Mon 1 Dec 2008

Ant & Grasshopper
 
Traditional Version
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
 
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
 
Come winter,the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or  shelter so he dies out in the cold.
 
Modern Version
 
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
 
Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
 
Geo TV, BBC, ARY, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
 
The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
 
Asma Jahangir stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.
 
Imran Khan goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that  Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.
 
Amnesty International and Chief Justice Iftikhar criticizes the Pakistan Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.
 
The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance) .
 
Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Islamic parties call for "Hartal" in Frontier and Baluchistan demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
 
MQM Coalition in Sindh immediately passes a law to bring about equality among Ants and Grasshoppers.
 
Sheikh Rasheed allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Pakistan Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Shalimar'.
 
Finally, the President drafts an ordinance ' Anti State Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [ASTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter. Mobilizes state agencies.
 
Punjab Govt. makes ' Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.
 
The Ant is fined for failing to comply with ASTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it's home is confiscated by the NAB and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by PTV.
 
Nawaz Sharief calls it ' A Triumph of Justice '.

Benazir calls it ' Democratic Justice '.
 
MQM calls it the ' Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden'
 
Prime Minister invites the Grasshopper to address the National Assembly.
 
Many years later...
 
The Ants have since migrated to the US , Canada , UK and Middle East, have worked harder then they did before set up a multi-million dollar business.
 
1000s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in Pakistan ...
 
As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers, Pakistan is still a developing country !!!

Categories : Thoughts / Lessons
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Wed 11 Jun 2008

At 5.15 p.m. June 4, I stopped at Plaza, in front of the Polani Motors on Karachi’s busiest thoroughfare, the M.A. Jinnah Road, to have my car’s electric window repaired. Soon, I was mobbed by some seven to eight people, who insisted that I get some door rubbers installed. I refused but they started the work nevertheless.

Quickly, I found myself trapped, with these people doing all sorts of work on the car, not listening to my command, directions and pleadings. These people had me so placed that I could not run, scream or phone anybody, even though I was on the busiest road of Karachi. By all means, I was held hostage by them.

Then it was crunch time. Their boss handed me small piece of paper. It was a bill for Rs25,600. He literally ordered me to pay. Yes! You read it correctly, Rs25,600 for work I did not order and I did not know anything about — for installing some rubbers on the doors.

Their boss ordered me to get to the nearest ATM and pay the amount. There are several ATMs in and around Plaza but I stalled. The heavily-guarded portion of Abdullah Haroon Road was my safest bet. I told him, albeit correctly, that my bank was located near the Metropole Hotel and I could not withdraw the amount from One Link ATMs. This was not true, of course.

The head honcho, with a menacing look on his face, sat on the passenger seat of my car, while his colleague sat in the seat behind me as we drove to the ABN-Amro Bank near the US Consulate-General. I told the two to stay seated, inserted my card in the door and entered the bank.

I alerted the bank guards and officials and rang up my editor. I also tried 15, which nobody picked. Soon the police arrived and the two men in my car were escorted to the Artillery Maidan Police Station, in front of the Governor’s House. There our crime reporter handled the issue. The agony was finally over.

I learnt that a gang was operating at the Plaza and had robbed several people, charging, in one case Rs40,000 for installing door rubbers. I have heard of three similar cases. In one instance they went to the victim’s house to get the money. I was indeed lucky.

There are currently many more members of the gang who are still at large. It would be a good idea to inform your friends and colleagues to avoid the area.

 

Source: http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=117164

 

Categories : Knowledge / Amazing
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Wed 11 Jun 2008

For its next-generation application, XYZZY Software Inc. decided to do a major overhaul using the latest and greatest “best practices” framework for enterprise applications: Plugh Version 2009.

To do the prototype, XYZZY hires Luke, a bright young developer who has been using Plugh for at least six months. In no time at all, Luke whips up a working example of what the application might look like — well, three pages of it anyway. Everyone who sees it says “ooh” and “aah” and wants to know how long it will take to convert the entire application — salespeople in particular show special interest in that question. Luke (who knows very little about the existing application but has seen the regular demo) tosses out “oh, probably about six months.”

This becomes a war cry for the sales force. They descend on all levels of management with cries of, “Luke says it can be done in six months! We desperately need this new look and feel ASAP in order to compete!” Upper management asks the Director of Development if this really can be achieved so quickly.

During a development meeting, the old-guard programmers lay out all the (known) complexities of the existing system in order to show Luke how far off he is in his projection. The Director of Development (who doesn’t want upper management to think he’s being a nonagile wet blanket about the project) coaxes everyone to agree that it can be done in two years. Of course, they’ll have to release an interim version of the company’s current product in one year for regulatory changes and bug fixes, so there will be ongoing parallel development.

Management, marketing, and sales approve of the plan — after sales gets three months trimmed off the schedule so they can have a beta version ready by their annual conference. Development doesn’t feel very good about the adjustment, but they figure they can just work extra hard to make that deadline — and maybe leave a few of the lesser-used features out of the beta if necessary.

A new team is formed, and Luke is named the lead programmer. The team also includes several of the old-guard programmers, a couple of testers, a documentation specialist, and a project manager. They set right to work.

The team soon discovers that not all areas of the application easily translate into the Plugh framework. When they attempt to define the requirements of these sections, they realize that no one who is still at the company really knows what that code is supposed to do. They get existing customers involved in the discussion, which leads to the startling discovery that nobody agrees on whether the current behavior is a bug or a feature.

Six months into the project, they only have several more input forms developed than Luke had in his original prototype. It’s clear that the prototype didn’t do everything that will be required of the same pages in the full version. The security and internationalization mechanisms of the existing system will not migrate to Plugh, and the replacements have not even been pondered. Luke finds himself in a maze of twisty little requirements, none of which are alike. Sales is still telling customers it will be ready by next year’s conference, but upper management is getting nervous. Development insists they can keep the project on schedule, but management demands a reality check.

The employees decide to call in an outside consultant to validate their plan. After spending several days examining both the old and nascent forms of the application, talking to users and developers, and crunching the numbers, the consultant renders this verdict:

“Your current approach is doomed to failure. From the sheer size of the project, it will take at least three, possibly four, years to even get to a usable beta version — depending on how many other unspecified requirements you run into along the way. Throwing more developers on the project will not help. But I can recommend a different approach that will make incremental improvements to your existing application and allow you to release a new version every year without massively parallel development.”

The employees (except sales) breathe sighs of relief. And even the sales team is mollified when the consultant shows that the very first incremental improvement could be to the portion of the application in which users spend 80 to 90 percent of their time and which would make a great demo if it weren’t so ugly today.

Whether XYZZY Software followed the plan laid out by the consultant is not as important as the fact that the employees listened to what she said not to do.

Prior to the meeting, at least 20 employees knew the project was headed off the rails, so why didn’t anyone sound the alarm? Because they worried whether being the naysayer would damage their career. Their fear kept them silent and prevented them from thinking about alternative solutions; instead, these employees focused all their energies on achieving the impossible.

Truth in fiction

Even though there is no XYZZY Software or Plugh development framework, I have seen this same story play out many times. I have played the part of Luke, the Director of Development, and the consultant (though I’ve never been a woman, but I have played one on stage — that’s an entirely different story).

Unfortunately, many of these scenarios do not turn out as happily as the tale of XYZZY Software. I have seen some companies sink several years and millions of dollars into these types of projects before coming to their senses. I genuinely feel so badly for them that I don’t even smile when I say “I told you so.”

An outside consultant can provide the voice of disinterested honesty. If the client doesn’t like what you have to say, the most you lose is the engagement. If they listen to you and it doesn’t work, things could get ugly. You’re not part of the protected herd of employees who will be all too happy to blame you. So, you’re incented to be as honest as possible about what will and will not work. Also, be sure to keep yourself out of office politics. Obviously, you’re going to feel beholden foremost to the person who signs your checks, but the best service you can provide the client is to tell it like it is.

There are many more companies that never even call in a consultant to tell them so. And there are some consultants who don’t have the backbone to tell their clients that they’re making a colossal mistake.

 

 

Categories : Knowledge / Amazing
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Sat 5 May 2007

"Read! In the name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the most Generous, who has taught (the writing) by the pen. Has taught man that which he did not know."

Surat Al-'Alaq, (Allah - Al-Qura'an - Verses 1 to 5).

 

 

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“He who leaveth home in search of knowledge, walketh in the path of God” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

"Seek knowledge even as far as China." (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“The acquisition of knowledge is obligation on every Muslim, male and female.” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers.” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“Whoever seeketh knowledge and findeth it, will get two rewards; one of them the reward for desiring it, and the other for attaining it; therefore, even if he do not attain it, for him is one reward.” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“The world and all things in it are valuable; but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

“Verily the best of God's servants are just and learned kings; and verily the worst are bad and ignorant kings.” (Muhammad - sallallaho alaihi wassallam - peace be upon him)

 

 

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Tue 20 Jun 2006


ONE BEDROOM FLAT... A TYPICAL MIDDLE CLASS INDIAN SOFTWARE ENGINEER'S LIFE... - A Bitter Reality

As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineering and joined a company based in USA, the land of braves and opportunity.


When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true.


Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned  enough money to settle down in India.

My father was a government employee and after  his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat.

I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald's  and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate
getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.

Finally I decided to get married. Told my  parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in
the cheapest flight. I was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After the marriage, it was time to return
to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after them, we returned to USA.

My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes
3 times a week. Our savings  started diminishing. After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the
Almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children.

Every year I decide to go to India, the work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn't get any holidays and thus could not go to India. The next message I got was my parents had passed away and there was no one to do the last rites ...the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My  parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.

After a couple more years passed away, much to my children's dislike and my wife's joy we returned  to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA.

My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India. My 2 children and I returned to USA  after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years.

Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in  USA. I decided that had enough and wound-up every thing  and returned to India. I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.  
Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode.

Sometimes I wonder was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more.

I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM.


Even if i had earned millions what i would have done with that Today?

Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values
and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me.

Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who will be performing my last rites, God Bless them. But the question still remains 'was all this worth it ?

I am still searching for an answer................!!!!

Please pass on this message to as many people as possible so that everybody should know their destiny, which is more important..... relation or money ????

Remember money isn't everything, it is not the only means of happiness... it is up to you to decide.. Life is a beautiful gift of God, He has gifted it to you to live it. 

If you want to see the rainbow, you have to survive the storm.

 

Categories : Thoughts / Lessons
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Wed 24 May 2006
Although it's not apparent in the structure of some organizations, leaders and managers have highly distinct roles, and both are essential to the success of the business.  See if the traits described here fit your IT leaders and managers--or help clarify your own role.  Anyone who follows business literature can easily track the rise and fall of leadership and management as opposed disciplines. Sometimes the demand is for more vision and inspiration; other times, it's for more measurement and control. Fundamentally, though, the two disciplines cannot work apart.  

Leadership without management can't sustain change or improve the now. At the same time, management without leadership is a soulless endeavor best suited to controlling the actions of spoiled children.  I've watched many good leader/manager pairs working together over the years. Some ran small businesses; others worked on massive projects with hundreds of people and millions of dollars. But no matter what the setting, they shared many of the following traits.   #1: Leaders inspire; managers measure   When leaders finish speaking, the listeners want to go out and change the world. They get fired up and moving, willingly facing problems they would have ignored before. This energy gradually fades until the leader reestablishes it.  When managers finish speaking, everyone knows what is expected of them, how it will be measured, and what results to expect. In other words, they know exactly what they have to do. This knowledge remains valid until the goal changes.  #2: Leaders guide, managers navigate   Leaders give their followers a general idea of where they want to take the team. The team members then do their level best to get from the current state to the future state, using the skills they posses to cover the gap.  When managers describe what they want done, they includes clear instructions regarding the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the gap plan. The team then enacts the plan in a, hopefully anyway, organized fashion.   #3: Leaders envision, managers maintain   Leaders speak about the future as if it already exists. They see it, taste it, and can sometimes even feel it just out of reach. This vision allows them to show the team what could be, lifting them out of habitual ruts.  Managers speak about what they currently see and measure. They explain clearly how things operate and identify metrics to further refine that operation. These metrics may help change; more often, they reinforce existing habitual behaviors.   #4: Leaders talk, managers listen    The essence of leadership lies in knowing when to talk and what to say to reach your team. Sometimes that means sitting silently. The Japanese say "eloquence is silver, silence is golden" for a reason. Regardless of technique, though, leaders' immediate goals always revolve around opening the way to communicate a vision to their target audience.  The essence of management lies in knowing when to gather data and what data points are needed to manipulate the team or the political environment. Managers listen carefully, make notes, and then come to a decision about the situation as it exists in the immediate world.   #5: Leaders support, managers teach   The very best leader I ever worked for asked me, "What can I do for you today?" every day, without fail. If I needed resources, he found them; if I needed time, he got deadlines pushed back. He gave me the support and the space I needed to excel or fall flat on my face. 

The very best manager I ever worked for asked me, "Do you need any help?" every day without fail. If I needed training, he arranged for it; if I didn't know how to handle something, he taught me how to do it himself. Whenever I came upon something I didn't know, I knew he could show me how to do it. 

#6: Leaders hope, managers analyze  Leaders sometimes seem unattached to reality. Their focus on the future, on a vision of what could be, gives them great hope with which to weather trials. It also sometimes leads them to ignore problems that honestly need addressing before the future can come to be. 

Managers, on the other hand, clearly see the present with all its warts and flaws. This clarity gives them the ability to resolve current issues; it also can create a loop in which they can't change things because they know only "the way things have always been done." 

#7: Leaders authorize, managers direct  Leaders expand their scope of action by authorizing their followers to act within a scope. This authorization carries with it a part of the leader's own authority and entrusts the subordinate with a part of the leader's vision. 

Managers expand their scope of action by directing subordinates within their team to perform specific tasks or processes until they reach a specific end point. This direction does not empower the subordinate with the manager's authority; it does, however, have definite boundaries and a finite duration.  #8: Leaders rally, managers retrench   When things go wrong, leaders gather their team together, reestablish the vision, inspire the group, and then go out to protect them while they deal with the situation. Leaders stand up, do what's right, and accept the consequences of their team's actions as their own. The team continues to work and react in the background.  When things go wrong, managers gather their team together, identify the exact problem, create a plan to address it, assign tasks, and dispatch the team with strict instructions. Assuming the initial analysis identified the problem and no other problems arise, the team will quickly resolve the issue and then return to normal operation.  #9: Leaders expect, managers demand   Finally, leaders expect particular behaviors from their followers. They want specific types of integrity, work ethic, and methods of communication. Leaders know their team borders on functional when everyone within the team behaves in the same way.  Managers, on the other hand, demand specific outputs from their subordinates at particular times. They derive these demands either from established role documentation, agreed-upon dates, or expectations set during meetings. These demands tie back to established success metrics for the manager, the team, or both.  Success requires both   Management has garnered a bad name for itself over the years, for a wide variety of reasons. However, it is still a vital part of every IT and business environment. Without it, all the leadership in the world can't create a sustainable change. Of course, the opposite also holds true. Without leadership, management does little more than defend the status quo against change.   Happy leading and managing J
Categories : Knowledge / Amazing
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