Friday, March 30, 2007

Outsourcing and Sports

Outsourcing of business processes is something that Indians are doing a lot these days. It is an industry employing millions of youths in India. This has created a lot of furor in the west, as people are losing jobs. People are getting tagged as "bangalored". Since I am not the person who has lost a job to someone else, I can not understand their pain.

Indians have also been outsourcing some important jobs to developed countries. Since the title mentions sports, let’s talk about outsourcing in sports. I am particularly interested in three sports - football, hockey and cricket.

Football in my opinion is not made for us. After watching the European leagues, I am positive that Indians simply can not play football, because we don't have the physique for it. May be some people from the armed forces can take it up, but others simply do not have the physique and athleticism for it. We employ foreign coaches who merely manage to improve our rating from 156 to 155.

Hockey - our national sport - and we hardly put any money in it. We have a hire and fire policy as far as coaches is concerned, and the funny part is we keep rotating the same coaches. I only hear the following names - Cedric D'souza, V Bhaskaran, and some others. How many times Cedric D'souza or V Bhaskaran have been our hockey coach - even they might have forgotten by now. A German coach, Gerard Rach, was employed and fired in the midst of a tournament. In spite of so many changes in coaches, we still play hockey with a straight stick, we still can't convert penalty corners, we still concede penalty corners by dozens, and we still dribble the ball needlessly thereby losing possession of the ball.

The real outsourcing happens in cricket. BCCI is crazy about foreign coaches - John Wright, and then Greg Chappell; foreign trainers - Gregory Allen King, Andrew Leipus, John Gloster. In spite of so much foreign investment for last 6 years, our players are still not fit. They are still not athletic. Our players still can't bat with a straight bat, still can't bowl at the death, and the same problems plague Indian cricket. With India's abysmal show (I can't use the word performance here) in the World Cup, there is bound to be some root-cause-analysis; and if there is none, my sincere advice to the BCCI would be to stop functioning altogether.

Sometimes I think we need to outsource the job of "playing" to the Australians - they excel in all three fields.

Code, Reports, and Presentations

Recently, I joined a new company and have spent the last month reading various documents, reports, viewing presentations and reading a lot of C code.

One of the good things here is that the presentations are not mere ppts, but you see and hear a person lecturing you live. Some of the presentations were beautiful, some were what my professor used to call "reading from the slides".

The thing that is irritating me right now is the code I have been trying to understand for last 5 days. Very mildly put, the code is shitty. Some functions are as long as 2000 lines. Occassionally, you come across a function which is 700 lines in length. If that is not enough of a torture, 7 streams of functionality are using the same set of functions. As a result, the readability of code, I should say, is missing altogether.

I sometimes wonder, what do all the coding standards in an IT industry achieve, if the code that is getting written and checked-in, is not readable at all? And by readability, what I mean is ease of understanding for a person who knows the concepts and is new to the code. Mere indentation and how to use braces; should not be the only parameters of coding standards.

During my stay at IIT Bombay, the following links really helped me. I do not claim I am a perfect coder, or a great orator or presenter, but these have definitely helped me. You can also try them - no harm.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bengaluru - a city for the rich

Bengaluru is a city for the rich. You must have a lot of money here. There is no denying this. Be it housing, transport, eating, or entertainment. Every aspect of human life is costly here.

When I started searching for a house, I was amazed at the rent people were paying. A decent 2BHK house comes for anything between 13K to 16K. The deposit is always 10 times. The logic of 10 times eludes me. Those who are lucky can find a decent place for less.

The auto-walas here are the worst of the lot. They are just not willing to go where you want to go. The buses, as usual, are always overcrowded.

Entertainment deserves a special mention here. The multi-plexes here are very very costly. Tickets have to be booked a week in advance. Some times, even 2 weekes in advance.

All in all, it is a very expensive city. Those who migrate to this city should take into account the expense ratio before making hasty decisions.