Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review: Beautiful Teams

Once in a while you read a book that is such great reading that you forget it is serving as a valuable teaching tool at the same time - "Beautiful Teams" by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene is one such book I had an opportunity to read.
Any software engineer with any amount of professional experience has been part of a development team - sometimes good, sometimes bad. We have all been in situations where we have had to work with difficult people under difficult situations. This book is a great compendium of several such stories - people working with other people under difficult circumstances - sometimes making things work and sometimes failing spectacularly.

You come away with a new appreciation for the teams - the difficult people and the people who can make them work - after reading about the various experiances. It is amazing how many of my own project teams I was reminded of while I was reading this book - beautiful teams and ugly teams that won beautifully. This is a must-read book for team members and leaders. I recommend this especially for those who want to be in leadership positions and need new ideas about making teams work. You will find it hard to put this down once you start reading.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

T-Mobile Hotspot App

Well, you guys might have guessed from my previous lament about the "cupcake" update that I am a G1 owner with T-Mobile USA. What is really cool about T-Mobile's G1 data plan is that all the T-Mobile hotspots are included free with the plan. T-Mobile has now released a free app in the adroid market that allows G1 users to hookup to the hotspots like wifi.

Very cool, isn't it! Starbucks, here I come ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


via Instapundit comes this interesting post by Lou Minatti about Indian IT workers. The post makes some fair points about lack of creativity among Indian workers and so do the comments. Of course, considering my husband and I have been Indian and IT workers in the US for more than a decade, I am compelled to weigh in on the discussion.
  • I agree that a lot of Indians in the US have Masters' degrees and expect to buy respect with them, which is not how it works over here. I would also point out quite a few of these Masters' degree holders actually graduated with engineering degreed in a very tough and competetive education system in India - this makes them pretty bright already.
  • There has definitely been a disturbing trend lately in the newcomers from India and those who work on outsourced positions - they need complete and total instructions to do anything remotely useful - good for mundane, repetitive tasks, but bad in situations that need quick thinking on their feet.
  • Everybody knows that the dirty secret of why US firms hire anyone off-shore - it has nothing to do with being bright or "employable" - it is that you get cheap workers. This ofcourse, applies to Indians, Chinese and everyone else who will work for less money than an American worker - everything else is just excuses.
I do have to add that when I am about to interview any Indians, I do tend to go over the resume a little bit more carefully than any one else'. They temd to exaggerate and even make up stuff a lot of times vs. others. Thoughts?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Visible Tweets

Not that we internet junkies need more stuff to waste time on, but "Visible Tweets" is a must-see for all twitter fans. Enter any search phrase into the app and watch as it pulls up all related tweets in a dazzlingly animated way with cool, color-changing backgrounds. It would make a very nice and impressive screensaver if they can turn it into one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No cupcake yet?

Well, T-Mobile has really messed it up this time. I was not around for the RC33 update for G1 so I cannot speak for it, but this has been too much. Cupcake, the much-touted 1.5 version of Android has been out for a while now for dev phones and as a stable release. T-Mobile customers have been eagerly awaiting cool new updates for the G1 like stereo blue-tooth and video recording.

T-Mobile had announced that cupcake will be provided as an OTA update for T-Mobile customers in the week of May 11th (checks date - yep, this week). Soon, the information changed to "end of the week of May 11th". So far, it is not here yet. How hard is it for a company to set a hard date - say, May 15th - and stick to it for the update? By making vague predictions, they are really making their customer anxious and run the risk of losing them if they make them too mad. Hopefully, they will learn from this and not repeat the process.

update: Looks like the rollout has been pushed back by another week now. Hopefully, T-Mobile has learned their lesson and will manage expectations better for the next rollout.