Friday, July 22

Feigning in S/W Industry

this is kinda in continuation with my ramblings bout the indian s/w industry experience ... not that any industry is perfect ... nevertheless some more stuff that I witnesses this week ...

it was time so this so called AS9100 standard for the aerospace industry ... now ... our current project is a good piece of work ... in fact the design had some amazing stuff ... during our initial architecture discussions ... on a casual note with Rob n Al we realized that the time provided was quite impractical n their simulation on various models said the same ... doubling the work force does not double the output ... yet it was to be ...

project went on fine n ez ... I shud say that artifacts that I produced were some of the best ... other hav got into trouble coz of me :D ... all until the dev phase ... when we realized that we did not have the technical knowledge ... in 5 days I had to learn the new technology + get the feature rolling ... it happened ...

as the schedule always remained an impasse ... all our process adherence dwindled ... no peer-review (not even had time for self reviews) ... not enough documentations over changes in design ... no adherence to coding standards ... inadequate testing and sanity checking down here ... a CMM 5 company not even keeping up with these ... now what do I call that ...

reason ... lack of time n schedule ... the schedule did not provide engineers with time over fixing bugs ... they have to get the nxt thing rolling on time + get the old stuff fixed ... nice to imagine ... interesting the 1st few days ... practical?? NO ... it just wudn't happen ... so many times I tell my seniors ... its a nice plan but it wudn't happen ... time n again it doesn't ... yet they remain persistent ... why??

if we tell our managers something is not possible within the stipulated time ... then the immediate response is "maybe we can work in shift ... put in more resource" ... anything that would put a persons lifestyle in jeopardy ... if this were a more mature company the 1st question is ... y is there such an over shoot ... this means out estimation are inaccurate ... that where the problem is ...

to quote an e.g. philips bangalore ... ppl are not to stay @ office more than 7 ... the access is restricted n the security has to escort @ such times ... more that a week an emp works such ... his manager is called in by the top most guy and questioned ... I wud mind stretching myself for such companies coz they care ...

unfortunately most indian companies this is not the case ... the managers r responsible for the account making money ... so that works out from getting the contract to billing the employees for their work ... their quote (timeline) just never seem to work well ... n the scapegoats ... the engineers ... invariably always having to cushion this ...

now from the customer perspective ... most of his deliveries are delayed ... the products quality is poor ... so he invariably lands up taking another contract to get the bugs fixed ... not that they are perfect ... I'v known them to be the reason for so many of the above ...

now lets go full circle ... in a race to satisfy the customer, the company shed all its convictions (processes) just to stay in business ... n yet they wud still preach n bluster over having got certified ...

our project never has such thing as peer review for the production code ... n yet the auditors get review records for all of em ... all fabricated over the two days before the audit ... as for metrics ... it was all made up ... y ... coz they were never emphasized (in fact I never knew) ... n secondly the infrastructure was not there ... which is mandated by the process ... to be able to backdate the project n get pertinent information ...

I'n knows that Game Development in most places suffer the same fate ... but fortunately they do no aim to or brag bout such ... their goal is their final product n their only penchant toward such is to improve their means of work and the engineers personal life ... which untimately ensures quality of the work product ...

what have I done about it ... evey time I initiate something it gets overruled of I am responsible for all the effort ... n mind em they r extract effort never accounted for ... yet these would be forgotted in no more than 3-6 months ... back to square one ...

my principle in life n work is simple ... practice what you preach ... the retort I get when I advertise this ... "thats not how it works in business" ... I do agree with that ... this aint a perfect world ... "God achieves perfection ... man achieves excellence" ... it the attitude of rationalizing it that upsets me the most ...

my manager empathizes with these very thoughts ... n his comments as a private note to me ... I have projected these to the management n all u get is a mockery or disregard at the meetings ... all they ultimately care bout is how much the company makes ...

the companies stand ... if u can make any improvements upon this ... thats left to you ... no extra time ... n the employees stand ... this is all you get in the time u'v given me ... a catch 22 situation ... nah ... one problem that I see is that ... Indian companies rarely give an estimate for any outsourced work ... rather they plan ... which does explain a quite lot ... or is ther yet another explanation ...

2 Comments:

At Sunday, July 24, 2005 7:34:00 AM, Blogger Arvind said...

Samy,
Read both the posts - actually reading them for past couple of weeks ;) the word 'long' has no meaning' in your dictionary ;) and you tell me i have patience ? :-))

I guess you wanted to talk about various different aspects but got pulled in by the draught of annoyance/irritation. I would summarize as follows

a) S/W folks social life has no middle ground. A small percentage have extremely active social life and the rest have negative social life.

b) S/W pretends 'process' clinches it and 'people' do-not. Theory is right, in practise... :-)

c) Promises made are just that - promises to get business. Every industry does that

d) Bodies - well, it is always driven by supply & demand

e) Brain drain - i would not call 'brain's into usage yet - coz most (percentage wise) of the S/W work is routine programming than r&d

f) Career - we talk about it only because we are in the S/W industry. Did our parents talk about it ?. They got into a govt. job and fought for promotions once in 3-5 years and retired that's all :-)

 
At Sunday, July 24, 2005 9:29:00 AM, Blogger SamY said...

patience is a virtue ... n I have plenty ... wudn't get into the details as to how n where I picked up the skill tho ... n added to this the fact that I read you blog :p

okie I have to admit this now ... on of my greatest follies ... my thoughts flow way tooo faster than my typing / writing ... n thats where ppl find it hard to catchup in my expressions ... it sounds gibberish in the end ... cause = FIRE ... as for your brief I have something to add to it -

a) there are ppl who do strike middle grounds ... only by disappointing both ends to different degrees :) ... n I gt learn that ...

b) all that I am expecting is follow what U can ... n not brag bout what u dont or cant ... guess thats not the way things work ... something Ill strive for ...

c) I remember having substantiated this with some blame on the client as well ... havn't quoted their part in these games tho ...

d) every enterprise tries to earn THE WORD ... as in xerox being synonymous to photostat copy down here ... n individuals who deserve it are entitled to the same ... just like ARR ;) ... n of course ppl like thise person over whome MS has put a litigation over Google ...it is a fact of the industry that I find hard to digest ... my problem ...

e) n brain stuff - it is upto every individual as to whether he/she values or even realize such a thing ... my only concern was under-utilization of those who do ... I know an incident here where 50 recruits from a premium institute quit in a weeks span ... why? ... menial tasks ... the growing need of the industry todays is not skilled labour but deligent n servile candidates *ONLY* ... sad but true ...

well so there are some ppl out there who share these thoughts @ the least understand ;)) he he ...

I'v known organizations where such things happen quite rarely (not non-existent) ... n the ppl are willing to cushion in such conditions ... but in MANY Indian companies it ain't so ...

clash of ideals and the practical side of things ... I'm still learning to be a cool customer ...

n btw Arvi ... it started becomming 2 long for me ... n I didn't take the pains to end it as well as it cud have been ...

 

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