Solutions mode

The hourly-mode is what your outsourcing provider in India (or Pakistan or Bangladesh or Ukraine) operates from to bill 12 hours a day copy/pasting the code from StackOverflow for your dream app.

The solutions-mode is what a mindful programmer operates from when he synchronizes your scattered thoughts and comes up with app functions that bring paying users and thus profits to your app/software in an hour or two.

The hourly-mode is measured by inputs: long hours worked, more graphics designed, more documents created, more lines of code written, long client calls attended … if the app fails, fails but the work carried out would always be there to justify the failure.

The solutions-mode is measured by the output: the app’s success in the market. No matter how great the quality of your code was, it is of no use if the app did not bring measurable success.

The solutions-mode does not give unnecessary importance to unimportant things. ~ Find out more

For the solutions-mode to work, the programmer has to “get” the greater application of his software engineering efforts in the market. Unfortunately, most universities don’t teach that as a part of the engineering curriculum.

A lot of people and companies shy away from the solutions-mode because of its inherent risk. The solutions-mode might not bring you enough money to pay your bills if you are not able to find the (relevant) solutions.

The hourly-mode is easy … you just show up, do mediocre work within a framework and cannot fail although the whole project or the product of the project might.

The solutions-mode is scary … where just showing up is not enough … there has to be a real value in what you produce or you are no longer required.

The hourly-mode has a structure, a framework to shift you away from the fault line if the possibility of fault arises.

The hourly mode has a structure to blame.

The solutions-mode, on the other hand, does not come with a structure or a framework.

If the fault arises, it is up to you how you solve it!

Of course, some frameworks may help in the solution identification and delivery process but there is no one to blame if the structure or the framework fails.

And that’s the beauty of it.

The hourly-mode brings the benefits to you when your client is unaware or to be precise, less-aware than what he should. For example, I have observed some companies continue the hourly-mode for as long as 10 years until they realize that hourly mode was the most ineffective way to maintain their 44 different lines of products with their outsourcing provider…

And when they realize, they look for a programmer, or a company, who is willing to work with the solutions-mode but they find it difficult to locate such a programmer or a company for a simple reason: It does not seem to have competition in this hyper-competitive market because people are busy working with the hourly-mode approach.

It is really up to you which mode to operate from. Know that each mode comes with its own set of consequences.

So, chose your work-mode and choose your consequences.

PS: Some people work on a fixed price fixed scope project in hourly mode … nothing is more pathetic than that for both the parties involved.

PPS: While this post has relevance in software engineering, the behavioral part of it applies to non-software work as well.

Be fearful when others are greedy

I read a post today on Ideapod.

The post was about What Top 8 investors say about Bitcoin.

Since when Bitcoin came, it has never resonated with me.

(I am not saying it is bad or anything, I am saying it has never resonated with me.)

But this post is not about whether the Bitcoin is good or bad.

No.

This is an investment quote which got my attention.

The quote goes like this: “Be fearful when others are greedy.”

This quote came as a “wise” investment advise but it resonated with me from the overall life perspective.

And here is my take on it.

  1. Look at your close circle of 5 people.
  2. Note down about 5 actions of theirs that you remember without any efforts.
  3. You will have a list of 25 actions.
  4. Now classify those actions as “Greedy” vs. “Normal” actions.
  5. If you have got 3 or less greedy actions then Bravo! You don’t need to read further.
  6. But if you have got more than 3 greedy actions then drill further.
  7. Are those actions coming from a single person? Or different persons?

If those actions are coming from different persons it’s okay. Be alert but it’s not much of a problem.

But of those actions are coming from 1-2 persons then be conscious.

Your close circle has got a “bug” that needs to be fixed.

It is the time to feel the fear.

Fear.

Yes, feel the fear!

But take the necessary actions.

As Susan Jeffers famously says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

A simple quote in an investment advice can teach this.

Notes:

  1. Link to the Ideapod article: https://goo.gl/xjue8E
  2. Susan Jeffers’ book: https://goo.gl/V3rkAM
  3. It is okay to feel the fear – but still do the right thing!
  4. I have zero investment in Bitcoins. Okay, people may call me “unwise” but I am proud of that unwiseness!

Michami Dukkadam

Religions and I share a special relationship: I do not believe in any but I respect all of them.

But one thing I deliberately do: I observe the principles offered by different religions, see how they can help the humanity and continue my journey of becoming an aware human.

But this does not stop the religious messages and wishes I receive and it is obvious also as everyone is different.

Today, I received such a wish when I was beginning my day – from a Jain friend whom I respect for his remarkable dedication to work and ethics as a person.

He sent me a message – Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ along with a couple of lines that said that he is seeking forgiveness!

I read the message consciously and felt good about it. Soon, I thought I should know more about what Michhami Dukkadam really means. Hence I did a quick research (pardon my unawareness – I have received this message every year but I never really knew what it really means).

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ is widely used in the Jain religion on the last day (Samvatsari or Kshamavani) of Paryushana, the most important annual holy event of the Jain calendar.As a matter of ritual, Jains greet their friends and relatives on this last day with Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ, seeking their forgiveness. No private quarrel or dispute should be carried beyond this time. The importance of forgiveness in the utmost in Jainism.

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ means this: “May All The Evil That Has Been Done Be Fruitless.” 

Here is how I perceive it:

  1. When someone asks you to forgive, regardless if s/he has committed any wrongdoings or not, you get a specific chemical reaction in your body.
  2. You suddenly feel that the amount of selfishness you carry as a human starts to decrease. When selfishness decreases, you start to feel relaxed.
  3. If you don’t overwrite your state of being with new (and often selfish) experiences again, you remain in a great state of joy, an abundance of happiness and cheer.

I wish all of you who are reading this, get to experience that.

So here is my Michami Dukkadam to all of you …

For any reasons, or unreasonably;
By doing something or by not doing ‘some’ thing;
directly or indirectly;

If I have hurt you, emotionally, mentally, physically (I guess not) or otherwise, then please forgive this Nobody. 🙏

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ! 🙏🙏

~UV (20170825)

The Maths of Life

When a man marries his girlfriend, he immediately creates a vacancy.

Okay, this is not my quote. It is from James Goldsmith. But it doesn’t matter whose quote is it because the point is – it highlights an unpleasantly interesting truth.

The truth is, you like something when there are no strings attached. When strings get attached, you start disliking the same thing!

We observe it all the time, but we don’t pay attention to this pattern much. Here is a story that affirms this observation.

In 1999, I met with a person called Milan (name changed for privacy).

He had a clerical/administrative job in a school. His work hours were 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and his salary were more than enough to take care of his needs.

But Milan hated his job. His passion was teaching maths to children.

Milan was excellent with academic maths and loved teaching. A lot of students used to come to him to learn maths.

Frustrated with his boring job, he quit his job. Soon he rented a space, ordered some furniture, and open his maths coaching classes.

He got the first batch within just a week of opening the classes.

Within just 3 months, he was running about 4 batches in a day. He was happy with his work and he rented more space, partnered with a couple of other teachers and hired a few more teachers.

They were four people running their coaching classes and gaining a good name amongst young children and their parents because of their quality maths coaching.

More and more students started joining his maths classes. And he was almost compelled to start more batches.

Now, apart from teaching maths, he also had to look after the administrative and operational aspects of running a coaching class business.

It turned out that he just loved teaching maths, not running a coaching class business.

His operational costs were increasing day by day – and the revenues he was generating through fees was not enough to take care of the costs.

His “hobby” shifted from teaching maths to share-market day trading. He started hating maths and started spending more time at a sharebroker’s office.

To make a long story short, after a few months, he shut his classes down because he could not sustain it and got an administrative job again with some organization.

His life went on but certainly, it was not something that Milan and his near ones would have wished for him.

The Math of Life Utpal Vaishnav

Lessons:

  1. Don’t turn your hobby into a business (especially if you are not up for understanding the business aspects of converting your hobby into a business).
  2. Your boring looking job gives you time and money to pursue your hobby, be aware of that and find peace with it.
  3. In business, there are a lot of things that you do which you may not personally like but you still need to do. That’s normal. If you don’t know how to lead yourself on the face of unpleasant yet important activities of your business, you will be out of business soon.
  4. The maths of life is not 1+1 = 2. Its answer could be different in different situations. What people do not get is that both the digits (1) are defined passively – by a lot of external factors. In other words, in business, 1 does not represent a constant, it is a variable!

Your relationship with the hobby will remain healthy if you don’t try to convert it into a job – or a business.

Is There a Life after Death?

A lot of people are living in the past;
A lot of people are wondering why things are not working;
A lot of people are thinking about their lonely childhood;
A lot of people are blaming their society, their families or their spouses for the recent disasters they have been experiencing …

A lot of people are living in the future;
A lot of people are searching for the heaven;
A lot of people are worrying what their tomorrow will look like;
A lot of people are doing research to find out whether there’s a life after death …

life after death

The real problem is not whether there’s a life after death;
but whether you’re alive before you’re dead!

A lot of people are living dead;
If you are too then it’d be wise to feel sad.

But it would be wiser to feel sad for just a few moments.

Because things happen in this world because of actions.
Actions of yours or someone else’s.

For actions to happen, your belief systems play a significant part. Because before taking any action, we tend to validate whether that particular action is appropriate or not… but the appropriation of an action is subjective, nothing more and nothing less.

So, you have an opportunity that you can cause (create) the situations for your life.

It is not guaranteed that you will find success in this path but it is a guarantee that you won’t find regrets.

Know that life experiences do not just happen; they are made.
You can shower your life with golden ornaments and choose to become a jade!

The Tao of Understanding

The Tao of Understanding

When you understand kindness as kindness, mercilessness arises
When you understand love as love, hatred arises

Thus Happiness and Unhappiness produce each other
Right and Wrong bring about each other
Light and Dark reveal each other
Health and Illness reflect each other

The words have limitations
The written things have limitations
The said things have limitations
The understanding has limitations

Therefore the key
is not to “understand” such things

But to “experience” them …

Understanding goes away; experiences do not.

The Tao of Understanding is
not to try to understand the things,
but to experience them.

Concept Inspiration: Lao Tzu