Saturday, July 31, 2010

Software and Life

It has been close to two years since I have stopped my writing (As if I have been writing a lot before!). Lots of things have happened in those two years. Found some new friends, lost some old friends, met some new faces, missed some old ones, gained some weight and lost some more hair. Also I started doing the office work only at day time, so got more time to read and understand my surroundings better. May be it is interesting to read those thoughts again ten years down the line, so giving second life to my blog. Yes, in these two years I have also started to speak english, so thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the blog in english.

My topic for the day is Software and Life. So far both Software and Life have been quite interesting and challenging for me, and both are my favourite topics for the study also. After working in software for many years, I started to realize impact that it can have on our life. Looking closely at our day to day life, I felt many things can be made better by applying software methodologies.

One of the key elements in software is defects. How difficult would it be to solve all those defects without having a defect management process? Similar to those defects, every individual has defects, defects in our behavior, defects in the way we lead our life, defects in the way we look at things. What if we list all those defects which we think need to be solved in a light defect management system. By doing so it would be easy to prioritize few things that we really want to change and focus on them. This doesn’t solve those issues, but definitely give us an indication as whether we are really doing any progress in improving our personality. Sounds silly in one angle but makes sense from other!

The other use of the defect management system is to record the fights. We actually started recording all our recent fights, their reasons and resolutions in a google document, so that we can refer to that during our next fight! In fact I even thought of setting up a proper defect management tool like bugzilla first, but immediately realized that it would be an overkill as we don’t fight that often :) I felt it is quite useful if you really want to reduce the fights or want to avoid having the same fights again and again. The only difficult part is the root cause analysis, ie coming to a conclusion on the resolution without the help from third party. But that is not so difficult as long as the purpose is to find the resolution rather than trying to win the argument. One of the interesting things I have observed is how close the data relates to a software project. You might be aware of the 80-20 rule in software, which is applicable in a number of circumstances. 80% of the time only 20% of the code will be in execution. 20% of the people actually do the 80% of work. 80% of the defects are actually caused by 20% of the code etc etc. While closely observing the fights that I had with my wife, noticed that 80% of the fights are actually caused by 20%(or even less) of the reasons. And also 80% of the fights are actually started by my wife! So in theory if my wife concentrates on those 20%, I wouldn’t need to update my excel sheet again! If I get some more clients for this approach, I might even observe that 80% of fights actually happen in 20% of the families!

The third aspect is the requirement management. For me it is the wish list management or the bucket list. Bucket list is another google document having a list of tasks that I wanted to complete in next 2 or 5 years. Have a reminder of that list once a month so that you will go through the list once in a month. In fact I have added a task to restart my blog a year back. With 0% progress from last one year, there is some progress now. Probably I would have forgotten if I hadn’t put there. Even if it doesn’t help, I am sure it would be funny if I look at that couple of years from now...

There might be many more cases where we can use the concepts in totally different ways. Let me know if you have found some interesting one...

PS:If you have taken the trouble to reach till here, hope you wouldn't mind throwing your comments.