Saturday, February 17, 2007

Death for 3 AIADMK men in Dharmapuri bus burning case

Death for 3 AIADMK men in Dharmapuri bus burning case

Finally... Now, let's wait for the next set of drama. Will Kanimozhi and other human rights activists oppose the death sentence? Their argument had been 'death sentence doesn't prevent repeat of crimes'. Let's not get into the childishness of this argument but return to the question 'Will they oppose it?'. They might. As we all know our political parties do want to be restrained by a fear of such punishments. Who knows - there could be day when someone in the ruling alliance want to commit the same type of crime.

They might choose not to, as none of the criminals in this case seem to belong to a minority community. Human rights in India means, mercy to the criminals from minority community.

Will the families of these criminals be allowed to meet with the President? I felt betrayed when the President gave audience to the family members of Afsal Guru. For an article by Francois Gautier rediff, I wrote to him as folllows:

"I disagree with you on Hindus having a Sikh Prime Minister and a Muslim President. To most Hindus, the Prime Minister and the President are Hindus too. I am surprised at your definition of religion. Just because Mr. Singh sports a turban and a beard and Mr. Kalaam has a Muslim name don't make them non-Hindus. Their understanding of the culture, their value system are essentially Hindu."

By the time the verdict is to be implemented, there could be a new government at the centre, state, a new President and a new political climate that might allow for a repeat of the Afsal Guru clemency drama. Anything can happen - it is India.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I am sorry for the Americans

This is my 5th visit to the US. Like a few other trips earlier, I landed on a cold cold winter. Earlier I had entered the US from Boston's Logan. This time, it was Detroit. My team of developers huddled in a van and drove off to a hotel in the southern suburb.

After dropping our luggage, we drove to a grocery store to pick up some snacks and essentials. Everytime I visit the US in winter, I make it a point to buy an anti-static spray. This time I had a laptop and didn't want to damage it with static current from my hands. The stores hadn't changed much, more or less the same set of products I saw three years ago.

I spent a lot of time watching TV in the evenings after returning from work. It is sub-zero C outside. Two news items that caught the attention yesterday.

Two old men had died when they were clearing their driveway of snow. No doubt this is a sad event for the respective families. People need to be totally insensitive to make a news out of this. A common observation in such news items is - there must be a villain in the story. One lady blamed the blizzard for the death. The man had had three bye-pass surgeries, was over 70 years of age and a mildest strain could have been fatal for him. If it were not the blizzard, he might have died when mowing his lawn or just watching football.

To blame someone probably comes naturally to many. My son started attending play school in the US when he was three. He could hardly speak a full sentence in Tamil or English. But he managed to learn - 'tis your fault' within the first month. This trend goes all the way up the career path where Managers always want to assign a head to a failure. This has caught up in Desi land too. I don't blame the lady in the news item or my son or my boss - assigning a head as a reason for failure gives a nice closure to the problem. So and so screwed up and there ends the matter. Even in the ancient period - 'புள்ளும் பொழுதும் பழித்தோர் அன்றி உள்ளிச்சென்றோர் பழியலர்'.

The reason I find this strange is because of my ability to see the whole instead of the single failure. An action happens with so many factors that we don't give credit for. If my team released a successful product, every team member, the employer, the market and the economy and in turn the man on street - are all behind the success. Similarly, if it fails, one of them might not have helped the success. In that case, just accept defeat and move on.

The other event that happened yesterday was the job at Chrysler. For someone from India, where such a massive job cuts aren't common nowadays, it is shocking. I am really sad for the people who would be jobless and have to wait for the dole from the government. The consolation is, there is at least a government that will care for them for some time.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Back at Photon

About a year and half after I left Photon, I joined back yesterday. Photon has changed a lot in terms of facilities. It is one of the very few companies in Chennai that has best wireless connectivity. A Dell Latitude was getting ready for me as I completed the formalities with HR and introduction sessions.

Everyone from tech lead level and higher has a laptop with a good configuration. It contributes immensely towards better productivity.

With every language and platform getting more complex, not depending on the Internet can adversely affect the ability of the developers to solve problems faster. Photon has realized that and so, there is unrestricted internet connectivity for every employee. This is something Photon can be proud of. I had worked with a few other ISO / CMM level companies where getting connected to the net is a major problem. You have to navigate through various levels of systems to have some net connectivity.

Photon's processes are also a lot different from the other companies in the same space. The processes are defined not for the sake of it, but are designed for following. There is still a lot more to do; I hope they will happen in the coming months.

The workspace is a big improvement from the cramped offices at Adyar. Here is one more area where I would prefer some more improvements. The current setup probably suits the developers who often get into pair programming. For senior developers and leads, who do design, I think they would need more peaceful environment to think.

Overall, it feels good to be back among the hardcore techies with high energy.