Software Engineer’s Blog

Software Engineering weblog

Looking ahead

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking back

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dependence, Independence and Interdependence

One of my friends recently asked me a question as to ‘why people, by and large, not aware of the persons those who are pioneers and leaders in software engineering?’. For instance, names of Donald Knuth, David Parnas, Edsger Dijkstra, John McCarthy, etc are not names familiar even to a typical software engineering of today.

I think it has partly to do with maturing of this profession as well as maturing of the specific individual as a professional.

Why maturing of profession? No profession worthy of existence can forget people who contributed to making it better. A common man may know only handful of greats in Physics like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. But a physicist cannot be ignorant of greats like Max Plank, Werner Heisenberg, etc whom an common man may not be aware of. Every profession has become what it is because of great work of people like this.

Why individual? A professional musician, an professional actor, a professional movie director, a professional artist etc would acknowledge that he or she is not an island of excellence. What he or she is, is a result of contribution of many, known directly or indirectly. I have heard such acknowledgement while listening to interviews of professional, irrespective of their profession.

What this has to do with dependence, independence and interdependence? Many of us start our career working for a big organization. Does not matter, even if organization that you work for is small. Point here, you are part of a big system and you are dependent on that system. You may not have much of choice in the kind of technology that you work with, the kind of project that you do, the kind of process that you follow

But gradually scenario changes and you get into position where you can command at least to some extent. As you keep working, you come across many Déjà vu experiences and it becomes too familiar to you. Then you also start looking around and realizing that you are not alone.

At this stage, you start learning from patterns, learning from the past, learning from society, learning from everyday life and learning from collaboration, acknowledging work of greats in the past and contributing back to business, society and world around

October 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

An interesting and informative video on personal computing history

October 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Programming in software engineering career

Ever since I started my career in software engineering, I enjoyed programming.

What I find interesting is power to control machine, power to create what I visualize, power to create what is useful to others, …..

This power comes with the challenge of solving tricky problems, challenge of adapting to new environment, challenge of learning new technologies and programming languages….

This challenges my intellect, and provokes me just as a wicked mathematical problem would provoke a mathematician. The joy of solving is comparable to innocent joy of a child solving a puzzle, joy of music director creating a new song, …..

Over years, software development has evolved adding more specializations beyond programming in due recognition of role of software in emerging world. However, programming still plays a major role in construction of software with large amount of code being hand written. The task of programming still challenges, in its own way.

Curiously, however, I find hardly any one of my age involved in active coding.

Wonder what happened to the joy of programming that we shared. On a closer look, it looks like many has moved into ‘management’. That is, many have moved on to become project leads, project managers, CEOs, etc.

I agree that managing a project, and running an organization, poses interesting challenges but they are not of the same kind as that of programming. For many people with whom I have interacted, this movement has been largely due to circumstances rather than a choice.

Now the question is, how many musicians stop singing to become a manager or music producer? how many artists stop drawing pictures? how many doctors stop consulting practice?… When none of this happens, why only software engineering stop programming? … It may be a choice, for a few, but is it always a choice or circumstances? Does it have to be so?

October 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

while(1) { printf(“End of an Era…….. RIP Dennis Ritchie”); }

It is sad to note that software world has lost yet another hero; a person who made foundation for much of great things we C in software development world today

Thank you, Sir, for your pioneering efforts and great contributions that will continue to help and guide us

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment