“Do Not Surrender!” A Poem For The Lost Soul…

As I write this on a rather emotional pretext, I’d like to encourage every reader to learn to express themselves, their pain, their sorrows, their emotions… Whatever’s holding you back from living a happy life! I’ve always encouraged the art of open communication. And depression is not something to bottle up within yourself. Reach out to those who can help you, & constantly work on improving yourself!

Become a better you!

DO NOT SURRENDER

I traversed the universe far & wide,

In search of a place where I could hide.

With no one to whom I could confide,

I felt it hit me, the dreaded high tide.

It hit me right where it hurt the most,

I was dragged along the broken coast.

Picking up dirt along the way,

I reached alive on a stranded bay.

Image Courtesy: Stocksnap

 

Or so I thought as I went around,

Until I stopped as I heard this sound.

I walked along to reach a town,

Full of people about to drown.

To my surprise I came to know,

All of us were on the same path,

To find solace, to heal, & to grow,

To ease the pain of life’s wrath.

Time passed by as we began to share,

Our horrid tales of pain & despair.

We breathed the salty coastal air,

Laying our heart & souls all bare.

Seeking comfort in that pain,

So ignorant, be it sunshine or rain.

Not knowing we were in a race,

With others who were up to pace.

Image Courtesy: Google Art Project

 

We rushed towards a common goal,

To be happy again, completely whole.

For bad memories to be erased,

For lost goals again to be chased.

It wasn’t as easy as it first seemed,

Life wasn’t rosy as we first dreamed.

Having faith in the power of hope,

We got back up, & learnt to cope.

Getting together we built a fire,

Feeding off a burning desire.

To be better than we were before,

Without limits we wanted to soar.

To those who feel the battle is over,

I urge you to look up, look further!

The times ahead may be rough,

But life can’t break you if you’re tough.

Do not expect but continue to give,

Life is meant to be fully lived.

Live, laugh, & love with great splendour,

Come what may, DO NOT SURRENDER!

Image Courtesy: Billboard

Why The Facebook Fiasco Was Inevitable

“Our Very Strength Incites Challenge. Challenge Incites Conflict. And Conflict Breeds Catastrophe.” – Vision (Avengers – Age Of Ultron) 

                                                 Courtesy: Disney Wiki

 

This quote, despite being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has relevance to the recent happenings. While I was viewing Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate in Capitol Hill, I was able to relate to this quote very deeply. As Mark was faced with questions about privacy, there were quite a few responses wherein he said it was within the end users’ power to share what information they chose for the world to know.

The above quote can be broken into 3 parts:

Strength Incites Challenge

When Facebook first came into the limelight, it was primarily because of its unique approach to social interactions. What started as a dorm — room project turned into a billion dollar idea when ‘The Facebook’ (as it was called back then) hit it off among students. Even till date, Facebook’s ‘Suggestions List’ & ‘Sponsored’ posts are directed pretty accurately given their algorithms.

                                             Courtesy: Marques Brownlee

 

This is where their USP indirectly stirred up a challenge within the digital marketing company by portraying themselves as a social networking site while using ads for revenue. The spirit of innovation was warped by a sense of competition, & that ultimately led to Facebook prioritising monetary benefits over quality content.

Challenge Incites Conflict

Facebook was able to garner huge audiences within a short span of time because they were not globalizing; they were leveraging technology to create a product which would connect billions. I believe the uprise started to pivot when Facebook realised it wasn’t the only player in the market. Even though they were (still are) a monopoly in the social networking arena — especially since they own WhatsApp & Instagram — Facebook wanted to make sense out of the enormous amount of data they had at their disposal.

By allowing 3rd party developers to build applications & integrate with Facebook, they were not only letting geeks play around with their platform as a silent — silent testing project, they were also getting ideas on how best to use that data to their advantage.

Conflict Breeds Catastrophe

Let’s face it. Facebook would’ve made a fortune with the information they gave Cambridge Analytica access to. It seems like the next logical step in a series of events that Mark would make the user base as nothing but an experiment with us as his lab rats. What we have in front of us is nothing but yet again the next step in a chain of events.

The bill comes due. Always! – Baron Mordo (Doctor Strange)

                                               Courtesy: Comic Book

 

Good or bad, karma has come around like a boomerang. And unless Facebook revamps its policies, the steady decline will persist. That’s my $0.02 on this issue!

5 Lessons I’ve Learnt In My First Year At Work

Right from the onset of my college days, I have thought of myself as a creative person. Being someone who wrote poems, did stand — ups, & taught spoken English part — time, I never saw myself getting into the IT industry. Even though I was a bit hesitant initially, it took me some time to get over the clichés that one comes across. Now a year into my career, I can say with certainty that being in tech has its own perks. As for creativity, I firmly believe that learning to code has only helped me grow in that area. Following are 5 lessons that I’ve learnt in the last year of what is going to be a long career ahead!

1. Quality Is Directly Related To Customer Experience

“You can focus on adoption, retention, expansion or advocacy; or you can focus on the customers’ desired outcome & get all of those things.” — Lincoln Murphy

The textbook definition of quality varies across industries, be it software or consumer goods. However, one common denominator used by all of them for evaluating products / services will be customer satisfaction. Companies that believe ‘Customer is King’ will retrospect from the end — user’s POV as they make progress. And the feedback they receive is considered to be a measure of quality. Working for a product, there might be many ideas we bring to fruition; some of which turn out to be innovative, while the not — so — successful ones serve as a guide to refine our efforts on what we should ideally be focusing on. Great companies are empathetic at their core. And they express this by mapping customer pain — points to ideal solutions.

2. There Is A Solution To Every Problem

“All problems become smaller when you confront them instead of dodging them.” -William H. Halsey

One of the disguised perks that comes along with a software development role is persistence. It can teach one patience, instil a sense of belief that if you tackle a problem head — first, sooner than later you will solve it. Critical thinking is a skill seldom taught at educational institutions. When you solve problems related to code, you essentially apply the basic concepts of data structures & algorithms to disparate pieces of information & make sense out of it. While there may be multiple routes you can take to reach the same destination, the best path you can possibly take to reach there is the most thorough one. How to approach a situation through code has many real — time implications. It can make day — to — day problems seem trivial. As a by — product, you become adept at leveraging technology to conquer routine, mundane chores while effectively managing time.

3. Teamwork Is What Ultimately Wins The Race

“Talent wins games, but teamwork & intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan

This may be Principle 101 of the success handbook for any organisation, but it is seldom given due consideration. And teamwork is a factor which is very evident when you analyse top companies, since that is what distinguishes them from the rest. Everyone has their sights on the bigger picture, & every team / department is interdependent on each other to achieve a common objective. There is an evident advantage that comes with working in a team that has a rich diversity of professionals. You not only get exposed to cool technologies, but also get to view a holistic view of how the processes are intricately woven. A gentle tug here, a minor nudge there, & BOOM! All hell breaks loose!

Teamwork can teach you puzzle solving. The product you build becomes better as you get better at matching disparate pieces.

4. Analyse Situations Both Objectively & Subjectively

“Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms” — Sterling K. Brown.

With respect to point #2, there is a bifurcation in the way we approach a situation. Right is might, not the other way around. And to pick the best possible solution, one must place the task at hand in 2 different scenarios. When I say objectively, I mean without bias or emotion. This gives me more clarity, since I’m not affected by Dogma. If I make decisions under the influence of others’ opinions, then the final output is bound to be both skewed & screwed. Then there is a subjective POV, which differs with every individual. Analyses made subjectively can give unique perspectives; my stand will be based on the aesthetics that appeal to me.

5. Just Because Something Works, Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Improved

“There is always one more thing to learn.” — Steve Jobs

‘Change is the only constant’ is a universal truth that fits the IT industry to a ‘T’. Be it technology or tools, there is always room for improvement. It’s a continuous process whereby organisations strive to achieve perfection through multiple iterations. Once the product / service achieves stability, all future efforts are directed towards enhancements. Adding to point #1, the feedback they get from customers / users is what tech giants like Google & Xiaomi give importance to. This adds an intangible factor, solely because they are appealing to the audience. Moreover, companies now have meaningful data to base the product roadmap on in order to stay on track & in the race.

All said & done, I must mention that while there may be pros & cons to every industry, I have chosen to focus only on the positives. Why? Because there are so many of them!

Cheers!