The art of Project Management – In Software Firm

Most successful war lords like Alexander understood battles so well because they fought in it (till the last one).

All my professional life has gone in writing software, from tiny microchips to Industrial computers, I have touched them. I am very much proud to say that almost none who worked under me had hated me, or possibly even thought any thing bad about me. There is one simple answer for this: I have never been  a bozo like an MBA guy or a management guy. Let me explain what management guys do.

Not long ago, a guy walked into our office and wished us happy independence day, then all of a sudden he said we all must work on the Independence day. The first thing that struck me was, work on that day was kinda illegal. Only certain industries are permitted to work, I don’t think software industry can work on that day. Immediately after he left employees were breathing on my neck. One guy said all in his room had gone to their natives, another guy had booked tickets and was demanding the company to settle it. Their distress was visible. Then by some miracle my boss declared a holiday after I expressed employees distress. If we had office on independence day, I am sure, some thing very bad will crop up in peoples mind.

We work in hi-tech industry. Some how management people are bloody low tech. For them the peak of technology is sending emails, and opening up a spread sheet, and now possibly playing angry birds on their mobile. They certainly do not have any idea what algorithms are, what code optimization is, how much thought goes in creating a computer code. In short they are bozos in our domain. But they are good at one thing we are not good at, that is manipulating people and getting money from them. We tech people simply stick to truth  and are very bad at it.

I see this trend, even among my friends who goto management, they simply seems to forget their programming roots. Looks like they escape to management because they like to work hard and long in a stupid way rather than work short and bright way. But being bright is challenging, the brain drains lot of energy, thus people feel difficult to think and rather feel comfortable to be like goats that do something in very repetitive, well defined and successful fashion.

So what this has got to do with project management. Well as a project manager, though you are on management side, you have to keep telling yourself that you are a tech bozo, this will humble you, differentiating you from rest of the management guys. Get involved in coding, see how difficult it is, then you will start to respect your employees rather than demand them. Try to solve their problems, demanding is a very easy thing, even a pig would demand for food. If the Russian Czars  understood their peoples problems, they wouldn’t have suffered their terminal fate. Remember in software Industry people are important. Even if they are not, being a human you must respect them.

All I do to people working under me is this:

  • I don’t demand then
  • I solve their problems
  • Give them time to think
  • Shield the pressure from management (ultra important)
  • Keep them happy as much as I can

And I am very much proud of my record. People “un-controlled” by me excel in skill. Teams under me have done miracles if I shielded them from the bozos. Just remember what happened at Xerox PARC since it was shielded from Xerox head office in the east coast.

Paying for Tata motors mistakes

I first got my Tata Nano about 5 years ago. It was my freedom from my driver. Yes the car made me free and I am able to commute to my job. The parking is relatively easy to find compared to much bigger vehicles. I don’t like to change my vehicle, its quiet good enough.

Almost week or two I got my vehicle, a mishap happened. I was at a junction waiting fr a car to take a U-turn, a young lad who was on his bike that was going at 60+ kmph rammed at the rear of my car.

I have never faced such an accident before in my life before and quiet didn’t know what to do. The lad escaped fearing something. Well, these kind of things happen in life. Though that guy was bleeding from neck to arm, he simply went away with his bike.

I should appreciate nano. The rear bumper acted as a spring, slowing down the impact. The thin metal at the rear gave in absorbing impact, the glass completely shattered from the bikers helmet impact, saving the guy from head injury.  The guy should have been dead, and because of nano’s flimsy construction he survived, saving me court cases. Saying flimsy does not mean in a bad way. Today’s cars are designed to take in impact, saving the humans involved in collision. That’s a good thing.

I gave my car to XXXX Reach, Nano’s authorised service centre and they repaired stuff and mended rear glass. I thought all way okay and was driving the vehicle. After about an year, the rear glass started to shake, I did not know what to do. And vehicle had few visits to XXXX Reach and I was convinced their service was not good.

Now an service guy in another service company claimed that my rear glass would fall any time and it had to be stuck to the car with special glue. I had to say yes. Vehicle is important for me to do my daily commute. It was TATA motors that stuck my glass before, I trusted their authorised dealer, now they come again (int the form of XXX motors) and say that the previous wok was wrong.

I feel like a fool. I am paying for TATA motors mistake. How could I trust that XXX motors which too is a authorised service of TATA motors have done it right? How do I know in another a year or so my rear glass will wobble and needs mending once again?

People please, before buying a TATA vehicle think of alternatives. It would be great if Nano release its parts and glue or what ever so that I can find a good mechanic and mend my vehicle myself.

I wish cars would become open source just like computer software, (and now computer hardware) so that we people have complete knowledge and control of it.

Indian solar power can end American era

We Indians have put down a super power. It was called Great Britain. None thought beating it would be possible ans we found a very simple weapon called non corporation. Mahatma Gandhi knew that economy was essential and cut some revenue sources to Britain like salt and clothes. The result: Unable to maintain India, the British quit. Though I think would have been different if Churchill was in power. Being a blood thirst human, he would have gone to any lengths to suppress India.

Now India has an opportunity to end another cruel power. Brits conquered the world using military, USA did with money, oil, arms and war. Its now time to cut the oil revenues of USA.

USA is promoter of two forms of energy. The first one is oil and second one is nuclear. These two energy sources have one thing in common, they can be controlled by a central business entity which can fund political parties. USA does not promote solar so much because any one can access solar energy. You can’t threat a nation saying that your energy supply would be blocked if you get your energy from sunlight.

India will be one of the largest consumers of energy and it will be smart not to depend on oil companies controlled by USA and the west. Narendra Modi  is a strong man, and loves solar, hope he will implement it soon. It would be great if India does not become slave to few corporations tapping sun to provide large scale electricity, if we have distributed electrical generation when almost ever house top has a solar panel, we can prevent corporations from controlling our life’s by  using energy as weapon.

Who owns India?

Saw this really funny article http://www.themukt.com/2t014/07/31/google-maps-leak-secret-locations-indian-military-bases/ . This is the height of stupidity of Indian authorities.

Google wanted to better map India, so they placed a bait, they offered a cell phone who can map features on to their map, many Indians bit it not knowing that only one in million would get it. So its all well. Then some stupid Indian government officials have discovered that some military area has been mapped and they are bugging google about it.

Say that I am living near military complex. I am been offered a cell phone for free and some one asks me to describe about it, I would surely do it. I have not signed any Non Disclosure Agreement with the military not to talk about them.

I think these Indian officials will bully Google to provide info of the person who has mapped this military base and they will arrest and harass him. I have experienced first hand and know that Indian authorities don’t have a clue about information freedom, and how open internet is.

I think India should go back to Indira Gandhi’s emergency days where everything is banned. Possibly a strong priminister like Narendra Modi could be persuaded to bring heavy censorship into Indian internet. Or possibly they have already implemented huge filtering? Who knows? All I  know is India has and is building extensive communication monitoring network.

There is another question, that is: Who owns India? The Aadi Dravidians? Dravidians? Aryan (Hindu) and Muslim invaders? The rulers of this age? The huge corporates who control today’s rulers? The common innocent human who wanted to win a cell phone by mapping the area he knows? Or is India part of so called planet Earth owned by every species that lives in it?

Answering the above question may put the answer into a thinkers mind of who can map India.

State Bank ATM cheated me

Stste Bank of India

Currently I work in K.K Nagar. There is a State Bank Of Mysore near my office and I went there one day to draw money. I punched in an amount and got the money. Back at the office I counted it and to my dismay I found Rs 100/- was missing. I was bewildered.

I don’t like humans. Humans are good at management, they have a desire to succeed and hence cheat to take a short path. They put 100’s of laws to keep strong strong and weak weak. Humans cheat a lot that’s okay for me. I have come to love computers because they are extremely faithful in right hands. Coming back to the State Bank ATM, I don’t know if it has fallen into wrong hands or it was a random mistake?

I called State Bank customer care and they offered no help. They said since I used HDFC bank card I had to complain there. HDFC too let me down. An operator said she will take a complain but left me for 7 minutes playing some stupid music. I cut the line in disgust.

I don’t know if any of you people have such  a bad experience, but this is the truth. Either banks have programmed ATM’s to cheat once in a while or they have faulty ATM’s at their premises and don’t want to take complaints about them.