Thursday, January 05, 2006

Staring at the oblivion - Life of a...

Staring at what? Before we get into a complex array of thoughts, let me make things clear! I am talking about the world of computers. A cold stare at the computer screen can evoke a lot of memories. A lot of ideas spring forth, but nothing remotely related to what you are staring at. I opened my IE browser to a page filled with mathematical equations and my mind filled with equally challenging problems but none related to Maths. I have had the (dis)pleasure of having experienced two worlds - academic and professional. In today's world, computers form the crux of not just your career but your life. I can clearly differentiate my thought process in the two roles. As a professional, even the remote thoughts are cluttered and disoriented.

I remember my two years of work vividly. A day's work along with my thoughts led me to new dimensions. The mind can be transformed and tuned to different situations with ease. The colourful Eclipse Editor for my Java and J2EE Applications did not drive me crazy as I got immuned to the thousands of lines of code being churned daily from my other-thoughts driven crazy mind. My mind's eye has viewed a lot of movies (sometimes created at that instant), attended late night parties, recollecting the silly jokes of college - silly because such jokes can be created only when the lecturer is right in front of you and you are almost ROFL and you realise it is no more joke when you are treated like a football after that(obviously now you are out of the class), weekend plans for the trip, feeling like an ass for not having visited places like Kemmanagundi and Wayanad before, how to break the knuckles of certain people (Cmon, I am not naming them- my blog can definitely not hold the names of these unwanted guys), recollecting the school fights, anticipating the result of tomorrow's India-Pakistan match and what not! I really thank my job for that. It helped me recollect my good 'le days and exposed me to the new frontiers.

It always beats me as to how mind can take on the job of a nomad. It nudges and reaches the nook and corner of your life with ease. After all this, if my Project Manager comes and tells me that there is a bug in my program, I tell her a simple solution - Come on, it works on my computer, It was working last night (so that it conveys a message too that I was working late night), There is something wrong with the network (What network, which network!!!), or the best one, maybe the compiler is screwed up!!! Luckily she used to put up with all these things and finally say - But I want this working. I used to curse my fate which held me to the confines of a single blood sucking line of code. I remember the other occasions where the bug used to be a well kept secret. The bug, as well as the solution, never saw the light of the day, thanks to me!!! If people could not find the bug, what's the point in finding a solution. I had a bagful of such bugs. Just imagine what would happen to me if I let my little(literally) secrets out. There were some situations where I had to take the decisions. Obviously I am the developer right. I have discovered a bug - What is it? A problem in the server where the application is deployed. The solution to this problem would be really simple if nobody was around. Why? I used to change it directly on the server. Nobody would get to know a word about this. But what IF my boss is around. The whole mind boggling process of the most atrocious and complicated software engineering cycle would start off with development, testing, versioning and what not for a single line of code. Yes, a single line of code! Poor me! I have done this too many times!

To reiterate that the life of a software engineer is not easy, the day starts with Microsoft's most favoured application - Microsoft Outlook. It really makes my day to see the bold fonts on the left hand side of the application that signifies the unread mails. If not, I get mentally disturbed. I am really filled with agony when there are no new mails. There are also times when everything gets boring and you are waiting for any old forward. An old forward is better than no mail. The furious pace of your fingers hitting F9 for new mails is repeated at an alarmingly high rate. This gives us the option of exploring a one-finger typist job even if there is a pink slip. Now you are tired. It is no joke to check mails regularly. It can tire you easily. That gives you more than enough reasons to take a tea break. Another half an hour of sledge hammering the keyboard and half an hour of typing meeting request mails is enough to whet your appetite. A long walk to the canteen with a bunch of other so-called developers leads you to yet another oily plate of I don't want to eat this stuff.

I wouldn't want to tell you anything about the post lunch activities. That would be the best time to have a group meeting! At the end of the day, you are tired for no reason. Home is the best place to settle early, but how can you when you have to travel from Bommanahalli to Malleswaram at 7PM in the evening. That is enough to turn you off. It is better to leave late and reach late, rather than leave early and reach late. Finally, you have all the time in the world to go home and sleep and get up early the next day to start off another fascinating and fun-filled day of progress and hope.


  1. Dai,

    I think you have too much time to write such a huge blog. I dont have the time to read it. Anyway come home and lets eat Malai Kofta.
    You can cut down on blogging and orkut and spend your time constructively on sleep and cooking :-)

  2. Well written dude.. Make me remember the trip days, and the office fun as well as all those craps :-).. Good One!!