Indian IT Series- Part 1 – Effective Management

After working for nearly five years in the Indian Software Industry, I think its high time I should scribble about some of the findings I made during my career so far. Hopefully this comes as the first part of the series, which I titled as “Indian IT Series”. A foreward to all who may read this :: These writings contain viewpoint from a software developer and its not intended to hurt anyone.

This episode, I am gonna tell my opinion about the Management Tier of this industry. I believe that this is the main tier which have a major impact of the outcome of a company or a project. I think I am not at a level to tell any opinion about the management of a company, rather I would love to explode my thinking on project level management or the level just above that. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had worked under both type of managers : the best and the worst. Also I had undergone two entirely different IT cultures :: restriction oriented and freedom oriented :: Kerala and Bangalore. 🙂

Some DOs that developers expecting from a Manager :

  • Give adequate creative freedom
  • Act as a filter, which filters out the pressure coming from above
  • Appreciate all the good work
  • Understand the capabilities of the developer and stand with them
  • Support them in whatever situations possible
  • Do support them in case they are stretching beyond working hours
  • Be friendly and open
  • Bring maximum transparency to the team
  • Be honest and talk on face
  • Share the responsibilities with your petty developers
  • Try to implement a flexible working hours possible
  • Be an understanding manager
  • Even though any of your member make an error, make them aware of that, train them and give them another oppurtunity.

Some DONTs that developers dont want from a Manager :

  • Don’t bug them frequently by asking the status every 5 minutes
  • Don’t induce un-necessary restrictions, this will change their attitude
  • Don’t involve them in to0 much junk work like process documents and timesheets
  • Don’t fingerpoint your developers
  • Don’t act friendly and then stab on their back
  • Don’t blame your developer in front of an audience and there by humiliating them
  • Don’t question the developers on the time they are spending
  • Don’t force developers to stretch, just explain the need of sitting late.
  • Don’t expect developers to stretch everyday, they are as human as you

These are the points that come from the top of my head. Interestingly, I collected these points from my colleagues and hence I think this is a true expectation from the developers.

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Early to bed and early to rise

It was all of a sudden that I decided to follow the great philosophy “early to bed and early to rise” for keeping one’s body and soul healthy and fresh. There were a couple of sound reasons also to take such a big decision. For a long while, my routine was just the reverse of the above said philosophy, i.e late to bed and late to rise. Late to rise means, anyway after 8:30. The important thing to note in this case is that my office time starts at 8.30 and a majority of employees would have come to office and start their work by that time. I will be still well settled under the blanket at that time. Moreover that I was fed up with the staring I used to get from my PM when I come to office with helmet in hand and jerkin on, at 10. Enough is enough and I took the big decision to bring some sort of discipline in my life 😛 . Ha Ha… Discipline!!! in my life!!! Sounds funny???

Last night I prepared mentally and physically for my change in lifestyle. Finished dinner early at 8. Switched off the TV. Now, this is the most important thing. For me, TV is the main culprit for ruining the discipline in my life. It will catch me and force me to sit in front of it for hours. If any football match is also there, then thats enough and more for me. So I considered TV as one of the main factor and managed to switch it off. Its almost 9.30 and I went to bed, dreaming to swipe the ID card at office at or before 8.30, the next day. Also hoping to see the smiling face of PM at least once in my life time.

I lied there at the bed, with eyes tightly closed, hoping to get the blessings of sleep angel soon. But it seemed like sleep angel got stuck up somewhere in the traffic jam and is getting late. I thought since my decision was all of a sudden, body and mind will take some time to get cop up with that. Time was scrolling slow like anything. I was wondering when the traffic jam will get clear for the sleep angel to come and hit me. I crawled inside the blanket, turned myself down, then up, then left, right. Still of no use. The screens of Eclipse and Flex Builder was flashing in my mind. Oh God!!! Not now. Am already fed up with that screens. Give me a Kit Kat break,, please… Thinking that it’s more than one hour I spent at bed, I looked the watch just to see that it’s only 15 minutes. The watch showed me its only 9.45 and laughed at me. It was telling, ‘see, here is the great PK who want to make his life disciplined’.

I was learning how difficult it is to bring discipline to our lives. But is it worth to take all these difficulties? What’s bad with the current routine? What will I do more if I reach one hour early? Just to avoid the staring of the PM, should I take this much risk? Let him stare. It’s his eyes and he can do anything with that 😛 . Wait!!! Why am I thinking all these things? Okay, that’s it. I am not mentally prepared for this great change.

Minutes later, I was sitting at my living room, reading ‘white tiger‘. And the same watch, which laughed at me some time before, was moving even faster and it was showing 1 o’ clok. As usual next day my card got swiped exactly at 10AM. 😛

Jai Ram… Jai Raj!!!

Sounds different??? Don’t be confused. These were the two slogans heard loudly from two different parts of our great country, while it was celebrating its glorious 60th Republic Day. Two organizations, with some strange and barbarian motives, came down to the road to attack people in pure daylight.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) : An utterly uncivilized savage organization, which took up its motives from its parent organization Shiv sena, is now making great Mumbai a hell to live on. While Shiv sena aimed to throw out petty south Indians out of Mumbai, MNS changed their target from south Indians to north Indians. Shiv sena, which started around at 60’s, was the outcome of a set of people, in fact marathis, who were frustrated by seeing the business successes South Indians were making at Mumbai that time. Major percent of hotels and other industry were owned by South Indians, whom they referred as Madrasis, irrespective of whether they came from Madras or not. I donno about the success factor of that organization. But I can’t resist laughing when I saw Shiv sena units were being formed at different parts of Trivandrum and other parts of Kerala. An organization which was formed to eradicate entire South Indians from Mumbai, is starting their branches at Trivandrum, which in fact is the southern most city of India 😛 .

MNS, founded by Raj Thackeray, who in turn is the nephew of the great Bal Thackeray who found the stupid Shiv Sena. To make his party slightly different, he changed its motto to eradicate North Indians instead of South Indians. What a crap!!! If South Indians were targeted for being successful in businesses, these poor North Indians were targeted for being able to get into government jobs at Maharashtra. According to them, Maharashtrian Govt. jobs are only for Marathis. That was the point which made Raj Thackeray and his tadpoles to remain utter silent during the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. During the entire attack and even after two months of attack, these idiotic sons remained silent. Everybody were asking questions where had they gone? Some were asking like “if the NSG commandos tell that we are from North India and Marathi’s dont want us to go there and fight, then what would have happened?” Didn’t that question make sense? Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died at Taj fighting terrorists was not a Marathi. He was a petty mallu and why should have he go and die at a place which is forbidden for non-marathis. The answer is pretty simple. They saw the attack not happening at Mumbai, they saw it happening at India.

So after two long months’ gap, these tadpoles had finally woken up from their sleep and deep silence and started their work again and that too when this great country was celebrating its Republic Day. They went on the rampage disrupting Republic Day celebrations at a school in Nashik. The workers assaulted parents and beat up participants. They didn’t even spare posters of the martyrs of 26/11. Over 100 MNS workers charged into the school, tried to burn the makeshift tent and destroyed property. People at the programme had to run for cover and hide in room. What’s going on? Aren’t we living in India, the largest democracy in the world. If only marathi’s want to live in Maharashtra, Kannadiga in Karnataka, Tamilians in Tamil Nadu, then why should we tell that we are one nation under the tri color flag. More than that I won’t be surprised at all, if MNS starts its own branch somewhere at Bihar or UP.

Sri Rama Sena : Another barbarous organization, which I should tell, worse than MNS, were the second organization to make the Republic Day more colorful. I was not aware about this organization till day before yesterday. But on googling I came to know that this organization, found by Pramod Mutthalik, wants to make this country Rama Rajya. Now Rama Rajya is nothing but country which will run just like how it would have been if it was ruled by the great Rama, one of the avatar of god Vishnu. Actually the entire organizations like RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal all used Rama for propagate and justify their violence. So how will finally rama rajya look like. It won’t be having pubs??? Or only gents will be allowed to go to pubs? Did rama told somewhere that women should be pressed under the foot of men. They shouldn’t be equal or above men? These activists were attacking women at one pub in Mangalore, in Karnataka. Videos were showing how hardly and unsympathetically they were beating women. Was that what Rama did in his days?

OK, leave whatever Rama did and whatever Rama thought. In this 20th century who wants to live in a society which will be of milleniums older? If they wants to bring Rama Rajya, who knows tomorrow they will attack all buses and cars, saying that these were not there at Rama’s time and everyone should either use horses or chariots. And one more thing, please don’t think that the act you did is worth appreciable. It’s not a credit for any men to beat women like beating dogs. And more than that please don’t make us, Hindus, feel shame by doing all these.

I am not going to blame only MNS. There are similar organizations here at Karnataka also called Kannada Rakshana Vedike. Same thing. Same motto. One flag with yellow and red colors on that. You can really see this flag each and every corner of Bangalore, in fact at whole Kanataka. Eventually, putting this flag in your building will save your building from stones or fire, if some outrages or riots gets start. When there was Kaveri water issue was going on between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, each and every IT company in Bangalore hosted this flag to save their building from these stupids. Believe me, its only after coming to Bangalore I realised that there are flags for each states. There is no such thing in Kerala. I am not saying they are united, but still I think we don’t bother what other state’s people are doing there. There are tamil, hindi, english and telugu dubbed films running in Kerala theatres. This is not because Malayalam don’t have cinemas, but we mallus have a habit to accept any culture or language. In fact I consider Malayalam films better than any South Indian films. For proof, just cout the number of awards malayalam film industry gets each year.

But here that’s not the case. In Bangalore, they hadn’t started any agitation to throw away other state’s people as of now. Then also if they plan that also, I don’t think that will work out. Because majority of population in Bangalore is other state people. If all of them are thrown out, Bangalore will become just another Karnataka town. Same is the case in Mumbai. When will they understand that Mumbai is like what it is now, only because people are coming there from other states. If non-marathi’s are thrown out of Mumbai, it will eventually become city of slums.

So please at least now realize the fact that, we all are Indians and we should stand like that. Otherwise believe me, our neighbors would need no time to make our country “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Please, Stand United for our India. Jai Hind.

Jai Ho…

It was a proud moment for all the Indians yesterday, when there were 3 Oscar nominations for A.R.Rahman. All the news channels were praising the great lad of India, Rahman,  yesterday. The same music had grabbed him the golden globe award also last week. It was with great expectation and enthusiasm I started hearing the song today morning. To be frank I couldn’t believe my ears. I couldn’t believe that I am hearing one Rahman song.

Being a strong Rahman fan for long time, in fact from 1992 when he did his debut film Roja, I was overwhelmed by joy when I heard the news of his Oscar nominations. It was once said that, Rahman took the pledge that he will cut his hair only after winning Oscar. But hearing most of his songs, I sincerely felt several times that he should have been awarded Oscar multiple times. Roja, Puthiya Mugham, May Madham, Pavithra, Bombay, Minsaara Kanavu, Dil Se, Taal, Taj Mahal, Alaipayuthey, Kannathil Muthamittal, The Legend of Bhagath Sing, Kandukondein Kandukondein, Lagaan, Swades, Yuva, Rang De Basanthi, Jodha Akbar and many more… Lot hell of superb music from the great Mozart of Chennai. Vande mataram released part of Indian Independance’s golden Jubilee celebration was another gret work from the great maestro. These all works truly deserved huge appreciation and honour from all over the world.

But to be frank, this SlumDog Millionaire is no where near to his ever time great work. May be the Oscar Committee will not be hearing all these Hindi and Tamil Music. Since this film is outcome from one British Director, may be they considered Rahman for this award. I strongly believe that they should not only consider that factor. They should consider such great music from all parts of the world. Who knows there  may be many other Rahmans making music at different parts of this world. If they starts like that, I think Rahman will be one of the nominees ever year.

Rahman music has one factor. When you first hear the music, you will be thinking that what the hell? Is this music from the so called Mozart. But believe me, hear the music couple of more times and I bet, you will get addicted to that. That’s the paculiarity about Rahman Music. Same thing happened with me. That was the time, when Jodha Akbar music got released. I heard it once and felt like what is this guy doing. He did such a master piece work in Lagaan and Swades, which were from the same director, and he is doing such a worst music for such a  huge film. But at the end of day, I was addicted to the music and I was hearing all the songs for months.

Coming back to the Oscar, whatever the case is, still am very much happy for my music maestro Rahman, for getting nominated. Let the whole world know that even the film shows about the slums and dirtiness of India, it is having great artists and persons like Rahman. You made all of us Indians proud, Rahman. Thanks a lot for that. Jai Ho...

PS: I was hearing the slumdog millionaire songs while writing this post. My main aim for writing this was to tell that this song is not good compared to his other works. But believe me, my entire opinion had changed. This song is another master piece. Its another feather in the golden crown of the great maestro. I start liking the songs now. I told na, this is the paculiarity of Rahman music. You need to hear it couple of times to start liking it. 🙂 These songs are gonna rock.

Glory Glory Man Utd.

And here it goes. Manchester United simply brushing aside the title dreaming side, Chelsea with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford. 11-May: this was the day many football aspirants were waiting for when Chelsea comes over to Manchester for their reverse fixture in 2008-09 EPL. Our EPL group members all were waiting for this day for months. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw at Stanford. Then fact that ManU was just 4 points behind their rivals in the table, with 2 games in hand, increased the pressure and anxiety for both teams and their fellow fans.

We, the community were planning for a get together for sometime, and we couldn’t find any other day more suitable for this get together other than these. Sajan had just returned from UK, who unfortunately is a Chelsea fan. But all other Chelsea fans were out of Bangalore and couldn’t make it. Finally we decided to go to Sports Bar Express at Cosmos Mall, near to my office at Brookefields. We made the count and it came to 6 including Arshu, Sujeesh, his brother, Sajan, Prem and me. Hours before play itself I got ready with my new ManU t-shirt which Sajan brought for me from UK.We reached there on time and were very nervous as we were all waiting for the match to begin.

I liked the ambiance of the Sports Bar very much. Big screens for showing matches, then facilities for net practice, basket ball, snooker and many thing that too at the roof top of the Mall. It was awesome. Seeing a match at Old Trafford, still being a dream, we were all set to make the whole ambiance feel like OT. At the moment when they changed the big screen to ESPN, we all rose into our foot and were making so much noise and whistling, that the waiters were literally running towards to make us calm. Prem started whistling, when the display showed the line up of ManU. Manager came and asked to calm down saying “Please don’t whistle, more than that this is not India’s match, na?” Those guys were wondering how can these guys can cheer for some teams, that too clubs, playing at England. But we were on full and was determined to have no compromise in cheering up.

We did had some more chelsea fans and manchester fans sitting at the nearby tables and believe me, seeing football matches in big screen with commentry flying to us from speakers around  is really an awesome feeling. We were enjoying the full ambience for the full and the match started. Chelsea – ManU match is always like India – Pakistan cricket match. However form out each team are, they will play for the full against each other. And the depression of last two title less seasons had made Chelsea really extra motivated. ManU once fell to even 15th position on the start of this league, but SAF’s read devils are famous for their return to the league’s top position on the second half of the league. Arshu was happy to see that the first lineup of ManU SAF selected was somewhat similar to the line up he predicted. With Park and Evra in, we all were feeling great. Sajan, being the lone supporter of Chelsea among us, sat silent in a corner.

Match started and both teams were attacking from both these sides. It looks like both teams were playing at same strategy of attacking football. Both of them committing fouls each other and were literally competing to get yellow cards. Chelsea stands ahead of ManU in this competition of getting cards, but ManU was the team which was really attacking. Evra, held the key of the game and was playing super in the left wing. With his left leg pass, he made that part of ground always active, which was almost dead for past two games, when O’shea was playing there. The first moment of anxiety came when Berba missed out one super chance to goal, which we thought would have been vital. We thought, missing that chance would cost us. But what happened was entirely different. Ronaldo shook the net from a cross of giggs with a cracking header, which referee declared as foul kick. Again a chance was lost and we were feeling really tensed. But it was negated the next minute. It was the first minute of injury time of first half, and we saw Vidic heading one superb corner of Giggs into the net and opening the scoring for us. We all rose into screams, which shook the entire room, and we were dancing like anything. Waiters and others were wondering how crazy we were and yes, anybody will scream like that if u r seeing that at Sports Bar. And there comes the whistle and the end of first half. We all were filled with joy and anxiety of what type of play SAF and boys will play in the next half and waited for the next half to begin. In between, that was the third goal of Vidic this season, who is a defender.

With so much enthuse, we started the second half, where we saw a less motivated, desperate Chelsea team, fighting for an equalizer. ManU were constantly attacking the Chelsea box and were testing the Chelsea defense headed by Terry. Wait a moment! There comes the second, from great Rooney, from an excellent cross from the left wing Evra’s left leg. This guy is having an awesome season for the Red Devils. That one he scored between the legs of the defender. He runs for celebration and kisses the ManU flag. Waaoh! What a game this is. To be frank, we came to see the game with a hope of draw, and here it has already became 2-0 with still 30 minutes to go. Couple of substitutions on both sides and the game is now no more interesting. Chelsea doesn’t even trying to win the match and yes ManU had clearly outplayed them in this game. 83rd minute. 🙂 Here comes Ronaldo’s superb free kick, on which Berba had to do nothing other than just placing his feet and divert the ball into the net. That’s the 3rd one and that surely marked the end of Chelsea and was the last nail in the Chelsea’s coffin.

Phone calls came flying in from Chennai and even from US from Thampi and Vinod Sir sharing their joy and happiness of ManU beating Chelsea. Even they also wanted to join us at Sports Bar, but they were feeling the festive mood existed in the bar through the phone. We were celebrating the victory like anything.

Oh Man!!! What else can be so worst for Chelsea than this. 3 goal defeat with ManU and that too when the title race became so tight. That was one of the most proud day of all ManU fans across the world, when their team played so well amidst of the tight schedule of 8 games in the span of 17 days. Here is the moment, when all can say, yes, we are proud of ManU and proud to be a ManU fan. With Liverpool settling down with a draw against Stoke City for the second time this year, it seems like ManU is heading towards a hat-trick in the premier league title. The amount we spent on Sports Bar had thus became worth with the single side win, which threw away Chelsea from the roots. The clock hitting 11:30 PM, I returned to home with Sajan, who was so silent that evening. Another great and thrilling day came to an end.

What if !!??

Yesterday night I was just surfing to the channels, and got stuck up with Sony Pix, who were showing some movie showing the pain Jews were forced to suffer under the great Nazi leader, Hitler. The movie was taken in such a way that we can feel the entire pain and terror the Jews had suffered at that era, just by seeing that.

Suddenly a spark of thought got ignited inside my mind and it almost froze the entire world around me. What if another world war, a third one, break out at this point of time. Already the recession had made the entire world’s life so miserable and one war above that, that too a world war, how will the world withstand that. My thoughts then took a diversion and started to think selfish. For the time being, leave the entire world, think about you, Anoop.

If a world war of such broke out at this point of time, obviously almost all IT companies will shut down. And eventually I will become jobless. I was wondering how people would have survived the previous two world wars. Anyway at both that times, British was ruling India and obviously India was not that much target for anyone. India was not in even among the names of top nations. But now after more than sixty years, the entire scenario is changed. India evolved as a key nation and thereby becoming one of the main targets. There may be very less jobs available which can earn you a living. I was thinking about what will I do if I was forced to face such a situation. The only thing I know other than coding is driving and I don’t think I can earn a living through that.

And above all, the most important thing is that we should be alive. When all countries are fighting each other to dominate one over another, who will care for the security of their fellow citizens. But I hope, this kind of scenario wont rise soon. Hopefully, the countries won’t be starting such an evil thing soon. But who knows, a new Hitler may be in the making!!???

Even the entire thought was a wild fantasy, I can feel that it was becoming serious. Whatever it is, whether it is world war or layoff, I may need to face such a situation. I will be standing at a junction thinking desperately what to do? That will be the point when I will be cursing myself to chose engineering as my career.