Thursday, November 27, 2008

Learning from Muslims (ooops, I meant Terrorists)
All muslims are not terrorists but some how all terrorists happen to be muslims?

Meaning of leadership: “process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

Meaning of Terrorism: There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.

Yesterday's events in Mumbai reminded us of September 11 2001. My wife and I remembered what we went through on that day. After that day, I have always wondered about Bin Ladens leadership/managerial skills. I consider him as a great leader for a shitty/hideous cause (we think its a bad cause, but they think its martyrdom). I believe there is lots to learn from them. If not anything IT people can learn “planning and execution”.

Imagine a project (like the one that is carried out in Mumbai) of such magnitude being managed by a manager from an IT services company? (boy I need another post for it). We cant even deliver software on time, these guys deliver death/war with immaculate precision. I am sure they would have busted projects too, but whatever they deliver, meets their goals(I guess). Few things I would like to learn from these bastards are listed below.
  1. What process do these managers use? Are they PMP certified, Scrum Masters, Prince etc. From what I know, they cant be using agile/iterative methods.
  2. Risk Management: Do they have a risk log? To what level do they have contingency planning. I mean lets say they have requirement R1. What if they cant implement/execute R1. How do they mitigate it?
  3. TEAM Morale: How does this manager keep the team morale. Think about it. If it takes 6 months to a year to plan something like this. How do you keep these shit heads who are ready to sacrifice their life's to believe in the same when execution time comes?. Is 72 virgins and 28 young pre-pubescent boys, in heaven shit still working? (I can quote the chapters of Qur'an if needed). I guess the problem is, the dead cannot confirm that they didn't get those virgins. How do they deal with unhappy employee? I guess he will die but will not get those virgins and boys. I can't believe prophet had envisioned Homosexuals in that era.
  4. Recruitment: What kinda people do they hire? How do they know if the person fits into their organisation or not? Do they have firing policy if some one does not perform?
  5. Training: Other than the daily dose of Qur'an, what do these guys read/learn? Is reading Qur'an enough to build such mother fuckers? I am sure IT managers would love to discover some book which will make their team members so committed.
  6. Funding: Man how do they raise money? Are projects like these funded directly/indirectly by our Bollywood actors?
After all this our leader, honourable Prime Minister of India, in his address to the nation said “terrorists who attacked Mumbai were based outside India”. Sir, I agree you have great brains but you need to get some balls for yourself. You should also change your speech writer(if you have one). Whats up with this "terrorists who attacked Mumbai", arent you suppose to say "terrorists who attacked us" ? or you could have said “early information indicates that these people are of Pakistan origin”. I understand that, event of this magnitude may lead to communal riots and more losses, but trying to be politically correct(so called secular shit to appease minority) when some one declares war on us (on our own streets) is not a great idea. I think you should hear Roosevelt speech to know how to speak as a leader when shit hits the roof. I guess all our politicians should be sent for a crash course with Bin Laden (if he is still alive) to learn leadership qualities.

pissed off
K

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do we need ETHICS?

Last evening when we reached home after work, my wife was furious about something. I waited for her to start the discussion rather than provoking (you know how woman are...). She started, I cant believe how companies like Infosys bill/estimate. Its absolutely ludicrous and unethical. I started laughing(my usual sarcasm). She said I know that's one of the reasons why you don't want to work for such companies. I said, one of the best services company in bangalore I worked for, did not have billing ethics, forget about Infosys/Sathyam/TCS etc. None of them have ethics in their company message. None of the services companies do business ethically. I know I am making a very broad and bold statement, but that's what it is. If they are ethical they will not survive. Competition in prostitution business is cut throat. I remember one of the VP at Thomson Financials(TF) was fired as he took soft kickbacks from a Indian IT services company to make them the preferred pimp of TF (of-course VP was an Indian).

    I started thinking, why is ethics so important for some people? I guess when you don't have kids, you don't have time to think about these things and care about them. Once you have kid(s) (you wanted to have one), then things change. The way you think and look at things change. For example, lots of my single friends where complaining about 11PM pub closing rule in bangalore. I used to think, what's wrong with that. I am sure if I was single, I would be complaining too. The problem I face is, if I am not ethical then its hard for me to teach my kid to be honest and ethical. I try my best to lead by example. I am not claiming that I have accomplished six sigma in it, but I try. Its beyond my comprehension, how these people who work at such places go back home and teach their kids to be honest. Its like you smoking in front of the kid and then later when she is an adult advising her not to smoke. I am sure if you die a brutal death and the doctor says that smoking caused it, no sensible kid will ever touch cigarette in his/her life. I understand that kids don't come to your work place and see how dishonest/unethical you are, but wouldn't it prick when you ask them to be honest/ethical?
 
     The other side of the coin is, the guy who is paying should be smart. If he is not then why shouldn't we take him for a ride. I think if you work in services industry as a prostitute, you can only have ethics as an individual prostitute. If you start thinking at the pimp level, you are in for some pain (only if you have ethics). Long live the PIMP.

    After i wrote this post, i met phani for one last mountain goat before he heads to pleasure island (Bangalore, India). We started discussing on the same thing as he is one cool prostitute (i mean works in IT services, not a Jigalow) and we talked about how everything is relative these days. For example... say we are in a big restaurant and the guy charges less than what he is suppose to, how many of us go back and say that you have charged less. Very few of us will do that. My justification would be, bastard charges us so much, it is ok for me to be dishonest. I remembered my dad, as he always used to say "If you steal mustard you are a thief, if you steal an elephant you are still a thief". I guess that is not true any more. Today if you steal mustard and compare yourself with some one who has stolen an elephant, you are a lesser thief.
    Question is, should our kids be honest? If the answer to that is yes then, whom will they learn from?

K

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Home Coming...

Guys, this is not about soldiers or cricketers, OK. This is about a Brahman trying to be a Brahman again(I am talking about myself by the way).

     I decided to be a vegetarian again as of 3/9/2008. It is coincidental that it was Ganesh chaturthi on that day. My decision has nothing to do with either Ganesha or his father Shiva. Some thing happened on 31/8/2008 (My wife will kill me if i discuss it), which made me realize how sentimental/emotional my wife is about this vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. I started thinking how bad she would feel sleeping next to a guy knowing that he might have eaten this animal or that animal. I wondered, if i was her what would i expect from my partner? So i decided to stop eating meat.
     I have also been thinking about being a Vegan. Don't ask me why, some how i wanted to try it. For people who don't know, Vegan means some one who does not use anything that has animal product in it. Lots of vegans don't eat animal products but wear them happily. Me being me cannot do that. I have a favorite leather jacket, damn i cant think of not wearing it. My wife has been convincing me saying, things that were bought before you being vegan, you can wear them, don't buy anything new. I do agree, she has a point hahahahaha..... So first step towards being vegan is to be VEGETARIAN. Does being a vegetarian make me Brahman? Not according to my definition(that's a post by itself) of a true Brahman. According to my wife, its one of the criteria to be a Brahman, so i am happy to satisfy that.

K

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

High End Sex Workers Vs. Freelance/Expensive consultant

After reading my previous blog, one of my friends (Phani) asked me, what would i say about Thoughtworks consultants? which prompted me to write the sequel.

   I was reading a research from this guy (Sudhir Venkatesh) which is about high end sex workers in Chicago and New york area. The research is mind boggling. I read that most of the clientele wouldn't even have sex with these girls. What kinda morons are these clients, hard to believe isn't it?(i can't believe it). Then i realised that, i have been a high end sex worker before(Agile Coach). Organisations do not have sex with these people but still feel satisfied. I think the satisfaction comes from change, the feeling that they have done something different or they have hired some one to hear their problems. One of the points of the research mentioned above was that, the clientele talked about their marriage/relationship (rather failed ones) with these high end sex workers. I guess these clients and organisations strongly believe that, intensity of the fire cannot be measured accurately when you are inside it. You need to step outside or hire an outsider to do it.

  Now, my thoughts on phani's question.. 
The moment you have a pimp, i think you will not be a high end sex worker. As in any business, pimp gets to keep substantial piece of the pie. When i was working at Thoughtworks (india only), i heard lots of people complain about their salaries. They are expensive prostitutes but cannot be classified as high end sex workers until they become free lancers. PIMP is the king...
   The best analogy (i can think of) for high end sex workers in IT industry are those big names (substitute whatever names you want, i do not like offending people)who get invited by organisations to give pep talk to their employees. I have no idea what they get out of these pep talks. These big guys are like brand ambassadors. If you have a brothel and you have one astonishing girl, then you should make her the ambassador. It becomes easier when you want to hire new recruits. You can run an ad “we have X as our CP”. sorry, CP stands for Chief Prostitute.

I think the biggest challenge these sex workers and their clientele face is “transaction handling”. The kind of rates these high end sex workers charge, i am sure transactions can neither be done by cash nor personal cheques. One of the best things about IT services, all this is done LEGALLY (please.. lets not talk about morals and ethics).

K

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prostitution vs. IT Services

I always believed that there is not much difference between prostitution and IT Services. I have tabulated my observations in the table below. Guys this does not hold good for every one, so please do not get offended. If u do get offended i don't give a fuck.


Trait

Prostitution

IT Services

Body part sold

we all know, no need to mention

Suppose to be brain

Initial Selling

Does loads of show and dance.What you see is what you get.

Lots of dancing. Only best of the lot is showcased. Not necessary you get the same.

Pricing

Loves T&M (Time and Material). For people from non IT background-This means you pay hourly.

Does not reduce her rates based on the clients ability to pay.

Bulk Discount offered(maybe).

Fixed Bid works

Same here





Fixed bid is always risky

Customer Satisfaction

Doesn't give a shit

some do, most don't

Gives options for clients to save money

not at all

most of them don't. They think if they do that they will run out of business

Change in requirements

I guess will not be acceptable. Lets say you get her saying one person will screw her and suddenly 2 or 3 people try to do that,she will have objections, surely about billing and has to do Impact analysis. There are other change in requirements but lets keep it simple.

If it is T&M some might not have problem and some might.

Same here.


I guess in T&M motto is to "embrace change" as it generates more revenue.

Billing

I think will have ethics. I am not sure, would she take money, even if the customer doesn't screw her.

What can i say, you guys decide.

Risk Management

Pregnancy/Cops/Diseases etc.. Don't know what they do... really.

Scope Management, Escalation Procedure, Impact Analysis.. what not. End of the day situation is same.

When shit hits the roof

Say you end up getting AIDS(hahahha), I am sure you will not find the same prostitute. Even if you do manage to find her, she will blame the condom you used (if you did). Say she accepts it, nothing much you can do.

Same here, if the software doesn't work, or has bugs. Blame Requirements. If there is no outstanding invoice, you are shit out of luck.


Highest Bidder Wins


If she has 2 options, i am sure she would choose the one who pays most


If you have 2 offers from Services company, which one will you choose?



I might be way off in my observation about prostitutes as i do not have much experience there. What the heck? Vatsyayana wrote kaama sutra just by living with prostitutes. I don't know if its true, i read somewhere that he never experienced real sex himself. I have very less experience in IT Services industry as well, but i have seen them. Rest is left for you guys to decide and comment. I am trying to answer the question “Is prostitution bad for Society?” It would be awesome if a real prostitute (you know what i mean) finds this blog and comments.
Sorry for the table formatting guys, that's the best i could do on blogger. Publishing this has been real hard work....

K

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One Full Year with Same Employer

I have recently completed one full year of employment with same employer, ohoooo sounds like a big achievement looking at history. After coming back to India in 2004, i have had numerous employers. Some relationships were way too short like 2 weeks or 3 weeks, shorter than some of the dating relationships. I have made lots of mistakes in choosing employers (those employers will be saying we did too by hiring you.. hahahahha). I guess my professional dissatisfaction led me to make such decisions. In fact when i look back on one of those decisions, i get butterflies in my stomach even now. I was working at Thoughtworks and they were going through some slow season at that time. I was twiddling my thumbs for quite long time so i decided to move on. You know which companies offer i accepted, WIPRO. I just cant understand what was i thinking? You learn more being on bench(beach) at TW than you learn working 16 hours at Wipro. I consider this decision worser than converting to Islam from Hinduism. God what was i thinking....
   I quit Wipro after 2 or 3 weeks. I returned home in the evening and told my wife, today was my last day at Wipro. She was shocked! We were new parents at that time. We went out for dinner and she told me, listen if its one or 2 employers i can understand this is too much. I think your expectations are wrong or you have no idea what you want. Till that point, i always believed if not anything at least i knew what i wanted in life. I started believing that there is something wrong with me. Life moved on employer after employer (sounds funny...) 
   We moved to Melbourne in June 2007. I started working with a start up in July 2007, since then after a looooong gap, i am once again professionally happy. Some of my friends have asked what is the difference. Is it because its a start up or because its a product company? Below are my observations

1. Me=Developer && !Manager
2. I don't manage any idiots, its somebody else's pain now 
3. I don't think i have the personality to work in services industry. It is a product company.
4. Guys i work with are more arrogant than i am, naturally i feel @ home. They are way better developers than i am.
5. We are a company of 5 people there is not much room for hypocrisy. I still love our CTO's leadership.
6. I am 8 hour busy, i don't feel sleepy @ work. If i do we have a server room where we go and take a nap 
7. Last but not the least, first thing i was told when i joined them was that, i was hired because they fired a developer as he was not good. Did i mention, he went to UNI with our CTO. What a nice thing to tell an employee first thing on his first day. I loved it.
After that self esteem smashing question asked by my wife, I was even scared to ask my employer how i was doing. I was hired on probation and was confirmed after 6 months of employment. Looking at the stock options i have got, i am assuming employer is happy. My wife is ecstatic that i completed a year with an employer (hahahahahha). 
I am sure those employers i was unhappy with were probably unhappy with me too... couple of them were unhappy as i looked drowsy/slept during afternoon or meetings.  It is a problem with me, if my mind is not occupied, i feel sleepy any time of the day (hahahaha...). What is the big deal if an employee has a 15 min nap in the afternoon. These fuckin morons are so hung up on that Western/British shit that was left over. Employee will be more productive and will have more juice in him after that nap. I guess i am justifying it because i behave that way (hahahaha). 
I wonder what kinda experience it would have been, if it was not Employment but Marriage? Jees I don't wanna think about it.

K

  

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Agile+ in November

I was talking to one of my friends who works for IBM. She recently moved to a new project. She was very excited to be in an Agile project after a long torture of waterfall with client being a federal organization of Australia. Since she was new to Agile, it was natural for her to ask me few questions. I was keen to ask a few questions of my own. Even before i opened my mouth she said that she is a lead on that team. That made me more interested in knowing what kind of an agile is this (generally there are no team leads). She then mentioned something that made me laugh so much that my stomach still aches. She said they will be moving to "Agile +" in November. I laughed to my heart content and then Q & A session followed as below

My Questions, Her Answers
Q: What is the Iteration duration
A: 2 Months
Q: Do you follow TDD, what kind of tools do you use for Continuous Integration
A: Not heard of it
Q: Is there a testing phase
A: Yes, Last iteration of 4 weeks is testing
Q: Is the customer involved
A: Yes

Her questions, My answers
Q: Hows the design phase in agile
A: generally there is no design phase (BDUF vs Evolutionary Design)
Q: Do you think this is Agile
A: Please don't use that word (laughing....)

I believe some morons feel ashamed to admit that they are still doing waterfall/iterative development. They want to use the buzz words and hence use them as they want. I am not gung ho about doing things that some one else says you gotta do if you want to be agile. The bottom line is to do what works, that means produce "working software" (means different things for different stake holders) and "people building that software are HAPPY" (again each human being derives happiness from different things). 

From what i heard from her it more or less sounds like Iterative Development or RUP(Rational Unified Process, after all Rational was bought by IBM). I am sure these companies will soon create a governing body which will certify whether you are agile or not (like CMM or PMP etc. I think there is already Scrum Master certification, what a shame). More than her i cant wait to know what Agile+ has in store. Waiting anxiously for November to dawn while i hunt for knowledge to answer the question "Why do people run behind buzz words"

K

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bin-Laden Vs Mother Theresa

Day before yesterday, i got into an argument with one of my friends regarding “Selfishness” and “unselfishness”. The whole thing started off as a joke, as my friend being a woman said that men are selfish. Once the debate got serious i ended up asking my favourite question in this topic “Is mother Theresa selfish or unselfish”. As i expected she said Theresa is unselfish. I do not believe in it. My argument is that every one is selfish. We all do/want to do things that makes us happy. While we are doing that we might make others happy or sad, help people etc.., that does not matter. May be Theresa's parents did not want her to become nun (I am just guessing don't hold my throat), she did what made her happy. I will quote one instance (of course borrowed from history), Pope wanted Theresa to ride in a car, may be he really wanted her to ride in that car. She could have taken one ride in it, couldn't she? No, selfishly she declared that she would do with the car what she wanted to do with the car which was to sell it. Anyways as every argument ends we agreed to disagree and parted our ways.

Next day i started thinking about it and some how felt will this whole thing make Bin-Laden (The most hated Man) unselfish. According to him he is working for Islam and people who follow that religion. With the kind of Oil money Bin Laden has, he could have chosen to sit happily in a palace in SA with tons of woman around him(polygamy being legal in ISLAM) but instead he chose to be what he is. I am sure lot of you will say he is taking life's while Theresa was saving (per say). All said and done, below are some of the commonalities between them.

“RELIGION”, I seriously believe, with all Theresa did for people in trouble and stuff, motto was to sell Christianity. Theresa invested time, bin laden invests time and his own money. Obviously both of them spent most of their life doing what they believed in doing.(I am sure bin laden is not looking for any other job) Rest is for you guys to think and yell at me.

Comments are welcome... I am the almighty, i moderate comments on my blog(hahahaha). Feel free to wish me hell, before you do at least understand the Intent. I am neither undermining what Theresa did nor glorifying what bin laden does. I hate bin laden too, other than the obvious reasons, because of him Bush spent all my TAX money on WAR.

K