Just come across a funny cartoon describes a typical project and the perception according to each stakeholder.
This cartoon really describe my experience with the Indian contractors. My project description may not be perfect, but it seems the Indian guys always implement my requirement in an unexpected way. The outsourcing firm promised a lot but the code delivered are crab. I have to review every single line of their code to make sure nothing will blow up. The document is not very helpful, if it exists at all. The cost is pretty high, the outsourcing firm pockets 80% of our expense, only 20% go to the salary of the contractors. The support is patching, the time zone difference makes turn around time very slow. At the end, all i want is some working code.
My company is getting a new CEO. The old CEO does not have any vision, so we actually have some hope that the new CEO will turn the company around. However today I heard some news that make me totally lost my confidence in our new CEO. My source comes from the IT department, they got an direct order from the CEO to upgrade the computers in our company to Vista. The CEO seems to believe using Vista will increase our productivity. I smell there is a sign of trouble in the company. Remember, you heard this from me first.
Never mind the whole XP vs Vista debate about which is a better OS. (The answer is quite evidently obvious.) Why would the CEO care what OS the employees use at all? He should care about our business strategy, concert about our product road map, the morale of the employees, the operating cost etc. What OS to use is the last thing he should worry about. That’s the job of our IT department. Oh well! I guess he probably not aware of most engineers in the company use Windows only to write document, check emails and surf the web. We do our engineering work in Linux! If a CEO lost focus and spent time worrying which OS to use, I don’t think the company will be in a very good shape. Maybe it’s time to sell our stocks.
The BC liberal government is going to add a 2 cent carbon tax to all fuel starting July 1. At the same time, we will get a $100 cash rebate from the government in the name of climate action division. The idea is you can spent the money to lower your carbon footprint. However with the gas price reaching record hight, I guess I will just simply spend my rebate to fill up my gas tank before the new tax becomes effective. The government may seem generous on rebate, but the money actually come from my pocket. In a long run, we still have to pay more tax, which is bad.
I don’t see any way we can cut our consumption on oil. Only those who are too naive or stupid will think public transit can replace automobile as a mean of transportation. Time is also money. The time I wasted stuck in a bus is much more than the money I have to spent on gas. Taking public transport doesn’t make any sense unless your home and destination is right next to a Skytrain station. Maybe the only solution is to invent some new source of energy to power our cars.
Finally, I have made my donation to Red Cross Canada for the China earthquake. I have been waiting for the company to setup the 1:1 matching program with Red Cross before I donate my money. There is no need to donate money in a hurry, victims probably won’t use all the donation until rebuilding begins, which is still a few weeks away. Now, I have made my donation and I can get check off this to-do list item. After I have made my donation, I am entitled to criticize how the China government spend the donation. It is my money after all. I have the right to see it well spent to help the victims. Definitely not on buying some over priced supplies.
Since the earthquake, I see lots of groups ask for donation in shopping mall or street corners. Most of them are just holding a box and ask people passing to donate some money. I can never understand why would anyone want to donate cash. It is the most inefficient way of making a donation. You don’t get a tax receipt for your donation, so the donation post-tax money, which is a lot more expensive that it should cost. You don’t get any 1:1 matching from corporate sponsors. I think for anyone who want to donate money, they should donate through their friends who associates with any 1:1 matching program. As a responsible donor, you got to make sure every dollar your donate will brings the most benefit to the victims.
On a second thought, why do we need to donate at all? Here are two simple facts. The cost to rebuild the earthquake area is estimated to be around $70 billion. The Chinese government has over $1 trillion reserve in its bank. Why don’t the Chinese government spent their own money to help their own people first before asking for our donation? At least the Chinese government should have a 1:1 matching program. They should take a dollar out of the huge money reserve for every dollar we donate.
My internet bill in India is CAD$1000 for two months. Yes, it is a one followed by three zeros. Luckily it’s none of my business, the bill is charged to the company. The price is really outrageous but I don’t feel sorry for the company, they totally asked for it. Here is how the story goes. When I first arrive in India, the guest house has an internet service with unlimited bandwidth and static IP. It works great except it is a bit pricey, but still much cheaper than $500 per month. Some idiot in the India office decide to cut cost and switch to ADSL. The ADSL service is not so great. There were internet blackout every other day in the beginning and it took them two weeks to fix the problem. Anyways, in the end the ADSL works, so I can download the latest stuff off BT in India just like I am in Canada.
To my surprise, the company went cheap and subscribed a plan with a low monthly bandwidth quota. Any bandwidth usage go over the quota limit is 0.8 rupee per MB. In short, I ended up using 50GB for two months. It may sound a lot but it is still less than my monthly average in Canada. Here is the maths for the internet bill: 50000MB x 0.8 rupee / 40 rupee per CAD$ = CAD$1000. They company should learn their lesson that cost cutting too much will end up paying a lot more at the end.
Today lunch time, one of my friends at work mentions he want to start photography as a new hobby. He was asking some more experienced photographers about which camera he should buy. Photography is a pretty common hobby, I have many friends really into taking photos. Most people pick up photography because they like expressing themselves through the picture or simply fancy about the equipments. This friend has quite an usual reason, he pick up the hobby so he will have common topic with his future father in law, who is really addicted to cameras.
Guy usually use the dad strategy when he is still courting the girl. There is not much incentive to go an extra mile to please the dad after the deal is sealed. I suspect my friend’s claim to have common topics with the dad is just an excuse. He must be really want to get into photography for a long time. Now he find a perfect excuse to get approval from his girlfriend to spend money on new toys.
Luckily for me, I don’t have to start a new hobby in order to have conversation with my father in law. My primary hobby is probably the only activity he shows any interest. If I have a daughter, it would be quite interesting to see my future son in law pick up my hobby. On a second thought, he may still pick up the hobby anyways for another reason, to protect his own safety from a jealous father in law.