Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bridging The Gap Between Theory And Real Life

Wouldn't it be good to have a reality check for what is being taught at Schools? Yes, for sure. But it wouldn't happen if Academia doesn't respect people who really work and come back to teach.  

If my opinion counted, I'd argue that any academic department worthy of note should include a group of faculty with a long experience of the day-to-day of industrial software development. They would be valued on how they had reflected on this experience and drew from the lessons to inform their teaching and research. I'd like to see a regular rotation of people from the academic to the industrial world, where it's common to see people spend several years in industry, then academia, then industry again, and so on. This problem isn't only in software.

A friend of mine had the chief engineer role in one of the most challenging engineering projects in the world. He fancied a stint in academia, but was only able to get a second-class position reserved for people who weren't considered to be real academics, certainly not something that was tenured or would lead to tenure. I find it hard to believe that students wouldn't gain an enormous amount from being taught by people with a long and thoughtful experience in the profession they are entering.

Source: AcademicRotation

I always believed that 'it doesn't matter how much you know, but how much you can apply' in real life.  And unfortunately, many a times, what is being taught in school is too far away from real life (already outdated or doesn't reflect what is relevant). So, it would be worthwhile for Professors and Teachers to go to the real world and take feedback from real life experiences into their teachings.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In Plain English : Dell Says 'Good Support' Is Not Free

The days of 'Free' Customer service looks to be over. At least a quality customer service is. This comes to me (and I am sure for most of you) as a big surprise, but I guess we all have to get used to this.

Occasionally, "we've heard from customers that it's hard to understand a particular accent and that they couldn't understand the instructions they were getting," said Dell spokesman Bob Kaufman.

So, Dell introduced a Support Service called as 'Your Tech Team' Service, that promises that Technical Experts are from North America (instead of Bangalore, India for instance) and average wait time would be less than 2 minutes.

Sounds Great, finally Dell heard the Customers. Not quite. This service is not for every Dell customer that purchases a Dell product, but only for those who pay an additional $12.95 a month to receive this 'premium' service.

And Dell Spokesman put a PR spin to this 'Pay if You need Good Customer Support' service,

"This illustrates Dell's commitment to customer choice." -Dell spokesman Bob Kaufman

In Plain English, Dell is saying 'Good Customer Support' is not Free and if you need a Customer Support that you can understand (ie., accent free), you must pay $12.95 a month.

If Dell really understand customers that they have difficultly in understanding instructions by its Global (ie., outsourced) support team, why not replace it with a better customer support that is local, for free.

Source: The Bangalore Backlash: Call Centers Return to U.S



After thinking for a while, I guess, I am already getting used to this new idea. If a company promises a quick (like Dell promising within 2 minutes) response and provide me a customized service for me, I guess I am ready to pay for it. I am not thrilled by a NA associate to responding to my call, as I can understand lots of accentuated instructions, and also I felt some times, that NA associates aren't any better (they are much worse in many cases). Job hopping is a normality in NA and I don't expect any better service from an NA associate if they haven't worked in that particular job for some good time. And on average, most doesn't spend any good time on any job. So it goes without saying what we can expect of them. And it is equally difficult to find a person to be in NA and doesn't have an accent anyways.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little fog for a great day start in dallas

After a freezing couple of days, today looks much better with temp reaching 60s. Little fog early in the morning, but not a problem to cruise.





Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Placebo Effect - How drug companies make you sick?

Placebo effect can be used by drug companies to make you sick. See all those depression ads. See all those advertisements that say 1 in 10 has this cancer or drug, so go for

this addtional testing or


take this medicine.

Placebo effect can work this way too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Obama,Oprah and One Change They Both Need

Barack obama and Oprah have inspired millions of people, not just in USA but across the world.

However, this week they both admitted, they are in need of some motivation to keep their addictions under control.

Obama smokes cigarettes, even now. He could win USA presidential elections but he couldn't win over his own addiction of smoking.

Oprah couldn't control her own body weight and shape. She is, by her own admission, out of shape.

I guess both of them need a little bit of motivation and little change in their mindset that it is not okay to let it loose. The whole world is looking up to them.

When some body says, (s)he is not perfect, they really mean it. It's our fault to mean it otherwise.

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...