Interview with Uday Gajendar(@udanium)...

The count down has begun for me. I have approximately 10 days of school left!

Today's interview is with Uday Gajendar. Uday is:

a principal designer at Citrix Systems in Silicon Valley. He creates attractive, useful products that enable “work and play from anywhere”.

Uday followed me on Twitter, and after reading a little about him, and reading some of his writing on Ghost in the Pixel, I was hooked and asked him to do a five question interview!

Q. What is it like working at Citrix?

A. Quite simply, there's rarely a dull moment-- Creative, dynamic, and we have fun! We're leading the way with "work shifting" and "virtual teams". Citrix is enabling perhaps the three hottest tech trends today: mobile, cloud, and virtualization, and others like social (via our acquisition of Podio). W're also creating a culture of "design thinking" (with our CEO's strong support), through workshops and training sessions. So we're quite busy! And by virtue of my uniquely positioned role as a Principal Designer, I'm involved in both thought leadership as well as short-term, high-impact concept projects, so for me it's a great way to be involved at strategic and tactical levels of design, supporting our fantastic Product Design team, almost 85 members worldwide. In a nutshell, Citrix is an evolving hybrid of IT software, design studio, research lab, and graduate school--you're always learning and trying new things that will challenge you!

Q. What computer do you use and why?

A. For work, I use a 2010 Apple MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo with 8 GB RAM, running OS 10.6.8 (haven't moved to Lion yet!). Beautiful form factor, gorgeous screen, and very fast & powerful, since I'm always running multiple Adobe and MSFT apps. I also use our own Citrix Receiver which enables me to access a virtual Windows 7 system via "the cloud". So I can run Windows--and Windows apps-- on my Mac smoothly :-)

Q. If you had to describe Silicon Valley in one metaphor what would it be?

A. It's exactly how a friend described it to me when I first arrived back in 2000 as a college intern...A giant, mutating, living organism that's always in a state of dynamism. People move around a lot here, and that's just the norm. Everyone seems so excited about inventing, deal-making, questioning conventions, and having fun doing it. It's pretty crazy yet amazing. Truly no place like this anywhere!

Q. What is Citrix's approach to the growing tablet market?

A. Tablets (and mobile devices) are a key part of Citrix's mobile & cloud strategy, supporting new work styles. Tablets are a big value-add for consumers and IT pros, alike... we totally recognize that, and endorse BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for our customers. Mobile First is advocated by our CEO as well, since we can't just be chained to old PC expectations anymore. We have held internal "mobile summits" (which I've helped organize) to share mobile UX knowledge. We offer Receiver, GoToMeeting, and GoToMYPC (among others) across iOS & Android devices to allow convenient access to Windows apps/desktops on the go, thus supporting workshifting based upon our "work or play from anywhere" mantra.

<p style="padding-left:120px;"Q. How did you feel when Steve Jobs died?

A. Shock and disbelief. We lost someone truly extraordinary, our "Patron of Innovation"...And profound sadness, as I considered him a personal hero (though I never met him). I remember that day well, as I had just finished participating in an all-day innovation workshop--kinda ironic, right? We're all totally tired from the day, dutifully checking our iPhones at 5pm, when we saw the news via Twitter / text / email. Gasps and murmurs filled the room. I drove home in the dense, slow traffic reflecting on it all. Once I got home, I wrote a blog post summarizing my thoughts, then visited the Apple Store on Univ Ave, watching the flowers and notes piling up outside. It all just felt so surreal, but I went home resolved to keep fighting for damn good design just like Steve would want us to.

For Uday I wanted to incorporate that "work and play" line, into his wallpaper.

Thanks Uday! instantbight