Saturday, December 23, 2006

I have been hit by the supernatural, its official !

You know this for sure, when the most weird things happen, which can happen to hardly 1 in a million people, and that 1 is you. Yeah.. it has happened to be more than once now, that makes me blog in the middle of the night !

My good ol bank sends me this notice "Dear Customer, We regret to inform you that the documents and proofs of identity and address given by you at the time of account opening have been fully damaged by flooding in the storage areas caused by heavy rains. The natural disaster was most unfortunate ". And more so they want me to submit the proofs of my identity and income documents all over again ! Wtf... ! As if I told them store my documents near a sea shore for kicks ;-) !

Here's another one . I just landed in Bangalore airport and waited near the baggage belt for my bag until the belt stopped and there was only one bag left on it. It was ditto similar to my bag, but I knew from the bottom of my heart, that it wasnt mine. And it wasnt. Some smart ass , took my bag thinking it was his, and might still be looking for his pyjamas in my bag, while I have his right here at the airport !


Cmon, how often such things happen to you on the same day ! Whew ! God Save me !

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Got published

Thanks to The Hindu...

For publishing my article.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I can smell some good coffee at last

Starbucks plans to open outlets in India in early 2007. First ones in Delhi and Mumbai. I bet they will be in Namma Bengaluru in no time !. Some good coffee at last, but I do hope they slash their prices a bit for the Indian market.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Not another Independence day...

Fortunately or not, I have been working for the IT industry in Bangalore, for around four years now. And so have been thousands of graduates in this city. All get sky level salaries as soon as they step inside an IT company. Most people, work day and night to develop software for multi million dollar firms outside India, to make them do better business. A good number of IT guys are just focused on how to get better salaries by changing jobs and taking advantage of the market conditions. There are some , who wish to work either in the US or UK, and are waiting for a chance, that somehow one day, the project they are working on might get them there.

Since these are a well educated lot, they do understand a lot of issues that our very own country is facing. And some times these are brought up, in some of the lounge bar outings, where the alcohol consumed per hour is billed to their foreign clients. There are passionate people, with whom you can engage in a great conversation even when drunk, whether it be corruption in real estate, or bad roads in Bangalore, or even illiteracy or alternative sources of energy. Everyone wants to do something, but have reasons for which they cant, and once the party is over, the next day everyone is back to their daily routine.

Some people say, they want to earn enough first, so that later they can leave the job and do some social work. But little do they realize, that with their monthly salaries, that day will never come. Some of my friends go to orphanages and help the kids , by paying their school fees , vaccination, books etc (I respect them , since I have not even attempted that) ,but is that enough. ? I think , we can do a lot more. When have we thought of writing software , for some of the needy institutions in India, who cannot afford it. When have we thought that the old Pentium PCs that our company IS dept. throws away can be used by some small schools to teach the kids. Why can’t we take time off on a Sat, and teach free of cost (anything, even programming languages) for people who cannot even think of affording it.

Many in our IT world, would just write blogs like me, but thankfully a few like Rohit, will take some great steps towards making a better country. Yes, we are part of the ‘Rang De Basanti’ generation and we need to wake up ! Happy Independence Day !

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Some cool lines

From the Tamil movie ShahJahan - song "Meliname.."

"Bhagawaan pesuvadum illai, Bhaktium koraivadhum illai...
Yen Kaadhalium pesavum illai, Yen Kaadhal koraivadhum illai... "

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Read Joel on Software...

Since I had read a lot of books around programming and software management practices I never read Joel On Software seriously. I happened to read a lot of old articles by Joel (since 2001) recently. Each and every article taught me something new in software project management or programing in general. I actually grabbed the book that compiles all the articles., so I can read them offline. Highly recommened for any software developer, even if you have read the Mythical man month, the code complete and the pragmatic programmer series .

All articles are available at the site - > www.joelonsoftware.com

Tamil songs on Sun Music...

I leave the television tuned to "Sun Music" and do other work, and they do a good job of playing really good requests. Except for some of their irritating VJ talk, the music is nice. The best part for me is that, they will surely play an Asin or Simran song video every hour ! ;;-)

"Away days" from work should stick to that

Most companies have the concept of "Away days" . Many call it company retreat, office outing, picnics etc... I have no idea why but, the management of an organization always thinks of coupling this with some great speeches from the CEO on that day, or discussions on financials, or the company's latest products. Even if these "M" creatures know that everyother person will pass sarcastic/witty/humorous comments abou these sessions in the nearest restroom or smoking area, they will still continue to organize such things. Maybe, since they spend some money, they feel some "gyan" should be imparted from their side in a dilbert style even if not a soul wants to listen.

I say that you get the real money's worth if you can get everyone (Even the "M" types) in high spirits, with booze, cricket, football, dance whatever. An Away day should just mean fun,Fun,FUN and nothing else! It never solves any purpose otherwise !

And you thought that enterprise software is boring ?

Martin puts it in the true spirit

"I've often heard it said that enterprise software is boring, just shuffling data around, that people of talent will do "real" software that requires fancy algorithms, hardware hacks, or plenty of math. I feel that this usually happens due to a lack of customer affinity. The real intellectual challenge of business software is figuring out what the real contribution of software can be to a business. You need both good technical and business knowledge to find that. Working closely with business people to develop this knowledge, and PleasingTheCustomer as you do it, is what makes enterprise software development fun - and motivation is the key to good and productive work. "

http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/CustomerAffinity.html


Are you still in your comfy shell ?

I start feeling very comfortable when my life is "routined". By that what I mean is if everyday morning I just get up and pick up my bike and go to office, write some code for the project I work for, and come back after dinner. Simple life, but it confines me to a certain shell. And that shell takes me away from a lot of good things. For example, in my case, if I go in my bike everyday, which I know how to drive pretty well, I never will learn driving any other vehicle. Also I would never know about the latest public transport in the city and their rates ( yeah the volvo buses) .

I am not saying you should take some "violin" classes, which if you do out of interest will be great. But what I mean is try and keep breaking out of your repetitive cycle in life. another example might be the kind of websites you read everyday morning. If you read rediff.com , regularly, read slashdot.org sometimes. If you are a programmer and read all about .net, try reading Zen and the Art of motorcycle management and for a change understanding it ;-) .
If you read timesofindia, read the washington post or , The Economist to get an idea of whats happening in world economy.

You can start doing this very very easily. The motivation behind this should be that, if you are stuck to something comfortably, you are missing out on a lot the world has to offer. And of course you have one life and you need to make most of it !

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Powercut on Sundays...

For the third consecutive Sunday, I have seen a day long powercut in Bangalore. It just drives you nuts when it is the same scheduled power cut for some stupid "maintainence work". What bothers me more is that this happens only on a Sunday, and from 10am - 5pm. The whole area, under 5km radius of the Airport is blacked out on sundays. Around 60% of the households in this area are for sure populated by techy couples, or bachelors working for the neighbourhood IT shop, who only get a Sunday to stay at home, and maybe sip some coffee with a newspaper, under a fan, rather than the usual daily dose of Java code. With bad roads, bad traffic, insanely crowded malls and multiplexes, now one cant even relax at home !

Monday, July 10, 2006

Natural Lighting

My colleague Zak once pointed out to me the importance of natural lighting in the office and the effects it can have on you. Honestly, I did not give it that much importance until I started working in our Chicago office. Our work area in Chicago had natural sunlight coming through all the time. The big and beautiful glass windows almost made us feel the outside weather, while sitting in the comfort of the office. However, the work area we have in Bangalore office , is far away from all the windows, and we totally rely on artifical lighting. While working here, I never know what time of the day it is, until I forcibly look at my watch or catch a glimpse of my laptop clock. Once I am too engrossed in work, I totally get disconnected from nature. This also leads to working, during crazy hours of the day, since I anyways do not get to see the sunlight.

Small things do make a difference indeed. Invite the sunlight to your workarea! Its powerful!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Dont kill my villagers !!!

I just came in to the office today ( Sat afternoon) to be greeted with some old familiar sounds, that of the Age Of Empires. I have known Ajey and Nila since the day I joined Thoughtworks, and they have been playing AoE ever since. A lot has happened in their lives since then and now. They were bachelors then, and now even after they became great family men ;-) , their passion for the good old game still continues. True AoE lovers !

Of course, unlike certain old AoE characters in the office who migrated to foreign lands and never showed up again, and some who vowed not to play the game again, blaming it to interfere their personal lives ;-), without knowing how to balance both. Also some have chosen to read about dragons at home , instead of using their onagers in the arena !

Blogging at the terminal

I am writing this sitting at the airport terminal at O’hare, Chicago , waiting for my flight to Bangalore. It was amazing how six weeks just flew by, with so many people around you. This was the third short trip I made to the US, and I never felt I was in a new country. The great part is of course the amount of confidence you gain by traveling and by meeting new people of different cultures. 2 years back, I was waiting at the same airport desperately for the flight to take off with nothing else going on in my mind, and ironically now, I have pulled out my laptop, to write a blog entry!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lost in Chicago

I was looking at the calendar after a long time, and saw that it was over a month since I had been in Chicago. Quite interestingly, this time around, there were so many of my friends and colleagues in town, that I never had a chance of getting bored. We have been making plans of doing something or the other everyday, from tasting new cuisines, checking out new pubs , making trips etc...

Among the most exciting things were sitting on the DisneyLand California Screaming roller coaster that goes 360 degrees, and the Universal Studios LA experience. The RockBottom brewery in Chicago saw me coming there thrice in last 2 weeks, and the last visit ended up getting a pitcher of beer and a tequila shot. The glazed Dunkin Donut and the Starbucks vanilla latte with the blueberry coffe cake have become a routine snack. The Hooters Chicken wings and beer combo was pretty interesting as well.

This has been my 3rd short visit to US, and quite weirdly, I feel like I am almost at home, or maybe not quite that far from it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Good one from Joel

Joel talks about why you start feeling as a programmer that you can build the coolest product on your own... and why it might not happen the way you thought!

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/DevelopmentAbstraction.html

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New home !

Its been a long time since I blogged.. I moved to my small n nice flat last month. The feeling of sleeping in a place which you have bought with your own money is really great. You got to do it to beleive it ! Even though, being a one bed room flat, I felt great that I have achieved this much on my own.

Now I have breakfast at home itself. My kitchen is decently equipped with stuff to cook. I can watch TV for as many hours Ii want ! I got a broadband internet connection, which allows me to logon to the world as soon as I wake up !

Thanks to my close relatives,friends and colleagues , who helped me go through all the documentation, loan proceedings, registration etc.. Whew!