Musings of an organic neural network…

SDLC

SDLC XII : Release Notes

This is part 12 of a 13 part series.

Names have been omitted, indentation and grammatical errors have been purposely retained considering their insignificance in given context.

This post is actually set of following 4 letters/emails.

Thesis Acknowledgement (27th August 2007 – 4th December 2009)

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my advisors, Advisor 1 and Advisor 2. I thank them for their motivation, encouragement and guidance without which, this work would not have been possible.

I would like to thank Advisor 1 for giving me opportunity to teach and be part of several educational workshops. With these opportunities I was able to regain my curiosity which probably got buried under the massive volume of expectations over the years. I would specially like to thank Advisor 2 for giving me the opportunity to work with him even when all conventional statistics suggested otherwise. His patience with all my extremely infeasible ideas and encouragement to analyze failures, have definitely made me a better student for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank all my current and previous members of lab,Fellow lab colleagues. I would specially like to thank from University of PQR who visited us during the summer of 2008. The long lunch time discussions with him were pleasant experience, but more importantly he shared his research experience and encouraged me to tackle situations in a more professional manner.

I am extremely grateful to Mentor 1 and Mentor 2 for giving me an opportunity to work on the Project. I had a really great time during the summer workshops. I would like to thank Project Members and other members of Project group for their co-operation and support during the project.

I am grateful to all my friends for always making work a pleasant experience for me. My friends always helped me by providing rejuvenating distractions. My stay at Second Home was a great learning experience both personally and professionally.

I would finally like to thank everyone who has believed in my abilities and more importantly those who have challenged them. Although the results of this work are not going to change the world but the experience was enlightening enough to make me believe that may be one day I can.

Crossroads – A journey through 3 winters (16th December 2009)

Current Situation:
Graduation Date: December 21, 2009
Start of Employment date: Feb 1, 2009
Maximum stay in US (unemployed): May 1, 2009
Max. Stay in US (with some job but no H1 visa): Feb 1, 2010
Max. Stay in US with H1: 3 years

->Current Status:
Job options:
1) Big firms like MS, Amazon, Google…
Problems: They are looking for pure CS ppl, I applied for QA and testing, got calls and subsequent rejects and hence reapplying is futile but still I am doing it. I have also requested all my friends in other companies to forward my resume, which they already have.
2) Electrical Companies: Very less to start with but bigger problem is the course work I took. My interests are not at all in VLSI and courses I have taken did not have any projects to boast and yes there was no other option… so applying has proved useless. But I still apply every time I see some opening.
Actually in last 3 batches i.e. my seniors, peers and juniors I am the only guy to have taken this unique set of courses since they were more knowledge oriented than GPA oriented.
3) Small Startups: Biggest problem, they expect me to know “everything” i.e. Web technologies to compilers and they have too many requirements and application has been futile till now.
4) Consultants: Relocation cost is too high, no job assurance, No Visa for 2 years, bad technologies to work with, terrible deal and I will not go for it at any cost.

->Problems with current Masters:
The lack of projects has left me in no man’s land. I cannot boast the course work on my resume to land a job. The positive side is the C++, C. Linux and CS stuff I learnt through my thesis work and last 3 months.
Good Things: Created a great working relation with Advisor who is not only a good person but a well known and influential person in academia. Also he wants to work with me coz he thinks I have the instincts to do the PhD but just lack the math background to be successful researcher.

->My problem with PhD was or is
Honestly, since I didn’t have basic Math background I was always trying to hide that weakness by running after implementation. But after last week’s discussion with Prof., I realized that actually I should believe in myself as I used to 8 years back and focus and study the stuff I need. It is more of insecurity with the unknown than inability to learn it.

Plan A:
I need around a year to cover the stuff needed to get started on PhD. So
Apply for a job in India right away.
Prof is ready to give admit 2011 (already confirmed personally) but funding cannot be promised right now and he doesn’t want to give any false hopes for that. But RA/TA things can be worked out later. 2010 fall is just too early to allow me time to gather my thoughts and get the whole stuff working. It’ll be too hasty like my decision to do MS. Preferably work on a C/C++ job to get some work ex for future. Else worst case C#/ASP.net etc. Study Math 12-14 hours a week to get the stuff right.

Pros:
• By leaving early from here, i.e. end of January I have enough money to pay back part of loan and a good feeling to get plans working on a positive note. From India applying for readmit is easier as getting financial docs and stuff need some follow-up to be done.
• I can negotiate with bank to keep loan option open for fall 2011, so I am not stressed like I was this time.
• I will be at home in so lot of small things will get taken care of automatically.
• Books and resources are way cheaper in India.
• With a moderate recreation I will actually be able to enjoy the whole process unlike masters.

Cons:
• I might lose interest in the whole thing. Then it just means I was never good enough to do this stuff. So that thought will never bother me.
• Industry doesn’t treat me like a PG… honestly I just need the cash flow to sustain independence…
• Struggle to get job in India…. Well I am doing the same here and spending dollars to stay alive…Rupees are cheaper.

Plan B:
• Wait till last day of OPT period to get some job and if that doesn’t work put return home literally empty handed and even more disappointed.

Conclusion:

I would rather struggle to get plan A working coz I feel I can get it done of course timing is a little critical in that but I am already doing ground work to get it working. I want to give it one last whole hearted attempt so that I can be at peace with myself.
Plan B was never my intention for coming to US, “50 times more money factor” never really impressed me. I just wanted to test how independent I was and trust me I have surprised myself.
Reason why I decided to work for PhD changing my previous decision is basically very simple. I always keep saying I was good… I just want to be that again… coz if I was… I still am. I don’t want to blame for the failed masters program coz now it’s an irreversible fact so why bother.

A last thought was to do a second Masters in CS but with my current credentials it’s a 50-50 chance of getting in a good institute. So why add more uncertainty?
Currently, I have Operating Systems, Networks theory and programming, C, C++ and 8085 books open on my desk and Algos and data structure problems online. I am saturated with all this. Without an interview call I just cannot decide what to read as all are independent topics and companies ask only specific stuff.
I want to get out of this loop coz it is just stagnating me and that is something which I always want to stay away from.
After working day and night for interview I got rejected after being asked a question “How will you test a stapler?”….. I think that’s a good indication to be honest and accept that “MS electrical 3.0” has backfired for me and start exploring other options very seriously without wasting time.
Reason for you ppl reading this: Your honest comments and ideas.
Help in getting my resume out there back home if you think I am doing the more practical thing.

LDAX v1.0 (16th December 2010)

Hi all,

The main purpose of this mail is to announce that the employee id will be permanently retired from the payroll. Today being my last day at I take this opportunity to write the Last Day At mail.

A special thanks to all the people with whom I worked in for all the help and mentoring, seniors from team for their guidance and rest of team for refreshing team outings. I would also like to thank members of team with whom I used to sit on 4th floor initially. It was really a pleasure to be part of their group during the first few weeks as a new employee, till I got to know the team as well. It was a pleasure working here and surely the experience will prove to be invaluable in longer run.

Warning: Since I did not have any deliverable due on Friday, I took the luxury of writing as much as I wanted. But as a reader you are responsible for any further time investment this mail.

As usual writing these kinds of mail is always a matter of great confusion for me as there are no moral, ethical, organizational etiquette and sarcasm filtering text compilers. Hence that leaves me with a tough task of contemplating which side to pick, a (warm hearted) person or a (cold hearted) professional in me. Well I choose to present my side and let you people decide which version of me you think it is.

Note: It is quite an obvious paradox when an employee just praises the organization he/she are leaving. But well this case the reason of such inconsistency will be elaborated shortly.

As a professional, I had a great learning experience because I was given an opportunity to code and be involved in a good amount of brain storming sessions. I got a chance to learn a lot of new tools and practices. Considering the vast experience of team around me, I was always the beneficiary. And when it comes to learning there is no limit, and hence I will always complain for not having learnt enough. Being the rational thinkers we all are; I choose not to comment on company policies/benefits and other details. The very simple reason being the perspective. Every time I see a construction worker working on the totally unsafe construction site just a block away, I consider myself not only overpaid but greedy as well. Yes, the guilt does disappear while swiping my credit card at any mall, but still somewhere deep inside it simply raises the same question over and over. “Is this what I wanted or is this what I need.”
At this very point the professional just deserts and all that is left is the person in me. It is the conflict between the security and the curiosity that splits me. It is always comforting to know that future is secured because I am on a payroll. But in 18 years of education I cannot remember a single class where I was taught to be so. I was educated to be an engineer. Someone who has the skill to create, someone with the vision to materialize theory to make world a more efficient place, someone trained to tame curiosity and translate it to functional paradigm. I was taught science to admire the beauty of nature. I was taught to analyze and get inspired.
I feel corrupt when I have to argue about salary and appraisal. I feel disappointed when I am restraining from being at my best as part of my profession. I really love the industry for one and only reason, and that is its respect for time. When that single law is dismantled, everything else in industry just seems pointless to me and hence I choose to be free from this conflict at least once in my career. I do cherish my experience in the industry but only the parts where
I learned something new.
I dare to give my skills a last opportunity to flourish. I choose to take control of my career and attempt to shape it. I hope at end of day when I am through my career and I ask myself “who am I” the answer from the bottom of my heart should be “Someone whom I always wanted to be”.
My next endeavor is to return to role of student ASAP and make sure to learn at least one new thing every single day. The results will be known only with the course of time. So cutting short the burst of anxiety before starting the quest of curiosity I would like to share my communication details and some links where I showcase my non technical interests.

My contact details are
email : myemail@id.com
mob: ———————–
Social networks : Facebook (sometimes hyperactive !! 😀 )
Professional: LinkedIn (active)
Blog : (will resume writing soon)

Do stay in touch.
I am just leaving the payroll !!!
Wishing you all the very best for future and hope to prove the saying “Its a small world!!”.
And hope to live up to the expectations of all the well wishers. 🙂

IMPORTANT NOTE: For all those who have been patient (bold) enough to reach this point of mail, there are sweets in my bag and would be opened only when at least one person comes to desk and asks me to take them out. Thought that is the best way to meet everyone before I leave today. 😀

LDAX v2.0 (14th December 2012)

Hi all,

Preface
=======
As per the tradition I send this mail to announce today as my Last Day at XYZ.
Considering the work stack of team, I decided to split the mail into sections
for continuity and ease of reading offline in spare time. Please plan to read according to your task schedule. I will be glad not to have affected productivity in a negative way.
I could have done with a typical 5-6 liner LDAX template. But I think, I owe my team
a lot more than that.

My contact id is
email : myemail@id.com
Also user of Facebook and Linkedin

Note: The Section 2 covers the previous LDAX v1.0. I do not intend to change
any of those thoughts, hence appending it to avoid repetition. The new section covers the time
since then. Those who have read the v1.0 might skip section 2.

Table of Content
=============

Acknowledgements

Section 1: The Learning Curve

section 2: The Previous Draft

Acknowledgements
================
I would like to thank all my mentors during different projects at .
I spent most time at Project X and am grateful to and for
providing excellent mentoring. It was a pleasant experience being part of
energetic team. The Project provided a great opportunity for me to grow as
a developer. I hope, I have contributed at least something to the project in return.
The Code base is written with great diligence and vision, hence an excellent
opportunity for anyone willing to learn.
I hope to stay in touch. All the best to all for future endeavors.
I am just changing the place of work not style and hence the idea exchange will continue.
Enough media are available and I intend to optimally utilize them to keep the channel open.

WARNING: Blunt Philosophy Ahead .. Read at your own risk …. 🙂

Section 1: The Learning Curve
========================
Post v1.0, when I returned to industry, I had to analyze the industry a bit more closely.
It no longer was just a source of income, but an integral part of career as well. The concept
of “job” was never clear to me. I could never understand the fact that millions of people
actually do something they do not like, for most part of their lives. And having done a “job” for ages, retire and stay “happily”.
I tried to understand this concept as millions other seemed to and I couldn’t.
But to my surprise no one else I asked seems to have understood it either, it is just accepted.
Following is what I observed this “job” is.
I do not claim to be clean on all accounts.

– Mocking those actually being optimistic about the industry is entertainment.
– Appraisal season is as good as strike.
– Knowing Loan details of every bank seems more important than
knowing the task for next 2 days.
– Contributing to inconsequential cacophonous discussions is a duty.
– Pretending to be nice to every human within ODC proximity is team spirit.
– Telling stories of friends having done great things like being onsite are a must.
– Ensuring not allowing silence at any cost under pretense of being in casual environment.
– Showing up at office and dragging through days infesting on social media and depressing news seems to be a necessary addiction.
– Just being nice to everyone to insure one from being reprimanded in case of a avoidable mistake.
– Comparing pay scales every week even though they change only once a year.
– Expecting sympathy when asked to deliver excellence.
– Forming sub groups in teams and discussing “people”.

It is so ingrained in work place that getting stuck in any such scenario is inevitable.
BUT, not getting out once realizing it; is what actually disappoints me.
People kill time and I have to watch helplessly. It is disheartening to see people getting crushed under burden of their own knowledge because rest just take them for granted. It is discouraging to see people not even doing their primary assignments with enough interest at least for the sake of integrity and minimal moral obligation towards fellow team mates. It is infuriating when people are not considerate enough to ensure a work environment where one can listen to ones’ own thoughts.

I do not expect everyone to excel at programming/Testing. To be very honest not all can. Let us face the fact that even programming and testing are as refined arts as any other fine arts. Excellence in any field of interest cannot be accomplished unless one learns to harness
passion. All I expect is everyone on team to commit their efforts honestly upfront and ensure to honor their commitment. Please revisit educational experience to understand its real purpose.
Engineering is an attitude. Research is a philosophy to lead life.

A team is always as strong as the weakest link.

Unless all are not on same page, it just a group not a team. And groups might get things done but will never ever achieve anything beyond expected. To be exceptional one not only has to raise bar for themselves, but for entire team as well. Be so energetic that, mere participation
in any activity raises the level of competition. Even if you end up losing make sure the winner has to give best to get past you. And once all energy is spent trying, there will be none left to do the “job”. Success cannot be guaranteed but with a wholehearted effort satisfaction always is.

It is easy to judge others on the metric I mentioned, but the real test will be the day when we focus on ourselves. Set standards to achieve and not
compromise core principles at any cost. And for me this is the goal of my career. Constantly strive to excel. Considering my depth of knowledge, I am glad I will be busy for rest of my life at least … 🙂

Click here to read part xiii : EOF

SDLC Series iterator : I : Preface , II : Introduction , III: Normal Perspective , IV: Requirements Gathering , V: Functional Specifications , VI : Development , VII : Testing , VIII : Alpha Release , IX : Beta Release , X : UAT , XI : Migration , XII : Release Notes , XIII : EOF , Book Shelf: Bibliography

Human by default, Engineer by Education and Programmer by Choice. This blog is digital diary for all the technical information parsed while solving problems at work. Targeted purely as a collection of the basics that are independent of employment status and designations, but some how are most crucial in defining career and inspiring growth. If anything unique is found here then it is definitely by accident !!

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