Thursday, June 10, 2010

By the Software Engineer, For the Software Engineer, Of the Software Engineer

A tired look as though a person has just returned from a battle field, very badly maintained physique, thinks everyday to do some physical activity but chucks it due to lack of time, hurrily looks at his alarm clock to see that he is late again for office. Yes - This is the story of a how a day starts of a common software engineer whom you might find anywhere in Bangalore.

A usual day begins with hurriedly getting ready, putting on his formal shirt which hasnt seen iron box for days, eating some unhealthy breakfast and running to catch a cab since he is already late. This reminds me of school days when a school kid runs listening to school bell ring to avoid punishment. We run now, not for avoid punishment, but to avoid travelling in public transport which is equivalent to getting punished.

Each software engineer carries a lunch box and a heavy backpack consisting of his old and cheap laptop given by company which is used and abused. Usually a software engineer who goes to drop his son or daughter who has similar kind of stuff ( a heavy bag consisting of books and a lunch box). Lunch box is almost unavoidable for a software engineer now since the food which is usually provided at office is almost equivalent to prison food.

Seeing so much adventure even before reaching office, our hero(software engineer) reaches office to look at his boss already waiting for him either with a huge list of to-do activities or waiting for his status updates of his previous days activities much like a teacher waiting to screw up a students happiness by asking his homework. After struggling to convince the non-technical guy, who thinks any technical issue is easier than working on excel and generating a graph, about the technical difficulties faced on the previous day's task. Somehow convinces the manager for more time and breathes a sigh of relief much like a soldier who wins the battle (Either people donot know that the win was temporary - the actual battle is far ahead - for software engineer atleast is the huge battlefield called "Appraisal meeting")

In Bangalore, you can find thousands of heavily pampered, highly paid with good cars driving alone, having no sense for physical fitness, roaming around the city late in the night with a formal wear(usually going back home), roaming around with a huge tag around their neck giving all the pampered dogs in the city a complex, dreaming about a dream job which is usually nothing to do with software of which 0.0001% actually go and fulfill, complaining about everything they can see, hear and feel. Thus is the state of a software engineer.

Coming to the types of software engineers, you can categorize software engineers to 3 types - A lazian, a butt-slogger and a smart boy. A butt-slogger as the name suggests, is a hardworker who thinks office is his home and work is the ultimate power to attain salvation. Usually he can be compared to top 5 rank holders who think there is no world apart from books there is no bliss compared to topping the school again and again. All the top management like people who belong to this category and pamper a lot which makes the people very loyal to the company. Then comes the lazian group which by default consists of most number of top officials. This category has the most number of "Up in the Air" talkers who never know what topic they are talking but still trying to make it sound as though they know everything about the topic. They know diverting the job very well and they know how to impress managers with their high fundoo talks. Usually this category can be compared to those people who are neither backbenchers nor toppers who usually spend their lives depending on others. Then comes the smart workers category who by default can be compared to back-benchers in school. The people in this category are the ones who take risks while doing a task, try innovative methods to finish a task since they dont prefer slogging. They fight with managers and usually not liked by many managers just because they question about the system a lot. And the people in this category are the ones who are usually not loyal and always find for a change which gives them enough satisfaction. But this category people are the ones who usually end up trying alternatives and donot mind taking risk to work on their dream job.

Thus concludes my thesis on a software engineer. Any engineer who reads this will definitely co-relate himself with atleast one point which i am very sure of.


Shilpa said...

Great story. Totally enjoyed reading it.I am a SW engineer in blore and could relate to most of the things written. Disagree a little when it comes to the types of SW engineers and their contributions. Innovations driven by "Smart types"?? really??
I mean, when was the last time we heard someone diasagreed with manager/left his prev job bcoz the product wasnt innovative enough??Never ever. Left for not being paid enough? Most of the times. Left bcoz he was saturated with the type of work? a few times. So who r the ones whose contribution makes a diff? Probably the "butt-sloggers" aka serious types. Its probably them that create all those wonderful technologies/products that we have gotten so used to. Personally I have a lot of respect for those poor souls. Software industry aint no school. Willingness to slog is driven more by passion and less by grades/performance fears. "Backbenchers" may sound cool, but certainly not happening.

Morpheus said...

Hi Shilpa,
Thanks for the wonderful comment. Never thought someone will read my blog :)
And as far as the blog is concerned, i wrote facts which happen in most of the cases. There could be exceptions such as the ones where you described. But the post is written based on the usual trend of what I have seen so far. I hope you dont take it personally.
Once again, thanks a ton for reading my post. :)
Atleast I realised that I should not write such controversial topics from now on :)