Photo by AJ on Unsplash

Beauty with Brevity, the Haiku way

72.2 Miles on the Bike Around Lake Tahoe

Discovering new things in life is always a two-way street — what I seek has to be okay being sought by me.

The grander the sought out, the more effort it takes to gain access.

I often wonder how an idea enters the human mind. For example, I still don’t understand how I got the idea of biking around Lake Tahoe. I do know, however, that I simply wish to venture into the mountains to enjoy solitude, not have to indulge in the niceties of being a social creature, cut the decorums, and focus on Nature and the self. …

Going to these mountains indeed feels like going home. How right John Muir was about it!

Photo by Aniket Deole on Unsplash

As I get closer to the Sierras, somewhere around the town of Mariposa, as the ranges start to appear on the far horizon, I can feel the thrill. A strange spontaneous smile originates, first from my eyes and flows down to my lips, as I see my cheeks raising from the bottom of my eyes. It’s a smile, a full one, a hearty one, pure and filled with happiness. Before I know it, my face is blushing with this spirit of excitement. …

Start with the First Principles, Build the Right Fundamentals


The role of an Engineering Manager(EM) is a complex one. The deep understanding of the product, the various systems involved, the historical technology choices, the market sentiment, the metrics, the customer stories, the tech debt, proofs-of-concept, the migrations, strategic stakeholder and partner relations— all these and more are imperative to the role’s success. Throw in people to this mix and you’ve got yourself one of the hardest balances to manage.

In this article, I want to talk about how to approach management — the things you should focus on as you start your management journey — if the goal is…

Why alignment is such a crucial element in building high performing teams

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Serving as an Engineering Manager for a fairly big team, means I need to deeply understand who they are at an individual level and help them bring their best to the team’s mission. No matter how prolific their intelligence levels are, if they cannot apply themselves in the context of the team, then I think I have failed as a leader responsible for the team’s goals. I want to talk a little bit about the criticality of aligning the individual to the collective in High Performing Engineering Teams.

Let’s simply start by defining what’s good and what’s not.

Design Pattern…

Tune Your Responses to Tune Your Success in This Human Life

Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash


Carefully choosing our response to any given situation can be the single most important thing to finetune for happiness and success — right here in this very life. The choice is powerful because every situation presents itself as an opportunity to optimize how and who you want to be. Not only will this make you an advanced human being, but also bring you many tangible advantages. …

Don’t make it a pain to be around, pay attention to the small things

#5 Take a shower and smell clean.

Photo by Outsite Co on Unsplash

The pandemic’s here and it’s requiring us all to get creative and think on our feet. I don’t think most of were used to this much of WFH, this much of spouse time, this much of home time. It’s a new way of working and it requires the best of all of us to empathize with each other and make it a pleasant experience for one another.

I have been making notes about things I did and did not do well as a housemate. I want to share the thought processes behind them in a hope that you show more…


Some People Appeal to Us as More Sensitive, Sensible, and Intellectual. Why?

Photo by Lilibeth Bustos Linares on Unsplash

Ever sat across someone who ranted for nine full minutes on how they are lazy to make a fresh cup of morning coffee every day, so they make some kind of stupid-sugary-instant-coffee-silky-mixture that can last them for one whole week and store it in the fridge. And then they realize they never told you how they beat this sugar, water, and instant coffee! So, they go off another long record of the most basic, boring, and uninteresting train of details. Oh, and then, they have to tell you how they just take this stale mixture they are so proud of…

Learn the Superskill Called Delegation to Fan the Growth Flame

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


How can I avoid feeling too guilty when delegating my tasks?

Am I palming off my duties?

As a self-described control freak, how can I work on “letting go” when I know/suspect the person taking up the task either won’t do a satisfactory job or I know I would do it better?

Can I practice Servant Leadership while delegating?

The list goes on and on. When people reach out to me for mentorship, the number one most asked query is around delegation.

I get the popularity of these questions — I went through some of the similar confusion myself. …


Today, It’s Easy to Find a Home Cleaning Service. But What’s the Cost of Delegating This Job?

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

You Realize Nothing Is Permanent

This house was cleaned yesterday, sorry you missed it.

There is a saying in Sanskrit —

Sarvam anityam, sarvam shunyam, Sarvam anatman.”

(All is transitory, all is void, all is without ego.)

All is transitory. This quote plays in the background as I scrub the bathtub, toilet bowls, and sinks. As I scrape off the stubborn dirt off the surfaces and as the sparkling white emerges, I know it will not remain clean. Using it implies dirt.

As one goes “forward” in time, the second law of thermodynamics says, the entropy of an isolated system can increase, but not decrease.

Mallika Rao

Logic. Math. Computer Science. Scale. Hike. Entropy. Mountains. Photography. Thinking. Writing. Conversations. Coffee. Travel. Work. Improve.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store