Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Agile Circus

Yes, we have been stupid enough to implement Agile!!
The Agile framework is supposed to make you faster. And the framework in itself is not bad. The problem lies in the definition itself. Agile on its own is just a set of loose guidelines that the organization needs to follow. However, the implementation of Agile is left purely to the organization.
In general Humans are not too good at interpreting loose guidelines and implementing them for success.
The most relevant examples being our religious scriptures, which are nothing but a set of guidelines which show you the right path. However everyone interprets them as per their will and the end result is casteism, terrorism, "my religion is the best" wars and what not.

Coming back to Agile! There is a PO-Product Owner, TO-Technical Owner, EM-Engineering Manager and SM-Scrum Master. Then there are scrums, sprints and rituals like daily standup meeting, sprint review, sprint demo, etc.
The PO is supposed to give the customer requirements. The TOs break these down into technical user stories which the FCT teams delivers sprint on sprint. The EM is supposed to be obstacle resolver and the SM are the ones who conduct the rituals so that the team stays on track.

Well, sounds easy and fun. Break down requirements, keep delivering them!

In our organization, the implementation is exactly opposite.
1. The PO is more interested in the day to day affairs of the Sprint deliverables and keeps on harping about the bandwidth wastage.
2. The EM is an all encompassing piece of shit role who has not work, but finds work by asking PO not to interfere in his affairs.
3. SMs are ones who are whiling away their time waiting to be laid off with 6 months of compensation.
4. TOs are not able to scale due to the sheer size of the team.

Then there are:
1. TLs who keep complaining about everything that they see
2. The mini EMs who are good for nothing but are only there to keep on following the main EMs instructions.
3. The FCTs which are empowered and abuse this to the fullest.
4. The executive layer at top which is hell bent on proving that we are still successful.

Life is full of BS!! So is our Agile implementation!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Few good books to read

Thanks to my kindle...I have gone berserk since last 2 months. These are all crime/thrillers written by Indian authors.
  1. Penumbra
  2. A murder in Gurgaon
  3. Patang
  4. Second lives
  5. Ashvamedha
  6. The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen
  7. Seduced by murder
  8. The Monsoon murders

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happiness decoded

The following post is slightly technical and mathematical and may feel ridiculous to most. There is nothing in this post that you already don't know about. So it may probably be a waste of time. Hence proceed at your own risk!

Problem statement:
Why do we lose the spark as we age? Why don't we laugh as freely as a child? Why don't we feel as happy as we were 20 years back? 

The following is my analysis:


Symptoms and analysis:

Consider an empty glass to be your overall emotional capacity. There is a small hole at the bottom of the glass. Now based on whatever goes on in your life two types of things fill up the glass:
1. Happy memories: Consider these as liquid in nature (represented by water in the snap)
2. Sad/bad memories: Consider these as solid in nature (represented by dirt in the snap)

So we can derive the following equation:
Overall experience = good moments or memories(water) + bad moments or memories(dirt)

The third factor in the above equation is the size of the hole at the bottom of the glass. The bigger the hole, the better it is for the following reasons:
1. Low chances of dirt to accumulate in the glass.
2. Faster recycling of the water and dirt within the glass.

Lets call the size of the hole as time. So our equation now becomes:

Overall emotional balance = (good memories(water) + bad memories(dirt)) / size of the hole(time)

The emotional memory span of a child is lesser than an adult. Hence the recycling of good and bad memories within the glass is extremely quick. Ever seen a child who stopped talking to his/her best friend for life due to a quarrel? Ever seen a child being upset with his parents for a month on being scolded? Nope..
Second interesting point is the force with which the the happy/sad moments enter the glass. The force is much higher in a child. Due to this force, the bigger chunks of dirt (bad memories) don't accumulate in the glass. Consider the fluid coming into the glass like a waterfall. Ever seen a child dancing in the rain? Ever seen their reaction on getting a gift that they like?

Now that we understand this, lets see what happens as we grow up:

1. Every bad memory or experience starts getting bigger in size and starts getting deposited in the glass. The hole starts getting smaller and smaller. Slowly the dirt gets deposited in the glass without an outlet. That major heartbreak! The death of a loved one! That big financial loss! Oh.. how we love holding on to these memories!. Due to the clogging of the hole, the outlet is only a trickle for most of us. Hence these memories get stuck in the mind for longer. This has two side effects:
   a. It reduces the intensity of your emotions: Every time you get a happy moment, since the glass is already filled with dirt and water and the outlet is slow, the amount of water that the glass can accommodate is lesser. So the thrill or enjoyment that you feel is less. Remember, how you felt when you got your first job? Well, it didn't pay much, but it gave you immense happiness. Now compare that to how you felt when you last changed your job. How did it feel?
  b: It reduces the frequency of being happy: Since your glass is already clogged and you are holding tightly on to the contents withing the glass, you actually spend a lot of time thinking about them. This actually prevents you from spending time in creating new memories. You are very likely to say "no" to a lot of fun opportunities that come your way.

So what do we do? Is there a way out?

Probable Solution:

Since it is impossible for a grown up to shorten his/her emotional memory span, one can try the following:

1. Stay immature. Maturity kills happiness. 
2. Do at least one thing in a day that makes you happy. Dance, play a prank, eat that pizza!
3. Do things today! Do not keep things for tomorrow. Act on it at as early as possible. Take that vacation you have been thinking about since a year, visit that restaurant you have been eyeing for a while, make amends with a close friend with whom you fought with years back! Do it today!

And do all the above with such force that the hole gets unclogged.

If you find a better way, do let me know!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Good movies

Good ones:
The Hateful Eight
Paper planes

Bad ones:

Ranga Re - Fitoor

Fitoor has some amazing songs...and comes very close to Ashiqui-2 in terms of soul and depth.

My favorite song from Fitoor is Ranga Re.
Ranga Re has two versions: an English version sung by Caralisa Monteiro and
a Hindi version sung by Sunidhi Chauhan.

While they are the same song, they are poles apart! That is the magic of Amit Trivedi!
To feel the difference, you have to hear it!

Ranga Re:

On the floor getting down tonight
To tell you how I feel
So much love I cannot fight back no more

I feel you burning inside of me
Leaving me in this misery
Give me a sign at your **

You make me feel so **
Every time we touch
I wanna know how you feel right now

I need you hold me for the **
Sweetest kiss I ever knew
Give me a sign that you’re mine

Tujhe naseebon se main chura loon
Tujhe apni saanson mein main jagaah doon
Teri rag rag mein aaj beh ke
Main mere fun ko jhila doon, main jhila doon

Hoke teri jhulfon se utre raat
Rok loon ye lamha
Ke tere honthon se chhu ke aaj
Chhu loon aag

Main rangaa re
O haan main rangaa re
Tere rang rangaa re
Tere jism mein main ghul gaya

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Amazing movie! Great acting, superb direction and fantastic screenplay!
Must watch!