The result of Laziness, Procrastination and the Opportunity Cost.

Opportunity Cost ,  the real cost of lost time, lost credibility, lost career, lost love, lost life which are brought into one’s life by our seeming friends – Laziness and procrastination are very high. In long run, these seeming friends bring more pain to life than pleasure.

More than any other losses, these seeming friends brought pessimism into me; against which I am fought every day.  There are many theories out there about pessimism – it feels good to read about it, but it is very hard to spend a few months / years with it.  I have been there, felt that and know what it means. Pessimism :  I call it a strange disease;  puts a filter on to your vision and the result, you see negativity in all sorts of life.  The more pain of this strange disease is- you don’t know you have it.  I thought I was more optimistic and realistic, but the reality is I had that filter on my vision without me knowing about it.

I tried many things to get out of it – To Do lists,  Not To do lists, doing three important things a day and so many other suggestions out there on web.   Nothing worked.  Thank God : I read this post of  Reg Braithwaite . The techniques in the book  –   Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life has helped me a lot in taking my pessimism out.  It took a lot of time and pain for me to come out of it,  I am now out of it.  I have re-read the book many many times.  A Great book.

Yesterday, when I logged into my blog to make my first blog of the year, my heart felt bad to learn that the last post I made was in April last year.  So many opportunities lost in last one year , but it is OK.  As the saying goes ” Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”

As with regards to my career, I have two certification goals for this year.  One is planned by end of July and the other by end of Oct-2010.  I now feel very optimistic that the opportunity cost of my decision, the choices I make now will make me better in times to come.

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No.. I wasn’t busy.. I was lazy and procastinating…

I know there are few followers for my blog, but still it is my responsibility to keep it updated for very basic reason that I started it, and I dont want “it” to die with yet another blog on internet. Oh yes, I hear your voice ” Hey idiot (Azagu).. What on earth makes you believe that your blog is still alive?”.  My answer though it sounds stupid is ” Gentleman.. I am still alive and I will not let my  blog die in front of my eyes.. I will certaninly give it a new life”.

It is a shame to tell laziness, procrastination, not knowing what I want / where I want to go  and many other absurd reasons and silly things  that has kept  me away from writing blogs.  Yes, it is bull**** to say so.  I am currenlty in Melbourne, Australia for past 7 months and will be back in India in next couple of months.  A lot has happened to my life and many of them – not the way I wanted it to be.  I have been toying around with many ideas, but I feel the time is not ripe to make a decision; in otherwords, as the wise say, this guy is not ready to take risks.  One thing for sure, I have to move out of so called self proclaimed IT services companies operating out of India and become an indepedant IT consultant / entrepreneur like …. (itentionally left blank).

I have so many things on my head, I have to do a lot of things and it is still a shame for me to tell that laziness and procastination has kept me away.  But I have to start somewhere and this is a new start  for a new ending which I wanted. For those of my friends out there, I wish to tell with confidence ” I am back….. and I will come out of my laziness – comfort zone and  stretch my muscles to see the new horizon.  I am going to use this blog as revival tool – a medium to express myself. “

Chennai Agile User Group – 20th April 2009 Meet.

Today Dr. Venkat Subramaniam gave an excellent session on Fallacies of Agile Development.  He talked about many interesting Fallacies like  speed (project velocity), importance of testers & testing, involving customer and a lot other Fallacies that are commonly spread in the industry. The slides can be downloaded from here.   A great talk.

For some reasons, the Chennai agile group meeting doesn’t happen too often.  Siddhi said he is kick-starting the group meeting again and there would be at least one meeting a month from now on.  Yes, we have to meet often for the very reason that user groups are the ways and means to share and learn among ourselves.

A few months ago an incident happened in my company, which I think is in a way related to rest of my post.  One fine morning someone in my vertical got an idea out from the blue sky  that there should be technical sessions every week, so that people can share their experiences.  Good intention & a great idea . The person being a manager found a person who would give a shape to this idea and lead it from front. He also identified a backup who would lead if the other person is not available (what  a backup strategy).  The team members were appraised of this idea through email which read “ … So, we would be having  technical sessions on Friday of every week to share our experiences and learn new stuff…. I would like to hear from you on what things you would like to discuss in these meetings”.   No one responded with ideas and meetings never  happened.  The result; the idea was shelved.  Looking back on why this failed

  • The idea of meeting once a week was good, but either the leaders / team members didn’t know what to talk / discuss.
  • Team members are not interested in learning/sharing experience.  In corporate you will find those 9AM- 5PM kind of persons, who not only will put forward their ideas, but will spoil the brains of others too.

As of now, I think the above holds true for the Chennai Agile group meetings. Don’t get me wrong in this. My intention is that we should get started again , move forward and establish ourselves.  I am also the one to be blamed. I want user group meetings to happen, but I never contribute. Nor do  I have a idea of what I want out of these meetings.   I thought having an idea of what to expect from Agile group meetings would greatly help me to contribute.  The following are my expectations and I will work on contributing the same to the group.

  • Should have more hands on. I am into Microsoft tech (I know, this is not the way I wish to identify myself).   We can talk about NUnit, NHibernate, Cruise Control.Net etc
  • My thoughts on Agile are influenced by  book Object Thinking.  This is the book that says how to equip oneself before diving into Agile. This book says what should one know to get deeply involved in Agile. Watch this video : XP: After 10 years why are we still talking about it  by Robert C. Martin to know the importance of technical knowledge .  In that line I would like to hear / talk about Design patterns, Enterprise Architectural patterns etc
  • Refactoring Sessions
  • Code Kata sessions.
  • XP Games
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Should help us to become Software Craftsman.
  • etc.

I think I have set a direction. I would like to contribute. I will pick up one of the above and shall present to the group soon.  Lets see what’s in store for Chennai Agile Group meetings in 2009.

I call this passion…

Looking back, I have NOT done things I always wanted to do citing my work/career as reason.  Damn!  It hurts to accept that reasoning has kept me away from doing many things  as well as growth I wanted.  I always come up with reasons- bad market, bad time, bad ….  

The following inspired me to write this post.  Read it and I call it Passion.  Oneday, I will be doing this..

http://lizkeogh.com/2009/04/17/goodbye-thoughtworks-hello-worlds/

Time to break the routine and get out of comfort zone….

Times are bad- investments, jobs, projects, stocks and everything are at stake. Its high time that I come out of my routine; the comfort zone and build myself to meet world ahead. knowing that I am in my comfort zone and not taking actions haunts me day and night.

Looking back, I wasn’t lazy. I was working hard both in office and at home. What I missed was “Focus”; laser sharp Focus on my goals. I have put my legs in too many things – things that doesn’t jell with each other. I hate to talk about these in detail and I hate to make yet another promise that I will be updating this blog often.

I am now determined to Focus and Focus on things important and leave out the rest. You would see more updates coming.

Finally, if you are in Comfort Zone, get out of it immediately. For one reason, you are not growing. Period.

 

 

My 5th Wedding Anniversary

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary.  Its hard to believe that five years has  passed since our marriage.  Time runs fast 🙂

As I write this post, I am stuck with Writers block. I wanted to write something, but don’t know what to write.  I thought  writing a blog post a day is easy, but when it comes to reality, its hard.  I am not going to let this stop me from writing.  To overcome this writers block,  I have to write more.  Yes, the more I write, the more ideas I am going to get.

Who is my role model…

Sometimes questions like this pop-up on my mind.  When the questions like this come up: I either think about it for a while and forget it or never think of it. This question is on my mind for past couple of days and so, I thought I will write on it.

Honestly, I dont have any role models (which I know is very bad).  But however, I get inspirtation from many and here are a few

 Bill Gates
 Steve Jobs
 Paul Graham
 Joel Spolsky
 Jeff Atwood
 Martin Fowler
 Craig Larman
 Robert C. Martin
 Scott W Ambler
 Ravi Mohan
 Rajesh Babu
 Charles Petzold
 Jean-Paul S. Boodhoo
 Narayana Murthy
 Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala
 etc.,

All the above are clear winners / achievers in their fields. When I get to read about them through blogs, magazines etc; I would be inspiried, but this inspiration is short lived. For the inspiration to be long lived, I think I should have a role model; who is a guru/expert in the field  I am into and look at his/her achivements and try to achive them. The biggest problem here is to choose the right role model. I will update once I have one.

So, who is your role model?

Where I want to be vs Where I am..

Setting goals on an occasions like birthdays, new year etc., is very easy. I have done this many times.  Aspiring goals, which by end of a time frame should take me to new heights.  But following an action plan to achieve those goals is bit difficult and this is where many people fail.  The same is true in my case as well.  I have many goals – read more books, write more software, find job in good company, write more  etc.  But, I have failed in following my action plans.  The result, time waits for none and I find myself in the same state where I was while setting those goals.  During this time of the year, I feel bit low and bad on not following my action plans.

And at the end of the day, worrying about not doing things is not going to take me to places where I want to be.  I have to follow my action plans. At least, by the end of the year I should achieve some of my goals I set in the beginning of the year.  I will have something more to update  by the end of the year…..

Walkin interviews and their Effectiveness

Off late there are a few Walk in interviews going  on in the city.  For the past two days,  I was thinking how effective it would be.  This post is about comparing the Normal interview process and the walk-interview process and talk about their effectiveness

Normal Interview process

  1. Candidate gets to know about a job opening in the company through his friends working in that company / news paper ad/ job sites etc.
  2. Candidate sends his resume to the HR.
  3. HR sends the resume to the interviewer/panel for first round for screening.
  4. Interviewer/panel either rejects  or asks the HR to schedule the interview with the candidate
  5. Interview is conducted

Effectiveness

  1. Everything is planned.
  2. Interviewer goes through the resume before going for the interview
  3. Weed out the unfit resume before calling the candidate for interview
  4. Better chances of getting good candidates
  5. HR sees to that an interviewer is not overloaded with too many interviews in a day.  This is very important because the state of the Interviewer’s mind is very important during the interview.

Walkin Interview process

  1. Candidates gets to know about the job opening through news paper ads / chain mails generally of type – Walk-in with your resume and walk out with a job
  2. Candidates come with their copies of resumes to the company.
  3. The company collects the resume and asks the candidate to wait.  I have heard of instances of  candidate waiting for 4-5 hours.
  4. Interviewer gets to see the candidate’s resume for the first time.  He would have been advised not to spend more time with the candidate. So, the interviewers in walk in interview have a general set  of questions to be asked. They ask the questions from their list, if the candidate fails to answer one / two from their standard questions, they candidate  is rejected.
  5. The time taken for the interview would range for 10 mins to 20 mins.

Effectiveness

  1. Many a  times interviewer doesn’t have time to go through the interview
  2. After a couple of interviews, the interviewer either gets tired
  3. Resumes are not screened / most of the time doesn’t get read.
  4. Experienced and skilled candidates don’t turn up for the walk in interviews
  5. You get to see a lot of people turning out for this interview , but the hit ratio would normally be low
  6. Interviewer is overloaded.

There is another kind of interview – Job fairs.  They are good to get the entry level graduates but not the experienced.

Does anyone have experience to share on the interview process.

Commanding vs Demanding Respect

One can earn respect in two ways-by commanding respect or demanding respect. Demanding respect is the respect that one earns for his position/authority in the company (i.e. in a position to demand it) where as commanding respect is the respect that one earns for his abilities, skills and credibility. The respect that is demanded will not last long where as the respect that is commanded lasts long. Demanding respect is easy where as commanding respect is difficult (as it involves many things).Whether we like it or not; agree or not, many times we have demanded respect or respected for wrong reasons. Sometimes it happens with our knowledge and sometimes without our knowledge. I feel very uncomfortable during those situations. I wish to command respect for my abilities, skills and credibility and definitely not for my position in XYZ company or something similar.This is a very good article about this  subject: How Leaders Can Command, Not Demand, Respect