Saturday, June 30, 2012

Political Parties Policies on Liquor

Whenever I read news about liquor and fightings on liquor by different political parties, I could never understand what are they trying to achieve by that. There are different proposals by different political parties, and there are different things that were tried in the past.

Complete Prohibition

Almost all the social drinkers would be against it saying, people know what is good and what is bad, and government should not control the moral.

Mafia may increase in this case.

People may go for adulterated liquor and damage the health or life.

Establishing Liquor Shops by Auctioning

Maximum revenue to the government, since, the liquor shops are auctioned in open competition. Even in small towns, the revenue per shop is more than Rs.1 crore.

Since, the shops are paying significantly high price for the license fee, they sell liquor more than the MRP.

Because of that, not all poor people can buy. In many villages and small towns, the liquor shops give liquor as a loan, and collect the money on friday/saturday, when the people get their salaries.

Still, for few people, it is too expensive. So, they may go for adulterated liquor and damage their health and life. Some time back, in Andhra Pradesh, few people died due to adulterated liquor, and since then this issue has increased significantly.

Establishing Liquor Shops by Lottery

In this method, government fixes the license fee based on the area. If more than one participant is interested in that, then government gives the license to one applicant by lottery.

Other than the reduction in the revenue to the government and increase of the profit to the licensee, I don't see any difference when compared to auctioning.

Once the shop is established, everybody tries to get maximum income. Nobody would try to get less income, just because, they spent less money as the investment. Let's suppose, when the shop was auctioned, and somebody bought it for Rs.1 crore, and he was getting income of Rs.1.5 crore and profit of Rs.50 Lakh. Now, to the same person, if the shop is sold for Rs.50 lakh, why would he try to get income less than Rs.1.5 crore, and profit less than Rs.1 crore? If he cannot maintain the income, then he is unfit to do any business. I don't think, any liquor shop owner in A.P is unfit to do business.

Other than loss of revenue to the government, I don't think this method would have any other change when compared to auctioning.

Running Liquor Business by the Government

Since, the liquor is sold at cheaper price, many people would buy liquor and they will damage their health.

The revenue would reduce significantly, because, government sells for MRP. (Private shops sell for much higher price than the MRP.)

Selecting a policy for liquor is like, selecting a stone to break your head.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pair Programming

In any big project, the people in that project would be having different skills at different levels. The skill set can be different in design, coding, performance optimization, or the knowledge of the existing functionality, code base, coming up with scenarios etc.

When the developers are working independently, if they don't have all the skills, then the feature may not be complete in all the areas. They may implement the functionality, but, it may not scale, or, they may come up with good design, but, misses many scenarios. In those cases, typically what happens is, two ore more developers would be working on the feature one after another. After the first developer implements with the skills that they have, second developer takes over and fixes the issues. If one developer implements the functionality without any performance, second developer may optimize that for performance. If one implements with good design and provides good framework, another one may add all the scenarios. In most of these cases, the second developer would be re-writing what the first one had written. After re-writing, the first one would review it, to make sure, they did not lose anything in re-writing.

If both the developers sit together and implement the functionality, then it would take less time than both implementing individually, one after another. When they do it together, they would be covering all aspects first time itself, and it would save significant time.

Pair programming does not work well, if one is having very good skills in all areas when compared to the other. In that case, it would become like, one dictating the code and the other typing, or one typing and other just watching. It works very well, when both have skills in different areas or almost equal skills in all areas.

I have seen re-writing of the code by different people many times in the name of review, bug fixes or improving performance. Many times, it could have been avoided, if they had thought about the solution together.

Eventhough, Pair Programming is a good practice in general, it is not followed by many. When two people work together, the immediate question that is asked by many people is, why cannot one person work on that? It is difficult to answer, because, it is very difficult to tell something like, "I don't know ABC's of the existing functionality, and the other developer does not have good design skills". It is almost impossible to tell this to the manager. If the developers are of opposite sex, then they may face different issues.

Pair programming may miserably fail, if the programmers do not have good relationship or their thinking is not in sync. Of course, if the programmers do not have good relationship, not only pair programming, but, even normal development also would be effected. The following is a snippet from an article in yourstory.

If you have two lead architects designing a system, you’re likely to end up with a two-module project. This phenomenon was first observed in the 1970s, when compiler design teams with 4 lead engineers ended up with 4-pass compilers. If your team had only 3 lead engineers, they were likely to design a 3-pass compiler. The design of the interfaces between the modules is also likely to be heavily influenced by the relationship between the lead programmers. If your system has 2 architects that are good friends, you’re likely to end up with a two well defined modules with clean interfaces and detailed contracts. If the two are not very good friends, they’re likely to come up with a design that relies too heavily on standard interfaces (like XML/WebServices) that may ultimately not be flexible enough for the system.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lok Satta and Communists Alliance

After Lok Satta Party and Communists party formed alliance, many volunteers and supporters of Lok Satta Party were strongly against the alliance.

If any problem, which is not very popular, is given to all the volunteers and supporters of Lok Satta Party (not to Dr.JP or other senior leaders of the party), most of them would give the same solution that is proposed by the Communists. Still, they are against the alliance.

I am not very much against the alliance with Communists, because, they form with TDP also. Whereas, the policies of Communists and TDP are completely different. Still, this kind of alliances will work, because, negligible no.of people would care about the policies for voting. That's why, it is not a problem, if Lok Satta Party forms alliance with Communists.

By the way, only Lok Satta Party and Communists are supporting proportional based voting. If proportional based voting comes, alliances will not have any meaning, and there will not be any pre-poll alliances.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Changes in Tatkal Ticket Booking

Previously, Tatkal quota used to open one day in advance from the departure time at the station where one wants to board. Now, the quota is opened for the entire route, one day in advance from the departure time of the train at the starting station.

Tamilnadu Express goes from New Delhi to Chennai. If it starts on saturday at New Delhi, then tatkal quota would be opened on friday for New Delhi. It reaches Agra on sunday early morning. Previously, Tatkal quota for Agra used to open on saturday. But, with this change, Tatkal quota would be opened on Friday itself.

The same train reaches Vijayawada, monday early morning. Previously, the taktal quota from Vijayawada to Chennai used to open on sunday. Now, one can book on friday itself.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Persons With Disabilities - Satyameva Jayathe

In Satyamave Jayathe, there was one program on "Persons With Disabilities". The program mainly concentrated on, not having facilities for persons with disabilities doing anything themselves. For example, there are no ramps at many public offices, and people have to take others' help to reach there. In most of the educational institutes, there are no facilities for people with disabilities to go themselves.

One person suggested that, just with one single signature, this problem can be solved in all educational institutes. If the union education minister passes a bill saying that, if the educational institute does not have facilities for handicapped people, then it's recognition should be cancelled.

He and many other missed the point that, it is not just one single signature. Once that bill is passed, the government has to spend lot of money to provide the facilities in all the educational institutes. It takes lot of money, and it is never just one single signature.

The rules for private educational institutes are so high that, it is not an easy task for any small educational institute to get recognition. If they add this rule also, then there will be only international schools and all other educational institutes would be closed.

In many places, it is economically profitable, if the institute or office employs a person to help physically handicapped people rather than constructing ramps and other things.

I feel, we are asking too many things, when we don't have basic things.

How many people without any disabilities can travel in any city bus comfortably? How many people can catch the first bus that they get in their route?

In Hyderabad, the distance from Hyderabad Railway Station (Nampally) to Gachibowli (the main IT area) is 20 kms. Within this 20 kms, there are only two signals and only there, people can cross the road comfortably. There are no signals/subways/foot over bridges at any other place in that 20 kms main road, and it is very difficult for anybody to cross the road.

If normal people itself cannot travel comfortably, is there any need to talk about people with disabilities travelling by public transport? What would happen, if they bring bills like, all educational institutes should introduce the facilities for physically handicapped people, when even normal people cannot cross the road?

There are many solutions for many problems, which look like they solve the problem. But, before going there, we should check whether even more basic problems solved or not. If we try to solve one specific problem without solving very basic problems, it may have negative impact.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Questions/Suggestions for which I don't have Answer

  • Are you still writing code? Are you not a Project Manager? Not even a Project Lead? Many of our friends are Project Managers now. I thought, you would be in a bigger position than us.
  • Don't fight with your leads and managers. Do whatever they say. Once you become lead, then you can do whatever you want.
  • Don't stay in one company for long. Change companies regularly. Otherwise, you will not grow.
  • Why are you not trying for US?
  • Why did you resign when you don't have job in hand? (Few people in my absence say that, I was fired.)
  • Why don't you apply to big companies like Infosys, TCS and Wipro?
  • Why did you resign, when you had to pay couple of tens of thousand rupees (for giving short notice)?
  • Why did you change job, when you are not getting any hike?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Buying Tickets in Black

I am seeing many people posting the following message.

We are also the reason behind the corruption. If we are buying a movie ticket for Rs.500, which actually costs, Rs.50, then the tax for Rs.450 is not going to the government. Cannot we postpone watching the movie? Please stop watching movie by buying tickets in black and reduce corruption.

Many times, I see people getting energized for everything, and most of the time, they miss the basics.

Government does not allow to increase the price of the ticket. i.e., The cinema theater owner does not have an option to sell it for Rs.500 officially, and pay the tax for Rs.500. He has to sell only for Rs.50, and pay the tax for Rs.50. So, if the theater is full, there will be absolutely no difference in the revenue of the government, irrespective of whether all the tickets are sold in black, or all the tickets are sold at the face value of the ticket.

If one does not buy ticket in black, what are they achieving? They are just saving their money. The country or the government is not going to get anything by that.

If there are hundred people who are ready to pay 10 times to the actual ticket price, why should they sell it for the face value of the ticket? If I have something, which others think that, it is valuable, why should I sell it for less than what the consumer can pay? By any business logic, selling it for less price is ridiculous. If I sell it for higher price, then the government gets more tax on that.

The only way to solve the corruption is, bringing liberalization. Any other solution is useful only to get fame in the minds of ignorant people.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Politics - Garbage

If you are facing problems with garbage in your locality, there are only two options.
  Either you clean it, or help/encourage those who clean it.
Nothing else would solve the problem.

If you are facing problems with politicians, there are only two options.
  Either you become a politician and change it, or help/encourage the good politicians by voting for them.
Nothing else would solve the problem.