What Do People in the IT Companies Really Do?


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Sometimes back I came across on Facebook the following thought-provoking conversation between a father and his son working for an IT company. It was in Tamil. I have embellished it for your reading pleasure.

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Source:- pronetusa.biz
Source:- pronetusa.biz

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Dad: “By the way, what do people working in IT companies do?”

Son: “Why do you ask?”

Dad: “Because I see them strutting about like the peacocks – aloof and serious.”

Son: “Appa (Dad), do you include me also in your remark?”

Dad: “In a way, yes. Is it because you guys earn hefty salaries?”

Son: “Appa, these westerners, especially the Americans, want everything done in a jiffy. And, for this, they are ready to spend any amount.”

Dad: “Yes. Yes. Loaded as they are, they can afford to spend on such things.”

Son: Almost all companies and banks in the US, UK, and other European countries are ready to spend any amount to develop software  to do this thing or that thing. We call them ‘clients’.”

Dad: “OK”.

Son: “The IT companies have their offices and personnel in those countries to sniff out such clients who are ready to dole out heavy amounts. We call such personnel ‘Pre-Sales Consultants’, ‘Sales Consultants, etc.”

Dad: “What do your sniffers do?”

Son: “On approaching a potential client, our consultants will first introduce our company. They will highlight the pros where we excel more than our competitors.”

Dad: “So, your consultants will cast the bait and wait for the fish to bite!”

Son: “Yes. While nibbling the bait, the potential client will ask 1001 questions. They will want to know whether we can do this, do that and so on.”

Dad: “And…”

Son: “Our Consultants will assert that our programmers can develop whatever they want. They will eulogize the members of our IT personnel as demigods who can create any kind of software for quick and efficient conduct of their business.”

Dad: “Then, you are a demigod?”

Son:  “Hired as consultants at exorbitant salaries, it is their duty to say so.”

Dad: “What educational qualifications should a consultant have?”

Son: “Most of them are highly qualified MBA, MS, and such other degree holders.”

Dad: “What! Do you need people with such high qualifications to just say ‘can do’?”

Son: “Yes. Their qualifications carry much-needed weight to inveigle a potential client.”

Dad: “And then what? Will the potential client transform into a loyal client?”

Son: “Appa, it is a bit difficult to predict. There is a lot of competition in the IT field. Like our firm, other IT companies in India and other eastern countries too would have approached the potential client.

Dad: “So, how will you secure the project?”

Son: “Here comes the power of persuasion. Our consultants will promise the potential client that members of our software development team being demigods would complete their project in 60 days what in reality would take more than a year to complete.”

Dad: “How can a project that would take a year to complete be accomplished in just two months? Would it be possible even if they work 24 hours a day? Doesn’t the promise amount to cheating?”

Son: “I won’t  call it cheating because, during those 60 days, the client would be hazy about what the real needs are, neither will we be. Even so, we will deliver ‘a completed project’ in 60 days.”

Dad: “Then what will happen?”

Son: “The client will moan and say ‘This is not what we wanted’. They will then demand  that we incorporate this, that, and so forth.”

Dad: “And, then…”

Son: “Our consultants will ask them to raise a ‘CR’.”

Dad: “A CR?”

Son: “Change Request.”

Dad: “What does that mean?”

Son: “Our consultants will tell the client that during the stipulated 60 days our company had accomplished work for the amount paid, and if the client requires anything else, then the client will have to pay extra.”

Dad: “Will the client agree?”

Son: “Yes. The client has to agree. Can you face the world with a half-done haircut?”

Dad: “Ok. Now tell me what your company does once they secure a project.”

Son: “First, we will form a team for the project. A Project Manager will head the team.”

Dad: “That means, the person appointed as the Project Manager will know every aspect of that project.”

Son: “Not at all. The Project Manager knows nothing of what the programmers under him do.”

Dad: “If so, what is his work?”

Son: “If any of us make a mistake, we will point our finger at the Project Manager. He is the proverbial Redeemer, ‘The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world‘, the martyr, and the scapegoat. He is always under stress wondering who in the team might be next trying to bury him. “

Dad: “Poor fellow.”

Son: “The success or failure of a project is in the hands of the Project ManagerIf it is a success, the team gets the accolade, but if it fails, then he gets the boot. “

Dad: “I pity the poor soul.”

Son: “If we have any problems, we approach him.”

Dad: “Will he solve your problems?”

Son: “What! Solve our problems? Never. The company pays him to shake his head in the affirmative and mumble, ‘I fully understand your problem‘. It’s like you shake your head before Amma (mom).”

Dad: “I am glad to know that you at least accept me as the manager of this house. Carry on.”

Son: “Under the Project Manager are the Tech Lead, Model Lead, Program Developers, Software Testers, etc.)”

Dad: “You come under the category of…”

Son: “Developer. Most developers are from Tamilnadu, Andhra, and Karnataka.”

Dad: “What do the Testers do?”

Son: “The sole object of the Testers is to find fault with the work of the developers.”

Dad: “What! Your company pays Testers to find fault in the work of others?”

Son: “Yes.”

Dad: “So, with the combined efforts of all these staff, the project would be easy to complete, isn’t it?”

Son: “It’s not so. Only the developers and the testers work. Others, from my point of view, just idle.”

Dad: “Will you complete the project before the due date?”

Son: “Of course not. It would be a shame if we complete the work by the due date and it would rather be better to commit suicide because the management would think the work is just simple and start the process of retrenching.”

Dad: “But, won’t the client question the company about the time lag in completing the project?”

Son: “Yes. The client will! But, we will counter the client by saying, the computers they gave us were dusty; their staff coughed during the team meets infecting our staff; inclement weather; unpleasant working environment; toilets not clean;  cobwebs on the ceiling, etc., and flabergast the client.”

Dad: “And then…”

Son: “The confused client, with no other option left, will give us some more time to finish the project.”

Dad: “And will you complete the project in time and hand  it over to the client?”

Son: “Not at all. If we do that, then half the computer savvy people in our country will have to beg on the streets.”

Dad: “So?”

Son: “A few weeks before handing over the completed project, we will stage a scene before the client. We will throw a hint that we had accomplished something stupendous in our project that only our developers could understand and manage.”

Dad: “And?”

Son: “Like a new bride, the flabergasted client will beg us to not to leave and will request us to provide them a few of our developers who could stay with them to run and take care of the project. This additional process called ‘Maintenance and Support‘ will be an ongoing project for years to come.”

Dad: “Now, I understand the workings and strategies of an IT company. It’s not only marrying a woman, but also maintaining her for an indefinite period in the future!”

Son: “Yes, Appa.”

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