Category: Life in general

Some days are simply frustrating

I love object oriented development. In my C++ days, I sure used to do a lot of OO development. One of my best project was in 1997 when i was working on a Unix based real time system where performance was critical. I got to work with some serious technical folks. One of the guys in my team would write thousands of lines of C++ code ( the OO Way) and it would compile at the first go.No compilation errors. Remember those were the days when there were no tools like IDEA and Visual Studio. It was all on the friendly VI editor( Esc key)
The problem with these new tools is they hide so much of details away from the developer. They help you so much that you stop thinking
There was not one day that year that went by without me learning something new.

You always need someone to look upto, someone to learn from. This is not a blog or a website, Some real person whom you look up to to learn

Then came the evil world of internet and web based development.

Problem #1 – I am not a UI guy and every time I see the poor stateless browser filled with functionality that it make Rich client apps look ugly, I freak out. It is stateless, so dont make a screen so big that it needs a tonne of Java script. Does the end user really care about all this.

When I go to Amazon, I want to find something quick and get out of there. I want my websites simple.

Problem #2 – All web based systems have a UI layer(MVC), a database, a tonne of business rules ( 80 percent of complexity is in business rules ) many Rules are simply there to make the orogrammers life a hell, some database layer and one or more databases.

After having developer more than two dozen commercial systems over the years, I find it quite disturbing that in every project we discuss the same thing over and over again. Where is the business rule, how is data being passes from one layer to another, do we use stored proc or not.

Problem # 3 – And then there are the evil patterns. The book ( you know which one) has stopped us from thinking. There are no more design ideas. Need a solution refer to Gang of four. ( Over the counter design solution)

BE it Java or .NET the problem is the same. Web site development sucks.

For many years when I was working in Java, I never felt as dumb as I do since I moved to the world of .NET.

Not sure ,there must be something poisonous in the Microsoft Kool Aid

Rescue me:) Bring back the world of intelligent systems

The world does not stop with Data sets , remoting and Business Rule:(((

My Job Went to India..

Since the day I sat in Dave Thomas’s Ruby presentation, I have been a big fan of his. Not to mention his books particularly Pragmatic Programmer. So Whenever I read his blog, I naturally expect something that
I never have to doubt about.
I have always  carried a “Yes he is right” attitude when I read his writing, be it a blog or a book. I have a lot of respect for his work.

I must say I was taken by Surprise to see a book coming from the Pragmatic Press called My Job Went to India.
Here is the introduction to that book

Title:    My Job Went to India
And All I Got Was This Lousy Book
Author:    Chad Fowler
Pages:    200
ISBN:    0-9766940-1-8
Date:    August 2005

HINT: It’s not “their” fault, it’s ours…

The American IT job market is slowly coming apart at the seams, and it’s all our fault. Most of us have been stumbling around letting our careers take us where they may, and now we’re surprised when our companies are shipping our jobs overseas for a fraction of the price. It’s time to take control of our careers, and in the process, learn to stay both relevant and employed. This book will show you how to take action to avoid becoming yet another casualty of offshoring.

* Treat your career as a business. Learn how to apply business principles and build your own brand as a software developer.
* Walks you through the process of making intentional choices about technology and domains to invest in.
* Helps you develop a structured plan for keeping your skills up to date and staying competitive.
* Shows you how to market yourself both inside your company and in the industry in general

Introduction Ends

OK here are my Issues with this book

First, It is the title. “My Job Went to India And All I Got Was This Lousy Book”

I am an Indian by birth( yes from the same India this book is talking about) and I dont feel racist or feel hurt.
On the contrary I am quite proud that Indian Software Industry is matured enough that they can compete at levels that make the folks
at pragmatic press write about it, I also work in the same place as a lot of folks who would read this book reside i.e. The United states
of America

I think that Titles speak for a thousand words. Software Engineers like me have migrated to the USA and have been working quite hard in the software industry here. I face the same issues any other American faces.  I pay the same taxes,( At one point I actually paid more that a citizen).Authors of these kinds of books tend to forget that millions of Software professionals of Indian Origin are still working here. Potentially lots of people I know could look at me Negatively as I am from  that same country that the title of the book is trying to portray simply to bump up Sales..

So when Dave is looking for Catchy phrases as he claims in his blog, he should surely given this a second thought.

Please change the title to something else to make it more meaningful.

Second, Here are some facts

  • India still constitutes less than one or two  percent of the world software and related service markets
  • The total revenues of the entire software industry in India amount to less than a third of Microsoft revenues
  • ($25,296 million in 2001) and less than 4 percent of the revenues of 25 top U.S. suppliers of software and computer services
  • Revenue of the largest software firm in India (TCS) is one half the revenue of the 25th software firm in U.S. (Adobe)
  • With foresighted policies it could become a major force, capturing 5-8 percent of the world market
    Or, it could celebrate too early, and stop at one percent of the market as better equipped competitors overtake India
  • The Indian IT Services and software industry is likely to grow to US$ 22.2 bn, with domestic market revenues of US$ 4.9 bn in FY 2004-05

    This is a small fraction compared to what is being portrayed. A lot of this bad press started happening during the elections.
    Here are some statistics in PDF format

  • So what this means to me is most of the jobs are right here in the US still . Instead of crying over nothing , let’s look at ways to improvise skills
    ( This by the way seems to be the intent of this book)

    And lastly,

    Almost all the high techs in US, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Sun, GE( Jack Welsch Tech centerare moving many  of their R&D efforts to Asian countries, India being one of them
    And this is not simply due to cheap labor. Most of this on the contrary is due to the highly skilled geek market out in these countries.

    The ratio of  number of employees with a Software Engineering background ( BS in engineering ) to Non engineers is very high in those parts of the world. In the USA I never see such high ratio of engineers in the software field. So may be there is a lesson to learn here and focus on the core technical skills than the business aspects this book is trying to portray

    Oh well