Well gone are the days when our forefathers fought for our freedom from the foreigners. We seem to be selling ourselves back to them today just in smaller proportions. I don’t realize why we can’t go on our 2 week summer vacation when the client is taking it. Even in those 2 weeks we are expected to complete a phase in the software development lifecycle. Is this what we want? If the client has made a mistake and expects us to rectify it before delivery, why are we obliging. Would a self respecting white man sacrifice his super bowl to complete a deliverable, then why should I miss my tri-series final? Why would I need to take calls in my sleeping time just because it’s the clients working time?
These are certain things that have been bothering me ever since I first started working. If I have my working hours between 9:30am and 6:30pm, the client better communicate to me during that time. I don’t want to sit late in office just because I have to speak to a guy sitting across the world. That’s what mails are for. If the guy cant clearly communicate on mails, he is not fit to be giving me work to do and should be happy with what I provide. I have seen people saying, it’s ok I will finish the work over the weekend. We can include the change request in this deliverable itself. And I see the poor coder come to office on Saturday and Sunday while the client is holidaying in the Alps and the PM is happily watching a movie at Sathyam cinemas.
To this my PM says, see in projects we need to do this else they will go to another vendor. So are we still playing on rates? It’s been life over 25years since we first started this software services offshore model and we still are not fighting for deals on quality but on price. Clients will understand, as the last minute change was because of their own mistake. Not the mistake of the offshore folks. Tell them that right now I will not be able to take the request, let’s deal with it in the warranty phase. Right now it’s too late to be included. They will surely understand. If they don’t, dude they are just trying to exploit you – nothing more nothing less. You are just losing you freedom to them.
Well are only the client partners and project managers responsible for this state. No it’s the coder himself. Well India is where most of the time the coder is single and is anyway not doing much in the weekend. So instead of spending time in the scorching heat at home, I might as well spend some time in office where AC and internet are added benefits. This is the problem, early on in life everyone has the pleasure of having time on their hands and so don’t see the harm they are doing to the society at large by working those extra hours either to complete the work or to impress their bosses. Once they get to 4-5 yrs of being in a respectable job and the salary touches half a lakh a month, they get married and then the problem starts. The wife complains, the kids grow, the parents age all while you are at office trying to impress your client. But then it’s too late to change your style, as you see the host of MVP awards, a looming onsite opportunity all because your boss thinks you are a slave to do whatever work they give and you please them by being the very slave they want.
Fear of clients. Fear of losing the deal isn’t one sided. The client is as much in the relationship as you. Though the client has many more suitors waiting to woo them if they break the wedlock, we too have a million other clients. This wasn’t thought by me, it was by one annachi who spent his hard earned money starting a departmental store and concentrated on volumes rather than quality of customers. I am speaking of Saravana Stores. They didn’t want the rich and mighty who made purchases for over 5k per month. They rather preferred 100 guys who made purchases of 50 per month. That way even if they lose a customer they would have only lost 50bucks and there are many other customers around who wouldn’t mind shelling that 50bucks.
IT is no different. Today we are talking about shared services, cloud computing, so on and so forth. What is this but saying let’s target the smaller section of the audience too. Let’s get 100 guys who give us 50 each and provide them the service alongside the guy who is paying us 5k. It’s taken IT gurus over 20years to crack what a small town man did many many years ago and today has each of his son running stores of all types starting from groceries to jewellery.
So in summation, I just tell my PM, leave the relationship to me, but I will not agree to sit in office post 6:30. Whoever it is coder, project lead, project manager, client partner. Stop selling yourself to no ends. Lets keep our head high and say, this is how we work like it take it else we have our own set of clients who are happy and I will survive anyhow without you. It has to start somewhere, why not here?