Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We the IT folks

Information Technology Industry - the much talked about industry that is directly or indirectly contributing to our country's economy - be it in the form of R&D, services and outsourcing and business processing. The engineers who work in the IT industry - lets talk about them.

They are smart, pragmatic and the elite ones; agile, geniuses who can churn out new technology and new products at the snap of their fingers. If you thought this is what I am going to say; sorry! We engineers are as normal as everyone else; with limitations galore. We are not THE CHOSEN ONES. In fact, we are the most amusing and entertaining creatures one can find :-) Why so? Because we are so confused ourselves.

Most of them get enticed into the creamy seeming IT; and they remain confused - neither here nor there. They graduate from a different stream; major in a totally unrelated subject but get submerged in this mighty ocean. Systems, application, R&D, domain, development, QA, support, technical writing, analyst, consultant...........all these seem so very trivial and unimportant when all you want is a IT job.

Its only much later that you realize you are not meant to do what you are doing; you want to work on core product, but here you are working on some banking application. Gosh!! but yet its IT!!!! So yeah, we are consistently confused, always on the run to grab opportunities, constantly learn something new. We work hard to prove ourselves only to be told "You are not proactive". You successfully complete all your assignments only to be told "But why don't you write a paper? An IP? A Disclosure? You are so capable you now" and this stalls your promotion :-)

Amidst all this, we are a bunch of fun loving people; insane and confused. Only among us will you see the maximum and optimal use of technology that is offered to us. Two mates sitting beside one another would 'talk' to each other via internal messenger communicator than just turning back and talk directly. Here is a sample

A and B sits next to each other. A initiates a text conversation

A : Hi B, what is the status of the module you were working on?

B : Hmm, I am working on it. I think I can leverage some of your functionality.

A : OK, I need Pinky tonight. May I?

B : Sure. I am done with Pinky. Go ahead.

A : Cool, come lets go for tea.

Both go for tea. By the way, Pinky would be the name of a server or some piece of hardware.

We think we can get more out of technology. Like; we try to call from our desk phone to our own extension.....or keep punching the keyboard after powering off the laptop....or more; use our office badge to swipe to unlock our house gate :-) We are smart, didn't I say? We foresee a lot and thats how we invent new stuffs.

Gadgets - Aaahhh those are our toys! How we love them! From those complex multi-core processor servers to  latest phones and music players to cameras to laptops. We can learn the functionality of these gadgets faster and so remain always ahead. We are crazy! When others use desktops, we use sleeker and less bulkier laptops, when they start switching to laptops, we use netbooks. When people start using netbooks, we use a 17" massive laptops. We are different! adapt to technology soon. The same with any gadgets. When you all use a "mobile type" mobile phones, we use a matchbox size phones, when you guys think that's cool and switch to these, our new toy is a 4" display keypad-less touchscreen smart phones.

We think too high as well. Engineers you see; computer engineers :-) Our lingo, our talks are on a level beyond comprehension for most layman. We can "fix" the most impossible of the issues; we "leverage" and "optimize". We "boil down the ocean" to get issues resolved. We are super humans who can multitask and yet deliver with perfection and remain proactive and consistently over perform :)

We are software engineers. Our world is a 4x4 feet cube. Oh! even those are for the privileged ones. Our companion is our laptop and desk phone. Our friends are messengers, emails and websites. We emote, we talk, we cry, we feel within this world. We are branded as geeks or nerds. Some of us are zombies, but all of us are morons. I found this apt image online.


Image courtesy - http://www.prashantmhatre.com/fun/software-engineering-classics/

No questions asked, not even promotions :-P

PS : I dedicate this post to all the engineers working in IT industry

47 comments:

  1. That was a rare, privileged view of the inside of the mental cubicle! :) I guess it is the blog that keeps you sane! :)

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  2. I swear by the name of keyboard and motherboard, I love IT. Seriously. Even when I am sleeping I am thinking of some columns of the tables I worked upon in the day. I wake up and speak the name of the job/batch I had to run last day which I forgot. I love IT chicks. 1 out of 10 is funtastic for sure. Most of the sites are blocked but thats the fun. You have to work hard to find a proxy and what sense of achievement when you are able to do it. Your manager is trying to do the same in adjacent cubicle. Lovely!

    Sigh.

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  3. Very well written. But I would like to point out that the situation you described is not “exclusive” for IT Folks. It is in all types of perceived glamour jobs. Fashion Models, Actors, Airline Pilots, Investment Bankers—to name a few. At the end, it is all SSDD in any job.

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  4. That was a lovely post!
    Well, what all you mentioned is true.

    "Some of us are zombies, but all of us are morons." - Suits us perfectly. ^^

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  5. I dont have much knowledge about IT but have to say know a few who are zombies for sure :). But I don think that is IT specific even engineers are like that :P.

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  6. ohh god... I saw myself all over the post...and in those cartoons too :D
    we are a confused lot.. totally agree with that... day starts with desktop and ends with laptop ... loved the dedication :D

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  7. well written
    yes and confusion is there happens with many

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  8. We make the world talk. We make the world view the information instantly. We make the world bank. We make the accounts simple. List is endless...See my blog post on it.

    We just rock :))

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  9. Hilarious! Great take on the IT industry. The image at the end was so funny yaar... I was laughing out loud when I read the line, "OK, I need Pinky tonight. May I?" ha ha ha!
    I find that I am the most ignorant about gadgets among the people I have interacted with. :-| I am thinking about upgrading my phone, I have been using an $8 refurbished nokia for the last 3 years. :-| High time I get a dumb phone, err... smart phone. My phone retains battery charge for 2-3 days, weighs almost nothing. I love the phone so much that I am not able to make the next move of getting a black berry or some other phone. :-( My nokia phone along with a $0.99 hands free set is so comfortable. What can I say and what do I do? My 17" hp laptop is so bulky that I get my upper body workout every day, and it keeps me in shape for backpacking trips. Talk about dual purpose. :-p
    On a more serious note, I feel that no matter what field a person specializes in, a stint in a software company can be very useful. Until a non IT person gets a feel for software programming, it is almost impossible to get over the software phobia. And most importantly, if that experience comes from working in a software company, that’s when you get to see the real application of software in everyday life. Software nowadays, I feel, is not just developing an application for users to click and see something, but processing of data. I see that a lot of people, like mechanical, bio medical, banking, electronics, electrical, chemical engineers, architects, physicists (to say the least) outsource software jobs. In my experience, I have found the results to be mediocre applications with loose ends. But if an engineer from a specific field knows software programming, progress can be made from a fundamental level. Instead of using the gained software experience in domains that don't interest a person (eg., a mechanical engineer programming buttons and text boxes for pensions company in UK), if the person somehow uses the simple programming (like writing scripts) for their field of interest, the value added is priceless. Work that takes hours in excel can be done in minutes. And you (Insignia) out of all would understand this more than anyone. :-) I feel that having software knowledge as just one of the many tools in one's toolkit is very handy. I think of it as just one blade in a swiss army knife.

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  10. Bala,

    Yup! blog plays an important role in my sanity :)

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  11. Abhinav,

    1 out of 10? Hmm thats a decent count! :-P And sites are blocked for you? Aww thats terrible. Maybe you challenged your boss in farmville! Thats why!! See...

    :-) Its all part of the game :) Lets apply this learning to create a new product :-P

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  12. SG,

    Thanks. Oh is that so? I am sole and sole IT, so pardon my ignorance. Thanks for this information, now I know we are not the only confused and foolish souls out here. We have company yaaey!!

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  13. Enigma,

    :-) Thanks girl :)
    Hahaha who else better than us to gauge ourselves. We are all morons for sure :)

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  14. Harini,

    :-) Being a zombie is fun!! I dont have experience with other engineers. Need a first hand information. :)

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  15. Rajlakshmi,

    Awesome! :) Thank you. We deserve this :)

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  16. sm,

    Thanks. Confusion is normal :)

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  17. It's what IT is. Good thing my niece is a psychology major. Her future is secured

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  18. anil,

    Dont know :-S I continue to remain confused :-S

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  19. haha,nice take on the IT world.I loved the "can I have Pinky tonight" part,lol.

    I agree with you,we are not the chosen ones. Infact,what we do is:
    http://xkcd.com/627/
    OR
    http://dessert.philipp-soehnlein.de/wp-content/uploads/reasons-why-people-who-work-with-computers-seem-to-have-a-lot-of-spare-time.jpg

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  20. It was good reading your post. may be I should ask my son who was in IT till recently. He may know all this better.

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  21. Gautam,

    Boy oh boy!! You got carried away. :) Pinky thing, its very real. It always happened at my previous organization.

    I have seen your phone; its fit for a museum. Get yourself a smart phone :)

    Software field is indeed an arena to learn a lot.

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  22. Amogh Badwe,

    Pinky thing is for real :)
    Oh these two links really sums us up :)

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  23. chitra,

    Thanks :). You should ask your son about it. I am sure he will have lot of interesting things to say :)

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  24. Personally I have no knowledge of the industry per-se.But I know some I>T greats in and around our family and friends circle.
    In my opinion, all I.Ts are great and very interesting people.

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  25. seringa... how did yu know i called my deskphone?? ok same blood :) ! neenga so many times have done i think... ha ha thopi thopi

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  26. Chowla sir,

    So nice of you to say that sir. We are a bunch of interesting people :)

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  27. Hary,

    Hmm I have not done this at least. I am sane among insane people Hary :) But I have seen one of my colleague doing it so many times, he is so absent-minded

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  28. I dont know about Bangalore.But I know for sure how it works out in Kerala.
    I have never seen these ITs coming home before 10 at night.Ten,is not bad if it happens so every day.Two young boys who were working at Technopark died of heart attacks recently.Such young lives. From morning till night,sitting in front of computers,with nothing other than software and programmes and projects to think about, I always used to think they are wasted lives.I wonder how some of you find time to make personal lives.
    Family lives are in trouble.No time for vacation.Children go to sleep before they reach home.And on top of all this, they are sent on errands all over the world on petty salaries.Companies make money on the lives of these young people.
    It would sound impressive when we hear that these companies give 20 or 30 thousand when recruited.But it would be late when they realize that they are doing the work of three months,when you calculate the working time.
    Overall,my feeling is that it is time that the government interferes in this matter and sets some strict rules.Nowhere in the world would we find such exploitation of precious young lives.

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  29. That was really amusing material! You guys are a smart race, no doubt about that. I know of some smart techy types who with their lingo, if not impress, can confuse the client! And most clients are so stupid that if they are confused they are rather impressed! :D

    Great post! :)

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  30. dr.anthony,

    You did mention the flip side of Bangalore. But its not that bad everywhere. Only very few companies exploit youngsters as they get lured into IT. Life is not that bad, its really fun if you are at the right place.

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  31. Destiny's child,

    Thank you. Yup! I can understand, we are very good at confusing people :)

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  32. Holy Lama,

    Your comment went unpublished, dont know why. Anyway, all the best to your niece.

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  33. haha that was so very true...i work in IT despite being a student of journalism...sigh...but yes I definitely love the IT field. People here are interesting (better than the media guys) and yes money is good too.

    P.S: IT is so lucrative that my mom is looking for an IT son in law now :P

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  34. G3,

    Hahaha IT is indeed lucrative. So starting looking huh? :-) Good good!

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  35. For most parts ur dead on.
    hittin d nail on d head as dey say it.

    I believe its more of a cult dese days into which u hav 2 fit in urself 2 b considered a part.u kinda slowly grab onto it.

    well for me ... my induction to the IT industry has been more of a greedy algorithm approach taking the best choice at evry bifurcation that the "if" presented.

    nyways ... vry well written ...u hav lots of dem written ...lets jsut say..i m off d mark today...will read on...

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  36. The blogger evolves with the blog ! How well put !

    Bloggers come and bloggers go. But their take on some facts / issues / pictures etc have always stayed with me

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  37. Rupam,

    Thanks. Exactly, its the "fitting into the group". Hope these people realize it sooner and have their head firm.

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  38. Kavi,

    Seems this comment is for the next post :-)

    Thank you. Yes, bloggers come and go, but their work remains with us

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  39. Aw a totally different world! I see where I'm headed now..

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  40. Not just liked but loved this post being IT professional myself and the way you have written:)

    Coincidentally my latest post is somewhat related to IT only :)

    BTW, this blog seems really interesting..following it :) keep it up..

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  41. Prasad,

    Welcome to B Log. Thanks for your comments. I am glad you loved this post :-)

    Thanks for your encouraging words. Keep dropping by :)

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  42. diz s prashanth i'm doinb my btech I.T
    many of say dat aftral I.T bt d indian economy lies on I.T

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