have an optimistic view of the industry
  • Thus, Hotspot 2.0, Low energy Bluetooth (on which iBeacon is based) will be interesting. It will be also interesting to see how Zigbee fares in future in context of Bluetooth (and the jury is definitely out on Zigbee  as is on NFC (Apple’s ibeacon mobile payment system is the death knell of NFC). NFC and Zigbee have taken too long to gain critical mass – and normally when that happens – something else takes over
  • More interesting from a connectivity standpoint is 900Mhz wifi also called 80211ah standard. At MWC 900MhzWi-Fi makes a debut which could provide wi-fi with dedicated bands for ultra-reliable, always-on machine-to-machine connections.

Why the focus on IOT ..

2014 was clearly the year of IOT. IOT is not M2M (machine to machine). M2M is a telecoms term which implies that there is a radio (cellular) at both ends of the communication. On the other hand, IOT means simply connecting to the Internet.

The two are not the same!

From an IOT perspective, we can see connectivity in three ways:

a)      Things connected to the cellular network directly and communicating mainly via cellular (machine to machine)

b)      Things connected to Internet, speaking to each other  in an autonomous, discoverable, peer to peer mode (ubiquitous computing)

c)       Things connected to the mobile phone and then to the Internet

(a) is too expensive for mass market.  (b) is too futuristic. (c) is happening now .. and is my main focus here


MWC is all about devices!

  • LG, Samsung, and Sony dominate ex Sony’s Xperia Z2
  • In contrast, devices from Huawei and ZTE did not seem to be impressive. It will be interesting to see if they are successful going forward as device vendors or will continue to remain infrastructure vendors
  • Both Nokia and Blackberry (former leaders) remain uncertain with Nokia adopting Android.
  • New devices like Yotaphone 2 (screen on one side – e-reader on the other side) provide new interfaces
  • Some vendors like Kyocera introduce some quirky concepts
  • Both Sailfish (Jolla) and Ubuntu had a presence – but too early to say how these devices will fare in the future
  • There were devices and then there was Samsung Galaxy S5! Apart from the usual (5.1 inch screen, 16 megapixels camera etc), we also have for the first time a fingerprint scanner and support for 128-GB memory card.
  • The Galaxys5 also allows you to track your heartbeat. In conjunction with the Samsung Gear Fit , we have the makings of a new class of IOT device targeting healthcare


Emerging market devices

Devices targeting emerging markets and the cost conscious customer were prominent.

  • Nokia X(with  Android) strategy can be seen in this light since they support  up to 75% of apps available on Google Play. The Nokia X, X+ and XL will cost €89 (£73), €99 (£81) and €109 (£89), respectively.
  • The $25 firefox phone also comes in the same class and challenges the Nokia X
  • The facebook whatsapp strategy could also been in that light


Automotive was also a strong theme especially with Ford Sync 2 , Mercedes QNX-based system , Connected car solutions at MWC 2013 – m2m, CarConnectivity consortium , AT&T-GM


  • In an age of Snowden, Privacy has taken center stage.
    Mozilla announced the Future of Mobile Privacy to secure data easily.
  • Samsung announced the Knox security product targeted at small and medium enterprises. According to Computerweekly “The SME offering allows dual “personalities” to be set up on a smartphone to allow one handset to function as two separate devices, keeping the data from each, whether personal or corporate, contained and secure.
  • And then there was the Blackphone – dubbed the Snowden phone (Blackphone web site). The ‘privacy-first’ runs a customized version Android OS.
  • As mentioned before, the Galaxy 5 already has fingerprint recognition
  • My analysis: It’s interesting to see how many people actually buy secure phones for themselves (i.e. not popular phones like Galaxy 5 which have secure features built into them). In my experience, many people (with Geographical exceptions like Germany) – want privacy – but actually behave in the opposite manner (or do not pay for privacy)


I have already explained the significance of IOT above .. Here are some interesting observations






Comments/feedback welcome at ajit.jaokar at  Follow me @ajitjaokar

For a copy of the Digital world in 2030 report to be released in the European parliament next week – follow the link

My slides for my keynote at the swiss mobile association in Zurich last week ..










Crossdomain technology trends in Telecoms, Mobile and the Internet


What will 5G look like and how 5G will shape the technological landscape of countries for the next decade

Based on my observations at MWC and outside, here is an analysis of why 5G matters and how it could shape the technological landscape of countries.

What is 5G

The Ericsson white paper on 5G says “5G radio access is an integrated set of technologies addressing a wide variety of use cases and requirements”

This statement sounds very generic but covers a lot of specific details because technology does not exist in vacuum. Hence, 5G should be seen in context of the previous technological evolutions. These are: 1G(1980’s) Voice; 2G(1990’s) Voice & Text; 3G(2000’s) Multimedia; 4G(2010’s) Mobile Internet. Building on these, 5G could be seen as a set of technologies that bring the networked society to life. This statement ‘creating a set of technologies that bring the networked society to life’ also sounds aspirational ..

So we need to explore what 5G means for applications and services

Today, Mobile traffic is driven by predictable activities which include making calls, email communications, browsing, watching video etc. Over the next 5 to 10 years, it is expected that billions of new devices with less predictable traffic patterns will join the network. These include Smart meters, Automotive applications, remote surveillance etc.

So, to handle this, 5G represents a convergence of Radio access technologies. To this, 5G also adds a good user experience as a goal

What does 5G mean for applications and applications?

The drivers for 5G are

  • Massive growth in Connected Devices
  • Wide range of Requirements and Characteristics
  • Making access affordable and sustainable

To achieve this in a diverse ecosystem as discussed above, from a network standpoint, we could classify applications along the parameters:

  • high volume(classical)
  • latency oriented
  • data payloads
  • energy efficiency
  • network reliability

For example:

  • Relaxed latency requirements – Remote meter reading for billing purposes
  • Strict latency requirements – Safety or control mechanisms in the process industry,
  • High network reliability – Applications relating to the control of critical infrastructure (such as electrical grids), industrial control etc
  • High volume – Remote video surveillance,
  • Low payload – Smart metering

And all these on a massive scale (50 billion)

5G will expand into new deployment scenarios, for example ultra-dense deployments where the distance between network access nodes may be as small as a few meters and to Direct device-to-device communication. Direct to device supports radio access between a terminal and an access point connected to the Internet. Direct to device is  beneficial when devices that share information are close to each other and information has in a local context.






(source Ericsson)

What to expect from next generation wireless networks technology?

Some of the qualities of a 5G network include:

  • mobile data rates of multiple gigabits per second;
  • higher spectral efficiency and advanced beam-forming technology;
  • a dramatic reduction in power consumption by both devices and macro- and microcell sites;
  • latencies of less than five milliseconds end to end;
  • a larger number of supported devices;
  • pervasive coverage;
  • extreme reliability;
  • self-healing capabilities.

And also include some more complex ones like ultra-dense networks to networks that harvest their power

The blog What to expect from the next generation of wireless communications? Gives a good outline of 5G features which I summarise below

End to end broadband connectivity that meets or exceeds user expectations – Higher data rates , superior end user experience, minimal dead zones and dropped data/voice packets, high quality of voice,  ubiquitous Five signal bars, close to zero Latency, no network congestion, pervasive and  robust networks that can withstand natural calamities

Dynamic allocation of resources –mapping the service requirements to the most suited combination of frequency and radio resources.

Customized user specific experience – The future wireless communications will focus increasingly on delivering enhanced support for diverse applications while remembering the customers’ preferences and usage patterns. The customer will be able to trust the service provider. Quality of service will be tailored to the applications’ demand.

Multi-hop mobile ad hoc networks – Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) are designed to operate without any infrastructure and possess self-organizing capabilities. The wireless nodes communicate among themselves using multi-hop radio relaying, without the packets passing through a central access point or a base station.

The Internet of Things – The idea of machine to machine communications is not new and has been discussed for years. However, the ‘Internet of Things’ is a relatively fresh term referring to various objects in our lives all possessing a unique RFID (linked to an IP address). They will communicate with each other without human interference, help in decision making and save time.

Centimeter and millimeter wave frequencies as spectrum source –The spectrum above 3 GHz has been largely left untouched so far in most parts of the world. High frequencies means low range

Smart and efficient receivers –The primary intelligence of the network will remain with the transmitter for the foreseeable future, but eventually receivers will play an increasingly important role in making the mobile environment more efficient on a network level.

This is summarised  in the following diagrams


(source Eriscsson)


















The race for the next generation game changers is on ..


5G could be a game changer for countries and companies and many have realised that

The UK effort is led by the University of Surrey 5G research center

Ericsson led metis2020 project, the Intel Strategic Research Alliance for 5G, the EU project 5gnow , Huawei’s 5G collaborations in Europe (especially in Munich) and ofcourse Neelie Kroes announcements for 5G are examples of various projects in this space

The World Radiocommunications Conference, scheduled for November 2015. Will bring many of these discussions into focus

The new 5G-Public Private Partnership will work in three phases over the next six years to define and launch the 5G infrastructure:

  1. Phase I (2014-2016): Basic research work / Vision building
  2. Phase II (2016-2018): System optimization / Pre-standardization
  1. Phase III (2018-2020): Large-scale trials / Early Standardization

To conclude, the discussions for 5G are only just beginning!  And much is at stake

A unified view of a 5G network would look as below