Monday, April 27, 2009

A Self-confessed Slave


“For people who are stupid, we say that they lack a brain. Figuratively, we associate a condition with an organ and say that that organ is missing. So if someone is weak and pliable, we say that they lack a spine or a backbone. Someone cruel and inhuman, we refer to as heartless. With the lack of courage, we associate gutlessness. Emasculation has obvious connections. So I was wondering: which organ or part of the body is there an association with ethics? If someone lacks all sense of morality and ethics, what part of the body are they missing?”

Though the context of original article is different, these words carry much broader meaning.

In my sense dealing with a cruel person is far easier than dealing with unethical person. Moral consciousness is the ability by means of which we perceive what is good and what is bad. In my opinion those who lack sense of morality are deaf and those who lack ethics are blind.

We we are placed in a situation to judge based on arguments from either side we are expected to show morality. That is why I feel lack of morality is like being deaf.

Similarly ethics are intangible. They are just perceived. But only those with an eye can perceive them. Thus in my opinion those who lack ethics are blind.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Project task types

Often I get confused about kind of task to pickup while adding tasks in project. More than confusion it is like self-contradiction.

Today I thought of making my own notes about ‘Fixed Type’, ‘Fixed Duration’, Fixed Work’ kind of tasks with “Effort Driven” option. This is very much subjective in nature and differs in different contexts.  But having a context as a reference can help making better judgment.

Fixed Units

Let us assume a scenario

Need following kind of resources to perform a task
1) Architect - 1 - 50%
2) Development Lead - 1 - 100%
3) Full-time developers - 2 - 100%
4) Test Lead - 1 - 100%
5) Full-time testers - 2 - 100%
6) Tech writer - 1 - 50%
7) Designer - 1    - 25%

Initial estimate to complete this task is 10 days.

After 4 days, team realizes that it actually takes 2 additional days(total of 12 days) to complete the task.

Without "effort driven" option
All resources will be charged for 12 days as per units (%), thus increasing cost of the task. Even adding additional resources will not help in completing task within 10 days.

With "effort driven" option
There is a possibility to add resources in order to complete task within 10 days. However the total cost of the task will be same as above.

These are such tasks where we hard-lock resources and monitor duration. As task progresses and understanding of task improves, "effort driven" option can be exercised to meet schedules by adding more resources. But this is not commonly practiced for this kind of tasks.


Here cost of task and duration(within permissible period) is dynamic but resource availability is constrained. Normally core team is assigned with Fixed unit kind of tasks.

Fixed Work

In this mode "Effort Driven" option is default and can not be changed.

These are such types of tasks where know-how is well known but resource availability is not fixed. Moreover these type of tasks can span across comfortable durations. If target date gets postponed, resources become free accordingly. For some reason if work-effort increases or work-units reduce, duration increases accordingly.


Here cost of task is fixed but duration is dynamic (within acceptable period). Duration can be minimized based on resource availability.

Fixed duration

These are time constrained tasks. Where we start with experts and try to demystify complications as soon as possible. Then exercise "Effort Driven" option to meet target dates by adding additional resources.


Here duration is fixed but cost and resources are not constrained. Theses are like “support” kind of tasks where business continuity is involved.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Know your polling station

If you are in Cyberabad region, you can get to know the location of polling station at

First get your polling station number from then check for polling station number under police station from above site.

Looking for route is a bit tedious task, but the image resolution is good enough. You can zoom in and check for Route number and polling station number

Excellent work done by Cyberabad police.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ABB Opens New Automation Products Plant In India


ABB has inaugurated its green field automation products facility near Bangalore, India, to manufacture automation products.

Spread over 18 acres, the factory will manufacture products such as air circuit breakers, switch fuse units, molded-case circuit breakers, low- and medium-voltage drives and systems, high-power rectifiers, static excitation systems and main and auxiliary traction converters, among others.

Commending ABB’s growth in the last six to seven years, Sjoekvist notes that the virtual debt-free status and a healthy order backlog will help ABB tide over the global economic crisis. “Improving energy efficiency and focus on renewable energy were key factors in adding value,” he says

What Went Wrong Ethically in the Economic Collapse


“Shoo. You can’t attend this meeting. We are going to discuss things here that you will tell me I shouldn’t do. I don’t want that on the record and you can’t stop me.”

ABB will enhance productivity at BMW


ABB has signed a frame agreement with BMW Group to deliver 2,100 industrial robots over five years, beginning in 2010

The robots will be applied in parts handling, gluing and spot welding on car-body assembly lines for BMW's 1-series, 3-series, X5-series and Mini models.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

GMail is 5 year old

On April 2 GMail turned 5. I switched to GMail on 8/30/04. Since then it is serving as my primary web mail ID.

When I started it offered me 1 GB free space and on today it offers 7GB+. I still trying catching up my 1 GB.

GMail made possible easy to archive and label. Also kind of never delete a mail is a reality now.

Search within mail is awesome. Stars, filters, key short cuts. More to that it offers authentication to blogger and many other services. One feature that I feel like having is auto archive the ones that are labeled after configured time span.

Anyway it wonderful journey with GMail so far and I assume that GMail will stay for ever and ever.

MOSS 2007 designer is free now


Starting from April 01 Microsoft is offering MOSS2007 designer free.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Getting default browser’s path

Following registry keys hold default browser’s application path

1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\open\command

2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\http\shell\open\command

As expected there is no consistency here. We tested following browsers

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702
  2. Mozilla Firefox 3.0.7
  3. Google Chrome
  4. Opera 9.63
  5. Apple Safari 3.2.1 (525.27.1)

First options works for all browsers except Safari. Second option is not very much recommended. Following code snippet extracts browser path from open command.

using System.Text.RegularExpressions;
using Microsoft.Win32;
RegistryKey regKey = Registry.ClassesRoot.OpenSubKey(@"\http\shell\open\command");
string[] valnames = regKey.GetValueNames();
string val0 = (string)regKey.GetValue(valnames[0]);
Regex regex = new Regex("[\\w\\W\\d]*.exe\"",RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);
Match match = regex.Match(val0);

Top quality teamwork tips

Quoted from

Mastering the Art of Teams and Team-Building: 10 Tips for Top-Quality Teamwork by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.


Working in teams is inevitable. For years now, organizational leaders have recognized the added value that comes from having employees work in formal or informal teams, but over the last two decades even greater emphasis has been placed on work teams. Several studies indicate that more than 80 percent of organizations employ multiple types of workplace teams.

Team-building and teamwork skills are essential in the workplace and highly desirable skills to possess when seeking a new job or promotion. Teams working at their potential generate more productivity and better solutions than if all the individual members had worked independently.

How can you be a better team member? How can you get your team to work more effectively as a team? How can you lead your team to success? Here are 10 tips for creating better teams.

1. Foster Open Communications. The best teams are those in which every member shares their thoughts and opinions with the group, and where decision-making is based on dialogue and not dictatorship. But open communication is not just about having an atmosphere in which people can talk freely -- it's also about team members listening to each other and valuing each other's opinions. If your team lacks open communications, bring it up at your next team meeting.

2. Build Trust. Trust is the cornerstone of all effective teams. Without trust, there really is no team, just a collection of individuals working together. Teams need to develop to a point where every member trusts that every other member will do the work required and be an active member of the team. One of the trendy methods of trust-building is having team participate in a ropes-challenge course, where teams work together to solve problems.

3. Set Clear Goals. A team without specific goals will not nearly be as effective as a team with goals. Goals should be specific, including a deadline for completion. But goals should not necessarily always come from the leader of the team; all goals should be discussed by the entire team, especially in situations in which deadlines will be tight.

4. Review Progress. Once goals have been set, the team frequently goes off to complete all the tasks to achieve its goal. This scenario is perfectly fine, except that in too many instances, new information or actions can affect the goal's completion. Thus, teams benefit from conducting regular check-ins with all team members -- perhaps something as often as weekly -- to review progress and iron out any wrinkles or overcome obstacles that have arisen.

5. Encourage Cooperation, not Competition. Despite being placed in teams with co-workers competing with you for your next promotion, you must find a way to collaborate with every member of the team. One of the worst labels in the workplace is that of “not being a team player.” You will be plenty of time to showcase your personal accomplishments, but without your cooperation, your team may not succeed. Collaboration is a must.

6. Focus on Professionalism. The reality of life is that we all have certain types of personalities that clash with our own, but for teams to work, you have to put aside these petty differences and focus on the positive aspects of all team members. Remember that you are not forging lifelong friendships with your team, you simply need to work together to achieve your goals. Downplay people's negative traits and focus on their positives – just as they will yours.

7. Celebrate Differences/Diversity. One of the best trends in society, as well as the workplace, has been a growing diversity of people -- by race, ethnicity, gender, and age. Diversity introduces new ways of thinking and leads to new ideas and better decisions. Rather than feeling uncomfortable that most of the team does not look or act like you, celebrate their individual differences and the value that each brings to the team.

8. Be Enthusiastic. Even if you generally prefer to work by yourself, the reality you are face is that teams in the workplace are here to stay. One way to make the best of the situation is to jump into the team experience with as much enthusiasm as possible. Enthusiasm is contagious, so not only will your enthusiasm help you feel better about being a team member, it will lead other team members to also become more enthusiastic.

9. Share the Work/Do the Work. The best teams are those in which each member plays a vital part in work that results in superior performance; thus it is imperative that each member not only feels he or she plays a vital role, but actually does so. But sharing the work is only part of the equation. The other part is that once the work has been assigned, each team member must be accountable to complete the tasks. Much as been written about the “free-rider” problem within teams, but with individual accountability within the team, people cannot hide from their team responsibilities.

10. Clarify Responsibilities to the Team. Often one of the main causes of team members not completing their work is not because they are “slackers,” but because they simply do not understand their role on the team -- or the importance that their work will lend to the team. The key here is that each team member must totally understand his or her role on the team and responsibility to the team so the team can succeed.

Final Thoughts
Your work life will include individual and team projects and assignments, and as you move up the organization, the importance of working well in teams -- and leading teams to success -- will gain more and more value. If you take these 10 tips to heart, your satisfaction with teamwork and your performance on the team will improve greatly.