It’s been eight years since I hired Vikas Sharma and Dhananjay Singh (“DJ”) as tech developers to help create a bold, new Gold Derby – a more interactive version than existed from 2000-2005 (when we launched our original site) and 2005-2010 (when we joined the L.A. Times). I planned to split from the Times so we could forge a new website that empowers users to make their own predictions to compete against the Experts and Editors. It was a daunting cyber-challenge and, I confess, I worried a bit: Vikas and DJ were young guys who were located half a world away, in India. They weren’t working alone. They had the guidance of a veteran project manager, but they were tasked to do the heavy lifting.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Look around here and see for yourselves. Mission accomplished with the skilled assistance of scores of other talented tech wizards, too, who worked with us over subsequent years as we were acquired by Penske Media Corporation (2015). I – and all Derbyites – are deeply grateful to the brilliant collective tech team now under the inspired leadership of PMC’s SVP of Business Development Craig Perreault and VP of Engineering Gabriel Koen.
But, believe it or not, during all this time I’d never actually met Vikas or DJ in person. You can do that in this miraculous digital age where webcams and emails easily replace shoulder-to-shoulder meetings around a table.
So I was long overdue to catch up to them when I headed to India this past week. During our four fun days hanging out in New Delhi, I recorded the iPhone video above so you, dear readers, could meet them, too.
Gold Derby editor Tom O’Neil (second from left) with tech developers Vikas Sharma (second from right) and Dhananjay Singh and his wife in Delhi, India.