Don’t be desperate to crash time

Everyone in the software industry, has at some point of the other, been part of a delayed project. The result is often a war room where all the big shots put their heads together to save face. Imagine one such meeting where everyone is focussed on crashing time. Management is willing to compromise margins and the project manager has been given the authority to do anything it takes to deliver the project sooner.

All eyes are on the development team to see what they can do to expedite. Desperate, the project manager thinks he has an offer the Dev manager can’t refuse. He takes pride in offering to add more resources to the project. The Dev manager, however sane otherwise, goes ballistic on hearing this and yells out: ’9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in a Month’. There is a moment of silence. Then, the noobs giggle, the big shots calm down and the PM walks out of the room.

9 mothers can't make a baby in a month
Courtesy: piedtype.files.wordpress.com

This is Brooks’s law, and every software engineer gets exposed to this mantra/joke – whichever way you take it – in the very first years on the job. If Pressman was as bold as Fred Brooks, he would’ve added it to his Software engineering bible. This is 100% true Continue reading

Open Borders across Europe

As Indians, the word border only means war & tension to us. I cannot explain how exciting it is to cross borders on foot without any control what so ever.

St. Louis Grenze
St. Louis Grenze

Basel, where I was based, happens to be the north-west tip of Switzerland, bordering with France & Germany – making it an international city. In fact the airport is also shared by the 3 countries, and you can choose to pass through either country’s passport control. There are 2 main railways – the Swiss SBB & French SNCF station, and the German DB station.

German border crossing
German border crossing
The Intersection
The Intersection

The 3 countries meet at a point on the river Rhine, and the intersection is celebrated by the Rhinecenter mall on its banks. In fact, we walked in 3 countries in a matter of an hour, although it wasn’t good enough to mark them ‘done’. Switzerland also shares its borders with Austria on the east, and Italy on the south. Swiss cars bear the Swiss flag on their number plates
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Pristine & Picturesque Switzerland

I’ve been lucky to visit Switzerland thrice this year, adding bits to my Swiss experience each time. A post on this pristine and picturesque country can be concluded at the very beginning – its outright beautiful!

Every frame is a postcard photo
Every frame is a postcard photo

At least for us Indians, some credit does go to Yash Chopra for the glamour he has attached to this mountainous nation. For him, the returns have not only been monetary, but also honorary: Interlaken’s Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel offers the ‘Yash Chopra Suite’ at $2,000-per-night. As our Swiss client had warned, the peaks of Jungfrau & Pilatus are flooded with Asians – particularly Indian, Chinese & Japanese. The Restaurant Bollywood atop Jungfrau – the top of Europe – hints at the same.

Lucerne
Lucerne

Swiss people are absolutely fantastic: well mannered & very helpful. People will go out of the way to find you answers, whether on the street or at the post office. Their manners, put together with the importance of privacy, are what make you feel so safe. The latest I’ve taken a train in Switzerland is 23:30 with full baggage, reached my hotel at 01:30 and not once was I worried. At least between my train journeys on the European continent, I don’t think it gets safer than this. Everything from watches Continue reading

For objects to appear closer than they are