Saturday, October 18, 2008

The (ef)/(de)fects of software engineering

All characters and incidents in this post are fictious.
(M)any resemblance(s)/similarity(ies) to anyone/anything, living/dead is/will be (im)purely coincidental/accidental.

Assumption: God maintains this world similar to a Software Company. God is the president/CEO, at the highest level in the organization. There are a set of Ministers under him who lead every department, like Birth Services, Death Services, Nature and Vegetation Control Administration etc. Once in a while, there would be a Product Performance Meeting(PPM). Basically, this is a tele-conferencing kind of procedure, where various issues are discussed, good performances are appreciated and awarded etc. The only exception is that they don't need devices for the conferencing. It is just buzzing in the mind and talking with the people. 

And there goes...

God: Good Morning to one and all! I welcome you all to Nine Hundred and Eight Seven Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty First PPM in the Kali Yuga(Modern World). I call upon CULMIN(Call-name for Cultural affairs minister) to list out the agenda for today.

Cultural Affairs Minister: Good Morning all! The agenda for today would include (1) Performance appraisal for the last batch of Angels and Demons (2) Laying-off few years experienced personnel in birth and death services and (3) Last week's continuation on India.

God: HUMIN(call-name for HR Minister), What is the current market pay for the last year freshers? 

HR Minister: For the previous batch, the CTC for Angels range between 400-600 watts rings. For the demons, it ranges between 2.5-3.0 inches of teeth. 

God: We'll pay the angels 450, 500 and 550 watts rings respectively for appraisal points 2,3,4 out of 4. For the demons, let it be 2.6,2.7 and 2.9 inches for the same criteria as angels. 

HR Minister: So be it, Highness(Call-name for God)!

God: With regard to the laying-off the personnel for birth and death services, what is the status? 

HR Minister: The death services project personnel are not performing well these days. After the successful installation of Tsunami 4.5, there has not been an effective mass destruction software release for almost four years now, whereas the birth project team is over performing, especially in India. 

God: The world technology development team has done a good job all these years. The artificial intelligent systems forecast such destruction software releases to the end users and help them reduce the effect of destruction. Since no much businesses are available in the death services area, we could lay-off few employees. 

HR Minister: I'll instruct my team to develop a training programme where poor performers are given the pink slip. 

God: That would be an effective strategy! Bring up the issue of the birth services lay-off, after you are done with the death services personnel. 

HR Minister: Very well Highness! (Addressing the entire gathering)Any clarifications about the two issues? (Pauses for a minute and continues). Good then, let us get back to the argument about India.

God: Basically, i would blame the Career tuning services. Their Indian Politicians 3.2 project has failed miserably, giving defects and bugs at a regular basis. 

Career Tuning Services Minister: A detailed analysis on the crash of the project has been made. Further research is going on.

God: What was the lesson learnt? And did you make an entry into the Lessons Learnt Log(LLL) book?

Career Tuning Services Minister: We have found out that mistakes were due to a bug from the Attitude Control Module. 

Attitude Control Minister: Our module was a Critical To Quality (CTQ) one but the QA team did not perform usability testing properly. 

QA Minister: The design was tested extensively. Usability testing was not in the agenda. The defect is in the design.

Design Minister: The requirements mentioned that the product criticality level was Level E. Hence, the defect is in the requirement analysis.

Requirements Analysis Minister: Customer had given the approval before we sent the requirements to the Design team. Probably, customer requirements changed after the Baseline was drawn. Change Control Board(CCB) did not notify this to the requirements team.

CCB Minister: The project was undertaken before 1947. The customer environment changed after 1947, which was not foreseen properly. The project, on first hand was not feasible. Who approved the project?

Feasibility Analysis Minister: First hand analysis as per our company standards was done at the customer site. Previous experiences like Gandhian Politicians 2.3 were considered before closing the feasibility study.

God: How did Indian Politicians 3.2 impact the entire system? 

R&D Minister: The Indian Politicians 3.2 module was under criticality A that released outputs to the Indian Society 6.1 module. Then and there, defects in the form of terrorism, corruption etc were fed to the society module. 

God: What happened to the Reformation 1.0 project that was launched few weeks back?

R&D Minister: A bug from the Politicians 3.2 crashed the Reformation module!

God: Take educated people as input and create a new Politicians version. We'll test it in the customer's environment and imply changes if necessary. 

Feasibility Minister: The study has been made long back and it is not feasible. The educated people inputs work only with foreign modules.

God: Take adored people like actors as input and study the feasibility.

Feasibility Minister: We've made the feasibility study and a strange input called TR has been sent to R&D, for which we've not got the results. The outputs we got are way too hillarious to attend.

R&D Minister: If the TR input is given to the system, no clever test cases can be framed to test the system. Hence, we're working on the test cases currently. 
God: What about the students category? That would be an innovative try. 

Career Tunings Minister: If politics is passed as a parameter to the career guidance method of the students class, we get no constructive outputs.

God: (after thinking for a long time)Instead of bringing a new Indian Politicians module, we are going to eliminate the errors in the module. Everybody work on it and the discussion will continue in the next meeting.

Days passed by. God did not have any minister come up to him with any issue the whole time. God was anxious about the response and came eagerly to the next meeting.

God: Good Morning to one and all! I welcome you all to Nine Hundred and Eight Seven Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Second PPM in the Kali Yuga(Modern World). I call upon CULMIN to list out the agenda for today. 

God's Secretary: Due to the absence of CULMIN, i'm delivering the agenda. The agenda for today is: (1) Recruiting new ministers for all departments and (2) Last week's continuation on India.

Change never changes!

It all started this May. The so called Project Review got over. Wherever we turned people were getting their slam books filled, filling others' slam books, clicking the activities of the last day, posing for group photos, bidding farewell to the teachers etc. Though it was the last day in college, i didn't have that big a feeling about leaving it, may be because i never found myself belonging to that place. That was the college level picture. 

Back at home with my gang of friends(classmates), i was sure that atleast till all of us join the professional corporate world, we'd be meeting almost everyday. So, it did not matter too. It was just another semester vacation for me; Nothing had changed. Night stays, counterstrike sessions etc were daily routines. I was then thinking that i had become some heartless human being who couldn't even feel the fact that i'm leaving the most important and enjoyable days of my life. Could that be true? By any case?

Actually no. The change was happening somewhere behind. I couldn't feel it at that time. So, when did the realization come? After spending four useless months, i got my date of joining(doj) as September 29th, ten days before the joining date. Even then, i couldn't find myself in a lost state of leaving my friends back. I was then thinking, "You heartless bugger!" Again, i was wrong. The truth was that i never had the time to feel about it. I had so much of work to be done before leaving. 

After reaching Madurai, i had no free time either. I had to settle down first. Then i had to go around the place looking for the necessary stuff. In similar lines went 2-3 days. Slowly, as i started missing things at home, i had to join and the corporate life of 9AM to infinity. It has been three weeks since i joined and i've visited Coimbatore twice. I has all the fun we could possibly have after a small gap. Now that few others are also going away for work and stuff, life keeps going, rather, has to keep going.

Today's world need not necessarily care about the changes that are taking place. Probably there are other serious things to worry about(Eg: Are you in the share market?, Obama is going to cut outsourcing, if he becomes the president etc). Life is not becoming mechanical, it is mechanical already. The correct use of media will always keep everyone together. Then why worry about changes? The cliched quote says: "Change is the only thing that never changes". 

PS: This post just says that the blog is still alive. As the subject goes, there are probably so many other things like C++, process, DBMS etc running in my head that creativity to write is so low.