Showing posts from February, 2022


 It is really unfortunate to see what Ukraine is forced into. A war that it never wanted, an encroachment every civilian is fighting against.  A human rights violation that the stalwarts of the world are blind to!.  How the hell any country claim to be what it is when it can not involve into what ever they otherwise did in every other poor country.  May be rich countries don't fight wars with other rich countries, may be it is the protocol.  The heroics of the people and the army of Ukraine is amazing (unfortunately) to see, they are giving up their life for their country and to protect their country from a war they never asked for. Who gives these rich countries the right to loot other countries?  is there something called humanity still around? Why the heck no body is talking about it, what US is doing here and what Beijing is doing there? what about those so called best countries of the world next door in Europe doing?  are they all so incapable of doing anything there?

A Letter to manager

(A fictitious letter to myself, I am a manager myself). Hello My Dear Manager, When I hear you  teaching us the significance of missionary role than being mercenary, it sounded pretty promising.   At high level, I see every engineer as a "just a mercenary" or a "resource that does given task"  and someone doing something of  ask of someone on the top.   We make releases not knowing what is the end user of the release. We make it so that it's off our plate,  may be the release management, support or ops have no clue about what to do next, did we miss knowledge transfer or did we miss a whole lot of implementations or integrations and we never realized it? How did we miss helping other counter parts of our organization? You know what, it's may be a bi product of treating employees as mercenaries and expecting them to do everything may not work all the time. We solve problems and always keep solving problems, but are they right problems? if they were not, then

Trust me?

 Trust is very peculiar, we can pretend we have it, but it's hard to earn , easy to break. We earn by being honest, open and transparant.  We need to respect different views that we may not agree to. Fingers in our hands are not equal , if they were, it could have been a pretty bad design as hands wont serve the purpose, similarly the differences in our views and thoughts is what makes us special, we discuss, argue and debate, thats all healthy.  But thinking low of others ideas or stealing theirs or pretending our own ideas are great is not healthy and do not build trust.   Pretending to be someone else than what you are won't earn trust.   I think the key is to accept yourself as you are and then the world will accept you as you are!. Many times, we pretend we are demi gods and are near perfect, its ok  not to pretend that way. Its ok to have mistakes, but not ok to cover it up.  you can be honest about it.  Its ok to get upset, cry or even yell, it means you are living and n

The Leadership puzzle

As I keep reading and thinking about leadership, Books are written based on perceptions with evidence and making us believe we are inherently wrong and need to do corrective actions.  If we have to believe these books, the authors should have been the most successful leaders of the world, ironically they are not.  Fiction writers make more money than motivational ones. Most of these books are biographies of experiences, good to read but  believing they are the medicine for all our problems is not correct. Ok and Not Ok It's ok to experience mistake, not ok to repeat and not learn out of it. It is ok to not to have eye to eye contact when you are thinking while conversation, it's not OK to make your point communicated It is ok to use filler words while communicating,  it's not OK to fill with lies and fake promises. It's ok to be yourself , it's not OK to pretending to be super human and somebody else. Leadership is a puzzle that comes in different levels and sizes a

Total Leadership

 Based on the book " Total Leadership  Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life" by Stewart  D. Friedman Practice of leadership has  3 core aspects.  Be Real, be authentic Be Whole, act with integrity respect the whole person. Be Innovative, experiment with your team interests and how you get work done. Also be present and respect the 4 way view of life.

Game on!

 "If something has to go wrong, it will"  says Murphy's law.    What a ride that I have been going through last few months.  Probably these challenges are to strengthen me. Believers may say " God will never give you more than you can handle".   By design, everyone is  working for something they believe and thats what makes them.  When one try to expect changes that may help for larger good, the inertia in the areas of focus (where changes are expected) does exhibit strength of being inert. It is not moving objects, even the inert objects can create more trouble than one can imagine.  Laws of physics prove that and we can correlate this at philosophical level for various things we go through in life. Irony around the success and failure is that you never know  about it during the practice, and winning is appreciated while failures haunt.  The process of practice towards the game is often goes unnoticed.   When faced with challenges, how do I deal with it? when t

Software farming

What is software? is it science? or is it engineering?   If it is science, what are the principles?  who are the people behind it?.  Our day to day life is so much influenced by learning the laws of physics, chemistry , mathematics and all applied and ancillary areas.   We needed an archimedes (3rd century BC) to discover  that u pward thrust of an object being immersed is equal to the weight of the fluid getting dispersed, we needed a Newton, Einstein and Edison and many others and their life time keenness to invent solutions to problems. We know the laws of science,  how and why we are able to thrive on earth, a bit of a change in gravity of earth can make all life disappear, but it is so much orderly, the sun, earth and other planets are all are working in such a perfect pattern and we know the formulae behind it.   Every tool we are using (say plumber, electrician, farmer or a mechanic) has many years of evaluation. and engineering is essentially applied science.  Software is not s

Why we fail (as leaders)

(I wrote this first on linkedin)  The more I think of it, my favorite quote I use often, "it's wrong or sin to milk a bull". having right people at right places is important. If not if we keep a bull in the place of cow, how ever hard you plan and budget loads of money, you will never get milk. Also, I strongly believe, if you want to have a baby, you need to work for it, somebody else cannot have sex and have a baby and you declare as your baby. DNA test can prove who is the real parent. Leadership is not like a gender assigned at birth but something should be earned and not something that magically bestowed upon. having right team is an essential ingredient of success. who believe in a goal and work collaboratively and argue/debate/question regularly to validate their dream. As  John Doerr  says we need team of missionaries , not teams of mercenaries. unfortunately, we use engineers as Mercenaries. This is true of many failed products.


(I wrote this first on linkedin)   "INSPIRED" by  Marty Cagan  is for me a horror movie version product mgmt realities. Someone makes decisions and everyone is forced to March the line and we burn time , money and some how we build the product someone asked for, just to realize it has no real value. we often build products in "lipstick on the pig" model. we damage and damage and add colors to it. I like this quote "UX is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it is not good". also another relevant forward I remember, "Explaining a Joke is like doing an autopsy, if it is not yet dead, it will be". One of the most abused word or process in software companies is Agile, we actually spent lot of money to get training and then pretend follow it. Waterfall model is more preferred than the psuedo agile methodology where it is used to keep engineers busy on doing something that eventually fails and then put the blame on engineers. Successful companies in

4 Dimensions of Agile

 This is the weekend read result of  Clean Agile  : Back to Basics of Uncle Bob (Robert  Martin.   It is kind of an  amazing biography of software practices in the last 20 years  (and may be beyond).   They  most companies are using agile is by jailing the spirit behind it.  Instead of talking more of how we are failing, I can focus on what my perspective of agile process based on the book reading as well as experiences and other reads. Agile has  4 different dimensions. Business Developers Collaboration Managers  First some basics The Manifestos Agile Manifesto Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. Software Craftsmanship  Manifesto As aspiring Software Craftsmen we are raising the bar of  professional software development by practicing i

Being a successful (un)limited leader

  Context: X is a Sr manager with one of the top IT company and has been successful in delivering products/solutions as per the plan keeping customer a priority. With his current employment, he has been having few hard situations and there are escalation on his communication style, while everyone really appreciate with X is bringing to the table, the communication style is attracting more attention. X thinks acknowledges and is looking to get coached on addressing the communication style problem. Goal: To be highly productive and make effective communication (so that others do not get affected negatively). How do you measure the success? Leading highly productive team that innovates and finds no limitations for their work. No escalations on the communication style. Teams with satisfaction. What is causing? Probably different goals by different teams.   When teams work for their own team goal than a collective goal(s),   that causes conflict and the communication   style issues are a ma

Conflict is good!

What is a conflict?  Let's accept it, conflict is good (when it is in the right direction) and can be hugely motivating factor for development.  Humans evolved into what we are today because there was a continues conflict that caused innovation.  So its not all that bad :-).    I remember the friction inside me as a kid growing up was about , "How come almost everyone other than me have a better life or better access to money for their needs", and that made me study well, challenge myself on continuous basis and made me what I am today. I was reading this book, "Conflict Resolution Playbook" by  Jeremy Pollock and it took almost a day for me to complete reading of the book (I might have partially skipped couple of chapters). Its amazing book on this topic (having read no other book on  this topic yet). Conflicts often lead to "fight or flight" situation, either people become defensive (and then stop really applying reasonable logic to resolve but build

A Manager's view of an engineer

 I have seen life in cycles, started as a developer and moved to lead manager and above and then became a lead, individual contributor and repeated the cycles.  Have seen lot of OK  managers  few really bad ones and  very few amazing leaders in my own career.  It is always confusing state of mind for engineer on what "Manager" will be thinking about me or my work and will it affect my next pay revision, what impact does it have my career progression wishes etc. Here is my view on what manager's view around his team and their work. This is based on the industry experience in software industry ( both consulting and product development firms) and on a positive side. I did that and will reap dividends for ever You may have done something great and everyone agrees that and if you think you can get easy and get dividends on it forever, sorry you can't.  While you have done something amazing, everyone in the team and elsewhere in the world are doing amazing stuff too.  Keep