Have you ever tried to unpack your change history?

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Change, It is natural

Change, It is natural- RDBlogz

Our human race is constantly evolving, and our lifetime is a minute part of that. We build our experiences based on our previous experiences. Good experience or bad experience, they equally bring some value to our existence. We gain every experience by a change, within us and outside of our control. Overtime, changes in our body physically bring value to our emotions. Some people express these emotions pleasantly and some not. Overall, it is important to know why, how and where these changes happened and how we dealt with it. That is why people write books, and we read them to learn how to cope with changes based on what others around us felt and dealt with those changes.


Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

If all changes have the potential to bring good to all of us, can we live happily for ever? No, I guess not. We will not be able to bear that much happiness in this world! (Really!). The change happens no matter what the result is. It is a natural way of evolution to bring good in this world.

Change is inevitable and without change, we cannot survive in this world. Without a change, we will not grow. Change brings inventions, and we move towards a higher goal. Change brings new things into our life. Regardless of who we are and where we live, not all are immune to change. Resisting a natural change is a futile act. We are part of the change. However, we can influence a change to some degree in some places. We can influence our family to join a regular exercise program, that will in turn make our aging process a little of pain free. The change of aging is a never-ending process and we can mitigate. It is the same with any other change.

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

There are many types of transitions in our life. Every change start with an end of another change and the new change will have an end. It is an endless change process.  Transition is part of the life, and every change has a beginning and an end; we just have to understand the impact and adapt to the changes and fight for the natural progression of life.

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965), The Razor’s Edge, 1943

It is good to know sometimes that not all changes happened in our life are painful. Reflecting honestly on our past and recognizing those changes that shaped our future is useful to face changes in the future and live strongly to face the unexpected changes.

Cheers,

RDBlogz

Leadership, How much I know about it?

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As part of my MS Program, yesterday I attended the first class of “Interpersonal and Leadership Skills” course, which runs for next 10 weeks.
It is really fascinating to learn about leadership and thoroughly understand how leaders actually think and lead. I am also super excited to be part of this class which is run by Professor, Dr.Brent French who is also a US Air Force Reserve Colonel.

In this post I wanted to capture my questions and basic understanding of what leadership is. This is not a post that teach about leadership. It is about simply looking in to what I think about leadership and hopefully I will write another post with more clarity on this topic once I complete this course.

I am also very happy for that now I don’t have to think a lot to find topics for my blogging!!! Reading a lot of books for this course and I am sure that will keep me busy for next 3 months.

Leadership

So,
What is leadership?
Do we really need to understand who is a leader and what is leadership?
Why do we care?
Why do we have this much of literature to understand leadership and its various styles?
Does this literature created to create better followers? Some times I think about that seriously!!!
Can we teach leadership to lead people?
What about those Born leaders? Lincoln and Obama were not taught to be leaders? They chose to become leaders? Isn’t it true!
Does circumstances clearly manipulate people whether they can become leaders or not?
Leaders who became leaders as part of a big transformation event are still called leaders or just acted because there is no other way to survive other than leading people?
What level of psychology we need to know to understand a leader and his/her style of leadership?
If we understand can we teach how to be a leader  like that? But every person is different and how can we expect one person to follow a certain style?
Can we teach leadership? If yes, how easy it is to teach kids and Adults.
Can we teach adults to become leaders?….
Can we identify Narcissistic leadership easily?
I always think of a leader as someone who has exceptional qualities and skills and is fearless to face the adversities. Does all leaders have these qualities?

A real leader needs to have two qualities, one of the head and the other of the heart – Sensibility and Sensitivity.

Sri Sri at the International Leadership Summit – Jan,07,2013

Every situation I see either that at home or office need some kind of direction or to be lead by some one. Some times my wife takes the leadership of running the house and I take the leadership of taking care of kids education.
At office I see it as a structured and hierarchical leadership. I see leadership as a quality in person /or group of people who can lead people to achieve a common worthwhile achievable goal in an encouraging and motivating environment.Personal Leadership

I believe some people are born leaders. I interacted with some leaders with whom working was a pleasure in a trusted relationship. Again this can be a perception based on my background and how I want to be lead by someone who is a leader. I think it is natural that people look for a leader if they cannot do something that a leader can by gathering a group of people.

Influential leaders show sympathy and care and have a great sense of self respect, self control and responsibility for the growth of their followers. Also it is true that some leaders are only interested to command people for personal satisfaction or other ulterior motives.

Leaders should know what their followers are expecting from them and adjust their path accordingly. And at the same time leaders should be clear in their directions to followers, about what they are thinking and expecting from the group. Followers are not “mind readers”, it is the responsibility of leaders to understand the group pulse and needs of followers and lead them efficiently.

Ethics is part of the leadership role. I don’t think any leader would continue to be a leader without proving to his followers that his intentions are good and live with high moral values.

[mantra-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]”Our past drives our future“[/mantra-pullquote]

It’s been proven time and time again, that leaders who came from oppressive or difficult backgrounds become servant leaders, who serve their followers with compassion, love and support.It is also true that leaders coming from a less fortunate background may become leaders who may run big enterprises to show that they are not poor anymore. Dictators, Spiritual Leaders, Democratic leaders, Educators and more, all these people are leaders, good or bad, forceful or influencing, their mark of leadership is imminent on the society.

LeadershipLearning about leadership probably gives us a chance to understand how this society is working, where we are living or working and adjust ourselves to prepare for the future. It doesn’t matter whether we follow a certain leader or not, we always need to follow a leading principle which morally, ethically makes sense and which works for the betterment of our lives, family and society.

 

Cheers,
RDBlogz

ESL and my Observations while living in USA

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non-native-english It has been a while I was planning to write a post regarding what I learned how non native English speakers use English in USA, especially people who came from India, like me. As mentioned in this article, “Everyone speaks English differently, especially if it is not your first language”.
There are different accents in USA in addition to what non native English speakers have. The difference is accent and dialect. Non native English speakers have an accent not that much of specific dialect, which we usually find in Texan English and New York English.

Language is a medium of expression and enable us to be part of a society.
Languages have different variations, sign language, programming language, animal language and languages that we all speak around the world, hundreds for sure!!!!

It is easy to express if you feel happy, simply smile. But the other person has to be there to see your smile. Yes, yes, I know you can use face time to do that. So why do we need to speak, because we are social animals and we are hard wired to talk?

By the way we have to agree, because we are social animals we would like to communicate by speaking with a certain accent to identify ourselves with a specific social class. That brings us to the important point of this post, English as a Second language Phobia.

In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.

I live in USA and this country is the best place in the world for all kinds of things to observe, including ourselves, while speaking in English. It’s kind of a lab with endless possibilities to watch and learn many important things. It is a home of global languages. Unless you are born and brought up here in USA, most of the people whose primary language is NOT ENGLISH, suffers with some kind of distress and interference, when they need to communicate purely in English with native English speakers. The problem with “ESL” people is, they have to first think in their native language and translate that in to English and then speak. That’s a lot of processing, and unfortunately for many, that processing itself doesn’t work efficiently.

Over the years, say 10 to 15 years, after he/she arrives in USA a non native English speaking person (exclude people graduated from English medium schools and people who’s families are well settled and could use English regularly back in their native countries) get to understand the lyrics of an American English song clearly and most importantly in the context of American society. If you think 10 years is long time to reach that stage then you are not that part of the population who had the English speaking phobia. You are lucky !!

It is not that English is a complex language, it is the matter of exposure to usage. Many people from India are very good in writing English essays and other stuff, but when it comes to the point of general conversation they have to patch sentences  and words from past conversations or movies they watched (that’s a little exaggerated, I know!!!). The thickness in the pronunciation clearly shows that they are still thinking in their native language and speaking in English by translating it on the fly. However, in my observation they speak fluently in English if they are talking to native English speaking Americans. But that flow comes to a grinding halt when they start conversing with other non native English speakers. (it is just my observation….!!!). Is it because we don’t expect our own people speak fluent English or it just happens…. hmm. I couldn’t quite get it.

Now the good part here is most non native English speaking people learn to speak fluently in English by engaging conversations with their American born kids. There you go. Free practice at home.. But you need to wait at least 5 to 6 years to have your first baby to go to day care and start bringing that American accent back home to practice. However those people are lucky who talk and talk every day with Americans in the grocery stores and offices.
If you are an Indian software programmer or some one in the IT from India, you have too many options to learn and speak English. But the problem is you are within your social group, obviously Indians, right! Well that is not much helpful isn’t it?. It is good for Indian MS students. You know they have no restrictions, and they just become Americans the moment they land in USA. Remember, “Hey Dude, whassup??” language. Interestingly they are more Americanized than regular American students sometimes surpassing in all aspects!!!!
Well there are many things I observed in my last 13 years of living in USA, but still don’t get to speak like an American with 100% American English. I don’t think that is bad or anything like that. But once you have a feeling of trying to become one of them and not able to do so efficiently, it puts some feeling inside and makes you feel like something is dragging your leg to show your full talent in a group of people.
This could keep us, a lot of us (Non Native English Speakers) not to utilize our original talent fully, because language could have become a big barrier. However, I overcame this sense of feeling bad of not speaking in American English language long time back by using simple and plain English and using some easy going American words, like “I am running late”!!!!
ESL situation should not become a burden, instead it should give an opportunity to grow and learn something new everyday. The only remedy is to practice a lot even though you know there will be mistakes in while doing so. Grammar is not a big deal and I don’t really mind writing with grammar mistakes as long as I am using plain and simple English to convey my message.

Well, “right off the bat” this is one my longest posts and I was one of those people who gone “bonkers”, when they heard saying some body bought a “Beemer”!!

Cool,
So, “I’m all ears”, shoot me with your comments, if you can!

Cheers,
RDBlogzzzzz

“SCRUM” the prescription for “Project Procrastination”

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Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing software projects and product or application development.(Source: Wikipedia)

I have worked in the software development world for over 15 years and saw various levels of management headaches in dealing with reaching milestones in a project. It could be an issue with delivering the agreed feature on a certain date or simply having problems in tracking where we are in the development cycle. Waterfall development life cycle is well adopted over the years and it is a natural fit for many software/application development project. However, it is also true that there are many gaps in achieving the efficiency from the team to complete the project.

We all know that it is the human common nature to delay or postpone the work until it becomes really important to complete. Well you may not be that kind of guy 🙂 but there is a general consensus in the world that  people procrastinate for “NO REASON”. Yes for no reason. They just don’t know. May be it is a habit!

So somebody had to come up with a clever way of making people work more efficient way by not making them feel that they are under constant tracking and make that as a widely adopted process. You may call it Agile, Iterative, Incremental or for that matter the SCRUM. This post doesn’t make negative or positive statements about the scrum practice, but it highlights the theme behind how this whole process is designed. (well that’s my understanding, I may be wrong. If you think otherwise please share your opinion(s). )

As I said in the beginning, procrastination costs tens and thousands of dollars to any size of the project. But it is less visible in manufacturing and other field based projects. Why, because workers have a set of steps and do constant revision of those steps to achieve better results in quality, output and so on and so forth. However software development is a field where one cannot envision the same kind of tracking mechanism like it does in a plant. Software workers / professionals / developers do work on something that include analysis, development, test and other time consuming tasks, like meetings (you know what I mean!). So now you ask where does the scrum practice help to handle the procrastination. Well it is built right in to the process. You will never know how it is dealing with it.

If you ever worked in a project that use scrum process for agile software development , you might remember those “standup meetings” (yes, you will stand up in a meeting !). Now you may also remember what happens in those meetings. You tell what you did yesterday and what you are going to do today and tell the group if there are any impediments. That will cover the procrastination, you don’t have to think too much about the other things. But for more insight visit this page … SRUM

Why I think SCRUM is a prescription for Project procrastination?
If we track our progress everyday and know what is happening today and let the team know that who is causing the problem (those impediments , you know!) you are not only working effectively you are making others to work with the group if they are procrastinating. And those weekly reviews, I must say, the best way to pull people out of their comfort zone to perform above average. Teams can do the same work in a month, why because the demo will be at the end of the month. But what if you say if the demo is tomorrow? Obviously , team will come with some innovative way to complete the work to do the demo.

So ultimately the underlying truth is a deadline, a planned demo early in the stage of the project, recognition of work and last but not the least the visibility of work, reduce the Project procrastination and ultimately project’s health will improve over time.

Cheers,

RDBlogz

 

The day you will never get again in your life (at least for next 100 years !!!)

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I thought of doing something special today, which is obviously a day to remember. 12/12/12, December,12,2012, 2012-12-12 and so on…..
Then I decided to post some thing today on my blog just to record this day.

A day that comes once in 100 years… amazing feeling about it..We will not be there next time when this day comes..weird feeling !!!!

Is there any person celebrating his/her birthday on this special day… Yes…Here you go…

Happy Birthday Dear Rajnikanth..

Cheers,
RdBlogz

The Cloud Paradigm — Renting Vs Owning

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It is a dream of middle class people in USA to own a house by investing their hard-earned money so that they can get shelter and value for their money by the time they retire to relax (hopefully !!). The point here is how much it is true that all home owners are thinking the same thing (except those who already paid off their bank loan or bought it by paying cash). Are they happy? If they were given a second chance would they buy a house or rent an apartment?

 

It is the same dilemma with IT infrastructure for a company. All companies want to have their own IT department and own infrastructure. They spend money to build, manage and hire professionals to take care of them 24/7.  I know that is obvious for many companies. But what if your company has a problem dealing with your enterprise content management. For some companies it would be more appealing to spend money on product development instead of spending on IT infrastructure and management. There you go.. That means they need to rent instead of owning IT.

I know it is simple to say that right? Let’s stop there for a minute and list all the questions one will ask when looking for an apartment/office to rent.

  1. Why should I go and live in an apartment? (either you have a house that is on short sale list or you don’t own a home)
  2. Which city I am going to live? (Most probably either closer to your office or if you have kids you choose a city where schools are rated high).
  3. How many bedrooms and bathrooms I need? (figure it out, if you are married you will have kids.. plan , plan..)
  4. Do I need a special parking lot? (Unless you have a serious problem with parking in randomly available parking lot… better prepare to pay more )
  5. Do I have to sign a lease? (yes of course, but you may get some options..)
  6. Do I need a furnished home, so that I can just come in start living my life and do my work? (By the way, that includes internet , just to make your life easy!)
  7. How much it cost per month? (Well I think it should be listed as a first item, but thought that would drive your other options, so kept it in the last so that you decide how much money you can afford to spend on home rent)
  8. What about the community? Is it Safe and secure? How the building is protected? (Good questions, you should ask)

Well, that is not too bad isn’t it? I think this is a typical list of questions any body would ask who rent an apartment, independent home or for that matter an office space. This list applies to all scenarios, who wants to rent.

This week EMC announced EMC onDemand , a managed service to run enterprise content management system. I am more than thrilled to hear the news and thought things are looking good for Documentum platform. Working with Documentum platform for almost 11 years, I know first hand how difficult it is to enable the content management system as a service to users internal or external. It has been a challenge for IT to come up with a platform to provide ECM as a service. This new managed service from EMC now change the whole game in the market. So far we have seen some cloud based public CMS offerings (Google docs, box.net, Sharepoint). However, they could not offer enterprise scale solutions, which could deal with millions of documents, approvals, workflows and archiving processes with much-needed data and network security.

If we take a step back and review those eight items I listed out for the apartment rental planning and replace them with ECM requirements, we see how simple it is to derive the value proposition to move to a cloud based , Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) for ECM for a big company.

Now, you can ask why? and say I can have my own IT in my own shop? Ok…let me tell you few things before you decide on the best thing for your ECM deployment…
What if you get the following benefits without the hassle of owning your equipment and still achieve your business goals to manage ever-growing content under the hood..

1. Require zero Installation of EMC technology (Documentum, RSA, VMware and so on so forth)
2. Provide highest level of security
3. Ensure that everything was pre-installed and optimally configured for instant startup
4. Integrate with existing filing and collaboration products
5. freedom of use

Does it sound like a list of questions you asked before your rent a home/apt. I bet they did!!!

The cloud. Do you know what it is? More importantly, do you know how you can profit from it? Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore is here to explain both.

–RD

 

Here you go, we have OBAMA 2.0 !!!

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Yes, the trend continues. The citizens of USA selected incumbent president Mr. Barack Obama as their leader for another term. Congratulations President!!
Since the time of President Bill Clinton, the trend to believe in the working president to continue his second term continues. Mr. Mitt Romney had a very good chance to win (at least there was a hope!), but at the end winning an election does not depend  on how a candidate campaigns, it is what the people’s sentiment is!. I thought people will give a chance to Mr. Romney. But I am wrong. People just follow the trend and don’t want any “MORE” instability for USA. One way it is good and absolutely that is what is needed to be a leader in the world, for USA. The world is looking at America and hoping that somehow USA comes back to its original super power status.

Congratulations!!!

In democracy people chose their leader , not the leader choose to lead. And the beauty of it is those who didn’t choose their  leader will still work with their new leader, thinking that the majority of their fellow citizens took a wise decision. However, time will decide that part and leaders can only  influence the policies not the past.

I wrote a post when President Obama won the 2008 elections and sworn in Jan,2009  and I didn’t know that he will win a second term with such a fanfare. People not just in USA but around world are looking at him as a leader who will lead US in to the level of achievement in all areas, economy, jobs, stability around the world and so and so forth.

I truly believe in the democracy and had a good feeling about that process in USA so far. However, I see a pattern of high voter turnout in these 2012 elections and clearly see a sense of interest in the participation. I used to hear through all news channels in last 10 to 15 years that govt is urging its people to go and vote. I was wonderingClick here to read full victory speech why people are not interested to go and vote. But now we can see how this is changing. Hope this is changing for good and people are realizing their vote power and coming together to get “their LEADER” elected.

All democratic countries should learn lessons from India, world’s largest democratic country. The lessons can be as simple as issuing a voter card for their citizens to stop the voter fraud and biggest one can be how future campaigns don’t misuse the media.

I wish our President Mr. Barack Obama a great success in his continuing role as leader of USA and its future!

Cheers,
RD

The Power of Association

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It is very important to know WHO YOU ARE and what is your worth in this society, within your age group and obviously in your family. Many people doesn’t really think about this aspect of their lives, until they hit a hard floor while dealing the human relations. Many of them think they are good in understanding what their worth is and what other people think about them.

As Mahatma Gandhi , The father of India, once said, “Don’t tell me who are you, just show me who your freinds are or whom you always associated with, I will tell you WHO YOU ARE“. That is the power of association. Whether it is the physical presence in a group or putting your brain in a pool of thoughts, which makes a lot of impact on how one behaves, work or plan for his future.
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Blogs are Thoughts and Digital Expressions

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There are many communication channels and we, human beings, are fortunate to use many of them depending on our needs and situations. However expressions are basic and every part of this universe has the capability to show some form of expression in one way or other. Even a rock lying on the ground has an impression to show its expression of what it is going through. Some expressions are willful and others are natural and expected. We, human beings, learned through human evolution, to control and use our expressions for better or worse. Expressions are powerful !!!. People often mistake the word “Expressions” to “Emotions”. Emotions bring different expressions out of us.

Blogs gave us a new way to express ourselves through the digital world. Bloggers have different reasons to blog. Some are motivated to impress their fans,  and some are required to write blogs to connect with their customers. Whatever the reason it may be, now a days blogging has become new norm to connect with people across the world.

Why would Bollywood senior actor Amitabh Bachchan writes his blog? He knows his fans wants to hear his voice about other things, that he is interested in. His views are cared and respected and connects with people in general.

Why would Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos writes his blog? His motivation to write his blog, is to show the world that he is not just a CEO of the company , but have many more things to share with his followers and shareholders. He communicate his ideas and interests through his blog which gives him a way to express his passion and other interests.

Why would Chuck Hollis, VP- Global Marketing CTO, EMC Corporation writes his blog? Chuck’s blog gives , “An EMC insider’s perspective on information, technology and customer challenges…”( as written on his blog).  Here the blogging has a definitive approach, to provide value added analysis about EMC products and other related happenings to its customers in the context of other hi-tech industry happenings.

So, what is the common theme across all these blogs and other thousands of blogs running on the internet?

It is a form of self expression. The word “self” may represent a person or a company. It is an art of thought provocation among like wise thinkers. It is a medium to motivate people to achieve some thing worthful or educate people by sharing blogger’s expertise in a chosen field. Whatever the reason it may be blogging is an efficient way to share knowledge in a social education context and provides a chance for open communication.Whether it is a professional blog, personal blog, company blog, art blog or scientist blog, readers expect a clear, concise and open form of self expression from the blogger.

I do read and follow some excellent blogs and observe how they write those wonderful posts almost everyday. I am trying to express my ideas , experiences (life, technical and professional) here in my blog and hope someday I become a serious blogger !!

More to come ,

Cheers,

Ramesh Dadigala