Friday, February 10, 2017

The routine called culture

A Software Guy's take on culture:

Ok, so here’s the topic to blog about: “My Culture, My Pride”, rather a generalized topic which would require 2-3 hours of Google and Wikipedia I thought. So let’s turn off Wi-Fi and start dabbling with what the word Culture would mean to a normal IT professional. Does it mean the Diwali holidays with an extended Work from Home option? Or the Ethnic wear day during Pongal where we nervously wear those Dhoti’s? , or is it the time we start plotting our country’s flags all over the  workplace? The list is endless, on introspect all of the mentioned above is a part of our tradition’s outcome, a system of celebrating the way we are.
Working in an IT organization has its perks, the multi-cultural atmosphere manifests itself with diverse people, environment, food, greetings etc. We might be the people who celebrate the wonderful festival of Navaratri at office by ordering Pizza, but not before sharing homemade Laddus, Halwas with our colleagues. Doesn’t matter if your North Indian friend takes trouble in pronouncing Pongal, he still musters it up and you return it with a glee.
Our customers and onsite counterparts are no different, to them our country has a gazillion festivals with trillion holidays and we worship billion Gods. True by every word and that’s how as much as we are diverse the whole world understands that it’s the vibe called culture that brings us together. One such instance during Diwali the customers thought they should do their homework before and came up with the best possible way to greet us, Indians in the company by serving Indian sweets and we as the service Industry decided to bring upon Diwali in western way by greeting them with Cakes and Donuts. It’s evident irrespective of what race you might be, the culture teaches you to love and respect each other, which comes by routine and not upon enforcement. That my dear friends, is my… no “Our Culture, our pride”.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The ordinary life of Chandrasekar

“Are you kidding? How will you pay for your Akka’s dowry?”  I ask, without a hint of confusion he calmly replies “Well, my morning wage is around 1000 and evening I earn 2000, for family expenses I save around 1500, for my studies and miscellaneous stuff it’s around 500 and the rest I save for my sister”. Aghast my friend asks him “what about your studies?” with no hesitation he says “School time is between these jobs, so I shuffle between this anna”. I scratch my head, Chandra is just about my waist high but he delivers a stunning clarity well above his age.

Chandra talking about his studies

We use the word “Extraordinary” rather exaggeratedly, anything that we think we could not do, we immediately deem it extraordinary effort, not until I came across Chandrasekar from Nolambur – Chennai. 

The daily routine of Chandrasekar starts as early as 07:00 am, he starts cleaning the array of cars, hurries back to his house and makes haste to reach school on time by 08:30am. After school Chandra can be seen washing dishes at a Parotta shop, as dusk falls he returns for a good night’s sleep awaiting a busy day ahead. 

Chandra’s life has been surging ahead with this routine for quite a few years now; he is 15 years old and has a family that comprises of his mother, younger brother and a sister who was married off recently. Chandra’s father left the family when the kids were still young, a family argument that led one thing to another with the father walking away. With no job and little to serve the kids, chandra’s mother became the sole breadwinner until the kids started supporting her as well.

At 13, kids would love to play, study and eat well but the sudden turnabout of events pushed the family into a state of financial dilemma and the obvious decision was to send the kids to work. The elder sister was married off too and after a few days the in-laws started questioning about the dowry agreements for which the family had no answers. With such financial burden, one would have thought that these kids from such a socially challenging environment would eventually set out to work, but what Chandra had to say really amazed us.

“Every time we had money problems, my mom would ask me and my brother to go and work, with the money we earn we are able to buy groceries, medicines, save for sister’s dowry but I decided that if I need to do more, the only possible way is educate myself. I simply don’t want to keep buying slippers for mom, but a Saree for her, instead of paying debt, I want to build a house; only possible if I finish my studies”, left me wondering  if I have ever put my education to use till date.

As he finishes his school and heads to his evening job the park is crowded with kids playing cricket and the little batsman in him longs to whack that willow, but he simply enjoys the sight and continues to the shop. Chandra’s brother still goes to work at a automobile manufacturing unit and Chandra’s prime task is to make his brother understand the value of education and take him to school along. 

Chandra receiving award for best performer
He doesn’t fret much about his future, simply has a rigid agenda that he sticks to, further reveals his aspiration to play cricket and become a software engineer, all that and he says this is an ordinary routine, nothing to be astonished about. I would completely agree with him for he has given a new insight on when and what the word "Ordinary" should be used for.

We leave with a heavy heart, but little Chandra knows his job is not done until his younger brother tags along with him to school.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Corporate Kirukal : What is Bench??

If you are in a software company, you would probably be able to relate much easier, please do read on if you are not.The post is a tribute and insight to lakhs of people who are not assigned in a project and wander around the organization in search of one.
OK, how do you find them?

  • Easily the first place to look out would be the cafeteria, would be empty without them,
  • HR fun events like “Lemon on the spoon, Merry go round mela, Rangoli competition ( If you see guys helping the girls, then definitely they are from Bench)!
  • The first ones to leave the building and last to enter in the mornings
  • Probably the ones with less outlook traffic, as the only emails would be from internal circulation.
  • The ones with the lowest notice/service period, they are sent out within a week of quitting.
  • If you come across any GATE/GRE/CAT books in the lobby, cubicle these guys are not far away.
  • Three people sharing one desktop, they are the ones who are made to share space!

                The term came into picture thousands of years ago and research points to “Mahabharata”. Remember Kauravas, the 100 brothers led by Duriyodana and Duchadana? Yes, rumor has it that all other 98 brothers were placed on bench by the great saint Veda Vyasa and call it either non-performance, lack of opportunity to prove oneself or sheer coincidence they were executed in kurushetra or in management terms performance appraisal time. 

Coincidence: The coincidence is remarkable and cannot be shrugged off easily. Fast forwarding to current scenario we see bulk of Software professionals in Bench, not knowing why they are and wondering where to go next. The organization makes use of them in every possible way; they are sometime the testers, then a developer, all of a sudden in production support, creating reports, Kings of Excel, Power point presenters. The same way in Mahabararata, the 98 Kauravas were bent to every possible vacancy within ; swordsman, archer, gambler and finally had to nod along with whatever Duriyodana decides in the similar way our modern day professionals agree to whatever is being asked by the organization/management to do so. 

                There are various other assumptions from the society, they are sometimes considered to be incompetent and of not much use. However let me quote an example, take for instance in a movie or a song we see the hero and heroine dancing or performing a scene, we see various side artists in the screen as well. As the scene demands they keep walking from left to right, talking on the phone, sometimes get beaten up (poor fellas), however the movie is not complete without them. Folks in bench are like them, you see them every day, but they remain anonymous and important to the organization.

                To sum up with a punch dialogue “Employees in Bench are like the bunch of coins in your wallet, waiting to be used! Not at the right time, but eventually”


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Infosys to be baptized as Outfosys:

Infosys to be baptized as Outfosys:

Ok, am much inspired by this fakingpost website and think that if at all one day my company were to sack me, i might find some job there... trying some dumb humor around. So where was I... yeah, to start with a satirical post on the current trends :)

                India’s biggest Software Company Infosys is looking to get back at its profitable ways by adopting astrology and current market trends as its strategy. After quite a number of Brainstorming sessions with the middle level management (as most of the top level management have left, excluding Narayana Murthy and his Gurkha), a collective conclusion was made to consult the astrologers for regaining its momentum. And the unanimous decision was to get Baba Ramdev’s piece of advice, who in turn suggested a change in the name of the company.

                Statistically speaking, this is the tenth top level exit from the company since Narayana Murthy staged a comeback from his retirement. Sources reveal that Narayana Murthy was the Michael Schumacher of Software, as ever since his comeback, things have only slowed down. There was pretty much no difference apart from that, Schumacher used Mercedes whilst Murthy used vintage ambassador.

                The other bothering fact which ridicules the shareholders is the amount of Political influence on its top management with already two of the bosses(Nandan Nilekani and V Balakrishna) participating in 2014 elections. As leaders of innovation, the talk is about secret projects that were commissioned during the Lok Sabha elections to surge the electoral campaigning which resulted in more idle time for the contracted US projects.

To be CEO; BG Srinivas’s resignation means that the company will have to continue on the dry run of a topless Company without a CEO at the helm. Though trade analysts are penning at the fact that it’s an inside strategy from Infosys to save the bulk compensation paid to the CEO, this is sending mixed responses to the company’s security guards, who now do not know who to salute. Without a proper union or a forum to address this issue at hand, the junior programmers are now trying to hack their way into becoming the CEO, as the designation is left empty without a resource to align.

Come June1, the company’s transition will start with a new name “OUTFOSYS” a strategy developed by Business electromagnets to reorganize the company’s current fiasco. The company will be holding a press conference for its entrusted shareholders and the stocks are expected to double and perform bullishly on June1. Hopefully they are aware that June1 is Sunday and share market is closed.

-Unofficial Press Statement ( Makes it official?)