Hi! I’m Nikhil VJ from Pune, Maharashtra. I’m a part-time freelance web designer, writer, DIY-technologist, treehugger, community event organiser, networker and wannabe farmer.

Note: See DataMeet Pune chapter to see some open data and open source programming projects I’m working on.

Some websites I have worked on:

  • punegroundwater.in : Built for CEE, overlaying geo-referenced data on a web map (work-in-progress as of Nov 2017)
  • organicannadata.org : For an event in Pune.
  • ourpuneourbudget.in : Built for CEE, featuring my work on budget and maps and other data for Pune. Includes a multi-parameter choropleth visualizer
  • samvadabaduku.org : Designed by a colleague; I provided technical support and occasional CSS help and plugins advice.
  • rainbowbrtpune.wordpress.com : the de-facto official site of Pune/PCMC’s Bus Rapid Transit system from its launch till Oct 2016 while the formal one took time to build. I set it up with the team working on BRT’s communications (at CEE Pune), taught them how to do the stuff and handed over; they then completely managed it in-house.
  • naturesrendezvous.com : set up and handed over.. now the client is editing it etc while I’m around in case of emergencies or more technical requirements)

Programming Projects

  • static GTFS Manager – GUI interface for creating, editing, exporting of static GTFS data for a public transit authority, created with World Resources Institute.

Demo, Volunteer Projects

Services on offer:

I can make, edit, rescue websites for your initiative / org using wordpress.org content management system (CMS) and also other platforms like weebly. I can also provide training on managing your website if it runs on a CMS like wordpress.

Advanced services on offer: I can turn your excel data into interactive web-maps like this, put advanced functionality on your site (again, provided the plugin is available) like filters, forums, chat, timed pages, embedded docs, tables, setting up automated backups, etc. Getting https (SSL) certificate for free (using Let’s Encrypt). I prefer advanced back-end work this over normal website work.

Website rescue: I’ve had some work experience on recovering crashed websites from backup (and most providers will have a backup file if your site has crashed), moving a site to another domain or server etc. So can also do a quick assignment like that. Check out this walkthrough for a domain name change.

What I will not be able to do: Hand-made illustrations for the site’s menu, logo designing, changing fonts and colors a 1000 times, moving things slightly up/down/left/right etc. Client has to get the content ready in full, and we put it up using one of the 1000s of amazing wordpress themes available on the net. I won’t create a custom theme or plugin for your site. I will not be able to respond to emergencies at short notice – for that please take my or rishi’s training and be able to do these things yourself. If your site goes down, mentally accept that it’s likely going to be that way for a week.

Charge: Sliding scale from Rs.10k onwards, on one-time project work basis depending on time and energy needed. It’s preferable if the larger cause behind the project is something I personally connect with. We can also include training for managing the website / project.

Note: After initial development period, for any further support that goes beyond just a call or quick-fix or so, we will have to do a maintenance contract with pre-decided amount and durations.

Working pattern: On part time, mostly work-from-home basis. I prefer autonomy at work and will do reporting at weekly or fortnightly basis only; daily contact not possible. We can decide on hours per week, and I would likely do most of the work at a stretch over a couple of days and then get back next week (till then the client can keep collecting together work to be done and I’ll do them in one shot rather than one by one). I will NOT be available for emergency work; responses to questions/requests can take 12 to 24 hours.

Training: Setting up and managing wordpress sites can be done by anyone; no tech background needed. I have a friend in Mumbai doing trainings on the same for people from all backgrounds. I can also do a similar training for any org/group; plus it’s possible to have nearly the whole system in Marathi from the back-end even so even language barrier can be handled. And if making a website then I prefer to do the training with one of their team and handing everything over so they can edit in-house from that point onwards, like I’ve done with rainbowbrt and naturesrendezvous.

Non-website but on-web services:

  • Data scraping
  • Python programming (small scale)
  • Aggregating land records from http://mahabhulekh.maharashtra.gov.in/
  • Visualizing data
  • Converting tables in pdfs to excel, etc.
  • Mobile based surveys : No, you don’t need to have your own server, we can set you up with a free account on Ona or Kobo or so and you can digitize your field work in a short time.
  • I can train your team on creating survey forms, making online collaborative docs, setting up team communication systems, etc.
  • Resolving domain-name, server issues (like: you bought a domain but the damn thing isn’t pointing to your site, etc.)
  • Streamlining data collection and digital resources management