Life is (strangely) beautiful

Life is full of surprises, am sure that everyone would agree. Some of us have long-term plans while most others atleast dream about what all they should have or what should be down the road, but within this short span of time which I have walked my life, I have found that we can never be sure what lurks ahead. I was hoping to be a doctor when I finished school and hence joined IInd group for pre-degree even though most of my friends in school enrolled for Ist group. 10 years later, here I am, a software engineer, working at Tavant Technologies, Bangalore, knowing nothing about Medicine or Surgery.

Such changes can be an evolution of our original plan, or it may be come to something which we have never even seen in our wildest dreams. In a way its like software development, initial design might have nothing to do with the final shipped product ;-)). Sometimes the effect of such an unforseen twist in your life can leave you gasping….

A pretty woman was serving a life sentence in prison. Angry and resentful about her situation, she had decided that she would rather die than to live another year in prison. Over the years she had become good friends with one of the prison caretakers. His job, among others, was to bury those prisoners who died in a graveyard just outside the prison walls. When a prisoner died, the caretaker rang a bell, which was heard by everyone. The caretaker then got the body and put it in a casket.Next, he entered his office to fill out the death certificate before returning to the casket to nail the lid shut. Finally, he put the casket on a wagon to take it to the graveyard and bury it.
Knowing this routine, the woman devised an escape plan and shared it with the caretaker. The next time the bell rang, the woman would leave her cell and sneak into the dark room where the coffins were kept.She would slip into the coffin with the dead body while the caretaker was filling out the death certificate. When the care-taker returned, he would nail the lid shut and take the coffin outside the prison with the woman in the coffin along with the dead body. He would then bury the coffin. The woman knew there would be enough air for her to breathe until later in the evening when the caretaker would return to the graveyard under the cover of darkness, dig up the coffin, open it, and set her free. The caretaker was reluctant to go along with this plan, but since he and the woman had become good friends over the years, he agreed to do it.
The woman waited several weeks before some-one in the prison died.She was asleep in her cell when she heard the death bell ring.She got up, picked the lock of her cell, and slowly walked down the hallway. She was nearly caught a couple of times. Her heart was beating fast.She opened the door to the darkened room where the coffins were kept. Quietly in the dark, she found the coffin that contained the dead body, carefully climbed into the coffin and pulled the lid shut to wait for the caretaker to come and nail the lid shut.Soon she heard footsteps and the pounding of the hammer and nails. Even though she was very uncomfortable in the coffin with the dead body, she knew that with each nail she was one step closer to freedom.The coffin was lifted onto the wagon and taken outside to the graveyard. She could feel the coffin being lowered into the ground.She didn’t make a sound as the coffin hit the bottom of the grave with a thud.Finally she heard the dirt dropping onto the top of the wooden coffin,and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she would be free at last. After several minutes of absolute silence, she began to laugh.She was free! She was free!
Feeling curious, she decided to light a match to find out the identity of the dead prisoner beside her. To her horror, she discovered that she was lying next to the dead caretaker.

Many people believe they have life all figured out….. but sometimes it just doesn’t turn out the way they planned it. Do you believe you have life figured out 😉 ?

Evolution of Software Engineers

Software Engineering aspirants have a dream – Be the “know-all” in the team. Answering all technical questions and doubts of your fellow beings and being an authority on all topics related to work (sometimes the area of interest is even more than that). So when they start their career they try to help people in all ways they can, like doing unwarranted code reviews, giving advice when none is needed etc. Most of us give up after some time; the rest joins INFRA (for the information of those outside Tavant, INFRA is the team that provide Software Components & Frameworks, Guidelines & Best Practices, Software Tools and Consultancy & Support Services for the other teams). That is when they learn the lesson the harder way.

After learning the lesson that one should not try to help others and mastering the art of keeping the support-seekers at bay, some software engineers opts for the advanced exercise of making others unsettled and unhappy. They go on to become managers. In the transient period, they will groom themselves for the managerial position by keeping their team members unsettled (they also start to grow pointy hair at this stage).
When you join the project :”Please don’t hesitate to come to me any time for any technical or domain help”

When you go to him for help :”Do a ‘man’ on this, search in the books, try to find it out yourself………….”

When you ‘try to find it out yourself’ :”You can’t waste time like this. You should’ve come to me for help. We have to deliver ……………Come to my place”

When you go to him for help, again :”Don’t make any changes in the code now. Come up with a document for impact analysis by lunch”

When you go to him Just before lunch :”So, what have you done since morning? This document? Shall we deliver this? How many lines of coding did you do?…………. See, this is not the way we should work”

When you go to him 1 hr after lunch, with a small amount of coding -that’s all what’s necessary :”Only this much coding since morning !!!”(Probably, you could’ve added the lyrics of a Hindi song in your code to make it look healthy). “Change here, ……… change there, …………. Add here,……………. Modify there ……………. Do it NOW”

When you go to him with the changes suggested by him :”Who asked you to do these? Everything’s wrong here. See, this is not the way we should work……………”

Every 10 mins :”So? What’s the status?????”
All these lead us to the inevitable feeling of being puppets dancing to some guy’s music…. 🙁
And speaking of music, Tavantians can check my share for Bruce Sprinsteen’s brilliant album Tunnel of Love. I recommend Two Faces, Walk like a Man and Brilliant Disguise.

Effective Communication

My second day at blogging.. and I am already out of words 😉
Its not that there aint any thoughts that I would like to convey, but rather that I think I dont have much of the highly desirable ability to communicate my thoughts in an effective and entertaining manner 🙁

While thinking about effective communication,ironically, I recieved a forward (in case you havent noticed yet, forwarding mails {and reading forwarded mails} is the source of 90% of entertainment for software engineers nowadays 😉 ) from a friend of mine, which focuses on the same topic…

What is Effective Communication ?

Jack and Max are walking from religious service. Jack wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying. Max replies, “Why don’t you ask the Priest?” So Jack goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I smoke while I pray?” But the Priest says, “No, my son, you may not. That’s utter disrespect to our religion.” Jack goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him. Max says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.” And so Max goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I pray while I smoke?” To which the Priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son. By all means.”
Moral : The reply you get depends on the question you ask.

For Example : Can I work on this project while I’m on vacation ?
I hope the message was communicated effectively.. ;-))

Here I go….

28th September 11.54 am – an important point in my life. I start blogging 😉 Well, who gives a damn? LOL, anyway here goes…..
I owe Tejas Patel, my dear friend, for the inspiration to start a blog… I am sure that he will regret it sooner or later 😉
Visit Tejas’s blog here (although I would advice you to stay away from it).