Saturday, September 23, 2006

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's Website

Venkatarangan blog reminded me of the the President's website today.
Though i had known about this, I visited the site only today.
As an admirer of our president it was a good feeling to see his website.

Apart from that i am also amazed that people in politics have also started exploiting technology in the right way and maintaining personal sites as well:)
More the number of personal sites from people in Govt, more clearer it gets to public as what are they up to. And also in understanding where is all that money that we pay in income tax going ;)

I have also read somewhere that our president does not miss to read a single email sent to him.
India is very lucky to have a person like him.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Do we care for spellings!!

Someone scolded me 3 days back for one of the spelling mistakes in my previous blog posts. He said 'it’s not Curriculam stupid lady it's Curriculum’. Ha ha almost after 5 yrs or so that someone has tried to correct my spelling mistake. I think last time I would have manually taken complete care of spellings was when I wrote my management exams.
After joining the IT industry, written style of interaction has completely changed.
We are usually on messengers or mailboxes to communicate, where typing big mails and checking the grammar takes a back seat. The sole aim of communication in this industry is to ensure that the receiver has understood what you are trying to say. People do not care to see if you have written the spellings correctly or not, as long as the meaning is conveyed properly.

Messengers have changed our style of writing in lot of ways...

Just look at the kind of language we use these days with messengers. Some are used in corporate mails also.

Normal English(underlined) - Messenger English(in italics)
I am laughing aloud on this - LOL (loads of laughter)
I will be right back - BRB (be right back)
Give me just a minute - JAM (just a minute)
That's good news - Coooool (now i don’t know why we use so many 'O's)
I don't know - Donno
You have done a commendable job - U Rock
Through - thro
This need to be decided - TBD (to be decided)
This is for your information -FYI (for your information)
This is for your action - FYA (for your action)
You -U
We -V
Are - R
Your -UR
Going - gng
Oh My God! -OMG
About -abt
From - frm
Take care - TC
Full stop (.) - Smilies (we use more emoticons, in place of punctuations)

And now we have got so much used to this language that we tend to use it everywhere. And we think checking the grammar and punctuations are not so important as long as the message is communicated properly.
But sad part is because of this we are tending to forget some of the simple spellings also. For example, I have started using 'frm' everywhere instead of 'From' for any informal communication. Similarly I have started using ‘ur’ for ‘Your’. And for any formal communications, Grammar check and Spell check tools does most of the job for us. So we don't need to worry about the spellings at all!!!

And I am sure the guy who corrected my mistake for my earlier post is either a college going fresher who is writing his English exams or is purely a Non-IT guy .He is a lucky guy to still have patience to take care of spellings.

But now I think, even I should probably go back to school and behave like a school kid who takes care of everything he writes to get 10/10 from the teacher:)

Indians are considered to have very good English, but if we continue to write this way, we might either kill English or English might kill us :)

And yes, for this post I have not used spell check, I have taken care of the spellings by myself. A good improvement isn't it ;) But i don't know for how long :S
But yes, i wouldn't want to stop using smileys.

Time for us to take atleast little care about this, so that we can atleast teach our children proper spellings when they are in school. Haha.
Now that makes me wonder what would happen if all the school teachers also become IT and chat messenger Savvy :S:S Oh My God!

If that happens then the report card remarks would be like this :
"Dude...ur kid has nt been cmg to scool frm lst month. Donno why. This is FYI and FYA.
Pls TC of him and keep us in loop"


"Ur son rocks in the class and gives very cooool answers. V R planning to give him dbl promotion. But this TBD. This is just FYI"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Has conversion been successfull in true sense?

I think every religion is beautiful in it's own way and all religions can say only good things.But how a person interprets his own religion changes from individual to individual based on their mindset.
Christianity is also one such good religion. Christianity talks of conversion and says that everyone must try to convert as many people as christians.
Now this specific statement can also be interpreted in many ways.

The way the conversion missionaries interprets this is 'Convert every person on the road to christian'.

But then i personally interpret this in a different way...
If we go back to Jesus times, when Jesus was born it was a time where there was too much of atrocities and dictatorship. And jesus tried to spread love and forgiveness to clean the atrocities . He was responsible for bringing in love to that land of atrocities convert people from bad to good. So in my opinion conversion meant converting people from bad to good (now what's bad and what's good again depends on perceptions) and make them follow jesus's path of love and foregiveness. So converting someone to christian at that time did not mean changing some one's religion. At that time it meant making someone who doesn't have any proper path in life, to follow a good path. .
So i don't think at any time jesus would have asked people to convert from other religions. He only asked people to follow a good path, if they are not already following. So when jesus said 'Be a christian' he only meant to say Be good and be free from Sin'.
He did not mean to say 'Convert all other good religios people'
So then why at all try to convert the good, peace loving Hindus to christians. On what basis is this being done? And why it needs to be done when the person is already good and is peace loving?If they can be successful in converting people terrorists, naxalities and underworld dons' to christians than i would consider conversion and christianity to be a successful religion.
Converting needy, poor, jobless, ill people by giving them some hopes and greed, is not a true conversion.
Whatever the coversion missionaries ae doing is just to increase numbers without any quality of people.This in my opinion is not a symtom of a successful religion , with due applogy to all those who got converted.

More christians..does that mean religion is better than others? let's go by numbers only. Conversion missionaries have been really successful in converting huge number of people. But then have they ever tried to find out why these folks got converted. Christianity is supposed to be a religion that gives people complete freedom to decide before conversion if they want to or they don't want. But then are they really allowed to decide this with free mind? .
'If u become a christian u will get a job, if u become a christian u will get married, if u become a christian....'..These are the things that are directly or indirectly told to the people.
If u give so much of bribe to a person and then ask him 'Do u want to convert or not..' what would he say. Obviously he would give importance to his immediate needs only.
But then this cannot be considered as a successful conversion.

I have seen so many people near my area who follow all religions on need basis. During christmas they come asking for money to light candles in church, and then they also come to collect Ganesh Chaturti donations too.
I do not curse these people, infact i think they are the most practical of the lot who can take best advantage of the situation. They call themselves christians because that gives them monetary advanatge from the church, they go to temples, because that gives them a social advantage. So as a matter of fact they don't belong to any specific religion. They have their own religion.
But i feel bad that the christian missionaries get fooled by these people and consider it to be their own success.

So is conversion being successful in true sense?? A very strong 'No' in my opinion.

Try to convert just one laden, or one just dawood or just one of those budding terrorits and make them follow what jesus said and i would agree that conversion is successful

btw...this is a nice debate by few learned people on conversion. Chk here

Friday, September 15, 2006

Software job market: Would it have influence on the computer curriculum in education institutions and schools?

First time when i thought about this i felt it would not influence much because i have leart my ABC of computer only during graduation and never knew even to use a mouse before that:D
And when i was ready for a job as a freshers (7 yrs back), the questions that was asked to me was more on my attitude, general S/W enginnering pricipals etc, and nothing was asked specific to any platform. Because i was trained by my company after being hired on the platform required. But things are changing now...The below is my observation on Interview and corporate behaviour in these years and how they can influence educational insitutions as well.

Fresher experience in Interviews 10 yrs back:
The questions asked were on Software engineering general pricipals, team spirit, energy levels etc.
There was nothing asked on any specific platform
And freshers were selected more based on their merit/marks in college and not on their specific technology skills.The reason for this was that the corporates usually used to hire them and then train them in the technology desired.

Experienced Professionals experience 10 yrs back:
But as experienced the only question asked was "Do you have work experience in technology 'XYZ'"
Deeper concepts in a specific platform was asked. No general questions asked.

That was a time when software market was good with excellent and growing talent in the market. Companies could easily get software professionals and hence only thing they expected from them was good experience and knowledge. Ten years back they rarely asked questions like 'what technologies were u taught in school, in college ' etc.

But now things have changed with time.
I am a part of the Interview team for my company for the past 2 yrs and i know how the companies are struggling to get the best fit for their requirements. If they look for experienced, then either the competencies do not match or the employee does not give the gaurantee of staying with the company with long(high attrition).
And if they go for feshers, then the cost spent in training becomes high as they have good attitude and energy but lack the specific skills required.

So now the companies are changing their strategy.They are now not looking for really experienced candidates but are trying to sync with educational institutions like NIIT, and colleges to change their curriculam in such a way that the freshers themselves can be the best fit for them.This would reduce the corporates training costs as well.There are already many colleges that have changed their curriculam based on the corporate requirements and supply resources to the corpoartes.

So while the interview for experienced resources remains more or less the same as before now.
Interview experience for freshers has changed a lot :

Freshers Interview experience now and going forward

1. They are asked "Have u learnt XYZ technology/platform in ur college"
And the answer needs to be 'Yes' if u want to get a job.
They are expected to join the company with a good knowledge for their specific requirement.

Seeing this trend, i feel few years later, the corporate penetration would go to school level as well. Schools might also need to change their curriculam based on the market needs rather than any other reason like price of the software, govt policies etc.

So it's more a pull from the market, and not a push from the educational institutions

So probably Govt should get ready for this kind of trend and plan for the future accordingly.

I think the Kerela Govt has missed these facts when taking a decision on migrating schools to use free softwares alone.

Now i am not trying to say what platforms should be taught in school , but i think the decision cannot be based just on th cost factor. The interest of the students, and the market demand forecasts should also be considered.
I think the Kerala Govt. should re-analyse things and then take a decision by considering all the environmental factors (whatever be the decision).

Free Softwares from MS for developers
I try not blog anything on technology here and try to restrict it to my tech blog only...but could not stop myself this time as this talks of free software. Microsoft comes with a series of free Express edition softwares that are absolutely free to download. Try this out if ur a developer