Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a guy who had 3 free email providers.
Today, him and everybody else uses gmail. Gone are the days when having rediff+yahoo+hotmail mailers were accepted as a necessary indulgence. Its probably been a long time since anybody checked their yahoo/rediff mailbox. He made the mistake of browsing through his old (ancient) yahoo, and stumbled upon so many emails written and received many years back. Its like a time capsule in there! Mails from people he has forgotten, people he tried really hard to forget, but who still crop up in his mind at the worst and weakest of times, people who've moved on to other countries, other last-names and other paths of life. Apart from the usual bunch of messy spam, subscriptions and forgettable self-forwarded reminder emails, he see's a whole bunch of nostalgia inducing stuff that if read at a weaker period of time would induce bouts of severe depression. There's the first email from that girl who was interested in him, that first set of one-liners, yucky mushy stuff, photos, poetry and whatnot. Too bad her last-name changed. Then there's the more serious stuff, mail trails from the guys who he calls his friends even today, and meets on a regular basis. The history of his association with them is detailed in the emails he sent and received, and all of this in one convenient mailbox, waiting for him to remember the password and take a trip into the past. Its funny how much of his life and times can be gathered by simply reading a set of emails. Its not so funny, however, that the same emails will turn him into a depressed, nostalgic ninny for the rest of the week....lets make that until Monday. With a promise to IMAP/POP all these emails into his thunderbird, he signs out, wistfully wiping an imaginary tear from the disaster zone that is his face, and makes another promise to never look back into the rediff mailbox(bad memories).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Staking a claim!

Maybe its just my imagination, but when was the last time any of us ever went to a field, to a pristine beach, a temple carved inside a cave or even just to a weekend getaway without reaching there and panicking about the loss of cellular network. Technology, IT has been feeding us our daily bread for a long time now, and it is very likely that the same technology that was once heralded as the thing that will set us free is now taking a big chunk out of our daily lives. Theres a popular saying in the IT world....80 hours a week? no biggie, lemme just refill the coffee IV drip here. Why do we accept that the very technological advances that promised more effeciency, quicker turn arounds and better quality, is now eating away into not only our personal time, but our sleep, our thoughts, our very psyche seems to be controlled by the very technology that should be working for us, instead of the other way around.
Sure, the economy is driving many of the problems with the workspace. The recent dollar devaluation situation is not helping any either. Companies are being forced to make their employees work harder, longer and under greater stress than ever before. But is any of it really worth anything. I used to be proud of the smallest piece of code that I wrote...considering it a small piece in a huge machine that is doing its bit, and doing it as best as it could. I wrote code for an IVR product, you know the likes, you call a contact center, and a digitally recorded voice asks you for your account number, and then tells you how much money you have in you account, then while wishing you a very nice day (even at 2AM in the morning), it'd leave you feeling weird that you just had a conversation with a machine, in whicn the machine decided when to hang up on you. So getting back to the point, the company I wrote code for, sold the product to some other company, who hired their own bunch of code monkeys, and now my code is sitting in some other office, doing what I intended it to do, only doing it now for someone else. I am not jealous(that would be a little crazy), but I am feeling a little cheated. I wrote that code, I spent many nights perfecting it, spent a longer time trying to improve it, and now its somewhere else, and what do I have to show for it? a couple of lines in my resume. Compare that to a work of art, why art, compare it to this very post in this blog, and the glaring difference appears. I still spend more than 60 hours a week writing code for some company, putting my thoughts into some one elses property, which I could never stake a claim for. And the realisation that all the work that I do, however great it may be, however brilliant, or pathbreaking or perfect it be, will still be some one else's to have. Well maybe thats why I started this blog in the first place....to stake a claim for what I create, and to let that claim be know to all.