Archive | work RSS feed for this section

What the Indian Software Czars think about their employees.

12 Jan

N.R.Narayana Murthy – the god father of Infosys has in recently requested for a smaller airport near Electronic City since the current airport at Devanahalli is very far from Electronic City and the commute is killing. He has earlier also made statements like “… imagine if somebody who lives in Jayanagar wants to take a flight …”. He is concerned about his people’s troubles in taking a flight – commendable. The Infosys campus is out of the city at Electronic City and people from all over the city commute upto 2 hrs one way to reach office. The commute to office is daily, and the commute to airport is occasional, even for the most frequent travelers. Why does Mr.NRN need a huge campus outside the city with a golf course, swimming pool, etc., when his slaves employees who travel for looong hours every day don’t even have a realistic chance of using these facilities. Why doesn’t he have tall skyscrapers in the middle of the city with reasonable access to all parts on Bangalore – ofcourse this may not have golf course … but the rank and file won’t care. Is Infosys in the real estate business or software business? NRN simply does’nt care about the commuting owes, low quality of life, inability to have even a half an hour of quality time with family on a average week days, etc., all problems of his long commuting employees. Azim Premji – (almost) owner of Wipro in an interview in the late ‘90s announced that some taxes should waived on corporate because the said companies when they operate out of Bangalore employ sooo many engineers and all the engineers pay income tax. At that time I am guessing that the average engineers salary at Wipro was about Rs.20,000/- and they would take home about 15-18 thousand after tax. And since most of Wipro’s income was Premji’s a waiver on tax on Wipro would mostly mean that Premji, being the de facto owner, got a tax waiver. So in essence he was campaigning for his employees who earned a measly twenty thousand should pay tax and he should not when he makes about twenty thousand thousand!!! All your employees love you too.

Bug parity

11 Jan

7-spot Ladybird Beetle

One of my ex-colleagues recently told me that he was working on bug parity.  It turns out that bug parity has a meaning is the software world.  You have a system that has some bugs.  The customer has written a lot of scripts or wrapper software that takes into account the said bugs.  Now if the bugs are fixed then the customer written code will no longer work because the bugs are absent.  So, in order to sell new equipment to the customer the vendor will work towards re-introducing the bugs so that the customer does not have to tweak his code!!!

Did somebody say that life is stranger than fiction?

Free work!

2 Dec

I was asked by a certain interviewer to write a “tool”.  This exercise was to check my coding/design skills as an interviewee.  This is par for the course for senior programming jobs.  But the shocker came when the interviewer said “in our day to day work, we use many such tools that are written by interviewees; what I mean to say is that I need a production quality tool”.  Duh!  Is it even legal?  What about morals?  ethics??  Needless to say that my interest in the job nosedived with that statement and I decided that it is not my cup of tea to work for such a team.

Would you do this if you are the interviewer?  What about if you are the interviewee?  Let me know – leave a comment below.

Related article : http://www.askamanager.org/2012/10/employer-asked-me-to-produce-free-work-as-part-of-hiring-process.html

———-

I am currently looking for a change of employment and have many war stories.  This is one of them.

Sachin Tendulkar Retires …

17 Nov

Image

Yesterday, Sachin Tendulkar, the God of Cricket Retired. He saluted the pitch which provided him with almost everything, most importantly money / food / fame, for the past 24 years.  Now he has the well earned luxury of doing whatever he wants to do, watch-the-paint-dry, watch-his-children-grow, cook, commentate, whateverelse.

But for the rest of us who are the same age the question is will we ever be able to afford retirement.  Even the so called well paid “techies” or “software engineers” – can we ever retire?  Or will we be the followers of the poster boy of working for ever Amitabh Bachchan?  Even if we are willing to work will we have the jobs considering there is a rising number of senior (i.e., age 40+) engineers being forced into retirement.  They do not get jobs may be because their skills are now outdated and the employer is unwilling to invest in retraining them; may be they have become set in their ways and need mentoring to break the mould; may be they are willing to take lower-lever or lesser-paying positions but none are being offered to them … These are the ones who have nobody to champion their cause – no trade unions, no politicians, nobody!

Image

There is also the insecurity of the savings corpus being insufficient considering the ever rising inflation, longevity and health care costs.  This is the curse of India’s GenX.

Misunderstanding

9 Nov

As my regular readers already know I work in software.  Just thought of sharing a long ago experience.

One of my testers had filed a bug with very little information.  Obviously something had misbehaved; but there was no way of either reproducing it (the steps were not noted) nor tracing the logic (i.e., no traces stored).  So I told the tester that if you do monkey testing then it will be very difficult for me to provide a suitable explanation or fix.  I need some inputs apart from “I saw something”.  Next day I get called into my bosses office asking for an explanation of why I called a colleague a “monkey”.  After explanation the issue was resolved.

So, what is monkey testing?  It is usually used to test GUI’s where in there is a software that will enter random data in text boxes and click random links/buttons.  Every input, character type or mouse click, is logged into a file.  When any bug is found the same is logged along with the log-file.  The developer then looks into the log, finds the root cause of the problem, and provides a fix.

It turns out that my colleague and my boss were not familiar with the term and hence I had to provide a red-faced explanation!!  A classic misunderstanding if there was one.

The Devil Wears Prada

15 Aug

This book has been written in a very readable style.  But I wonder why this made it to the best sellers list for such a long time.  [spoiler alert] It is a book about a girl taking up a job with a hope that this job will be the key to future success.  The job doesn’t turn out to be what she expected – rather it turns out to be a lot of things that rob her of her life and outright demeaning at times.  She finally gathers the courage to quit – without actually having another job.

This may be every employees dream – quitting on the boss after showing the middle finger; however it is not a good action for anybody.  Having source of income is very important as long as one has a hollow called stomach …

Good fairy tale though …………

Work For Home (WFH) :-D

16 Jan

WFH well summarized by Dilbert 🙂 http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-08-14/ 🙂

  1. Do you work from home?
  2. How effective is it?
  3. Incase you need to explain something, anything, to a colleague is it possible to do it effectively over internet instead of over the white board?
  4. Are the same questions associated with outsourcing?
  5. Have you witnessed people work-for-home rather than work-from-home?
  6. Do you think it reduces team spirit?
  7. Do you think it reduces visibility?
  8. Do you think people who are good in talking (may or may-not be equally good in working) do better in WFH scenarios?
  9. I would like to know your thoughts – let me know.
  10. Finally … have you ever made it to the control group 😀 😉 😀
%d bloggers like this: