Monday, April 26, 2010

What we don't see!

  This is going to be a short post, not because the topic is a simple one, but because, I'm going to ask you to read a rather lengthy article.  It doesn't matter whether you are too busy or whether you have some plans, work etc.  If you are reading this post, then I'm sure you can spare at least half an hour of your life and read this article and think hard about what is said in it.  Regardless of who you are or what you do, you should read this article.

  Its about how we spend our daily life in such a frenzy that we forget that we are losing out on so much in our life.  You might not believe it but we really do become blind when we are caught in our day to day activities that we wouldn't notice it even if God was standing right next to us.  Joshua Bell might not be a God but he is a child prodigy.  He started playing a violin from the age of four and he tours around the world playing in concerts that cost huge amounts of money.  He was asked to dress as a street performer and play his $3.5 million dollar violin and the songs that are considered the very best in all ages.  He was asked to do this on a Friday morning in a mall that houses some corporate offices.  Wonder how many noticed him?  Wonder what happened next?  Just read this old article..

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is it just me or is everyone really dumb?

  Is it wrong to think that I am smarter than everyone else?  It probably is, but what if I'm able to correctly predict the consequences of the bad decisions that others are making?  Does it give me rights to force or criticize their decision?  Again, probably not.  What if their wrong decision affects me and my dream?  Now that, is something to think about, isn't it?

  Ethics is probably the hardest topic to discuss and arrive at an acceptable answer.  So, let me not get into it.  But unfortunately, I think I still need some help.  Now, let me explain the situation.  I believe that I have finally started to understand the game of DotA.  Yes, its another post about my stupid gaming life, but bare with me on this one, because I need some help.  As I was saying, I believe my DotA skills have improved to the extent that I'm able to take proper in-game decisions.

  I had to struggle a lot to gain this particular skill and I'm not ready to take it lightly, at least not yet.  DotA being a team game, there are four others in my team who play their roles and also help in the decision making process.  But when their action doesn't follow my decision, I get extremely upset.  I believe that I'm able to see more than what others do and I'm able to guess the outcome of most situations.  But when someone doesn't follow what I say and end up in ruins, I feel that they are just being stupid.

  I'm unable to control myself in these situations.  I'm not expecting anyone to accept that I'm smarter.  I just expect them follow what I say.  How do you tell a stupid that he is stupid?  You obviously can't.  All you can do is tell them what to do.  That is exactly what I'm trying to do.  Now, I have no idea why I'm posting this in my blog but I have.  So, tell me, what do you think I should do?  Should I go easy on them and let them make a fool of themselves?  Or do I take the lead and keep shouting at them?  Its kinda hard for me to take the lead and not get emotional.  Or should I again work hard to try to change myself?  Why do I always feel like a one-man army in everything that I do!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Patiently waiting for the tide to pass!

  I didn't blog for quite some time now not because I was busy but because of electricity issues.  I usually blog at night, when my day is almost over and I feel like reflecting on what happened that day.  Its summer now, the humidity is awful and every air-conditioner in the neighborhood gets turned on at night.  In turn, it means that our poor electricity supply isn't sufficient and thus, we get low-voltages.  Even with an UPS, I'm unable to keep my system running because the voltage remains bad not just for half an hour, but for the entire night.

  Weirdly enough today, I'm on my old UPS and it has managed to survive for a little more than an hour now.  But on other days, I just switch off my system at 9pm to avoid frustration.  Even though there are dozens of channels on the television, I rarely find something worth watching.  But not to worry; if there is anything that I learned in Trivandrum, its that I still love to read books.  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is what I'm reading currently and it feels good to read books again.  I'm thinking of making it a habit to read books for at least an hour every night.

  The other topic that I wanted to touch upon today was Zion.  As you might probably know, Zion is the local cafe that belongs to my teammate.  For two weeks now, I have been trying to organize proper DotA matches at Zion.  There is no point in mindlessly playing the game like idiots.  We need to get organized, learn, practice, improve and evolve to become the best at whatever it is that we do.  To become the best in DotA, we must first play proper -cm mode drafted matches.  Surprisingly, I managed to pull that off and (most) people are now eager to play -cm and are even asking for it themselves.

  I thought it would be impossible to make em play proper matches and that if they did, they will eventually improve.  Sadly though, I was wrong.  It seems that it was the easier part.  To actually make them think is the tough part.  I'm not sure whether its the effect of World of Warcraft which they recently started playing or its just their nature, but they seem dumb.  There are one or two exceptions like Siva who has improved a lot and properly understood the game.  But others don't seem to understand even the basics.

  Its not even their lack of knowledge and talent that I hate.  Its their lack of ability to think.  I mean, DotA is not a mundane, slow, stupid game.  Its like a game of chess plus teamwork and agility.  You need to think; you need to think a lot in-fact.  You should have the ability to read and understand your situation so that you can adapt to it.  You need to communicate, think collectively, concentrate on whats important, prioritize and keep your nerve.  More than everything, you need the desire to improve.  Sadly, they don't seem to have any of these.

  Finally, I realize now that I really miss my team.  From a eight member team, we are now down to just the two of us, me and Praveen.  Raja joins us occasionally, but that is pretty much it.  To think that these people aren't even as smart as we were two years ago, is just sad.  The saddest truth of them all is that, till these players improve, I can't.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Taste of Teamwork at Work

  At work today, me and my colleagues got our first taste of a team project.  It was only a mock project created for evaluation purposes.  Actually, when we started work, we were under the impression that it was going to be too easy.  The requirements were very simple and were similar to what we had practiced already.  On top of that, we had a lot of members in the team and so, once the work is split among the members, the work-load on an individual would be meager.  It sounds all too good, doesn't it?

  Life is never that simple.  To be more precise, programming is never free of glitches and teamwork is never easy.  Writing a piece of code may sound simple and straightforward once you know the syntax.  But it will throw an error when you least expect it.  The same piece of code that worked yesterday won't work today.  The code that works in one system might not work in another.  google is the god we turn to during such crisis but sadly, we were denied that liberty this time.  So, whenever we encountered an error which we haven't faced before, we felt like a patient with an incurable disease who doesn't believe in god.  You felt doomed!

 Next up is teamwork. A mother takes ten months to deliver a child. It doesn't mean that ten mothers can deliver a child in one month.  Though working as a team helps a lot, it doesn't mean that every work can be shared or that the logic becomes simpler.  In an article that I read recently, the author said that innovation can come only from teams in which the members trust each other completely. To get a simple work done, we may not have to trust each other but we still have to work together. Working together is way more complicated when you have different perceptions, different ideas and even different languages. In a team, it is not enough even if everyone do their work properly; their work should synchronize well with each other's. That is the key.

 Fortunately or unfortunately, I got caught in the middle of the chaos as I was given the job of combining everyone's work together. For me though, the whole experience felt like home. I'm familiar with the confusion, the stringent debugging, the slow code-walkthrough etc. In fact, the whole team was quite happy at the end of the ordeal.  I on the other hand, loved every second of it, but I wouldn't wanna do it for more than 8 hours..