Wednesday, September 1, 2010



Thanks for stopping by  my new blog.  Let me start with a fresh  story.
Image from Wiki Commons
I was trying to reach a phone banking service of a prominent bank regarding a  query in the morning.  When I dialled the number, I was  greeted with  instructions to enter my credit card # and then my T-pin. After  that  a long commentary of  the dues, minimum due on my active as well as inactive credit cards followed. I was eagerly waiting for the menu option to reach a customer service officer. I could never hear  about that option in the instructions.  I  thought that they missed it and kept trying the typical number for assistance (9), only to be greeted with a message  "sorry, I could not understand..", followed by a repeat  of the lengthy message about the options .  I browsed web to  look for alternate contact numbers. I only got  an update about the service desk hours.   This particular information was never reflected in the opening instruction of IVR . This could have saved me half an hour of frustration.

Later I tried to login to  the website of the company, to send a message. I composed a message and when I tried to submit, I was greeted  with a warning  "Message can not exceed 180 characters".  This led to another frustration of revising the message. I wish that the  UI was  developed in such a way to  warn about the limitation on the message size  or preferably prevent further typing when the message size exceeded the limit.     From the above examples, you can see the amount of time that is wasted, the frustration that is caused to the customers when applications are not engineered properly.

So, in this first blogpost, and in order to avoid wasting your time or causing frustration,  I would like to  briefly cover the initiative  behind this and  share my expectations  about this blog.

First briefly about myself. I had  a  25 year career in technology industry, with diverse exposure to  product development  in Control, Aerospace, Defence, Semiconductors, Consumer Electronics, Edutainment and experience in  Public and Private (large MNCs, small startups) companies.  I have performed various roles  from engineer to practice lead in my long career.   My interests have expanded from just embedded product development  to IT and IT impact on society.  Along the way, I took active part in professional societies like IEEE and contributed to  Mozilla, Wikipedia and Ubuntu  .

I am facinated by technology and its applications in  making life better.  Despite new tools  and processes like CMMi, I  am pained at the slow pace of productivity in  engineering particularly in 'For profit' businesses.   I  am struck by the growth of  free and open source software (FOSS) movement over the years. FOSS  could compete with  proprietary software in many areas.

 I think of how  sharing of  practices from  between these two could help  in improving the engineering excellence.  I   shared a presentation about  how the rigor of project management  can help Wikipedia  in the recent Wikimania conference.  Through this blog, I would like to focus on how emerging practices/tools/software  in open source world can be applied  to  businesses.

I plan  to cover   technologies/tools/  program management  advances    in my future posts.  I will appreciate your feedback when my post strikes  a chord in you. 

Meanwhile, if you like to sample my other blogs, do check out Tech4Society  blog focusing on technology application with  large scale social impact and my   Telugu language  blog Teluginux for info on  promoting Telugu in e-world.

Credits:Snow flake Image from Wiki Commons

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