Tuesday, November 13, 2007

If ever there is a GPhone, I would want...

Over the last two to three weeks, there has been increasing coverage of the various moves being unleashed by Google, Microsoft, Facebook and the likes. One of those that clearly stand out in this is the new “Android” API that Google has introduced for all cell phone operators and application developers to develop seamless applications on the mobile platform. That effectively meant that there would not be a GPhone as hoped by many.

I just imagined what I could have got if only there was a GPhone in the offing. Imagination was curtailed to the extent that I did not think about too many fancy applications like these

  1. I don’t want a GPhone, I want a GEM – OK. Let me explain better. A Gem stands for a Google emblem. And phone may / may not be just a part of it. Think something like an iPhone / SideKick / Blackberry. But not just limited to what Apple decides to put into their iPhone. It should be a truly democratic phone and there should be an ability to add on stuff (explained in the next point). Features that certainly should be supported right from beta include the basic phone, net browsing, camera, mp3 player, video, Bluetooth, gaming controls, qwerty keyboard, trackball, expandable memory, radio etc. with a couple of USB ports.
  2. I want a configurable Gem – Now comes the interesting part. I want to be able to choose what I want in my Gem. Currently even though I may not want a camera as part of my phone, I am forced to buy my phone with it since only such phones have the additional features I need. I want to be able to just plug and play these devices and configure my own phone. So if I need a camera, I will go for it and plug that in. If I need audio / video capabilities, I will plug that in and pay more for it. It is similar in case of a qwerty keyboard / net browsing capability etc. This is surely possible for the brilliant Google designers and engineers!
  3. I want complete mobility – EDGE / UMTS / ABCDE etc. Oh God I don’t want to hear any more technical jargons on what a phone supports and what not. Majority of the more than 2 billion that may probably own a phone don’t care about that. They may just may want internet browsing for example. And the Gem should certainly provide that feature irrespective of what the network supports or what a physical location supports (as long as it supports something!). Speeds may vary but the feature should be there and should not be insanely expensive as it is right now with better support and usage.
  4. I want to do things that can be done on a small screen– I don’t want to read an entire newspaper on my phone. I just want the summary of the news. Similarly, I don’t really want to play fast action games on such a small screen but I may want to play some classic games from the N32/64/Sega or Carmen Sandiego/Mario era. And I don’t want to keep downloading them from a million sites. I just want one place or better still, let them come by default maybe at some price. Google should start certainly looking at a better conduit for small-screen related content instead of just exposing the not so literate user to the big wide world from Google search results and sponsored links! Search can be considered a digression and I dont want to be searching all the time through a small screen device.
  5. I want my Gem to be the God of all things – In the long term, I would look at my Gem to be the all in one device to just connect to my monitor and look at the whole thing on a bigger screen (and the OS senses that and fine-tunes the display). I don’t need any operating system if I am in this mode, all the apps that I need – mail, docs, spreadsheets, browser, media player, messenger are already there inside the phone. In a similar fashion, you can expect the Gem to be the controlling device for your TV to get cable, satellite and internet videos all delivered. You can even look at your TV as a large screen device to play bigger and better games off your Gem. The Gem should also connect to maybe Bose speakers to play crystal clear music. The Gem becomes the all in one device with its connectivity and expandable memory. Other devices just connect and amplify!

Google’s motto is to “Don't be evil”. Hence I am implicitly assuming that connectivity across multiple systems such as live / yahoo as well as various different social networks like facebook / myspace / bebo etc. are all covered in addition to whatever I have mentioned above… Given the Google push, the Android platform will obviously provide choices for web browsers / other applications and the likes and it would be survival of the fittest then for sure – so the best would win.

It certainly is worth waiting for this Gem of a device, if and when it arrives…

Monday, November 12, 2007

O(h) So Much Hype...

On Saturday, I went and watched the most hyped film of our times – Om Shanti Om. I can now stand up and shout out to the world with my 1.5 pack paunch that it is the biggest and brightest film ever made in our country.

All the actors have put in their best performances to date for this movie. Special mention must go to Arjun Rampal, who has done one of his best roles of his career as a villain. Credit must go to the director Farah Khan for the way she has mastered her resources – including the tons of superstars, each of whom have made their presence felt. Comedy is awesome and this movie will make you keep laughing all the way. Of course, the movie has good doses of action, romance and sentiment as well to make it one solid pot-boiler for all ages to enjoy. Last but not the least, Shah Rukh is the king of the Indian cinema and his six pack abs and his humdinger of a performance proves that he is our No. 1 superstar.

Oops. Just because of the hype surrounding the movie and its reviews elsewhere, I got a bit carried away. Let me cut the crap and talk about ground reality…

The film is a completely ordinary effort. As regards the story, I am not even getting into any discussion on logic – you really cannot hope to have one where the movie starts with reincarnation and goes on to end as a ghost story. Just a couple of twists does not make an engaging storyline. Arjun Rampal has maintained his same expressionless dead face throughout the movie – the biggest advantage that he has here is that he is playing the villain and is thus able to pass off as a great performance. As regards Farah, there is absolutely no single point in the movie that has the stand-out touch of the director – it is just too normal and usual in everything. As for the tons of stars, they all could get their dancing parts long enough thanks to the super-long song in the second half that just went on and on. Except for the Sonu Nigam song, all other songs have been picturized and choreographed in an extremely ordinary manner – something that you might have thought could be one stand-out feature of such a big movie, being directed by a renowned dancer. The main climax song is not even worth humming and hence loses its complete tempo. There are three isolated pieces of good comedy – the 70s spoof and the fight sequence in the first half and the awards in the second half but that’s about it. Rest of it hardly has anything close to comedy. Action, sentiment and romance are non-existent in the movie. As for Shah Rukh, for the star he is supposed to be, there is hardly a single scene that is enterprising or brings out the star in him. Acting-wise, I am sure he did not move a muscle. It is good that his hamming has reduced – that may be because there were probably not too many scenes where he needed to; wherever he did need to, he made people believe that over-acting was part and parcel of this role.

All things said – it is still a reasonable time-pass of a movie. It can be watched once. And I certainly did like the red carpet welcome once again for all of the technicians behind the screen. Deepika, Shreyas and Kiron Kher have provided good performances – Deepika and Shreyas’s being measured ones as lover and friend respectively, while Kiron’s being the over-the-top cinematic mother. However, this movie is nowhere near the ratings and the hype created by the producers and the media’s so called critical reviewers. Even in terms of repeat value, probably a Main Hoon Na would fare better than this one on each and every single count – good songs, fast action, persistent comedy, true sentiment, rich locales, attractive choreo, eye-soothing cinematography or a fitting storyline that merges all pieces together…

One fact is proved - Marketing and hype do certainly work to make something ordinary look really amazing. Six-pack abs and the likes of seeing Zayed Khan, Aftab and Sunil Shetty in a song captures the attention of all viewers! One fails to however understand as to how it has b(r)ought into the minds of the so called great reviewers

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Solve these S/W - real life case studies

You are in an interview to get into your favourite IT services company… Imagine you are thrown these small caselets at you, and asked to respond on how you will tackle such real life scenarios. Do not despair! Since our surrounding environment has so many examples to solve these…

The easier ones…
Case 1: You have planned for a vacation with friends to Goa. Your manager does not sanction your leave – so you call for a strike. However the management has strictly said no to any strike. How can you ensure you get across your point without initiating a strike?

Case 2: You are the technical architect in a large project which has just won an award. In an interview to your internal magazone, you inadvertently say that the project leaders didn’t know or do anything and the team contributed to the success. True as it may be, the managers decide to sack you for this. What do you do to save your face and **s in this case?

Case 3: You were having a nice time as a project leader doing nothing. However, your project is nearing completion and you need to shift into another project, this time however as a resource under someone you don’t like. How would you evade this scenario?

Difficult ones… (Need more innovative thinking)
Case 4: You have been developing a module as part of a reasonably good project. However you feel it is going nowhere. You are attracted to another bigger project and want to latch on to that. How would you do it without injuring your reputation in the eyes of the public?

Case 5: You are an average worker in your company. You realize that salary hikes have slowed down considerably. You really want a bad salary hike since you had promised yourself a car for this year. No other company is going to offer you a job. What do you do?

Case 6: You are the module leader for a very important module of a big project. You are bored for sometime now and don’t feel that too many people are giving importance to what you say or do. To make sure you get some immediate attention on yourself, what do you do?

Please feel free to post your answers in the comments section. Answers basically should reference real life scenarios (either from politics or sports or cinema) surrounding you in India…

Sunday, October 28, 2007

If only India had daylight savings time...

Today, as I sit at a vague time of 3:00 am in the night on my computer, I experienced something unusual – the clock on the Windows tray turning back to 2:00 am on its own even though it had reached 3:00 am. Of course, this was the end of the daylight savings time here in Europe. We were reverting back by 1 hour to normal time. This now means that we are 4.5 hours behind India instead of 3.5 hours… The biggest benefit for now is that I get 1 extra hour of sleep on the weekend!

However, I was just wondering how this 1 extra hour would be of such great benefit though for us back in India… Here is a look at the tremendous benefits it offers to a wide cross-section of people…

  1. Our politicians – The junior Gowda who had in the evening agreed to support the Janata Dal, decided to create the 50th twist in the whole (a)pisode. He is in talks with esteemed madam Mrs. Sonia Gandhi Jee to share power at the center in return for supporting a Congress govt. at the state level. Mrs. Sonia Jee in the meantime has given 7 more instructions in the additional hour for Mr. Manmohan Singh to carry out. In parallel in Gujarat, somewhere in collusion with the same people who were exposed on the Tehelka video, Mr. Narendra Modi is trying to figure out more means to block all access to the entire internet, print media and radio so that the Tehelka expose does not reach his people.
  2. Our film personalities – 5 more trailers of Om Shanti Om were shown on around 25 different channels thus increasing the number of total impressions by 125 and the effective headcount of the mega marketing reach by around 2.5 people. The Big B meanwhile has signed up for 5 more brands to advertise this year, having had to compensate for giving up his claim on the farm land.
  3. Our sports heroes – Current captain M S Dhoni has once again managed to get a new haircut – this time a 70s style haircut aka Shah Rukh in OSO, to woo model turned actresses who act as 70s stars. At the same time, ex-captain Dravid is utilizing the 1 hour for figuring out how the fortunes have completely turned for him – from producing India’s best, to be given a rest* (E.g. of * -. Teachers picking out “volunteers” in school to do stuff). Sehwag was last seen laughing all out for this 1 hour thinking about how many series he has been persisted with despite his “spectacular” form.
  4. Our IT Services companies – Revenue-wise, there is no addition for the year since they lose this 1 hour in March when daylight savings time comes back in. However, they utilized this time to recruit 20 more people each and train them on the basics of computing. The overall training period has gradually shortened from 3 months to 2.5 weeks now.
  5. The educated gentlemen and ladies – Most of our grads and multi-national employees are using this 1 additional hour to figure out how to make more money, progress in career, marry their darlings, take care of their babies or buy that splendid new apartment. The rest (like yours truly) are doing the same things at a place away from India (or trying to get 1 more hour of sleep).
  6. The common man – He gets to see one more hour of all the above drama unfolding in front of him on the various news channels as more “sensational breaking news” fills up this hour. He cringes about how bad the politicians but knows though that the opponents are no less crap. He is hoping that some of the educated classes will save India someday. He does not know that this educated class is more foolish than him to depend on some politician saving them.

Any more such activities people can do in that 1 hour, please do post in the comments section…

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The real meaning behind MBA resumes

One of the most important things that B-school students learn during their 2 years in college is the art of preparing resumes. They understand that their resume is their biggest self-marketing tool and spruce it up with tons of high-flown adjectives, adverbs and what not to ensure that they come out tops in getting at least a shortlist for an interview. Let us demystify some of the jargons that they use to spruce up their resume after a couple of years of life in IT.

Resume usage: “Core member of a large development project”
Real meaning: Was mostly involved in buying snacks for the team members. Helped out in some minimal documentation when someone was sick in the project…

Resume usage: “Led the business development team to win a large multi-year multi-million dollar proposal … “
Real meaning: Copy pasted over 75% of the proposal from a previous one. When everything else failed, we reduced our rates to such a ridiculous amount that we had to get the deal.

Resume usage: “Helped strategize on the business plan of the practice to focus on new and upcoming areas”
Real meaning: Put up a presentation for the senior management during one of the strategy sessions. PPT shelved into cold storage the next day.

Resume usage: “Underwent an exhaustive training program on strategic leadership”
Real meaning: Went to GRT Grand Days and had an extremely fulfilling buffet lunch. Had a good sleep away from project pains during the training sessions…

Resume usage: “Championed organization activities including recruitment efforts, pre-placement talks etc.”
Real meaning: Was one of the over two hundred panellists in one of our usual mega-recruitment drives when the number of panellists is generally more than the number of candidates.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ram Gopal Varma ki $&%@#

If you have seen the latest block”bust”er of a movie that is titled Ram Gopal Varma ki “$%@#$”… then you can try your luck at answering the following multiple choice questions. There is typically only one answer to every question…

(1) What is the name of the latest movie from the Ram Gopal Varma movie (not so) stable?

  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Theater se Bhaag”
  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Career mein Daag”
  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Bahut bura cog”…
  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Go for a jog”
  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Hit yourself with a log”

(2) What is missing between Nisha Kothari and Ajay Devgan?

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Social Sciences

(3) What amongst the following took the honors for “worst part of the film”?*

  • Casting
  • Camera
  • Music (for the songs)
  • Dialogues
  • Direction

(P.S: The above is a very difficult question to answer. Hence you may tick more than one)

(4) What activity did Amitabh Bachan engage in throughout the movie?

  • Bumming
  • Humming
  • Hamming
  • Farming
  • Harming

(P.S: Clue - The fourth mentioned activity may sound right usually but is not the correct answer w.r.t this movie)

(5) Nisha Kothari DOES NOT know which of the following activities

  • Act
  • Sign a pact
  • Attract
  • Shout
  • Pout

(6) You will prescribe watching this movie to

  • Your in-laws
  • Your boyfriend / girlfriend who just broke up with you for someone else
  • Your boss (with family)
  • Your seniors in college who rag you
  • Person on his death bed who is wishing for death faster

(7) Sound effects in the movie can cause which of the following sensations

  • Ear drum being torn apart
  • The sound of a supersonic jet going around inside the head
  • Feeling of liquid / solid / semi-solid traveling upwards via the food pipe
  • (At least) 7 hands holding the neck firmly
  • Shivering and vibration of the whole body

(8) Why did Ram Gopal Varma remake the movie in the first place?

  • He wanted to get back at Sippy for not selling him the rights
  • He had signed a contract with Nisha Kothari to utilize her “services” in at least three films
  • He wanted to “cash” in on Ajay Devgan’s last few successes
  • He wanted to show Urmila in an item number one last time before she started accepting sister character roles
  • He did not have any other way to show he had “fire” in his belly

(9) You would term the movie as

  • A Great Hit
  • Deep Shit
  • Absolutely Unfit
  • Go and spit
  • Beyond one’s wit

(10) If Ram Gopal Varma makes one more remake of any film, it could probably be which of these masterpieces?

  • Neal aur Nikki
  • Roop Ki Rani, Choron Ka Raja
  • James
  • Marigold
  • Ram Gopal Varma ki “Aag”

If you need further clues on answering any of the questions, also read Rajeev Masand’s article on CNN IBN here.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bollywood's benevolent babes...

The other day, I was watching this movie called “Shaadi No. 1” on one of the very few Hindi channels I have access to. In the middle, there was an advertisement for the new movie (which I have heard is extremely crappy and over the top) called “Heyy Babyy” or something to that effect. One thing that is very common to these two movies is the number of second-grade actresses in both. Having a lot of them in each movie not just increases the average crowd pulling factor of the movie, it makes the job of film-making much easier for a lot of technicians. I am sure one can easily hazard a guess on their names. Let us see how these "babes" contribute immensely to the entire movie making fraternity ...

  • They are all very good actresses – with one single expression, they are able to convey laughter, sorrow, surprise, anguish etc. – there is of course no other expression that they know to handle, hence the director is spared off a lot of effort.
  • They give a lot of opportunity to the camera to cover them from different angles – their exposure levels differ from 50% to upwards of 90% from varying sides and positions.
  • They save a lot of work for the costume designers – studies show more than 80% lesser apparel consumption since there is no cloth choli ke peeche, neeche or oopar…
  • The hairstylist has a rest day since all of them dance with their hair loose – he / she of course does some minimal work the previous day by spraying all remaining Holi colors on their hair
  • The dance master loses no sweat in teaching them exactly one move – shake from head to middle to bottom, one part at a time, with the hair flying all around and hands either on the hair, or on the guy(s) dancing with them…

So, be glad that if you are getting into the list of these Bollywood hotties and naughties, you sure are making the life of a lot of people easier...

P.S: The research material gathered for this article was under the strict supervision of my madam…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8 random facts about me - meme

OK. The title does not have 3 "me"s. The last word is a meme. And I learnt what a meme is from the internal blogs inside my company. And courtesy Archana, I have been tagged to continue this meme. I wrote this a long time back Archana, but never got the opportunity to post it. I created a blog today to post such blogs, and so am inaugurating this blog with this post.So folks who care to come thus far at all, here are 8 less known facts about me. Some of my friends though know quite a bit of these...
  1. I am just a mad supporter of the Indian team – so mad that I never watch India bat cause I fear that every ball that I watch, there may be a wicket that falls!
  2. There are a lot of temples that are built for film stars in Tamil Nadu – if and when I get so much money, I shall certainly build a temple for Koundamani, one of my inspirations in life to keep cracking jokes (including a lot of stupid ones).
  3. I am one of those rare people who feel that Everybody Loves Raymond has certain episodes that have more laughing quotient than any episode of Friends. I have seen all episodes of both probably like a million times.
  4. If Kamalhassan, SPB, Ilayaraja and A R Rahman ask me to do something, anything, I shall do it. The one other person for whom the same motto I follow (voluntarily or involuntarily) is my better half :-)
  5. I cannot differentiate between one English song and another. I have probably listened to only some 20 – 25 English songs overall in my life!
  6. When people around me talk in Hindi, I act as if I understand. Most of the words fly over my head. Simplistic conversations that have a good spattering of English are the things I can grasp well!
  7. I love to eat food… and leave a trace of it whenever I do so… that is, on myself. I have probably not had a single instance of eating food or drinking something without spilling a bit of it on myself.
  8. I was a very good sportsman when I was much younger... If ever there had been a state level or national level championship for marbles, I would have been up there. But my prospects diminished after they converted all the area around my house as well as around my friends houses, to cement flooring, from plain grassy and muddy garden areas. I got so dejected cause of this when I was in the 5th standard in school...

Archana: I am sorry I am not currently tagging anyone. I am just starting to read a lot more blogs actively and when some day this blog is also read by more people, I shall tag 8 of them for sure :-) Also I took this as a cue and merged all my blogs, hence had to remove the comment!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Idly Vada Sambhar - The Software Bench...

I am sitting on bench…
Any object in the vicinity I just want to wrench!
I feel am just not doing anything useful…
Just want to write my last email in this company and do the needful…

The scene is the hot canteen of one of the many software companies in the Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai. Our friendly neighbourhood characters Idly, Vada and Sambhar are idling around late one typically hot morning. Idly and sambhar are engaged in their usual debate on software companies when Sambhar interrupts…

S: Stop shouting you two now. Look there – it is the first tired lot coming into lunch at sharp 12:00 noon. They must really be tired…

V: You moron… Or rather moroni… Or whatever it is for a female moron… These are not the tired souls. They are the ones on bench madam. I tell you these guys on bench have a whale of a time. I mean they have as much time as anyone else in the world… To do nothing!!!

I: Don’t say that. I am sure they do something useful with their time.

V: Yes they do… If browsing the internet and reading through all the fun blogs really sounds useful for you!

S: Actually that is true too! I had such a good time myself when I was on bench. I would catch a shuttle and come to office only around the first coffee break. I would be the first for lunch! I would catch an evening shuttle back.

V: See I tell you…

I: What are you saying? They do a lot of meaningful things too. At least quite a few of them… Like helping out guys on project with work that those guys have to finish… Or acting as back-up for some work where we are deliberately billing the client lower… Or one of those types of work…

S: Yeah I was helping out a few guys on projects when they were too busy with all the gone-wrong deliverables!

V: Yeah yeah that is all fine but what percentage of the folks are actually onto such stuff versus the amount of people who are just hoarded by all these delivery guys just in the hope that they will get some project some day. Thousands! Just thousands hidden across the system… But then they also probably realize that you cannot utilize them in any project cause they are hardly useful except for a select few…

I: But look at the important point there - as you yourself are saying - bench is important for any S/W company. Given the nature of the increasing project demands from existing clients and new clients, how else do you think they staff these projects?

V: If you want to staff your projects with crap, then I would go in for the bench.

I: What do you mean? The bench has a lot of good people as well I am sure.

V: Ho Ho Ho… Good joke. Listen – if there are 30% resources in every company on bench offshore, we are talking big numbers man - Tens of thousands of people given the current numbers of these companies. A lot of these bench folks are the thousands who have just finished training. Given the short supply of real quality folks, none of the project managers will remain quiet if their best folks are on bench. No way! They will only release the not at all performing folks first. Then they release the so-so folks. Then if the project is really coming to an end or they do not have any visibility for new projects from the same client, they release the best resources with great reluctance!

S: Don’t say that. I was on bench for more than 4 months before they put me on some testing project. I am not a bad resource. This is so mean of you vada.

I: As usual, you want to give a really bad picture right? What about the innovation that happens? What about other important improvements that these resources on bench do…

V: Now what is the last greatest innovation or improvement that any of these software companies have done? Have they really changed the rules in the game in maintenance or testing or development or anything related to it? Nothing right? What on earth are you talking about innovation?

S: I used to do a lot of innovation, like finding out new techniques to act busy. To impress my manager, I would now and then stay late, and of course keep watching some movie or hearing some song on my i-pod! Acting busy is a skill you have to develop…

V: The fact of the matter is that the bench is a storehouse of resources not wanted currently by anyone!

S: So am I doomed as a not-wanted resource if I am on bench?

I: That is not true. There are situations when the company does not have as many projects as it would like to have. I am sure every company goes through these phases every year.

V: Maybe true! You see they have spent so much on you, they might as well hold on to you and not bill you than let you leave! Hence this glorified notion of “We maintain a strong bench to staff upcoming projects” whereas the true sense they must be thinking is “We do not have current projects where we can staff you” or “We think you are too dumb but we have recruited you, hence we may as well hold on to you”…

S: No I am not dumb. If this is a veiled attack against me vada, then I am just not going to talk to you from now on.

I: You are talking about the people who are really not self-motivated. If there are employees who are motivated enough, then they can take up a lot of work when they are supposedly on bench as well. They can attend a lot of trainings and use this time for innovation…

V: In which case the best guys never attend these trainings because they are never on bench…

I: There is a very easy solution to it. You can make sure that “bench” is not considered as doing nothing by making sure that everyone in the company has sometime on bench every year or every two years – which means they are not put on any billable role or client facing role for that time. It is extremely important that people use this time to create innovative products, develop new tools, learn new languages. Because bench has a different connotation now, people think it is just time for whiling away or staying idly. I think the software companies can make sure that this changes by enforcing bench period on everyone and creating an atmosphere where people have clear goals even on the time they are on bench. Then the whole focus on innovation and new tools as well as training will increase dramatically. Bench will no longer be seen as an idling away time.

V: Well well you are talking about things that are not going to happen…

I: Lets see I am sure a lot of people would be interested in making use of their time in a lot of useful ways…

S: OK now – you guys I don’t care about what you say, but for me, this is how I look at it…

I am sitting on bench…
Wondering whether to learn German or French…
Trainings, new languages, new tools – my hands are really full…
Thank God my company has provided me the time to do something meaningful…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The first nI(gh)T

(Disclaimer: The following is the transcript of a what we think is a heated IT related debate between husband and wife during their first night. Rest is left to interpretation :-))

Wife enters the room with her usual bunch of fruits and a glass of milk… Husband is seated on a nice cosy(e) be(y)d…

Wife: Why do you look so amaze(d) on seeing me!?
Husband: I B(ea)M with new energy and excitement as you enter the room…
Wife: Huh. Let(s) pack (some) hard action and talk crap later… (thinking to herself what a Bore (she has) landed with)
Husband: YE YE! A Sport(s)y wife!!! So do you wish for a Sun or a daughter?
Wife: Its your wish dear… (implied “you moron”)
Husband: I want a Sun. Sun is always INTELligent… So I want you to have an Apple a day…
Wife: And why is that???!!!
Husband: An Apple a day keeps the daughter away…
Wife: Sigh ManTech industry has so many dumbos who don’t know proper English… This is my fate…

Lights are switched off… In the darkness, the last heard shouts were…
Husband: ……… YAHOO!!!!!!!……… Goo gal go…
Wife: ……… What are you yelling about…? How can you hope for a Sun when you are all micro (&) soft

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Idly Vada Sambhar - Start Music...

In the not so distant present…
In fact right at this very moment.
Three characters who live not so far…
And go by the name of Idly, vada and sambhar!!!

The first in the list is Idly
Not a single thought ever that is silly…
A mind so pure and white…
He can only think of what is right!

The next one has a hole right in the middle…
And is never OK in playing the second fiddle.
Not the one to spare a word…
If Vada says something it has to be heard!

None of their views can ever bind…
Sambhar’s completely fluid mind.
She loves to unleash her friendly tantrum…
Others however feel it is akin to hearing a loud drum!

The next set of many blog posts…
Involve a lot of conversations amongst our hosts.
Some nice, some silly, some thought provoking…
But more than anything, all of them comment invoking!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Ten (+2) commandments to act important at the work-place

I cannot use simple words from Greek and Latin for nuts. So my commandments will be in plain English…

  1. You shall always enter the floor with animated business conversations over the phone…
    …fighting with your spouse over the phone is easier than fighting with them in person…
  2. You will monitor all documents on your computer screen closely…
    … lest you miss out on reading any forwards in your mail-box…
  3. You shall get your coffee to your desk…
    … sitting in your chair and browsing the net with a coffee in hand is a true pleasure…
  4. You will always have a busy look on your face…
    … tracking India’s dismal performance in cricket, my stock performance in the BSE and completing all the household chores is no mean task…
  5. You shall not answer calls in the first ring ever…
    … that display name does not say “Aishwarya Rai” right?...
  6. You will be seen in intense business discussions with your boss…
    … it is better to fight out all salary issues right up-front…
  7. You shall call for frequent meetings…
    … it is so tough to act busy sitting in one place the whole of the day…
  8. You shall always have a note-book in hand wherever you go…
    … What good are meetings for anyway if you can’t doodle your way to glory…
  9. You shall talk the loudest during conference calls…
    … you need to talk at some point in time to justify your earnings for the day…
  10. You shall always go home late despite whatever little work you may have…
    … cause your spouse may not appreciate your listening to music, reading novels and playing tetris on the comp. at home…

Two bonus commandments...

  1. You will call your team mates late in the night for business reasons…
    … this is one quality of your boss that you can imitate…
  2. You will program your outlook to forward official mails after you sleep off…
    … the psyching feeling of their boss awake so late in the night for work is really chilling for the team…
Any more commandments may be added in the comments section...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lord Brahma was a bad software engineer...

Lord Brahma was probably the first system architect… Much before anyone of us could imagine. He has designed this wonderful system called the “HUMAN BEING”. But well, he seems to have gone all wrong in the implementation of the same (of course there are a few exceptions to the rule)… Whether the timelines were restricted or he did not get enough support from his team-mates (Vishnu, Shiva etc.) is still a question mark… But Brahma’s appraisal rating has to be on the lowest 25% of the band because of the highly flawed system he has constructed… The following were some of the flaws identified in the system…

  • System has no input check – Accepts any crap as input
  • Whatever input it takes, the output is crap
  • System gives unforeseen reactions when it interfaces with other dissimilar systems (namely the other sex)
  • Despite extensive testing for many situations, system breaks down at the most crucial of times
  • There is no documentation of the logic to explain why system acts the way it does in many situations
  • When there are exceptions the system cannot handle properly, it makes a loud screeching noise
  • System runs fine and at full productivity only when called by the wife program
  • Some other times the system runs fine but is of typically no use to anyone other than itself
  • Ongoing maintenance and support of the system is very expensive, specially when the system gets old
  • Despite little use, the system has been designed without any useful upgrades or patches to last a very long lifetime

The manager has invited everyone else to contribute any more flaws in the comments section…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Indian Software love story

When you think of it sometimes, life in software is more like a typical Indian cinema love story. You could draw parallels from different phases of a software engineer’s life to a typical college boy – college girl love story. The ending of the story is deliberately left to one’s own imagination.

Let us first look at the typical college love story step-by-step...

The usual love story

Nice smart innocent boy enters college and thinks of all Indians as his brothers and sisters. By the 2nd year, he gets mentally mature (as well) and starts to have a more open mind about other Indians. By the third year, he is open mouthed looking at every Indian (hopefully of the fairer sex) that goes by. In the final year, he writes a love letter with 90% crap and submits it to one of those many fellow Indians. One of the dumbest to fall for the trick accepts his proposition and the love story starts. The initial days are all rosy – they go to the park, the beach and restaurants and spend their time. But soon the reality of the situation dawns... Boy starts to realize that he has to listen to everything the girl says. He cannot see TV anymore and has to spend night-outs forcibly talking to her. The worst thing comes when she decides that its time to introduce him to her dad. The dad has a one-on-one with our dude and rates him as suitable / not-suitable / absolute trash.

Well… There is more than one possible climax in this scenario

Scenario (1) – Boy accepts that this is the life for him. He decides to marry the girl and settle down for a life-time of misery with some rare nice moments in between.

Scenario (2) – A villain character in the form of the girl’s mom’s brother lands in from the USA. There is a long fight between our dude and the mom’s brother. But eventually, our dude comes just after the nick of time to see the girl married away. He starts drinking, sports a beard and lives the rest of his life like a Devdas.

Scenario (3) – Boy does the wise thing of not fighting with the mom’s brother who has landed and instead opts for going to the USA to forget the girl… He thinks he can opt for live-ins instead as he wishes - only problem is that no girl there cares a damn for our desi dude!

Disclaimer: The whole story is equally applicable to girls too. I am sure there are equal number of girls who propose to the guys(!) And hence the whole story can be reversed for the other sex :-)

Let us now look at how this story compares so nicely with the lives of those countless dudes who are sucked into the S/W bandwagon…

The love story modified for the S/W scenario

Nice smart innocent boy enters college and thinks of all the good companies that would come for campus placements for his branch of engineering. By the 2nd year, he stops reading his books and decides that the software industry is the place to go with a lot of money and nothing to study during college. By the third year, he is open mouthed looking at every Indian software company that goes by in campus for placements. In the final year, he writes a resume with 90% crap and submits it to many companies. One of the dumbest to fall for the trick accepts his resume and the dreaded association with software starts. The initial days are all rosy – he is taken to joining parties, sees a lot of nice people in his batch and has fun in the weekends at the beach with other co-joinees. But soon the reality of the situation dawns... Boy starts to realize that he has to listen to everything that the company says. He cannot see TV anymore and has to spend night-outs forcibly setting right the code. The worst thing comes when he goes face to face with his manager. The manager has a one-on-one appraisal meeting with our dude and rates him as suitable for work / not-suitable for any important work/ absolute trash.

Well there is more than one possible climax in this scenario...

Scenario (1) – Boy accepts that this is the life for him. He decides to carry on in the same company and carries on useless without any contribution till the age of 58 when he decides its time to retire. Now and then he sees some rare moments of niceties. (like those once in a blue moon pay hikes)

Scenario (2) – A villain character in the form of a new grudging boss lands in from the USA. There is a long fight between our dude and the new manager. Obviously, and eventually, the boy backs down and is kicked out of the project. He is put on bench and serves the rest of his life in the most insane of projects.

Scenario (3) – Boy does the wise thing of not fighting with the current boss or the new boss and opts to go onsite to enjoy life! Only problem is that he is alone in his town and no one onsite cares a damn on what he does or where he is…

So what is the end of this story? There is no end actually. We continue to churn millions of software engineers who live these lives in the utopian wish that something someday will change and they will do something better! Maybe become a Sivaji and come back to India and start a lot of colleges!!! They probably need to work for a million years to earn 200 crores in our software industry :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

If we were taken over by...

I was just wondering what are the 3 stand-out things that would happen if one of the following “imaginary” companies took over our existing companies…Any resemblances to the top 5 in the not-so "imaginary" Indian IT industry are purely coincidental! As usual, completely on the lighter side of course…

If we were part of IB^^
  • The chair you sit on, the bottle of cola you drink while working, the phone that you use and the under-garments that you wear are all made by us – totally integrated solution offering
  • We follow a 6.5 in a box model and have a business development manager, a sales person, a client partner, an engagement management, a senior business consultant, a junior specialist and an intern as go to people for any problem a client may have
  • We plan to bring down the servers of this client and charge them double for the maintenance since they didn’t give us the software services for a different project

If we were part of A66enture

  • We have just signed up Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachhan as brand ambassadors for our company – the former would be used in APAC and parts of Silicon Valley; the latter would be used in RoW.
  • We would go in for a joint marketing exercise with Viagra – since they are also High performance, delivered…
  • We have to shed two thirds of our resources since the offshore companies have ruined our direct variation model of placing 3 consultants for 3 days where 1 could do the job in 1 day.

If we were part of TC$

  • We just hired our 1 millionth non-Indian local employee – actually she is a part time hire; her main job is as an immigration officer at the visa office at Bosnia.
  • Though we actually had a good year, we could not give much bonuses - we had to divert our money to pay employees from steel, chemicals, salt, tea, refrigerators and other divisions which were all running at losses.
  • I can’t type more than this because 6 of us here are sharing a room at onsite, and my chance with the 486 is over for the day.

If we were part of In£osys

  • We build the largest football stadium at Coimbatore and have the FIFA president plant a sapling in the middle of the ground during his Indian visit
  • Our CEO stands for President of India, Our CIO may become the Minister for Education and our HR person would most likely get the Defence Ministry
  • I become the CEO of the company next quarter – My turn came after the successive succession planning…

If we were part of Wi9ro

  • I got good ESOPs this time - 2 shares to be exact, given the management is letting go off very few stocks outside of what they hold
  • Our total income stood at $5 billion for the year – 25% from sale of marine products; 30% from coconut oil; 22% from mineral gas; 26% from voice BPO and the rest from software services
  • We crossed Oracle in the number of acquisitions for the year and are still grasping with how many employees we have now

Disclaimer:This is purely meant to be for humour and nothing else! Anyway, I have hidden the actual names very well, so I am sure it would take a lot of time to unearth those :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Work Life Balance in the IT World

The topic of achieving a work-life balance is so close to each one’s heart and I am sure everyone would have an opinion on whether current work circumstances allow us to achieve the same in the IT World. I have captured some of the possible theories of the as-is and the desired to-be work life balance situations...

Work-Life balance in the ideal world
Theory 1: The Work – Life Balance

  • 06:00: Wake Up, Brush, Take Bath, Shave etc.
  • 06:30: Update yourself on GK and current affairs with “The Hindu”
  • 06:45: Idly / Dosa / Vada + Sambhar / Chutney cooked by mom
  • 07:00: Travel at 80 kmph to office on your super-bike or fashionable car
  • 07:30: Settle down in place with a cup of “Coffee Day” coffee
  • 07:45: Finish off all previous day mails
  • 09:30: Greet people coming in with a huge grin indicating that you have finished off most of the work in a quiet environment while they are just coming in!
  • 12:30: Hog to glory in the canteen / Dhaba next to office
  • 13:15: Chat about non-work related topics with colleagues
  • 13:30: Back to work
  • 16:30: Travel back at 60 kmph (till Madhya Kailash) & 30 kmph (till home)
  • 17:15: Go to gym to show off those biceps
  • 18:00: The second bath of the day to freshen up
  • 18:30: Time to spend with family, friends, kids, grandpas, grandmas, etc. + Watch Tamil Serials + Eat Light food + Browse the net / computer games / read the latest Harry Potter => Basically have a good time
  • 23:00: Sleep like a good kid after your prayers for the night
  • Weekends: Go for a short trip / Play games / Go to the movies / shopping / restaurants etc.

The real world offshore – Faced by thousands
Theory 2: The Work – Wife Balance

  • 07:45: Wake up; Brush & take bath if possible and if in mood to do so; Make sure your wife does not find out that you didn’t do either
  • 08:15: Run, run, run till you are just able to shout to the driver to stop the bus
  • 09:15: Stand at the end of the breakfast queue at canteen in a sweaty shirt
  • 09:45: Stare at your angry boss as you enter your place
  • 10:30: Get reminded by wife about dinner outside at night
  • 13:00: Go for lunch at canteen if you have the time, else settle for a bite at the pantry
  • 13:30: Back to more mails and stares from boss and module leaders
  • 14:30: Get reminded by wife about kid indulging in some pranks in school and hence the need to attend the PTA meet this time
  • 17:30: Team meeting where boss says that nothing in the project is going right
  • 18:15: Call with onsite to check out what is the problem (they are the more informed of the people around)
  • 19:25: Run for the bus only to realize that the clock at the security gate seems to be showing a different time today, so you just missed your bus
  • 19:28: Crib to wife about how the bus guy was really mean to you; Hear a bang of the phone on the other end
  • 19:30: Go back to your place since your next bus is only at 20:15
  • 19:35: Pick up the phone to get more requests from onsite
  • 21:00: Finally take the bus back home
  • 21:50: Reach home after a combination of bus + walk + auto
  • 21:55: Listen from your wife on how you had ditched her for dinner
  • 22:30: Settle in to have a cold dinner at home
  • 23:00: Watch TV
  • 23:02: Sleep off with TV and lights on
  • Weekends: Same as weekdays; If the project has good times, then you can hope to sleep a lot of the time if you don’t have to go shopping with your wife.

(Disclaimer: This is applicable to husbands as well for the ladies, just used “wife” for rhyming purposes, so the ladies please excuse)

The real world onsite
Theory 3: The Fork – Knife Balance

  • 07:15: Wake up after the tenth alarm
  • 07:20: Brush, take bath, shave etc. in the biting cold cursing all the while that you don’t have an option to not do these at onsite
  • 07:50: Make your own badly done breakfast with just two options – bread or cornflakes; Practice eating it with a fork and a knife
  • 08:00: Catch a tram + a train + a bus to finally arrive at the workplace
  • 08:30: Stare at the same three faces in office
  • 10:30: Pester the client(s) for a meeting or a project
  • 13:00: Lunch with the client where you have to eat even a chapathi with a fork and knife
  • 14:00: Run around for the nth registration form and the mth office in which you have to reinforce that you are not a native of the particular country
  • 15:00: Settle back in office to maybe talk to offshore
  • 18:00: Finish up all calls, mails and chats with India
  • 18:45: Buy vegetables and other groceries on the way back home.
  • 19:30: Reach home after a combination of the three modes of transport.
  • 19:45: Start the long cooking phenomena
  • 20:45: After multiple design, construction and testing cycles, settle for a rice that is half-cooked, a sambhar that has a vague taste of the sambhar powder and a vegetable that may be a bit too deep fried
  • 21:30: Finish off the food by watching the only English channel on TV, CNN
  • 21:45: Settle down to see what you need to get / buy / finish for the next day both on personal and work fronts
  • 22:45: Iron out a pant and a shirt for the next day; After multiple attempts when ironing one side spoils the other, realize that you can’t do any better and stop for the night
  • 23:30: Crash on your bed
  • Weekends
    : Sleep till evening and catch up with everyone online after that;
    Sunday: Do the laundry including washing, drying and ironing

I am sure a lot of different people would have even more thoughts on the same. Do post your thoughts in the comments section...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Are you a true onsite return?

I wanted to capture some of the most popular mannerisms / characteristics of people returning for a short while from onsite before going back. Clinical research data shows that you cannot consider yourself a true onsite returning dude if you don’t possess at least 70% of the following mannerisms…

  • The guys dress up in ½ or ¾ pants, typically with loose hanging cloth material till the knee levels – the probably didn’t realize that there are a lot of animals on the road in India who take a liking to such attire. Women seem to prefer a combination of an open jacket over a plain top along with a vague skirt / pant. Kids are always dressed crampily despite the heat and taken around stuffed on their baby-trolleys.
  • They feel that the weather is very bad in India and the place is just too polluted.
  • They start using words such as “wazzup”, “high fives”, etc. use words such as “dude” (pronounced dood), “cool”, “hip” etc. a lot more often and pronounce fast, past etc. with a ‘ae’ sound…
  • They can’t take their eyes off the NBA shows on ESPN / American political debates on CNN.
  • They add 2 kg by the time they leave by hogging on home food as if they have never eaten food before.
  • They go to Grand Sweets to buy one or more of the following - vetha kozhambu (a type of dish like sambhar) / puli kaachal (tamarind paste) / mysore pak (special south indian sweet) / murukku (I have already reached the saturation level on translations)
  • They go to the top malls in the city to buy a lot of top quality apparel cause they can get a $8 - $12 reduction in price (converted amount) as compared to what they will spend abroad.
  • They spend the saved dollars in buying original music CDs of Tamil / Hindi movies which they are not going to watch more than once ever – a couple of years back they were wise enough to download mp3s of these songs.
  • They bring a lot of chocolates – specifically Snickers, Kisses, Mars bars (only for the managers and dear friends) and Toblerone (reserved for family) to office.
  • They say that they will never leave the country and will be coming back in probably a couple of years cause this is where “they belong” - they will only return cause their parents are either too old or their kids need to get the “right” schooling

As usual, just for fun… So chill out :-) The original research data of course is very confidential and the researchers have refused to share the sources etc. Researchers are open to any new data in the comments section…

Friday, May 04, 2007

SWOT Analysis of Chennai

Any report as part of B school (or even outside of it) starts generally with a `Strengths - Weaknesses - Opportunities - Threats` analysis of the system / situation. Chennai has turned out to be one of the biggest IT services hubs in the world, leave alone India. There are a lot of other interesting things in the city too! In the following post, I have attempted to do a SWOT Analysis of our good old Chennai city. Please do post in your comments on any of the items I may have missed out!

It is very easy to list the A-Z of the city in such a post but I stuck to A-F instead! (I mean, literally!) You will soon see and realize what I am talking about…

(1) Amma, Appa, Akka, Anna – The conservative family culture still lingers on. Even when you are married, the “sambhar saadham + thayir saadham” that you have at your parents’ home on a Sunday afternoon is always delicious…
(2) Beach: Thenga, maanga, pattani, sundal on a cold evening in the beach is a must for any romantic dude out there…
(3) Carnatic Music: The December season where people wake up early despite the classic one-off climate to listen to the likes of Unnikrishnan, Jesudas, Bombay Jayashree etc.
(4) Dining: Hogging away to glory in one of the many new restaurants is a real must. Also see attached a compilation of some of the best dining places in the vicinity -
(5) Engineering: From ABCD to XYZ engineering college, you have all the options of pursuing everything from stitching clothes to breaking open an aeroplane! All of them may not be great but there are certainly some very good ones such as IIT, MIT, Anna University, SVCE etc.
(6) Foren Opportunities: It is probably one of the best connected places to foren lands including the USA and SE Asia. The number of Srirams and Subramaniams you find in a S/W company in the states is enormous!

(1) Auto: The lesser said the better… Generally recognized as the primary villain of the city.
(2) Big brother attitude: The moral policing by the political bigwigs and some nonsensical people etc. make you feel as though whatever you are doing is watched by a big brother up there with a stick in hand.
(3) Climate: As everyone says, its Hot, Hotter and Hottest in Chennai with the occasional spells of rain that somehow always land up around Diwali time.
(4) Dhadi Pasanga: Goondas that roam around with the political bigwigs give you a feel of those evil creatures from Lord of the Rings!
(5) Entertainment Options: Or the lack of it – You have Satyam, Spencers and Mayajal to count an exact number of 3 options in the name of “entertainment”
(6) ‘Figure’ative Speech: With a deliberate spelling mistake… I can't and don't want to elaborate on this more :-) !!!

(1) Assembly Lines: Hyundai, Ford, Nokia shall soon be followed by the likes of BMW, Motorola and God knows who else.
(2) Bunch of S/W folks: Is a huge growing market for selling everything from trendy phones to toothpicks!
(3) Culture: The traditional and conservative culture that still exists makes 30-somethings in the US come back home to raise their kids.
(4) Divinity: As the gateway to the South, Chennai, and specially the surrounding districts have a reasonable number of very old temples to attract visitors!
(5) Education: Many people move in from up North as well as from the states since the basic schooling here is very good – some of the best computer education CBSE schools are based out of here! Chennai always seems to top in the Std. X and XII CBSE exams!
(6) Filmy Duniya: Some of the best artistes in acting, music, cinematography, dance and direction are based out of Chennai! If they can put their minds together, they may put up something worthy of the Oscars (some day!)

(1) Ayyo Amma: This obviously does not refer to any individual amma but you know who...
(2) Baashai: The love for the language has its negative connotations many a time in the form of arguments in Tamil with non-Tamils to increase BP levels of the listener.
(3) Cheri – The tamil word for slums: They are anywhere and everywhere and government turning a blind eye to them means they get a free hand to disrupt traffic and play jarring music aloud!
(4) Dressing Sense: The hopeless jeans-chappals combinations of the average male and the highly arbitrary colored chudidhaars of our females may give competition to many! But Chennai does have a great saree collection!
(5) Expenditure: Spending on infrastructure is so poor (except for the long overdue IT Highway) that the whole city has taken a big hit and every nook and corner has started witnessing a traffic jam.
(6) Filth: Despite Onyx and the likes, the levels of “kuppai” at various parts in the city is increasing alarmingly. If something is not done about the same, it will become a breeding ground for not just chicken guniya mosquitoes but many more such varieties.

Would be interesting to see similar SWOT analysis for other cities as well...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Life from the other side...

In our software services industry be it whatever company we are working in, we are so busy with our day-to-day activities and engrossed with our work, I wondered if we ever bothered to think about life from the point of view of the people whom we encounter daily – the bus drivers, the pantry operators, the house-keeping staff, the security folks, the dhaba servers and even our own co-employees! The following post is an attempt (in jest) to highlight some of the grievances that these people may have (more often than not against us!). In the process, there would be a tendency to obviously go over-board! So bear with that please!!

First let us talk about life from our side…

A Leaf out of a typical S/W professional’s diary…
Yo Man! What a hectic day it has been! I almost missed the damn bus – the driver was as usual early by a couple of minutes! He was as slow as a tortoise to the office – thanks to him I reached office just in time for a detailed meeting with my grumpy boss and my team. Oh God - what all the man wants in a single day. Impossible to deliver! After the meeting, I went to my seat and found that there were tons of extremely critical mails to look at. By the time I had responded to those and started working on the day’s tasks, it was around 11:00 am. Then it was lunch time and treat time too since it was my boss’ birthday. Stingy guy – he only took us to the nearly dhaba but food was anyways good! They had everything that crawls, flies, swims or walks on this earth! That was the best part of the day. I then came back and had a strong coffee to stimulate the creative elements in myself! I worked again till around 5:00 pm when we had an important conference call with onsite. Long call it was with lots of discussions. Finally the call ended and we had to finish off the pending work. I was just in time for the 7:30 bus. I am now back home and writing this diary…

Now let us look at life from the other side…

Snapshots from diaries of the other people*
*1 – If they had maintained diaries at all
*2 – In many cases may be translated to English for the sake of the reader

Bus Driver: What a painful day! To add to my traffic woes, the company security has put some new rule that all buses should reach office by 8:30 am. And people take their own sweet team in each stop - “Wait for 2 more mins please”- Oh my God, how many people give me this dialogue everyday. And today to top it all - one idiot who can’t ever get into bus on time, stopped the bus right at the signal. If I had not stopped, this guy will create a big ruckus with the transport department. Painful…

Housekeeping Staff: What gluttons we have in this company! In the morning, this team in my wing met up for a long time. Everyone had a coffee in one hand and a packet of Lays or something in the other. And they act like kids with their food and drink. Chips were strewn all around on the table and coffee cups were lying all around the trash can. Conference rooms have become munching havens nowadays! Next day they do this in a team meeting, I am going to kick them all.

Trainee sitting next seat: Man, I thought only I keep getting forwards from my batch-mates but these experienced guys also get so much forwards. This guy sitting next to my seat spent probably one hour in the morning just going through all his forwards. The fool even takes time out to forward those chain mails asking you to forward the mail to 50 people so that they can see God that night!

Server at the nearby dhaba: It’s a big enough pain to manage the shouting lady and her loud son. On top of that, we have extremely loud customers whose decibel levels keep increasing for every 1 second the poor chicken waits before it gets into their mouth! Since they come as groups, they all want to take a crack at the chicken and start pouncing on the plate even before I keep it on the table. Hungry (real) pigs would behave better!

Pantry Guy: How much thought these people put into one small cup of coffee! Like the guy today afternoon who asked for a super-strong coffee with less sugar. Even after two or three attempts, the coffee didn’t seem strong enough for him. Why can’t he have black coffee directly instead of paining me?

Employees from surrounding seats: What all these people discuss in conference calls – that too putting the loud-speaker at full volume. 90% of the time goes in talking about the weather in Pittsburgh, the cricket match in Malaysia, the waistline increase of the person who just returned from onsite, the latest Rajinikanth movie etc. Oh I wish I could be part of these productive calls!

Security at the gate: They have the time to see so many cricket and bollywood sites, don’t they have the time to see our own intranet to look at the buses that go near their house? Asking me which bus out of 100 buses goes to Abithakuchalambal Nagar. As if I am some manual Google for them…

Any more leaflets from diaries you can think of, please do post them as comments!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Indian cricket team in an IT company

After the extremely dismal performance in the world cup, our cricket team is back and cooling its heels amidst stone and tomato throws at them and their houses. Let us look at a hypothetical situation where this Indian cricket team is recruited into any IT company… The following article looks at the different characters we have in the team and how well they fit into the different roles and people that any IT company services would have!

  • Sehwag: Kicked around resource - Was moved around in six different roles in one year to give an indication that he improve his work or quit; Has lost a lot of hair in moving around the different jobs but it has still not got into his head to go and find a different job.
  • Tendulkar: Technical Career Path (TCP) Member - Long-time member of “Tendulkar Cricketing Path (TCP)” which is very strong on paper but is very weak practically; High time something is done to also show results practically else at least the hype around the whole path can be reduced.
  • Dravid: MBA grad - He is the front face of the team and talks very well but actually does not have a clue what to do with the team; Is the wall of the team many times in client facing roles abroad and has helped the team conquer a lot of foreign lands
  • Laxman: Module leader – Too slow to run and do any work and typically watches from one end as associates come deliver their work from the other end and go; Stays on till the end but does not seem to do any useful work.
  • Ganguly: Company alumnus – Was a bad performer initially, got the message, quit and went off somewhere else before returning soon at a higher post and much better pay and recognition for a perceivably higher value though the quality of work was how it should be for anyone part of the team.
  • Kaif & Raina: Forced Attrition - Got two consecutive lowest appraisal ratings after miserable performances over lengthy times and have been kicked out of the company.
  • Dinesh Karthick: Fresh trainee - All enthusiastic after topping college and performing very well in all entry trainee tests and is also shining in his first project.
  • Zaheer Khan: Onsite return - Pretty useless initially at offshore and was hence packed off to onsite but has now returned and is working with fresh vigor after having faced solid bashing by client at onsite.
  • Irfan Pathan: Rejected trainee - Rejected after the training program on account of extremely pathetic performance even in the training grounds leave alone actual projects and hence sent back to college to re-learn his fundamentals.
  • Anil Kumble – The typical IT company technical associate – The old warhorse of the whole team and keeps fighting in all encounters year after year despite win or loss however old he gets; Signifies the true fighting spirit of the team always… But has now retired after being dumped all work as well as the blame when things didnt go well.
  • Harbhajan Singh – Offshore great but onsite hate – Has performed splendidly at home turf winning a lot for the team but then performs so poorly at client site that he’d rather never be shown in front of the client and better left at offshore.


  • Greg Chapell: Project Manager – Talks a lot and promises a lot but when it comes to final delivery has a special knack of goofing up. Realized that he was going to be fired for the huge goof-up and so put in his papers immediately!
  • Krishnamachari Srikanth: Quality Group Member – Analyzes every bit to the utmost unnecessary level of detail and is very good at finding fault with everything…

Any more of our Indian players that you can think of in such situations, do post in the comments!!!

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