Saturday, December 31, 2005

Age conscious

Till I was 25 I felt I'm young, and irresponsible. But last year, on my 25th birthday it struck me hard that I can no longer be care free.

Suddenly I was matured. I was worried that I may not have enough time to achieve all my dreams. An year ago, I didn't care much about being employed. I would have quit the job just to go on a family vacation.

But now, it's not the same. I'm not quite sure whether I'm prepared to face the challenge of keeping up with my age. But again, it's not that much of a deal if I don't think about it. It's I who create the problem and worry over it...

Friday, December 30, 2005

2005 - 2006

Okay... another calendar year ends, and another starts. What do you expect? It started, so it has to end. We were born, so we shall die. (And in Buddhist belief, get reborn - That's why we aren't, logically, afraid to die)

People have made it a habit to set new goals and begin things fresh for a new year. But logically, they have the opportunity to do it every moment.

So I’m not wishing any thing different to any one or myself. Period.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


It’s been few days since I last blogged. My blogging frequency decreased during the past month or so. Nothing special… just that I wasn’t in a mood to do so.

I badly need a getaway vacation. I’m fed up with this constant routine of life... I’ve been working without a vacation for two and half years now... especially I haven’t gone on a trip for a really long time. Me being a travel loving person, with very limited number of interests in entertainment means... this really builds up stress.

We (Me, Sithira, NC and Chamini) are planning to go on a one day trip this Sunday. Hope I would feel a bit better after that...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Opera mini and mobichat

I found two wonderful software products for my phone. One is opera mini, the mobile internet browser I'm using to enter this post. And MobiChat a wonderful IM client for both MSN & Yahoo. Check them out if you are using a MIDP enabled mobile.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Problems of FOSS

Due to licensing costs our company is in the process of migrating from StarTeam to Subversion. And our project is the pilot project which first uses Subversion.

We are experiencing typical problems of FOSS. No one could be held accountable for critical defects the product has. (Not even our internal team who customized it) We never know when a defect would get fixed - if it ever gets fixed. There are hundred and one ways of doing one thing, and no way of doing another.

Now these are just the usage problems, the dev team who are dealing with customizing this must be facing much more…

Current FOSS are good - but not for serious business. If they are ever to be suitable for enterprise level usage, open source developers should be much more disciplined.

Ok… Now I’m open for all sorts of criticism on these comments… And I won’t fight back :D

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Best things that happened to me during 2005

I was going to list down the things that delighted me this year. The best things that happened to me. Then it struck me. Nothing special happened this year - I didn’t even changed jobs! So I’m setting the bar bit low… things in my life that I welcomed this year.

  • Family - yeah ok they were there from the beginning… but I welcomed their company this year

  • Best friends - Sithira and NC, they just ROCK. Best friends one could ever have. And of cause Chamini, NC’s girl friend. She moves alone with us trio quite nicely.

  • Pets - Mama Brownie and daughter Brownie who moved in with us to the annex in Nawala. Ayesha, Vinci, Joy and Xena at home in Kandy. It’s a pleasure to be welcomed home by them every day.

  • Mahamevna Buddhist monastery at Kundasale - it gave me the opportunity to gain good Karma.

  • Buddhist Society of Western Australia - Ajahn Brahm is worth listening to

  • Visual Studio 2005 - it just excites me

  • My Nokia 6230i - it fits my lifestyle

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Week long post

I had a bit long weekend - Thursday to Sunday. It’s quite refreshing to have some time off work and computers! But couldn’t enjoy it 100% because my niece was at home on Thursdays and half day Friday. While she’s a cute little girl it’s extremely difficult to bare with her for more than 2 hours. She keeps talking continuously without stopping from dawn till dusk. And we can’t just ignore her.

So on Thursday I went to NC’s and then to the temple with his family. We offered alms to the people who had taken precepts there and spent the whole day at the temple.

The day after (Friday) I took father to the town and while waiting for him did some shopping. Boy cloths are cheap in Kandy.

Saturday was the lazy day and this morning we gave alms to Mahamevna monastery. It’s our last alms offering this year. We have only one offering next year. Believe or not, every meal is booked for next year! May be we’ll find small temple some where else. But it’s some what difficult to find a temple where monks practice pure Buddhism.

Last week our team had some what their heads buried in Business Rule Engines. Rasika had found few implementations in Java but non in .NET. There are few commercial products available as well - but we aren’t considering them as options. Finally, Rasika decided to write one in his own. Nalin wanted him to add it to sourceforge. But I don’t think Rasika would. :-? May be I would...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What’s making us suffer?

Since I was in Colombo this weekend, I went to the office hoping to get some work done, so I won’t feel that bad when I take next Friday off :D. But unfortunately there were some dependencies to my work which were not in place. So I decided to play with my new installation of VS 2005 (yes I got it installed last week - and yes I know it’s been quite a while since others got hold of it - and also, manzi was right about it. With the 1 gig of RAM in my desktop VS rocks) while listening to a talk by Ajahn Brahmavamso, he was talking about how negative thinking affects our day today life, and how we could think positively about things that we don’t like. It was really inspiring to listen to that at the same time it had a fair amount of humour - the typical nature of his talks. So go ahead, listen to it :

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I got Gastritis!

For last few days I was experiencing unease. I felt flames and rumbling in stomach and hungry even just after meals. The unease and occasional pains can’t be described by words. First I thought it’s some kind of digestion problem. So I fasted for a day! By the end of that day I couldn’t bare the pain. I just couldn’t think of a solution. So today I told my symptoms to my sister. Surprise! She was confidant that I have gastritis!
Now that I know what I have - it feels worse. Especially when I know there’s no lasting cure for it. Earlier at least I had a hope this rumbling feeling in the stomach would go away.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Visio 2003 professional can’t generate code

I used to use Visio Edition that comes with Visual Studio to model my applications and generate skeleton code. It saves a lot of time. But this time I didn’t install Visio while installing VS as I already had Visio 2003 Pro installed in my system.

I modelled some packages and classes and then clicked UML menu… only to find out that code generation is not there. Searched the web to see whether there’s some sort of a plug-in to add that functionality but didn’t find any. I still can reverse engineer in to Visio from Visual Studio.

Does any one know of a solution? Other than to install Visio for Enterprise Architects?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Implementing Data Transfer Object in .NET with Serialized Objects is missing from ESP

Our .NET Webservice is accessed by a Java client, which in turn require to have similar types as our middle tier. So we thought of using the Data Transfer Object pattern. Now this pattern?s supposed to have two implementation examples, one using typed datasets and other using serialized objects. But the latter is not available in MSDN

But the pattern page has a reference to this which in turn discusses usage of typed datasets and arrays.

But I personally feel that Implementing DTO in .NET with Serialized Objects is just what its name suggests. I?m thinking of having an object XMLSerialized and transferred. May be schema would be shared between the consumers so the types could be validated.

Any body have used this?

Monday, December 05, 2005


I found this wonderful outlook plug-in today, which has feed reading plus blog publishing capabilities together with all other functionality you’d expect in a blogging tool. So far, it’s awesome.

So if you are using outlook, check this out

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Today I had the opportunity to interview some applicants to the Associate Software Engineer designation. Basically what’s expected from us (myself and other interviewers) was to evaluate the applicants’ skills highlighting and commenting on their strong areas and weak areas and to recommend whether to go forward with the second round of interviews or not based on our overall impression of the candidate.

The areas that we covered included their past projects involvements, object oriented concepts, knowledge of algorithms, data structures etc., Programming language and Programming platform specific knowledge, Knowledge of database concepts and products, the scope of exposure in to a verity of technical domains, knowledge of software development processes’ etc.
Based on today’s experience I’d like to advise who ever is seeking a career not only at Virtusa but any other place for that matter.

1.) Don’t say you know something unless you really do. Not verbally - not in your CV.
2.) When you speak of projects that you have done, be sure to mention the extent of your involvement in that project. It makes a real bad impression when you have mentioned real good projects in your CV but you do not have enough knowledge of that domain and technologies used.
3.) Make sure you have adequate knowledge of the technologies you mention in your CV. If you don’t know it - don’t mention it. (It creates a real bad impression when you mention that your core technology is C# .NET and you aren’t able to give an overall description of the .NET Framework.)
4.) Be sure to prepare yourself before hand. Take time to find out what is expected of the role you have applied for and what knowledge is required. For example an ASE at Virtusa is expected to have good analytical and problem solving skills, know the fundamentals required for software engineering (object oriented concepts, UML, data structures, common algorithms, basics of databases etc.) together with a reasonable knowledge of at least one language and a programming domain plus flair knowledge of a database product. Knowledge of software development processes, testing, networking etc. would be advantageous. Your ability to express yourself and the attitude also plays a major role.

Having said all that, it should also be mentioned that ultimately it all depends on the person who interviews you. Some people interview to prove that they are better than the interviewee, some people can’t tell the difference between an exam and an interview (I saw some interviewers getting the candidates to write answers to question papers - which is not what’s expected of an interview.), some people want to eliminate all possible challenges to them while what is expected from an interviewer is to have an open mind towards the interviewee with the clear intension of evaluating whether he/she is fit for the job or not. It’s true that it’s not fair, but let’s face it. Life is never fair

Even though Virtusa as a company tries to eliminate this kind of anomalies it’s really difficult to achieve it in a large organization like it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tightened security

There are notices at every entrance requesting to declare DVDs, CDs, USB devices, laptops, palmtops etc. when entering office premises. It is prohibited to bring those items in. we have to leave them at the security! It’s becoming more like living in a high security zone.

I sent a mail to the network administrator regarding my blog being blocked and categorized as pornography. I expressed that I have no objection about blocking it but I consider categorizing it as pornography is damaging to my reputation and is an insult. And I urged him to have it re-evaluated. No action has been taken so far and he didn’t even have the courtesy even to reply.

That is one of the main problems I see around here. The Finance, Administration and MIS departments, some how has the perception that the Developers and QAs are below them in the company hierarchy. They never seem to realize that it is us who earn them their salaries. They should at least show us some politeness than this. And the management doesn’t seem to do any thing to change that.

BS 7799 Security Standard

My employer is pursuing BS 7799. We went through training on security awareness and the environment began to change. Network security was tightened (my blog got categorized as porn) We were required to maintain a clean desk (Every time I need to check the requirements document I have to get the locker key from my pocket open the locker, get the document, read it, put it back in the locker, lock the locker… all because it has “confidential” printed in the footer), asked to remove the class diagrams and ER diagrams which were on display, remove all file shares and lock the machines when we leave the desk… few good practices and some nonsense. For instance this is the first time I saw a software development company which doesn’t have class diagrams pasted on cubicle walls…
Every now and then BS 7799 auditors roam around, we should be prepared to answer them at all times… and before we talk to them we should lock our machines first, put all the documents in the locker… and so on.