Friday, September 23, 2005

$$ Software Blues $$


On that very weekend, at one of those “clich├ęd beach house dos” far away from the city, I was introduced to a short looking fellow. During the course of the conversation, he told me he was a programmer working with a software company. I told him of my current plight, and he said that there were forums which went out of their way to help people with their programming difficulties.

You mean they actually were sites, who would do all the programming for you…


I went back home, quickly did a search and found a gamut of web sites, which actually helped dejected souls like me, with their programming blues. What’s more, most of these websites were either American or British, which meant you would have programmers from the Western world helping you with you’re coding…

And they said, Outsourcing happened only to India, Welcome to Reverse Outsourcing!!

So, I emailed them explaining to them, what I understood of my project and Mr. Jon Williamson of Texas very kindly replied back with a detailed description of what needed to be done. I tried figuring out and implementing what he spoke about, which I couldn’t , so I then tried asking him an intelligent question to keep the interaction going.

To which he replied,

“The answers I have already provided were not intended to be used in the PowerPoint VBA editor, they were instructions on how to get your macros to work in Visual Basic, which is what you just asked.

If you go back and follow the instructions in the previous posts in this thread then you will find that you can create a VB executable that does everything without the user having to open Powerpoint or any other interaction”

Amazingly helpful, wasn’t it. To which consumer forum do I complain about the poor quality of outsourcing in this scenario?

The entire interaction can be followed on

There was now only about a month left to go, the only day to look forward to was Friday which was the apparent casual dress code day in the company .On this day, even the senior 50+ people would try their best to fit into jeans and tight pants.At most times, I must confess this wasn’t a very pretty sight. However, the one sure pretty sight in my wing was this pretty lass named Shaayanass, and boy did she have a fine…well, you get the drift.

All it would take was a sms to my fellow droog who would be chilling in his house. (Remember the same droog who had had his project finished by the oily person)

And before I knew it, he would appear before me…

It was worth the journey dude, I love Fridays, Its Friday night Live!!”

The lady in question Shayanazz or Shayanass, was the only bright spark in our software world. Every day during the breakfast break, post breakfast break, pre lunch break, lunch break, post lunch break, pre tea break, tea break and post tea break, there would be a hoard of wannabe geeks surrounding her offering her Tea, Biscuits, Tea and Biscuits. Not surprisingly, me and my fellow droog would be amongst those wannabe geeks. One fine day, in our conversations with her, she mentioned.

“ I love Kerala, I love the coconuts , the boat races, the food.”, We agreed (Nodding our heads vehemently in unison) “ Last year, I went there on a holiday with my husband, and we had a great time”


This brought to an end, amongst other things my fellow droog’s visits to the software company. The pre-breakfast to post-tea breaks were now decidedly more lonely for Shayanzz, I’m sure she is still trying to figure out why.

I now had, exactly 1 week to go for my submission date, and had to do the documentation for the same. How does one do documentation for a project which hasn’t even been half created..?

Somehow, using the same bull shitting method, which I had become quite adept at I managed to fill up around 80 pages of the Project document.

In the mean time, my fellow droog acquired his “Project completion certificate”, and close in behind, I managed to acquire mine as well. My project, I explained was 95% completed, and all it needed was some fine tuning. In about a week, I convinced them, I would have a software which amongst other things would change the world.

All I needed now was a working project…

And then it happened….

I noticed at the bottom of one of the documents…

All subject matter and content in this document, is strictly confidential and none of it can be shown or used for unofficial purposes without the prior permission of the company”

Now, if the documents were confidential, it wouldn’t quite be an incorrect assumption, to assume that the software I was going to create would be well, confidential as well…

I came up with a cunning plan…..

During my project presentation, if the examiner were to ask me for my working model..

Pat would come my reply, “Well sorry sir, It’s highly confidential; the company will not allow me to show it unofficially.”

If he asked me, some complicated questions about my project.

My reply again, “Sorry sir, Its confidential as well. I am legally bound. I cannot reveal too many details about its working.”

It went to plan.

He smiled. I smiled back.

My marks in the project, well they are confidential. But, I can tell you I did reasonably well.

As for my project, well 6 months have passed. I haven’t heard from them, nor have they from me.

Long live the Software Industry! Long live confidentiality clauses!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

$ Software Blues $

One of the greatest nuances of the exalted course of Engineering is the necessity to do a project. Something which they say of course, is going to have a unimaginable effect on which company you join, where you work and in the long run what sort of an example you will set for your children and their future generations.

You as always have 3 choices:

1. Actually do a project, learn code, write code and slowly lose all your hair.

2. Work with a company (nothing look good corporate experience!),wear a tie, acquire an ID card and in short try and act like your doing something important.

3. Buy a project, make someone else teach it to you and then sign your name in the end.

Now option 3, seems like the most sensible choice. But for some, weird reason I found myself choosing option no.2.

So me and my fellow droog, would wake up early in the morning, put on our best face and try our hardest to catch that early morning bus. Why after all, we were now part of the exalted Indian I.T Industry!

This exalted company had with it, a great history and an even greater tradition of producing true leaders. We obviously would be a great mismatch, or atleast that’s what we thought.

In no time at all, me and my fellow droog found out (rather surprisingly) that actually maybe the skill set and the credentials we had , infact made us over qualified.

Our Daily Schedule

Without fail, Wake up late and miss the bus.

(ok maybe, I should rephrase this as “My daily Schedule")


Arrival, 9’0 Clock time for Breakfast


Good Breakfast! Quite stuffed, let’s shake it off. Time to play some T.T


Alright time, for the first coding act, Walk to the office mumbling “Implicit, explicit”, and in short try to look intelligent


Right! Time to read the paper




Woohoo, Its 3PM, Pool table opens


4PM, Its time to put on that intelligent act again


4:30 Tea Break


5 ‘O Clock , phew! Its been a hard day...

Alright, I must admit , I am exaggerating a little bit here. They were days, where I decided to take a snooze in between as well.

But most of all, Some of the most memorable moments, for me and my fellow droog were in a place affectionately referred to as “HQ”, as in “HeadQuarters”

This quaint lounge like place, where everyone in the company would decide to lounge had a T.T room, Indoor golf, a T.V and a Hi-Speed internet connection. (Now what else could you possibly require).

Not surprisingly, me and my fellow droog monopolized the T.T table, and it was here that we played with some of the most stimulating T.T players, you could ever want to play with.

Me: Think his forehand is weak, Serve to his forehand.

Mr. Stimulating: (Looks quizzically at me)

Me : Yeah, Serve to his forehand..its an important point.

Mr. Stimulating: ( Looks quizzically at me)

Me: Cmon! Serve to his forehand, this is my 5th game in a row and I might have to get back to work.

Mr. Stimulating : ( Looks quizzically at me), Saarry Saar, I dan’t know wat is forehand, backhand..

Yes that really happened, the same chap was btw spotted the very next day making the Snooker cue double up as a ceiling broom.

Damn, I just realized, I haven’t told you anything about my project, which is why I was at the company (or was supposed to be at the company) after all…

The project was about something, which I still obviously don’t understand. Very soon in the piece, I realized that I would need a minor miracle, so that I would be able to complete it. My fellow droog, was in the same position, so I took the most obvious course of action, A Holiday to

I still remember my conversation, with my droog the last Friday morning, before I left.

Me: Dude, Where are you, I’m in office and yr not?

Fellow Droog : No dude, Anyway no hope! (In his characteristic style). I’m staying home and watching the match.

My holiday, got a little extended, I thought as long as me and my droog were both in the same sinking ship, atleast I had company and I went to work the following Wednesday, half expecting my fellow droog to well, still be watching the match.

Me : What’s happening man.

Smiling Droog : Whats up baby! Give me a 5 baby! My project is over!

Me : What the fu&*???

Smiling Droog : (Pointing out), You see that guy over there, that oily bugger! He finished it on the weekend! Its party time babyyy!

Party time indeed, It was now me and only me left there, and it was well and truly only the beginning of my experience of “Software blues”.

To be continued....