Sunday, February 21, 2010

design patters my foot

for the past few days, i was browsing through some of the interview questions on object oriented designing. what was peppered around the questions where, prospective candidates carelessly throwing out jargon of design patterns.

i don't know if they fully comprehend these design patterns to the fullest to make such a commentary on their usage, but i know that being constricted to rules often lets you settle for less optimum solutions.

i find design patterns to be useless. for some, i have committed heresy. because they introduce restrictions to our thought processes. if we apply ourselves to it, i am sure we will be able to build up designs in level with the design patterns. this however will come with experience.

and jargons were only created for the deceits to cover their tracks!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

one night at on an i.t. company

so chetan bhagat wrote one night at a call center. not having read that book, and judging the book by its cover, i believe i can surmise it to be a story of a person who works at the call center.

now i imagine, what would be one night in an i.t. company. basically when you are rushing towards a deadline, i.t. folks usually bend their backs to meet them. as if they already weren't, considering the fact that the projects themselves were won on the unrealistic time spans and cheap cost.

come deadlines and you will find the i.t. folks stay back till wee hours of the morn, and most probably successful in meeting the deadlines. i have worked in an i.t. company sometime ago, when we weren't heading towards a deadline. so things were calm. this wasn't the case with the team at the other side of the room. they were for as long as i can remember, working towards mysterious deadlines. and as is the case everywhere, women are let go much earlier than their male counterparts ( this is what i had seen and experienced, not that i have a problem with it) and leave their onus on the folks staying back, adding more to the list.

so to complete this story, one night at an i.t. company is a sausage fest.


p.s.: sorry if you had any expectations :P

Monday, February 08, 2010

sex and the mindset

the only reason why sex is such a hush hush topic is because it is not as open as talking or drinking coffee in a cafe, for the good or for the bad. and it being a natural "thing" should be dismissed just as one of those things that people do like talking or drinking coffee.

however a civilization will never let that happen.


Monday, February 01, 2010

pedantic vs pedestrian

just recently, i presented this question to a bunch of my friends eliciting interesting thought processes. here it goes.

> ME
What are your thoughts ?

There is a problem statement. There are a group of experts on that statement ( say 15 -20 ) in a room. There are a 10000-50000 thousand people ( read the general population, that includes people from a cross section of variety of fields, you know knowledgeble, educated kinds) in another room.

Whom do you think will come up with better solution to the problem. The problem can be anything.

>Friend #1
I guess it will depend on the question. Lets say for eg an FMCG company comes out with some product and they are stuck up, in this case more the number of people better is the result. I guess that’s why Market research is such an important entity in these times.

Case 2: Company x wants to launch its IPO. In such a situation the 10-15 SMEs will provide a better solution.

If you are talking in a general sense, then assuming that the 10k-50k people are educated,the latter will provide a better solution.

>Friend #2:
I disagree.

I would say a group of experts will always come up with a better solution provided they are open to fresh opinions. (read some sample from the other room).

@Friend #1: you’re going into an altogether different trajectory. You’re combining two different fundas and coming with a wrong conclusion. Market research is different from decision making. Taking your example, lets say ITC wants to market its two new cigar products. One is Columbian, you know privileged kind and other is mass product a la king Edwards. People in 1st room will do market research and come up with sales and marketing strategy based upon responses from 2nd room but decision will theirs. 2nd room is just sample population.

Another fact is bell curve. Decision making time considerably goes down as number of people increases after a certain point of time. That’s why we have reprsentatives.

No information is exchanged between rooms, but information is exchanged inside the rooms.

>Friend #2
that was just an example. 2nd room can be outside world.

>Friend #1
I understand that Market research is only a basis to reach the solution and not the soultion itself. That said,its part of the solution all right. The experts from ITC will not be able to reach the solution without the data retrieved from MR.

Another fact is that experts are rigid with their views, and assuming that they are not allowed to take outside views, the solution might not be the best possible answer. I will still go with the larger group of people and then get some rep from among them to conclude the preccedings and come out with one common solution


I agree with Friend #1's stance but with a different argument. Taking reference to what Friend #1 posted in his firstly reply, it can be concluded that the accuracy of the decision or say the guidance to the correct solution is derived from the benefactor of the solution / decision to the said problem. Thus in the first case, the public was the benefactor ( in a way) so the public opinion mattered a lot more as the product was going to be manufactured ( or whatever) as per the constraints of the public ( ideally all opinions would have been met, in reality some are omitted ). In the second case, the company was the prime benefactor and hence the decisions were to be made by those who were completely aware of the environment of which they needed to take a decisino on.

Now in room #2 , there are, as I stated earlier, educated people, knowledgible people. Solutions to problems are more often than not a result of mere a) common sense b) observation of surroundings of the environment c) experience around which the decision has to be made. So if the dataset is small ( read common sense , observation / experience) then the chances of being "aware" or whatever are statistically lesser, despite the fact that they are experts. Lesser is always relative. Lesser here is in the terms of the 50k population, where the dataset itself is so huge that the experience (say) itself counters the solution purported by the smaller dataset. Here you are using mere 1 attribute ( not the 3 attributes listed earlier, but you might/can as well use all 3). We as humans have a learning mechanism, because of which we rely more on experience and then fall back upon common sense or whatever.

Taking your (Friend #2 argument of a bell curve, and assuming that the argument made (because it wasnt clear to me) was that the decision if plotted for the 50k dataset will result in a bell curve because they are the general audience ( and their solution would be average case) is wrong because there you are considering that each of the 50k come up with their own solution ( and thus contrasting against the solution of 15 - 20 experts), which obviously has to fail. But if there was a suitable environment / system where the solution were modeled based on the inputs of the 50k dataset, then it will either a) align with what the experts suggested b) surpass it by a long shot.

And obviously, decision making time will increase but if we have that controlled, I believe that the decision made by the general audience in a shared environment will result in a "more optimal" solution than suggested by the experts.

>Friend #1
BTW, Why did u ask the question in first place? (out of curiosity)

>Friend #2

Consider this scenario now…

Building spaceship.

Problem Statement: Whom do you think will come up with better solution to the problem. The problem can be anything.

1st Room: Experts on that problem

2nd room: general public (knowledgeable but not necessarily experts in that field)

Any decision has to be made on data. In case of FMCG, that data comes from MR and in case of satellite building, it comes from experience and knowledge.

Any decision making requires considerable knowledge, expertise and experience to lessen the risks involved. Even the FMCG decision requires knowledge and expertise. Just on the basis of MR we can’t launch the product. We have many other constraints like when, how, where to enter the market etc… hence solution provided by experts will always be better provided they are open to fresh ideas.

>Friend #1
as I said the answer is very situation specific. In general sense however the larger group will provide a better idea (space ship building me the scientists will not even bother to get public opinion. Since the question has been put up, I assume that it will be for a situation where public participation can be debated, unlike space ship or IPO or nuclear power plants etc.)


Well, as I said earlier, the prime benefactors of the decision in case of building the spaceship arent the general public, it is the organization that is intending to build ( which is only meant for public consumption once it is operational). In your argument about FMCG, the aspect of problem that you are addressing is different to what i am addressing. In your scenario, the prime benefactors are the company whose benefit is to maximize the profits or whatever. The aspect that I am addressing is shaping and manufacturing the product itself, and in htis scenario, the mass opinion will be more helpful.

To re-iterate, the accurate decision, IMO depends on the benefactors of the solution to the problem and hence the actors the general mass and the expert vary.

@Friend #1: I dunno. It just struck to me, when I was reading an article on whale hunting on / some video (not sure). The gist was: A user(s) had posted a simple statement on which asked the Japan government to ban whale hunting. The popularity of a statement is dependent on the votes associated to that statement / link or content. It took time but in a matter of months, this statement alone forced the Japan government to introduce the ban, due to its popularity. So this made me think, in a hypothetical scenario if the public is given an opportunity to decide something on a problem, and then say submit their decision in a restricted time and present it to teh local government, the government then can go over its feasibility (budgeting and crap) and take a decision to finally go ahead with it. This way the people will be responsible for the change around them and will give enough gauge to the public on governments performance to make a decision in the next elections.

Or even yet let not the public (lazy people) arrive at a solution but atleast point out the problem to the government by an online (say) voting mechanism and submit that issue.

Lastly, as an offshoot, if we were to model a game: with a reasonable lively interaction ( so as the people dont get bored of it), and model disasters or crisis or whatever, and the folks have to improve a situation, over a period of time, we are sure to get a VERY interesting / effecient techniques to say govern, distribution of supplies etc. And if we model them around real / recent ones, then once these models have matured enough, they can provide a better light to launch relief efforts and bring back normalcy. And the large audience who would participate in such a game would be users of Facebook. I know of people who spend most of their day playing mafia wars and farmville, so why not this ? But the big IF is that the modelling should be really carefully done and is very difficult.

>Friend #1:
You just gave a perfect example of Democracy. That said in the business sense of the word, democracy might not be the best option always. Whe I buy a share of a company, I actually buy the voting rights. I can vote for any decision the company makes. That said the company is not obliged to listening to me. They will only hear me out.

This works only in decisions where the onus lies with the government (talking of democratic countries) like the example you sighted

now only 2 of 5 participated in the discussion and the current state of the discussion is thus. however for a question of this nature, it needs to be put to the masses and i believe that would be a more accurate result to what is discussed above (not denying in anyway the truthfulness of the discussion so far).

what are your thoughts?