Author: Gopal Gopalan

CHOW #72– Time to learn what you want to

David underwent a three month long technical training on software development in the multinational software services company, which he joined upon completion of his undergraduate studies in Computer Science. Just as he finished his training, he was assigned to a customer project, which was to build a cloud-based custom ERP for a pharmaceutical company. The project was challenging and also demanding that David had no time to reflect on his work and consolidate his learning. He always dreamt of pursuing research in transaction oriented applications and had identified a couple of books to read and also identifies some projects...

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Losing Time…

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who has taken a break from his regular job. The reason, he said, was that he was getting stressed out taking care of his aged parents and spending 10+ hours at work. There wasn’t a part-time option for him at work and he was not under any financial constraint that needed him to be earning a salary. He wanted to pursue some of his passion in addition to spending more time with his parents. I thought it was a good decision. It was a couple of months since he had...

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Just an Engineer!

‘I am just an engineer’ is what I heard as I was climbing the stairs in office. This statement got me thinking. I wondered why such a statement was made – was it despair? Was it anguish? My wonder turned to worry and so sought the real reason. It turned out that it was a statement made to explain (rather justify) why certain features were implemented the way they were rather than what the user really wanted. I was just thinking about it on my way home and had to stop at the hardware store. I explained to the...

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CHOW #53– I know you will be delighted!

Param had done a great job on the 3 projects he had participated as a developer and designer. He was assigned as the design lead in a large application development project for a travel company. He was outstanding in his design that the team and the customer were in awe of his exceptional skills. As a consequence, Param was asked to work on an application extension, which the company wanted to launch to help their frequent travelers with tracking their travel and holiday plans on their personal devices. Param was excited and had a lot of ideas on the details that can be tracked and explained the approach, which required the frequent travelers to share some of their personal data. While the customer was happy to see the possibilities, they felt that the frequent flyers may not be happy to share the additional personal information. Param was convinced that when the end-user sees the tracker application prototype, they will be convinced to share the extra detail. Such an assumption was a big risk that the customer was unwilling to take. As the manager responsible for this account, what will be your advice to Param?   Suggested Solution: As the account manager of the travel company, I would quickly step in to help Param understand the customer situation. To do this, it is important to get Param to introspect his...

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CHOW #28– Buy in and then Weigh in!

You have set yourself a target to lose 10 kilos in 5 months. You decide to include going to gym regularly and working out to reduce your weight and improve your fitness level. Based on a variety of advice received from various experts, you form an exercise routine. However, it is 2 months and you have lost only a kilo. While you exercise on four days a week, doing it daily has been a challenge. Your plan was to exercise between 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM but you fail to get up before 6 AM, which makes it difficult to start exercising on time. You are happy with the trend of weight loss and decide to continue the same routine. Another month goes by without any loss of weight. What would you do?   Suggested solution: There are levels in which this objective can be looked at. Reviewing the routine for objectives: Why do you want to lose the 10 kilos? Is it for better fitness, better looks, or some other reason? With the deeper objective in mind, let us review the routine. Let us say, it is for better health. Does the routine remain still valid? Was there any aspect overlooked while setting the objective, like diet control? Reviewing the routine for adherence: It was decided the routine was ‘going to the gym regularly and working out’. Does...

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