The Intro: Jitendra Harpalani

As you might have read, we’re growing the Fusion tech & product team in 2015. Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our colleagues, Jitendra Harpalani, who :ship: :ship: :ship: code all day long.

Who are you, and what do you do?

Jitendra HarpalaniHi, my name is Jitendra Harpalani. I am a programmer who started coding at an early age. One of my favorite projects that I’ve done is “Difference in Network” Facebook app. Long before Facebook started suggesting friends based on mutual friends, I built a friend suggestion app which took a number of factors into account like common interest, hometown, current city, etc. It was a fun school project.

I completed my engineering degree in India. Although it was Bachelor of Engineering program in Information Technology, I ended up studying a lot from varied fields too. To name a few:

  • Engineering Drawing (Mechanical)
  • Basic Electronics (Electronics)
  • Applied Physics (Mechanical) etc

My favorite was mechanical workshop where we literally did some carpentry.

I did my Masters in Computer Science from NYU. My career began with startup, named LocalBigwig LLC. There, I worked on a MVC architecture called Joomla, using PHP, MYSQL, HTML, CSS, jQuery, which later gave me a lot of confidence when I was asked to join Fusion full-time. I have been part of media industry for some time now, working in companies like Time Inc, Dow Jones, ABC News and now at Fusion as a Sr. Software Engineer.

One thing I really like about Fusion is its culture. You are so inspired that you could almost work 24/7, such is the excitement in the company to move forward and be a leader.

What’s your preferred hardware and software setup?

I still remember that day when I asked my manager at ABC News that I would prefer a Windows PC over a Macbook for development. Today I can’t imagine myself working on anything but an Apple product after using Macbook for 2 years.

Any project I am working on, Eclipse is the way to go (for me). You can hook up anything you want to in one IDE and leave the rest to it. Like, when I first started using SASS, I was using Terminal to run Compass commands, but after spending couple of hours with Eclipse, I found a way to define a config file and then, Viola! I save the file and here my files are getting compiled. Here is the reference for whoever is reading this.

But, that doesn’t say that I don’t like using Terminal. In fact, it gives me a feeling of using MS DOS, which was the first OS I used as a kid.

How do you consume media? Any favorite formats or publications?

I just love Google News (online/app). You get what you are looking for “News!” and nothing else. I have configured my app to list news from all the websites that I browse. Usually I like to start my day with a hot coffee and my iPad, specially, when I wake up early.

To name a few websites that I use, Fusion.net :), TimesOfIndia.com, TheHindu.com, NYTimes.com, ESPNCricinfo.com etc. I really liked reading about the US President visiting India on its Republic Day, specifically what he did when he was leaving the country. He quoted a famous dialogue from an Indian movie ‘Senorita, bade bade deshon mein… you know what I mean”, and the crowd is still going berserk.

I also follow the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. Since he started his tenure back in May 2014, he has been the revolutionary.

What excites you most about what’s coming next at Fusion?

Fusion excites me as a whole. I remember when I first joined Fusion, I was the only technical resource. It was a bit scary and challenging at the same time. We started working off ABC News architecture using Groovy, HTML, CSS, Javascript etc. It was fun working in a small team, I mean literally small, like 1 developer, 3 product managers. It has been two years now, and since then, we have migrated to WordPress, our team has grown exponentially.

My manager used to say, “Fusion is like a baby of two giant parents: ‘Disney – ABC Television Group’ and ‘Univision’. Over the period of time, its going to evolve and become a huge entity on its own.” It happened at the speed of light and now, Fusion is one of the companies to be featured in Mashable’s “Companies to watch out for in 2015.”

I am really excited to continue working with Fusion as we explore new technologies and tools to empower our editorial and products to a next level, at the same time contributing back to the Open Source Community.

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