Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day to day fire fighting and QOS

During last 5 years I have seen lots of fire fighters in IT related companies. Today I thought to write about them.

Who are the firefighters
If fire is some where then firefighters also around and when we thinking on other way round, that also true sometimes. That is, if firefighters are there that mean definitely fire is going around. so basically without fire no firefighters and they are always starting to stop fire when only fire got started.

When we come to the IT industry, most of the time employees working with end customers are firefighters. They always facing to the firings from customers due to many reasons. Sometimes may be delaying releases, unidentified bugs and various system failures.
Sometimes they getting cross fire from company management team and from the client. Client firing on the breaking the promises of project requirements and management start firing on when profit of the project getting down.
I've got above image via email few years back. I can say main reasons for firefightings are described in above image. Obviously, at the end of the day victims are the client and project delivery team.

How to identify?
You can identify these fire fighters, when they speaking about their experience and technical skills. When they are saying, they have experiences in project management and software development.... that is the first indication of being the fire fighter. If you continue the discussion, you can hear that they are expertise in system engineering and networking too... Sometimes they are doing sales and marketing as well. So basically they are all-rounders, because of handling many projects and playing many roles.
If you are the onsite project coordinator and If you couldn’t see these characteristics, then you cannot find them until you getting involved to the cross fire of company management and the client side. So I warn you on following things, because if you do followings that mean you making your hell out there.
  1.  Trust firefighters dead lines
  2.  Believe firefighters skills
  3.  Documents signoff on time
  4.  Believe firefighters project time lines
Birth of fire fighters
Normally birth of firefighter is happening due to failures in management of the company. I’m saying that due to two reasons.
  1.  Managers with poor and plaster management skills are making a mess out of job roles and employees have to play many roles.
  2. If company management targeting only the profit, then again employees have to play many roles. Because management is restricting the recruitments and asking employees to generate more and more profit using limited recourses.
If the company following global standards and properly manage the resources, then every employee needs to play his/her allocated job role only (which is happy scenario). When single employee playing many roles, it’s good to make short term profits but in long term he is being high skill individual player and company needs to depend on him. Sometimes when he is making his personal decisions, that feels to whole company management. Then you can find the birth of fire fighter (sometimes you may know him already before he came to this stage).

Effects on QOS
If your company has higher number of firefighters, that means providing less quality of service. Because of the high demand on single resource and spending less time on service, QOS getting lower. This is the main reason for clients to get guns on you. And this is the only reason which management never understand... ever...!!
Today lots of companies are getting many projects promising thousands of features. Funny part is management allocating only few people to do all of projects and at the end of the project, they delivering some shits to customer and start firefighting afterwards to get covered.

Moral of the this post is "Never start the projects without enough resources, otherwise you're giving the birth to firefighters".

So be careful with fire fighters and making fire fighter in your company, Otherwise you will feel some "Awesome" feelings at the end of the projects :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Operating systems' Past and Future

Writing a blog is quite fun and interesting, I can give two reasons to do so, one is sharing information with my friends, second is I like to listen the outcome or rather feedbacks about my blog posts. By the way today I thought to write about operating systems.
Most of the people are thinking Microsoft Windows is the first and only operating system in the world. Reason for that thinking is, may be MS Windows is the only operating system that they are using and heard about. After Ubuntu came to the market, now people are getting known there are other operating systems in the market too.
The earliest computers did not use operating systems (Such as differential engine); Later a simple loading program was loaded into the computer - via front panel switches or punched tape, the loading program would load the actual program to run. Some years after that, few operating system kind of systems were introduced by IBM and other scientists (according to the web sites).
I found following lines from “FORTRAN Anecdotes,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 06, no. 1, pp. 59-64, Jan-Mar, 1984”, that says about world first operating system.
There is an interesting, but little known, relationship between the first FORTRAN compiler on the IBM 704 and the early development of operating systems. In 1955, what was probably the first operating system had been developed and was in use at the General Motors Research Laboratories. Called the I/O system, it was a three-phase system in that a batch of jobs was processed entirely with regard to input formats, then the entire batch was processed for execution, and finally the entire batch was processed for output conversion and printing. There were no higher-level languages in that system.
Can you believe that OS for General Motors?
After that next highlighted operating system was Unix, which is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie. The Unix operating system was first developed in assembly language, but by 1973 had been almost entirely recoded in C. The second edition of Unix was released on December 6th, 1972, today's Unix systems are split into various branches.

Some years later, in 1981 IBM did the most stupid work in the world (I think, I can say so) by letting run MS-DOS in IBM PCs. That was the birth of Microsoft and its Windows. If IBM could do the work alone, IBM could be the most revenue generating company in the world. In early 90’s Apple started work with Microsoft and Windows 1.0 came out, then later Microsoft Windows 2.0 released by copying Macintosh, I found following lines from Steve Jobs’ famous talk in Stanford University, 2005.
The Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
After the Rechard M Stallman’s FOSS and invention of the Linus Torvalds’ Kernel, GNU/Linux started in 1991. That is the beginning of new era. Nowadays Linux is everywhere. It’s not limited only for computers; you can find Linux even inside the routers and other hardware devices. According to the statistics still Windows covering the more than 50% of desktops in the world but when we come to the servers Linux/Unix is the #1.
Next generation desktop operating systems are cloud based online systems. Now Ubuntu has UbuntuOne cloud device, Windows has Skydrive which provides the cloud services for storage but next version will be the online web based operating systems like Google’s chromebook (which going to release on 2011 June 15th). I guess this will quite similar to the eyeOS.

So get ready to use online operating systems. :-)

Reference :

Friday, May 13, 2011

Where we go..??

I thought to put some comments under this topic, since I have seen a post on one of my friend’s blog in same topic and also during last 2-3 weeks I had to go through some next generation web technology news sites. I believe this topic is quite curious and still covered and unclear to most of users of the internet and mobile technologies.

1G -> 2G -> 3G -> 4G.. What next in 5G???
Nowadays 4G (which is expected to be finalized between approximately 2011 and 2013) is a HOT topic in Sri Lanka and as I can see telco operators doing a big marketing war top on that. 

Here I’m not going to explain what is the 4G or 5G, but if we are talking about briefly on that; fourth and fifth generation wireless mobile systems are commonly known as 4G and 5G. They are expected to provide global roaming across different types of wireless and mobile networks, for instance from satellite to mobile networks and to Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). 4G is an all IP-based mobile network using different radio access technologies providing seamless roaming and connection via always the best available network (Multihome).

The fifth generation communication system is envisioned as the real wireless network, capable of supporting Wireless World Wide Web (wwww) applications in 2013 to 2020 time frame. According to the technology specialists, the 5G (or beyond 4G) systems will be capable of supporting wwww allowing a highly flexible network such as a Dynamic Adhoc Wireless Network (DAWN). In this advanced technologies including intelligent antenna and flexible modulation which are keys to optimize the adhoc wireless networks. 5G systems should be an intelligent technology capable of interconnecting the entire world without limits. An example application could be a robot with built-in wireless communication with artificial intelligence.

Data bandwidth
the maximum throughput at short distance and low velocity is about 80 Mbit/s, while the peak physical layer net bit rate is 100 Mbit/s.
more than the 1 Gbps
Packet switching
Packet switching

So basically every phone or device will get an IP address and operate on the data network (not like previous circuit switching network). This trend will provide the stage to make strong and huge VoIP network which can do video conferencing and other hi-tech communications like Mobile TV. 
I’m personally believing IT giants like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo will be the next generation MVNO’s (Here I’m not referring current MVNO technologies, I think MVNO’s next generation is basically geo distributed telco software such as HLR can be in US and centralized IN can be in UK which communicate over the data network) and these giants will be control the mobile world afterwards. So basically what I’m saying is, in the near future people do not dial numbers to make phone calls and they will dial e-mail addresses instead.
Nokia and some of other telco applications and hardware vendors are speaking on Cognitive radio technology which is going to be the RF hardware layer for 5G. In following video you can see the technology introduction.

Above brief is enough to think on what's happening in next decade. So obviously mobile phones also will get upgrades since mobile networks are getting change. Basically we are much more towards to the era of advance smart phones which can do GPS navigations.. Content browsing.. etc. 
These days many people are developing smart phone applications.. and hosting applications to earn money, eventually some of them are making money and some of them are losing out but the youth trend is there always. Hence I can say next decade is the era of content applications J as well.

Do I need to change my mobile phone??

I found above image from the internet and it shows what’s happening around us. You can see these days Android (Google’s open-source operating system) is hitting the market, respectively corresponding phone operating systems such as iPhone OS also sharing the other bigger portion of the market. Since Androd is open source, phone hardware companies like HTC, Motorola and Samsung can get the OS free for their phones. This makes big advantage for them to provide low cost mobile phones than the others. 
HP brought the Palm recently and now they have came up with WebOS as well as Blackberry also has came up with their own tablet device last month (Sony also announced they going to provide tablets), so hopefully within next few years we can see some low cost tablets and high-end smart phones in the market.
That means definitely I have to change my phone, otherwise I could not survive on the growing mobile network (Using Nokia 1100 on 5G network will be a quite rare case).

How about mobile development platforms??
These days biggest trend is Cloud services, some companies says they are providing SAAS some says PAAS, actually some of companies selling bullshit saying cloud services. I know a company who says their applications are SAAS, but here hilarious matter is, that cloud application needs to install separately and manually on each and every individual customer (no cloud concept automation in the installation at all – just imagine Salesforce application platform installing separately for each and every customer.. smiler scenario is happening here). So currently most of the small software development companies uses name of the SAAS (or other cloud services' names) only as business model or to do the sales, these companies do not implement SAAS technically. Hence I do n't think that kind of companies can be a challenge for other bigger software development companies any more.
As I think, Mobile TV, SIP phones and other ordinary contents like news, sports and music will integrate with  mobile platforms using applications. Since networks are so fast and connectivity errors free, downloading and use of these applications will not be a big issue.
Most of the 4G platforms and modern web applications uses Web 2.0 technologies such as web service, JSON and DOM. If you are going through the internet standardizing web sites (you could see business 2.0, telco 2.0 and web 2.0 terms), so nowadays we are spending the version 2.0 age. I guess after 2013 or 2015 version 3.0 will start. According to the web sites related to the web technologies are says Web 3.0 includes TV-quality open video, 3D simulations, augmented reality, human-constructed semantic standards, and pervasive broadband, wireless and sensors. That means most of the mobile application content and web sites will be much more attractive and innovative.

What about PSTN??
In the above paragraphs I talked more about mobile phone technologies, if we think on land lines and Fiber channels next biggest technical milestone is VDSL or VHDSL (Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line). Currently we using ADSL2+ which is recently released and speed is approximately 1.5 Mbps to 1.6 Mbps (telco people says speed is 2.0Mbps). VDSL providing 50Mbps to 100Mbps. According to the telco news sites VDSL2 is providing 1Gbps speed and still under testing and research.

So I think sometimes combination of Web 3.0, VDSL2 and 5G world will be more virtualized.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My research on Facebook :-)

I did not really mean it, but I did a small research kind of thing (or rather analysis) on the Facebook during last few years. I found following quite curious facts on Facebook marriages. I found 3 types of groups among them. [Please note that.. this is only for Facebook marriages]

Group #1

1. When young girls are changing their profile pictures quite frequently and suddenly, that means they are finding partners. Sometimes they are uploading quite sexy pictures, with widen hair + smiley faces or with short skirts etc..
2. #1 not applicable to young males but you can catch them when they are putting comments on photos or wall posts of specific “single status” females.
3. After sometimes you can see they changing the relationships.. and "like" each other’s posts.. etc..
4. Next step most of the time will be the engagement or wedding, if they are quite facebook addicted couples, then you can see the wedding pics as well.
5. If they are tooo FB addicted.. You can see their honeymoon pics as well in FB.
6. Sometimes they are keeping only single FB profile for both of them and they are naming it by putting their names together.
7. After one year.. Or may be few years later you can see the second generation of them on Facebook. Sometimes parents are creating second generation’s FB accounts since they are too small for the FB ;-)
8. People who are in this group are always updating the FB.. and taking care of friends pics and profiles posts as well.

Group #2

1. In this group, girls are quite silent characters, basically they are doing nothing. They are keeping simple profile pages, sometimes no profile images
2. Here boys always buzzing females and putting comments, like posts and pictures.. etc.. It looks like he trying to get the attraction from the girl but actually not, that girl already fallen for him and he is trying to manage the situations.
3. These people do not put any wedding or honeymoon pics in FB.. but after the marriage they will change their own profile pics to couple photo.
4. Rarely they put second generation pics on FB
5. After the marriage they are almost dead people in FB :-) no sound anymore

Group #3

1. People who fall under this group are almost silent in FB.. no sound at all.
2. They start the relationship by poking each other.. And sending messages.. And chatting etc..
3. They are always careful on posting and putting pics.
4. You will not find this group of people until they were got married ;-)
5. Sometimes even after that, they will not put any pics of them or their second generation

Sometimes my research report will help you :-)