Interview with web developer Manas Sarkar

Manas Sarkar
Manas Sarkar

Manas Sarkar is an RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) as well as security consultant and software & web developer. He worked in numerous significant projects. Here in this interview, he talked with us about web development and web security.

Hello Manas, Creativica welcomes you!

Hello Team Creativica.

Tell us about your education and career in web development.

I have done masters in Information Technology as well as two certification courses in DNIIT and RHCE. I am associated with the IT industry from the last 8 years and currently working in a research project as a System Analyst at Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility, College of Veterinary Science, Guwahati. I started my professional career as a freelance developer and IT security consultant in the year 2006, just after completing my graduation.

What made you decide to be a web developer?

I am addicted to computer and Internet. From my graduation days I used to browse lots of websites and was a regular reader of computer magazines like Digit and Chip. The more I learnt about new technologies, the more I got addicted. I was fascinated about how the web pages are getting displayed from a remote server machine, how the contents are so nicely placed with eye-catching images and animations, how our queries are responded by web applications, etc. The passion to give life to my ideas in the form of software or web application pushed me towards being a web developer.

For a long time you have been in the field of web development; tell us about your experiences in the industry, specially in North East India.

The time when I started my career as a freelance developer, there were only a few IT firms which were offering web development service in North East India. At that time minimum charge for developing a website was something around 25 to 30 thousand. But with the years, the scenario has changed a lot. Now in Guwahati itself there are so many web development firms. Now some of the firms are offering web development service for as low as 2000 bucks only. Competition is very high in the market. But from the perspective of job seekers the scenario is more or less the same. There are so many web development firms but comparatively the number of openings is very less as there are no giant players in the market. I hope in near future some of the reputed IT companies will start their operation in North East India and will create more and more opportunities for the new web developers in North East India. This region has a large pool of well qualified work force.

You are a web developer as well as a security analyst. How tough and challenging is it to make a website vulnerable free?

Security is only a state of mind. Nobody can develop a 100% secure system. While we are discussing this topic here, someone in some part of the world might be developing a new attack for your website. You actually can’t even guess at which point your application will be attacked and what new vulnerability someone might have discovered, because web applications can be accessed from any corner of the world through Internet. It’s really a tough task to be always updated with the latest vulnerabilities and their countermeasure. The only thing you can do is check your application regularly to find out vulnerabilities and update all your application with latest security updates. Being a security analyst is a tough task as you don’t know what risk your application might face the next second and to secure that you might have to do hours of R&D. It needs lots of patience.

What do you love most about web development?

When I see people using the applications I develop, I get delighted. I can see my imagination come alive. It’s really a pleasure for me that I can actually develop the solutions I visualize.

What has been your most challenging project till date?

Every project brings new and unique challenges. It’s hard to compare all the projects as they are from various domains. But I remember a specific one; one of my client’s website got hacked by a Pakistani hacking group. Restoring that website by mitigating all the vulnerability was an exciting challenge I faced.

Please mention some of your significant web projects that make you feel proud.

Some of the projects developed and maintained by me are –,,,,,, Patshala (a web based ERP for school management), etc.

What are the programming and markup languages that you are familiar with? Which ones do you like most?

I am familiar with most of the popular programming, scripting and markup languages. Some of them are – PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, ASP.Net, VB Script, VB.Net, C, C++, C#, Java, JSP, XML, UML, WML, etc. All of them have their own pros and cons and are used in different scenario. But, the language I like most is PHP.

How do you differ web development from web designing?

Development and designing are closely related to each other; they are like two sides of a coin. Without one the other might not get the exact amount of appreciation. I wrote an article showing the difference of these two closely related terms.

Do you think that a web developer also should have some knowledge of web designing?

Of course they should. They should have sound knowledge of designing because without an eye catching design it’s not possible to attract traffic for your web application. If you have gone through the article link I mentioned in the Manaswer for the previous question, then till now you have got my view on this question.

What can one learn as a professional web developer that can’t be taught in institutions?

Education and experience are two different things. What is taught in Institutions is only an eye opener and mostly is like beginners guide. When you become professional you will face the real challenge and will learn to solve the practical problems. Whatever you have learned in institutions will always help you as base knowledge; the rest of the problem solving techniques needs to be acquired by you. That’s why tech giants always prefer experienced professionals.

There are quite a few institutes in North East India that teach web development and designing, do you think they fulfill the needs of an aspiring web developer or designer?

Not all of them. Only one or two of the many institutions are doing well as per my knowledge. Most of the institutes lack qualified teachers and their course contents are also not updated.

You are familiar with Windows as well as Linux, one is closed source and the other is open source. Which one do you prefer most and why?

(laughs) I am an RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer), what Manaswer can you expect from me?! It’s definitely Linux! It is much more secure and cost effective. You have independence to tweak anything as it is open source. If I start, I will give a very long explanation about why I prefer Linux! (laughs) Let’s skip it for now.

Do you think that in the near future, the open source technologies will overcome the closed source technologies?

Not exactly. Both will coexist. But in future, market share of closed source technologies will surely go down.

It is a funny fact that being a web developer or you might say if you know anything about computers, people expect a lot many things from you, they might even call you to repair their computers or cell phones! How do you handle all these?

Yes, It’s a really funny thing I face every day. But I love to help people. They ask stupid questions because of lack of knowledge. I try to solve their problems, (laughs) but many a time I have given addresses of service centers as solution.

It was nice talking to you. Creativica wishes you all the good luck for a great journey ahead!

Thanks a lot. I wish Team Creativica good luck. I hope for more traffic and success for your website. It’s really a nice initiative by the team. Keep up with the good work and the creativity!


Nilotpal Singha

A professional graphic web designer, blogger, writer.

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