Thursday, June 21, 2007
What does president of
The point is that nobody in this country would knew her just 2 weeks back and suddenly she is in limelight and has already put her foot in her mouth by commenting about veil and how it was enforced on women during Muslim rule. So she needs to get her history and PR right, and the moment there was limelight on her, she came out with controversial statement also! Why not choose Abdul Kalam for another term! He is popular, one of greatest Indians, is apolitical, is tremendoulsy knowledgeable and importantly has by and far topped all the media polls for popular choice as president! If we are a democracy then why not give second term to a highly popular president even if it is just for namesake! Why to elect a little known person just because she happens to be a pliable woman close to a certain family.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I think these days everybody is in good humor, or how else would you respond to this news that "
Now call it clash of civilizations or whatever and enough has been said and written on it. But what these guys protesting over Rushdie do not perhaps understand that countries like UK are free, tolerant , liberal societies where an individual enjoys rights and freedom of speech and opportunities which most of people in countries like Pakistan, Iran etc. can only dream of. These countries also dont persecute people based on religion as much as other supposedly slef-righteous countries do. I will give an example from my own experience. Couple of years back when I was working in UK, on one of lazy Sunday afternoons I happened to be in city square in Birmingham where about 3 dozens Muslim (quite visible form skull caps and beards) protestors were gathered to protest against I don’t remember exactly what. There were half a dozen Policemen watching the whole proceeding from distance and a thin crowd of curious onlookers mostly made up of weekend shoppers. One of the protestors, on stage was lecturing and bemoaning the persecution of Muslims in
Monday, June 18, 2007
Just been involved in IT a bit more than I usually. A usual topic of discussion these days among guys who keep abreast with technology is about Web2.0. People keep asking what it means to us and how our company (I don’t mean place where I work, but generally) can use Web 2.0. Web2.0 could be a larger discussion and simply put it is another milestone in Internet's evolution from a simple network of interlinked pages to whatever it is going to become in future, but what lots of us fail to understand, specially in IT companies, is that web 2.0 is also about a mind shift. It is democratization of information, more participation; everybody is welcome kind of thing. Ok may be not. That’s a separate discussion. But, essentially it is about tools which have reduced entry level barriers to internet and IT for those who know or care nothing about PHP, Java etc. I mean take blogging for example. Even grandma can blog and have her recipes shared on internet. How easy has it become really. And imagine what it can do (not blogging but open approach) industries which rely so heavily on knowledge and know hows of its people. Call centers, IT companies to name a few.
But try telling this to traditional thinking, control freaks at work who talk about knowledge management and take the management part bit more seriously than the knowledge they seek to manage. They would not understand. They seek to control knowledge as this is what gives them power they can wield. What does Web 2.0 means for enterprises where bosses communicate to employees through emails which are written by them and sent to their secretaries for forward to employees, as if they never heard of thing call mailing list!! Can any employee be open to approach his boss who communicates to him through email sent by his/her secretary! And anyway, email is so heavily misused. I mean how many times have you got important documents, newer versions of processes, templates, resumes, umpteen numbers of communication delivered through email! And then you would have scoured through your mail box to find them when needed. I have seen departments launching portals with fan fare, portals where all you find is some crap about what department does, as if nobody working there knew what it did anyway! And then there would be flurry of congratulation mails and some people would be happy and portal would be forgotten. It is ironical but most of IT companies which earn their bread and butter by claiming to have skills in solving their clients’s information management problems, can not manage their own information and knowledge which keeps getting scattered all around employee mail boxes and lost soon enough in cyber black hole. IT companies are slowest when it comes to adopting the technology they preach their customers. One can argue that it is about putting heads to job and for internal work that is a problem, problem of who is going to foot the bill. But I think it is more about poor leadership and lack of understanding that little investment in their own IT systems can give them huge benefits, even impacting their bottom line. And then it is also about making fewer managers and lessening barrier to information. How many companies have simple system where they can go and check what were new projects in what domain in what department when they were on bench and looking for suitable projects. This simple information would be locked in couple of guys heads and you need to chase them to get these million dollar information. It is about controlling information. That’s what power is about and unless that changes Web 2.0 is a nice topic for discussion among bunch of people who like to be addressed as architects and not engineers as if being engineer was a lesser thing to do.
But before we understand that or change ourselves, we need to get used to emails a bit more. I mean if you can type your email then surely you know how to send it too unless it makes you feel powerful and important. Web 2.0 till then can wait and grandmas can share some recipes even as some people in bar camps ponder over what humanity would become because of blogging. But that’s for later.
These are my personal views which I dreamt last night and have no connection with my profession.
Friday, June 15, 2007
9.45am: Have to fill my timesheets for week today. Have to log timesheets in 3 different systems. Same information , three sytems, three different passwords, 10 differnt codes, for three different set of people to look. I do it on two systems successfully and feel good.
10.30am: Enough of seeing JS and HTML errors, I quit firefox , open my IE browser and remember that IE wasn't working for quite few days and anyway I dont like IE that much. Employer's policy is to use IE. I log trouble ticket to get IE fixed on my system. Ticket 2.
10:45 am: I see my mails and find 2 mails from guys claiming to report to me and asking me to create thier goal records. I login in to another system with another password and find out that I dont see them in my records in that system. I am confused. I call them. They tell me I am thier supervisor as per another system. I check that another system and find out that it is indeed true. I am confused. Which system is right. I raise another trouble ticket. Ticket 3.
11.30 am: I get mail for trouble ticket 1, saying it is fixed. I check it, it doesn't work. I call up the guy. He checks something and tells me there is perhaps problem updating database. I reopen ticket 1.
11.45 am: I have to download this software I want to evaluate, from internet. Site is blocked. I am confused. It is a tech site run by a freelancer!! His name is adam so his site is adambalahblah.something. Adam==eve==Sex. Proxy doesn't like it (!!). I raise ticket to download the software. Ticket 4.
12:30 pm: I am irritated. I need a break.
1.30 pm: I check my mail. I have a mail. Ticket 3 is fixed. There is system A and there is System B. System A has same information , system B has same information. Both exist for two differrent departments. You update A, B has to be updated You update B, A has to be updated . Manually. Sometime we miss it. So we create tickets.
2-6pm: Meetings, meetings and calls. 2 min work takes 30 min. Tickets open and tickets close.
6:30pm: Time to go home. Big traffic jam. BMC is digging road to replace underground wires. This is for 10th time in as many months. Same road, different holes. 20 people working on it for weeks. 10 dig with primitive instruments, 5 carry the soil and dump and and rest 5, well they rest.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Recently around 140 countries agreed to make October 2 as international day of non violence to respect Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of non violence. In his own home country though, what we have witnessed last week was not only shameful shameful but also made a mockery of rule of law. Gujjars, who are some sort of caste and tribe in Rajasthan, went on massive protestation throughout the north India to demand them being categorized as Schedule Tribe (ST), so that they could get benefits of reservation in education and jobs meant for other lower castes listed as SC and ST. If we ignore violence which these men resorted to, I find it funny that there are people who so vehemently want to be categorized as lower caste tribe. Talk about upward mobility here! I am always perplexed by staggering number of castes and sub castes we have and how we keep sticking to them instead of making such archaic ideas redundant. I don’t know if Gujjars deserve to be listed as ST and given benefits of reservation or not, but what really stands out from the whole episode is the utmost disregard these men showed to public property and other citizens who had nothing to do with Gujjars getting into ST list. Crowds of these men went on rampage, blocking highways for days, burning, looting and destroying public property at will. Many of high valued machinery used for
How stupid it all sounds. Gujjars were demanding listing in ST category and Meenas (another one of 10 million castes) who are already in ST bracket started opposing it fearing that thier benefits from reservation would be diluted if Gujjars were also to be listed as ST and we
How stupid it all sounds. Gujjars were demanding listing in ST category and Meenas (another one of 10 million castes) who are already in ST bracket started opposing it fearing that thier benefits from reservation would be diluted if Gujjars were also to be listed as ST and wealmost had a caste war between Gujjars and Meenas. What will be next! Would it start a race where someone would be trying to prove that they are more backward than the others and others would fight back saying that only they are backward! So utterly ridiculous. A social problem, instead of being socially mended has been hijacked by politicians and lines of divisions are being further accentuated. May be it is not right to blame just the politicians alone as the fact is that we don’t have leaders in this country anymore, we just have men who are doing business of politics, otherwise so called leaders of Gujjars would have known that they can only lead their community into next century by making it aware of education and opportunities beyond few government jobs which they want to get through reservations. But regardless, all those who indulged in senseless violence and destroyed public property should be caught and put in jails.