Friday, August 25, 2006

Once upon a time, there was a Project Manager who used to work in a multinational software company. Or, should I start with “Once upon a time..”; but, since I am telling a story so I have to use it. Nevertheless, the Project Manager is still working there. It’s only that his life has been reformed now, and he is an improved person.

So, the Project Manager used to work 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and he was dedicated to his job. He had already been a recipient of many “Star Employee” awards in the company. Let me tell you about his personal life. He was married and had a good-looking wife. He also had a 6-year old son who went to a private school. But, since the Project Manager was always dedicated to his work…so he didn’t even had time to know about his child’s well being. Moreover, what class he has been into and he don’t even noticed his child’s first walk. Therefore, one day, when finally, he had nothing to do at office, he decided to go home a little early. That was a surprise for some of the people working in the company, and some even saw him in amusement. But, finally the day has come when he decided to go early. Therefore, he called his cab and asked the cab driver to drop him early today. When he reached home, a six-year old boy (who was his son) opened the door who failed to recognize his own dad and asked him, “Who are you?” The boy then went to his mother, and said, “There is someone on the door whom I don’t know”. His mother came running to the door, and first felt surprised, and then felt a little angry. Surprised because her husband has come before even his usual time, and angry because her son had failed to recognize his father. But, she didn’t express her anger to his son; instead, she looked at her husband and just gave an indication with her eye like it saying, “Look, your son don’t even recognize you”. That was the most embarrassing moment for the Project Manager because his own son didn’t even recognize him as his father. He didn’t say a word to his wife or to his son. He quietly stepped inside the house, and went to his room. Then, he closed the door and locked it from inside. He then took out his family album which he didn’t have time to take out all through these years.

At least, we have an advantage to watch our past through the photographs which makes us realize that what we have missed and what we have done.

The Project Manager quietly kept turning the pages of the album, and saw the moments that he had missed, the moments that he could cherished, the moments that were much better than those awards and trophies which he won in the company, the moments that he could have enjoyed while he was busy bringing profits for his company. He kept on turning pages of the album, and with each page turned; a drop fell from his eyes making him realize of the fact that he has missed so many cherishing moments. Then, finally, he came to picture where he saw his son with a trophy, which was not similar to one he had received in the company because it was much smaller. But, he was happy that his son too had won a trophy but sad that he wasn’t there to enjoy and celebrate the moment. Finally, the album ended, and he made up his mind; that was the end of the day. Because from there on, he will be a refined person and he vowed to himself that he will come early and spent time with his family, which includes his wife and his son and enjoy every moment. He wiped his tears, and opened the door with a smile like he had just been born or like a doctor opens a door when a child is born showing signs of happiness. He then sat down to have dinner with his wife and son…and listened to his son’s wildest things, and enjoyed them.

The moral of the story is that “Work but in between also do not forget to spent time with your loved ones..your family, your family may include anyone, such as wife, son, mother, father, or anyone else….because they need your time more than your money. Money can be earned but not TIME because it is time that’s precious and not MONEY…TIME is more precious than thousands of diamonds because once you lose it…you are left with only memories and nothing else.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sometimes it seems frustrating!

Yesterday, when I was going back home..I saw something that remains fresh in my memory even now. I saw a person traveling with me didn't had all his fingers in his left-hand. That was a tragic site..and I just felt bad after seeing that incident. How could he manage to work still without all his fingers??

But, still, he was..or rather he is surviving...

How many people we see in our society with such disability but still they are living life, and are more happier than us who seem to have no disability problems. I believe that such people provide us an indication on how should we live a Life. Life is beautiful so why should we complain on things that we don't have. Once I saw my friend saying to himself after watching Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes, "I wish I could be a cricketer then I could be earning like Yuvraj". So, his ultimate aim is not to be a cricketer but to earn lots of money, which he is doing already with his profession. It feels like people don't have confidence on their own abilities, on what they can do. This is a result of concentrating on what others have and not what you have. If you are able to find your own SELF, then you will be able to know what best you can do, what best you can give to this world. Every individual has a hidden talent within is just a matter of recognizing it at the right time. It is also having a positive attitude because only then one will be able to realize your own potential. Look into yourself first before you look into others to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and try to make weakness as your strength.

TRY to be your own self!

As Zig Ziglar wisely said, "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Are you addicted too much to your job?

Here goes a story about a person whom I remember who used to behave and act as a technical writer in any walk of life. His name is Shyam. No matter, where was he or on what location; he just couldn't stop thinking that apart from being a technical writer he is something else also. I remember one incident when I had gone to his house for a dinner. Let me tell you something about his family. Shyam is married and he has lovely looking wife and a cute little daughter who is just 3 years old. So, when I reached his home, I was greeted by his wife. Shyam came from inside, and greeted me with a nice shake-hand and a lovely smile as usual. He was looking weak and had even grown fat as compared to what I had seen him six months earlier. Shyam and I work as Technical Writers, and it has been almost six months since we have met due to our lengthy schedules. He asked me if I need to have something, and I asked for a cup of tea. His wife came in with three cups. Then, we all sat together to have a chat and discussed about our past and how it has been. In the midst of the discussion, I noticed a very strange thing in Shyam. It was that whenever Shyam’s wife spoke; she as interrupted in between to improve the language and speak again. Moreover, he even interrupted me to speak correct language, and do not use any colloquial words. Then, I slowly realized the situation and thought to myself that he has been addicted so much to his job that he has taken it too personally. When Shyam went to kitchen to fetch a box of cookies that he has got from US, I got a chance to speak to his wife. His wife too agreed to this situation, and said, “I know that he has been addicted to the job but I am helpless as I have tried to explain him so many times. However, he has got his job to his nerves.” She said, “I have even threatened to leave the house if he doesn’t just stop getting too addicted to his job; but all in vain.”

Actually, this is the story of each software professional and it will become true for them if they don’t act at the right time and keep on working hard on their job. As there goes a saying, “Do not work hard; Work smart”. We need to understand one thing that whatever we do as a profession; in the end, it’s the family that matters for whom we earn a livelihood. In this story, the “Shyam” could be you, and it depends upon you as to how do you want to work. Recently, there was an article forwarded by one of my friends from Infosys chief, Naraynan Murthy, which clearly disallowed his employees to work overtime and advised them to spend their time with their respective families. So, I want to you to ask this question, “Are you getting addicted to your job?” If your answer is, Yes, then I recommend that you need a long break. Go ahead and have a weekend blast with your family or if you are married, and have a child, then try solving your child’s puzzle or make him/her do the math’s sums or even better help your wife get some groceries for the kitchen. In this way, you will get closer to your family and reduce the stress levels, and you will even make a better workplace.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Technical Writing: What’s in it for me as a fresher?

Time and now, I have seen the message in most of the technical writers’ forums that “What is in it for the freshers who want to pursue a career in technical writing?” I would rather ask a question to the forum that what it will take a person to enter into the technical writing field, whether it is a fresher or an experienced person.

First, let us define technical writing with the perspective of the freshers.

Technical Writing or technical writers are people who communicate the information to the end users. These are the people who convert the technical or scientific information into a form that is easily understood by the user.

Next, what we need to define is the skills required for technical writing.

Moreover, the answer is that a graduate from any discipline (preferably in Arts) who has a flare of writing can become a technical writer. The key skills for becoming a technical writer are:

· Good communication skills (both written as well as spoken)
· Ability to learn or understand technical topics

Some companies even require engineers as technical writers to write for their scientific/technical documents.

Now, what are the skills required? Most of the time, I have seen messages that says the companies require some experience in tools as well. To be a successful technical writer, you need to have ability to think logically and organize various thoughts that needs to be presented to the user.

Is there any professional training available for technical writing?
There are not many institutes that teaches you technical writing. Technical Writing is learnt while on the job. However, there are few initiatives that beginning to rise from Society of Technical communication (STC), India Chapter to train the budding technical writers in an event to promote technical writing in India.

How do companies recruit technical writers?
Like other fields, in technical writing too, companies follow the similar recruitment process to recruit technical writers. Most companies conduct a written test that tests your knowledge of Basic English grammar, and it tests you ability to think logically. In addition, some companies also test your technical skills if the job requires you to develop technical/scientific documents. Once you clear the test, it is then followed by an oral interview (through phone or personally) generally by a Sr. Technical Writer or technical communication manager. Once the oral interview s cleared, it then proceeds to HR interview.

Now, finally, what about the salaries?

Technical Writing today is buzzword!
A fresher can easily take home an amount of 6000-7000 Rs per month as a technical writer. If you are living in the cities such as Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, or Hyderabad, then you are a LUCKY ONE. As these cities provide with the best opportunities for technical writers, and you could start your career with a heavy amount of 10,000-12,000 Rs per month. Moreover, as you gradually grow with 4-5 years of experience, you can easily take home up to an amount of 30-40K per month.