Software Engineer’s Blog

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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


  1. Sir,In the matured circle of their own kind, best ones will always be honored,I guess

    Comment by manojthom | November 6, 2011

  2. My take is, environment ceases to affect the individual. Individual start influencing the environment. That is, it hardly matters whether one is honored or not. That is not a driving factor. What drives is conviction and self-belief.

    Comment by Vinod Varma | November 6, 2011

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