Wednesday, February 22, 2006


It is rather an uncomfortable situation for any IT service guy/gal to come up with a satisfactory answer, for questions like

“Show me the enterprise bus in this integration architecture?”

“Where is the SOA in this proposal?”

Usually we tend to give some explanation that "SOA is not in scope of this particular venture" or say that “This entire scheme is SOA and we can’t show it as a separate component” etc.

Then the client CIO/CEO/CXO starts talking about the SOA models and we realize that it is of no use to put forth our side of story. Some one aptly said, “A fool can ask, what the wisest can’t answer”. How true!!

Theorem: “I.T. Management is always driven by magazines”

Assumptions: None what so ever.


A mere look at the IT landscape across all the boundaries of organizations, one comes across a similar trend.

Early 90s where full of open systems while late 90s was full of migration to client-server model with a mass exodus of application to packaged enterprise applications and then came the sweep of n-tier of JAVA/MicroSoft. Not to be left behind these paradigm shifts gave way to some buzz words (and of course revenue) to EAI, SOA, Agile, EDS, blah-blah etc.

Should we think that these mass or near hysterical movements were part of some global-wave-of-thought-pattern? (Just to add some meat for that global-wave-of-thought-pattern concept, Mahavir, Gauthma and Confucius came up with similar tenets for human lives, with no interaction with each other, in different geographical locations, at a close time lines. Couple of hundred years is not such big quantum when we talk of Universe with genesis.)

The answer would definitely be a big NO.

It is highly unlikely that all the CXOs would meet and form a consensus to move their enterprises IT infrastructure into different paradigm. (Here it is worth noting that ‘X’ ranges from A to Z and multiple no. of times. Consider a designation CAISSO which reads out a Chief-Application-Integration-Strategic-Solutions-Officer. To represent the same in true blue blooded IT guy, am using CXO.

C[A..Z][A..Z]*O – Unix Style

{ Ca+O a in α } and α = {A..Z} – Set theory of mathematics.

If am wrong in the representations above, please do correct me.

Then, who drove all these CXOs to make these kinds of paradigm shifts, that too at a rapid pace. Someone can shout aloud that ‘technology’. If at all the rapid innovations of technology from the hidden laboratories of academy or industry have paved way to changes, explain the dodo called eSpeak of HP. (More on eSpeak later, mentioned it now, just to give some sense of suspense.)

Any technologist would vouch his life for the fact that industries don’t accept any technology unless there is a stamp/endorsement from the magazines/journals. (I do not how ever wish to name the same to avoid any legal suites and damage charges, but it is left to the good guess of the reader.) Once the branding is obtained and a technology is baptized, you can find the same hostile industry wooing to embrace it at the earliest.


eSpeak of HP was not given enough mileage in any magazine so industry never bothered to give it a second look. Now the same eSpeak got baptized as W-e-b-S-e-r-v-i-c-e-s”. Yes you read it right. eSpeak is nothing but WebServices.

Look at the noise and dust surrounding it. Any IT event is abuzz with the words like SOA, Agile, XML, EDA, what-not.

A brief tour of eSpeak: The founder/innovator of eSpeak at HP was Dr. Rajiv Gupta, who went on to start “Confluence Solution” which was taken over by “Oblix” group, which again was got by “Oracle” recently. Where was Oracle all along? It woke up only when magazines give some larger-than-life picture of WebServices.

Thus, proves my theorem that “I.T. Management is always driven by magazine”

Colliery: Coolies need to digest magazine.

Now let us turn our attention to our (Code Coolie’s) livelihood. We coolies get our sustenance for survival only when the “client” comes up with a “unique”, “singular” and “trend-setting” requirement for a “state-of-art” I.T. infrastructure. For providing the same to the client, we work in the technology of clients choice, be it SAP or TIBCO or JAVA or Fancy free Assembly.

The well known axiom is “Coolies need to slog for their wages”. Now, can’t we make some modifications to our own slogging to make it less drudgefull? Yes, we can and we should.

CXO decides on the I.T. spending, be it shelling out or freezing the budget and our theorem above proved that his/her thinking is guided by magazine not by logic. Few good reviews, there is money in it and few bad reviews fizz is lost with job cuts in that arena. So we too need to be abreast of what is being written about our dear technology. It is not the organizations that need agile infrastructure; it is us, who make a living out of it that needs an agile brain.

If client is not convinced about a technology, which we are comfortable with, we should be adaptable enough to jump into the bandwagon of the client and show our prowess. In other words, we need to operate in the artificial demand markets created by the nexus of Industry and its magazines.

I remember a recent case, where I did blasphemy of my cult status Enterprise tool, to win a contract. That night I could not sleep but reason dawned on me the next morning. As a coolie, it is against the very tenet of coolidom, to think in terms of ‘Intellectual’ debate with a CXO.

Here I would like to indicate the novice coolies, who can’t access the magazines. These snooty blokes at the so called research centers think no end of themselves that they have restricted access to their ‘reviews’/’articles’, so that only the gullible janta (read CXO) would read it.

The best barometer is not by spending on them, but to observe the “jobs” section of any daily. Check the trend, if for more than three (3) months there is no requirement vacancy for your current tool/language; then you are on the verge of extinction.

If you feel threatened, follow these steps. (7 effective habits of a efficient coolie)

1 . Check out buzz words in the news papers.
2. Search for any nearest venue for conferences that have these buzz words.
3. Ask you management to nominate you. (Let them pay, if not search for free nominations)
4. Get a good understanding of what they are talking about. (Usually jargon, but try if you can correlate.)
5. Ask dumb questions at the conference. (It is better even if others think you are dumb, than to be a real Dodo.)
6. Rush to nearest training center and enroll or better still do a study yourself.
7. Emerge as the new evangelist of the latest technology.

When I say rush to a training center, I meant a real training center, where the trainer has some dope on what he/she is talking about. If you end up at one of those plethora of useless centers that dot the landscape of Ameerpet in Hyderabad, forgive me if you cant come out a winner. (Incidentally a close friend of mine, marked a copy of this mail, also owns a center in Ameerpet. Never the less, my opinion remains the same.)

Wishing all the coolies, the best of everything!!!


Ravi Nori said...

Dear Anil,

I suggest you send this blog to couple of major IT magazines. Am sure atleast one of the magazines publish this and may be few wise people in the clan of ''Chief-Application-Integration-Strategic-Solutions-Officers'' start thinking logically.

Arun said...

that was good as usual..
hey i guess you can split that stuff into two articles viz., 'I.T. Management always driven by (maga)zines' & '7 habits of highly efficient coolie'

think about it :)

YSN Prasad said...

Effective way of puting some one to sleep. I almost fell off to sleep or from the chair...I am yet to decide