Thinking about blogging all the time..

It is like a small kid’s fancy toy. I am thinking about writing this and that all the time. I want to write every thought, everything I see, hear or read. So a lot of junk might be coming this way. I am cooking up topics, started giving colorful (exaggerated) descriptions. Just like the kid who dreams up a fancy land and starts living in it.
Maybe it is my courting period with blogging. I am showing all tell tale signs. Think about it all the time, what subjects to talk, what could interest her, whether she will like it or not, eager to see her.
It is 1 am and I started “random ramblings – the hard copy” (got a note book). This will help in filtering some trash.

Specialization or Jack of all trades (Continued..)

I will probably dig deeper into why I want to specialize or master one thing. I will take Java as example. I really liked coding or doing research for java coding related issues. I had really nice experiences with java so far. But still I don’t know enough in java to confidently say that I am proficient in it. I haven’t used serialized objects, rmi’s, networking, awt, applets, swing etc. Only the other day, I read in a friend’s blog about programming using swing and how it proved to be a test for all techniques. I don’t know much about java design patterns. I have read about all this and can probably say that “it may be simple and I can do it with reading javadoc”.

At this point, maybe I will publish from one of my manager’s article. He has put it very well that I don’t want to try to put my thoughts about it in words.

“I had asked a colleague of mine whether he knows how to implement hierarchical tree in Oracle Forms. He said he had read about it, and going by that he thought it’s fairly simple and so he never tried getting hands on with it. His impression was that it’s very straight forward and he could do it in a jiffy. Well, I asked him if he could work on a demo and show me how it works. I gave the requirement. He faced the reality of difference between reading about something and actually doing it. There were numerous challenges. I agree, a simple and straight forward implementation of it would be easy but add a little bit of complexity, as we normally have in our project requirements, you are doused with lot of challenges irrespective of software, language or platform.

This is what I believe in - there is a big difference between talking about stuff and the ability to actually do it. You will get the edge only when you face the minutest intricacies of any software. You learn a great deal in the process. By doing this repeatedly, working with nitty-gritty of applications, you get required molding and technical acumen to get the "insight". We all are working with systems everyday but we are afraid to call ourselves experts even in whatever we are working with.”

To be able to say that “I know at least this perfectly and whatever maybe the requirement I can do it” is a unique feeling. It may become the one thing in life in which you can be absolutely confident.

Where do I get chances to explore the intricacies? Do I have the energy to see it to the end? Will this be a fancy which will lose its charm once you get into nitty-gritties? Will it be worth it at once you have the edge? Till what minute level should one go? How do I inspire myself to go deep into something?

Specialization or Jack of all trades

Which is better? Be the master in one domain/technology or knowing bit of everything and not knowing anything completely. Latter is what is happening to me.

I got trained in maninframe technologies (MVS, Cobol, DB2, IDMS), worked in a mainframe project for some time - switched to a web development project (Java, Servlets, HTML, Oracle), coded less than 20 programs, maintained/enhanced some others – by this time moved into module management and slowly started losing touch with technology, but still survived because of the interest and did some more work in JSP, Java etc.

Now, I am back in pure module management and looks like I have already lost my so called “technical acumen”. I used to be rated well on technical knowledge and used to get some respect from colleagues (that is the true accomplishment – to be recognized by peers). But now I started struggling – can’t clearly explain how to use scrollable resultset, adding objects in session etc.

Just overheard this comment about somebody else: “he babbled about we can do it with EJB this way, that way etc, but when asked about specifics, he said search in google”. I might soon end up like this.

I came into this industry purely by chance. This was what is “happening” at that time. I got engineering in Electronics and Communication, but now when somebody talk about IC, Integrator etc, I see very vague pictures. Sometimes I try to console myself thinking that those 4 years of engineering was helpful in developing some overall engineering concepts and structured thinking which I can use in this industry too. It is like trying to get some exchange value for something precious which I don’t know how to use.

One of my seniors, whom I respect, once wrote an article “We are afraid to call ourselves masters”. I kept that article in my desktop for a long time.

So now I am seriously thinking about whether this is how I want to continue. Should I give myself another chance to say that “I just went along with it” after 5 years. My best years are passing by, what do I want to do?

I will continue some more rambling on this subject for couple of more days.

Ramblings

Searched for random ramblings in google. Hit a lot of blogs in that name. That was good. I was actually thinking about a stylish name to put up (still don’t think this is stylish enough), but couldn’t think of anything. I used to think of something too simple or too gaudy, but then I see such beautifully crafted names given by others like “Odyssey of a Princess”, “Rock my World” etc (some of them doesn’t make any sense to me - smorgasbord , electropanic, fotu etc etc). I remember seeing one blog named “waiting for a stylish name” or something like that.
Then I came up with the current one when I tabbed into the textbox for the name of the blog while creating it.
My writing style, if there is one at all, is going to be exactly that. Jumbled words which might not make some sense, might look too childish and not mature (that’s what I think of some of my thoughts, then I tell myself “mat ban, be a man!” – a line from Dil Chahta Hai previews which I liked).
So some of those search results in google talks about software too. Also words like “nerd”, “manic” etc are coming up. I will visit some of them later.

Hypocrisy in workplace

just had a fight with the boss. fights with bosses are worse; it may mean getting on the wrong side of somebody who can make workplace difficult for you. but this guy. why don't i have the courage to come out in a stinging way at the right time? i remember something from "you have got mail". in that meg ryan cannot give stinging remarks at the right time at the right place. but when she does that once, she kinds of repents because of the not so good feeling after that. kind of uneasiness. i have that now. but some say that only the "crying baby will get some". many a time i thought that it is very true. but if you are on the right side, maybe it will turn out okay. sometimes it is like those old stone age days. that beast who fights to survive. corporate world is sometimes like that, i guess. not in so distant past, i used to think that everything is rosy and things happen by the book. everybody is honest, kind, sincere. the sweet talk of managers is natural. but now i think they are specially trained to talk like that. everybody is trying to survive. one way or other.
funny thing is, now we get solace in "cribbing" to comrades in similar situation. we bond with each other quite easily when we start talking about these subjects. about hypocrisy. like in politics, like in that hippo who closes eyes thinking that nobody can see him, still those smooth talks continue. most complain in private. i know some others also who did well after going public.
one trick is not to lose temper. apply the same technology back. try to smooth talk. on the other hand, being blunt is also effective. so maybe we need to balance. it is tough life, but maybe this is that "grownup" life which elders used to tell us that we will see after "growing up".
i don't seem to find right time, right place and right words so far. either goes too far and blurt out too much or be silent and repent for it later.
one colleague who later was my boss for some time told me "no boss is your friend, so however cozy you may feel at times, don't reveal more than necessary". dangerous life.
I was thinking about blogging for a long time now. Sometimes I open a notepad and write something thinking that I will put it up as my first blog. So wrote elaborate articles about why I want to write, what I want to write etc etc. At that rate I will never get around to publish one. Today is a holiday. Came to office since there was nothing else to do. After a long time came to blogs, browsed some. Then here it is, just started clicking on new blog and started one. Let me see how far it goes and how does it progress.

I will start by using one of those elaborate notepads which I thought can be put as first blog. I haven't thought about template, colors, fonts etc. I will keep procrastinating if I think about that now. So I will just start.

“I was thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now. I don't know why I want to do that, what I will gain from it, whether I want to gain anything at all, what I want to write, for whom am I writing. Everytime I will come around to these questions. If none of this is clear, why write? So maybe I will start by thinking about why I want to write.

May be it is one way to clear my thinking by blurting out whatever comes into it. Clean out most of the stuff and start again (I am not saying that all trash will come out here, but this will make me think about those in detail and clear those while writing). That used to be the way I do it during college. Every semester I used to think and plan for better grades etc, but it always used to end in one day study before exams. All semesters spent on books, games and general time spent with friends. Not that I regret it. I used to enjoy it quite a lot. Just the planning part of it. And at the end of the semester it will be obvious that I will not be making my target grade. So again, before the next semester, I would clean my room for hours. Remove all clutter. After one full day of cleaning, I would sit down for planning the next semester. I would calculate the percentages so far. Set a target for the entire course. To reach that target, how much should I score in next semester. If I need to reach that target, how much should I score in intermediate tests etc etc. it used to feel good to do the planning. New vigor. Eager to start. But after two weeks..:(. But I think this planning itself has helped me. I used to retrace and plan in between semester also. Before tests, before semester exams. Follow that plan for some time. So it is like trying to start a stalling car. It would start, go some distance and then stop again. But keep on it, it used to run. Slow and not steady, but. I scraped through my college, ending with not so bad grade. A first class with distinction, which is not so good either.

It gives a cozy feeling to be lost in my own thoughts and write down whatever comes to it. But who may want to read “whatever comes to it”. So partly for my pleasure of writing (doing something creative, for a change), I can write. I can write without thinking back and correcting this and that, get everything out of the system and then go back and remove whatever is pure trash, maybe.
Just looking up, there is so much "I". Am I selfish? They used to say that. Too much "i"s, try use some "we"s.

Maybe this will be my style of writing. I will go over the topic (digress), write about whatever comes to my mind. I may not keep the attention of the reader. But then why should I keep the attention of the reader? Who am I writing for? Btw, I used "but then". One of my phony managers, use that quite often. I dread that nowadays. He will say something bad and then say "but then we do some good, but then you can't always do good, so you understand why I am doing this to you, right?".

So far I am somewhere near the topic. So continuing. I got introduced into blogs by one good friend from college whose friendship I manage to retain so far (4 years in college, 4 years after college). I haven't seen him for 3 years. Writes to each other once in a year. When I finally write, always starts with a complaint "do you remember me? Why should I be the one who start writing again" and always the chain ends after exchanging mails like "life and work is going on.. Nothing much.. Still the same old routines.. etc".

after that, last two years, on and off, I followed some blogs, read salam pax furiously during iraq war. added some to favorites. so I follow them once in a while. recently came across one techie blog, which started the interest once again. I think I always wanted to write what I think. wanted to keep journals ("diary writing") - but never did. can't write in those beautiful styles which I envy. try to do that sometimes, but fails miserably.

I am afraid to read anything which I have written, for that matter. don't want to edit them in any manner. even though I can clarify my thoughts better that way. doesn't matter.

so what do I want to write? I think my wife will think that if only I talked to her this much, it would have been better. but I am not good in talking somehow. it has been that way all my life. I can't convince, console, express love, argue, let out some pain through spoken words. I can do so better in writing. don't know whether that is a weakness. maybe it is. so I will try this for some time.
but what do I write?

I do not want to let out too many day to day activities, like I see in many blogs. "I went there, saw this guy, did that" kind of. I am getting more and more interested in software engineering practices nowadays. open source, linux, extreme programming, future of computing and fancy stuff like that. doesn't matter to me in one bit in my current affairs. but having something interesting on the side will keep the overall interest in this profession intact. then I have some crazy thoughts at times which might look good if written. I will come to that when it hits next time.

so this is it. it begins with a boring friday evening, waiting for 6 o'clock and get out of office. without even thinking where I am going to put it up. we will see how it goes forward.”

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