Monday, March 03, 2014

What is agile? NOT!

Admit it, all of us cyber coolies keep hearing about this big need for us to be not waterfall-ish(is that even a word?). Well if you haven't heard yet, don't bother, you are anyways not going to find another job after working where you are. Time and again, somebody is going to walk in to a room and lecture you on how "we" need to be ...wait for it...."AGILE" and follow scrum. Let us start with a cartoon strip.

 First time you hear about it and read about it on the internet, you would fall in love with it. You would know that this is exactly what you wanted. No planning, no specs and just start writing code and hope that it works, brag about how the lack of structure made you code the way you did, walk into a retro meeting and bad mouth everything that happened through out. Who on earth would hate that as an engineer? Well, your manager.

Once you are out of that illusional delight, you understand what it is. It is all about getting a lot of work done, in very little time. Since everybody in the team knows about this, they take it easy on what they ...wait for it..."commit" to. You usually turn up at the end of your iteration with a whole bunch of incomplete work and a grin on your face. And you do this multiple times before your scrum master calls you an unreliable and lazy son of a bitch.

Your stage three is where you spend time getting your user story right.  Most part of your day is spent on "refining" the scope of your story, since you don't want to be labelled an unreliable nincompoop. After wasting lot of time, you turn up in a stand up and clearly communicate that your task is "at risk". This is when your manager wishes he had never corrected you when you were in stage 1. Don't be demotivated since it is that part of your life where you would be labelled as having a "cautious" approach and less "throughput".

Finally, if you don't give up and go back to stage 1,  you would realize that there is more to do in this world than what time and money would allow you to and you just need to stay focussed and do your best with the time in hand(you can't do much about the money anyway). This is roughly the time where you know enough to walk into a meeting and say to people that Agile is a "cultural change". You say this with a straight face and your audience having no idea what that means. You also quote the example of how nine women could deliver a baby in a month with "Agile". This is mostly the time they nominate you to be their scrum master or agility coach.  Congratulations!

PS: I know that agile is not about scrum, but feel free to comment about it.

Monday, July 08, 2013

There are some things money can buy online...

For everything else, try to pick a store. This is the story of an online shoppaholic (yours truly). Firstly, I love(d) Jabong for their awesome turnaround time. And so, I kept buying stuff from them. Until, one fine day, I went real urban and decided to put away my lasting fear of making large value purchases online and ended up buying some furniture. Yes. They had another one of those sale going where you get 25% for monsoon. And with my ever growing trust in Jabong, I was quite sure where to buy it from. The stuff I bought had a 15 day turnaround time and after deciding to not listen to many people who have had horrible experience buying furniture online, I was up for a surprise.

15th day: "Hello, where's my shipment?", "Thank you for calling sir, your complaint number is ..., you will get a call within 24 hours"

17th day" "Hello, what happened to my complaint?" "Sir it seems that the product failed QC check. I am putting in a request for a call within 24 hours from concerned department"

18th day "Hello, what happened to my complain?" "Sir, the product failed QC check, I am putting in a request for call within 24 hours" "But I never got a call yesterday" "This time you will sir, trust me!" "Sure, bye".

20th day: SMS with a tracking number arrives, you check it on the courier portal( and its not a valid number.
"Hello, my tracking number doesn't work" "Sir, it takes time for the courier portal to work with the tracking number"

Since you would be bored with all this by now, here's a pic of Kim Kardashian. No particular reason, purely to keep you motivated!

22nd day: "I want my money back!" "Sir, I am checking and it seems that the product we dispatched failed QC check" "Hello? But you already shipped it?" "No sir, QC failed" "WTF!" "Sir, I promise you are going to get a call from concerned department in 24 hours" "I never got one so far, what's happening?" "Sir if you don't get one, I will call you back" "okay, thanks!"

23rd day: "Hello sir, I am from the complaint department, we have update, your product is shipped! tracking number is 1234567" "Mam, that one doesn't work and someone told me that product failed on QC check" "Oh wait, let me put you on hold and check" "WTF!" "Sorry sir, you were right. It failed QC check" "I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!" "Sure sir, let me put a request right away!"

That's where I am! What do you guys think?

  • Have you ever had a good experience shopping furniture and other high value goods? If so, from where?
  • Do you think Jabong had an inventory problem and they were just kidding around with their whole "QC failed" story?
  • Do you think it is worth waiting for anything that ships in more than 3-4 days? Unless of course, it is  Kim Kardashian?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

So, what's in?

Change is inevitable and trying to resist that would be subnormal at the very least. So, what has changed recently?

1) Rajnikanth jokes are back. They just get better day by day.

2) Kalmadi bashing is talk of the town.

3) All the moms who were driving their daughters to the nearby sports complex for tennis lessons have switched to badminton.

4) Violent bollywood flicks are back! Aakrosh is just the beginning.

5) From the beauty of metro to the travails of a passenger travelling in one of these, the conversations have changed.

6) Winters are here.

7) Haryana is a sports power house now.

8) Gold loans!

Some things have never changed:

- Our Army General and our Defence ministers just keep worrying about the construction that China and Pakistan does at the border.

- Blame games and corruption charges continue to be in plenty after any sports event.

- Neel Nitin Mukesh still can't act.

Sameera Reddy is still confined to item numbers in bollywood.

- Lalit Modi brags on twitter about IPL and its past.