Monday, February 24, 2014

Local sharing

I was looking for a way to copy some of my music recordings with my teacher from my office laptop to my mac and realised I really don't know any easy way to do that. Its not that I don't know of any way to do this -- I have copied lots of stuff by connecting two machines with a LAN cable years ago before internet was so widespread. But I don't know a real sleek and easy way like sharing over dropbox or gmail which we use all the time. I think we have too many apps based on the internet today. We forget that now we all have a LAN at home -- a wifi router which all our powers all our internet-elabled devices. Shouldn't we have more apps which lets us chat and share over LAN?

By the way I found this excellent lifehacker post which I eventually followed. However I'd still be happy to see something sleeker and easier.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How software is not 'engineering'

I have read similar thoughts before, and have myself thought similarly many times. Today I came across this write-up by Prof Terence Parr, author of ANTLR and I hope people will pay more attention to the point he puts because of his credentials. I have mostly worked in teams maintaining successful software products and invariably I have seen a huge effort towards preparing sacred 'specifications' which mostly lead to delayed and badly-written code which creates more problems than it solves. I don't know when I will see a shift towards having better-written code as the first priority.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Working remotely works?

Saw this talk today:

It is certainly very hopeful that a company is successfully running with managers and engineers working remotely. The point that Mike makes about work being identified more with a person's presence in a physical location rather than a task is very very valuable. We have moved on from factories and live in the age of the knowledge industry. Today's companies should certainly stop paying attention to location or physical presence.
However I have personally felt that physical presence leads to better brainstorming, more learning, and more socialisation -- all of which increase the efficiency and quality of work. I think what might be good for a company is to allow employees to work 100% remotely for 2 months of a year. This might be helpful for people wanting to travel -- specially those with kids in school. It might also help travel and adventure enthusiasts.
In a nutshell, the more companies judge employees by actual tasks accomplished, the more they'll be able to allow remote work. Which means the chances of Indian companies doing such things is very less -- going by the sheer percentage of incompetent-and-yet-highly-successful people I have seen in my career!