Random rant

[Update]: Prose and Verse updated! 

I have a new pet peeve, to add to the gazillion I already have. Which is probably a big hint to everyone that I’m starting a rant. Please feel free to click the ‘x’ on the browser window.

My newest irritatnt? The portrayal of the IT industry (aka software industry) on TV and movies. It’s so horribly erroneous that I either walk out of the movie (or atleast say that I will walkout till the movie finally ends and I really have to walk out) or change channels or like in most cases, fret and fume even if there’s no one around to listen to me.

There’s this Telugu movie called ‘Aadavaari matalaku ardhaale verule’. Without going into specifics, it’s a family love story (that’s a new genre – no skin, no scenes that make you squirm in your seat if you’re sitting next to your Grandma, etc etc etc) and the protagonists are both employees in a software firm. The flaws were so obvious and glaring that I wonder why the director did not take a minute to validate his story with reality – not to mention it was filmed in an IT hub like Hyderabad. And yesterday on TV, I happened to catch this serial that centers around young people working in a call centre and it was so OMG-that’s-just-stupid!

So to all those directors who make movies or plays on the IT industry –

– We (software engineers) do not work on physical files. We do not carry file folders to work and submit reports to our bosses on paper. We use e-mail and electronic files. Heard of e-mail? No? I’m not surprised considering you guys still seem to live in caves.

– Our bosses cannot stand in the middle of the office floor and shout at us for not doing something right. They just cannot. Even if our mistake just cost the company a million dollars. They can fire us, yes, but they cannot shout at us in front of the whole world.

– If you want to show the hero working on some software application, atleast use Micrsoft Office. Notepad just doesn’t cut it.

– Windows Media Player is just a media player. It can play songs and movies. It’s not the FBI or CBI database of criminals and/or terrorists. And it most certainly does not come with embedded face recognition capabilities.

– If the hero is in a group discussion as part of his recruitment process and if he hesitates to speak since he cannot speak in fluent english, the recruitment manager will not come to him and say ‘Dont feel ashamed to speak in Telugu, go ahead and speak. Language doesn’t matter’. In reality, they’ll just ask him to get the hell out.

My sincere advice? Please watch a couple of Hollywood movies. Or atleast the CSI series on TV. They sound stupid at some level too, but atleast not as moronic as you guys. And if you tell us one more time that the trigger to a nuclear device is a TV remote control thing, well, there’s nothing much I can do considering the fact that I’m just an average-jane-movie-goer. But I will call you a stupid idiotic schmuck on my blog. And I have atleast 2 readers to read this. Just so you know.

And why should you take a software engineer’s advice? Because the geek shall inherit the earth. And we’re first in line for the throne.

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39 thoughts on “Random rant

  1. poruthathu podhum nu pongi ezhundhutenga 🙂

    but media player a pathi thappa pesaadhenga.. Vijaykanth adha vechu kaatara viththai ellam paarthadhu kedayaadhu me thinks!

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  2. I’ve never used anything else for writing programs. Just the sweet old notepad. What’s wrong in using notepad for software Dev.? It just shows how confident the engineer is. It’s faster than any of those IDEs.

    WMP is not a database thingy. But if puggles (That’s people with no programming blood in them) want to see terrorists faces and info, what’s wrong in making a video file out of them and put it up as a presentation? And WMP can play it..

    Before saying all this, you must remember that a large part of people who watch those movies are puggles. They don’t look at the title bar of the application on the screen. They don’t have any idea what it is like in a software making environment. Most puggles won’t accept offices without files.

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  3. “Windows Media Player is just a media player. It can play songs and movies. It’s not the FBI or CBI database of criminals and/or terrorists. And it most certainly does not come with embedded face recognition capabilities.”

    ROFL…I’ve noticed this thing in a couple of movies and some serials too….My dad and I keep lol’ling’ over it 😀 We had a very tough time, explaining the funda behind Windows Media Player to my grandparents, the very first time, we noticed this thing on TV :))

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  4. hahahaha…*trying hard to stop loffing*

    This bit though, my dear girl,

    Our bosses cannot stand in the middle of the office floor and shout at us for not doing something right.

    shocking as it may seem, me has seen it happen :-S

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  5. hehehe! You are seriously freaked out! Havent got a chance to see the Mega serials or the Telugu movies you mentioned.
    But–I see, in the tamil filmdom, many actors were once software engineers or atleast engineers. Earlier it used to be college drop outs turning actors. These days engineers become actors! May be the day when software engineers become directors, all these issues of mis-direction would fade away.
    Just a fragment of fiction Priya, nothing intended to freak you out 😉

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  6. Din’t you notice Vijaykanth typing away to glory while the screen showed the Windows 98 bootscreen in the movie “Ramana”? I was ROFL all the time when I noticed it. Seems Sun TV hire engineers to bring a semblance of realism to its mega serials. That surely is an oxymoron , realistic mega-serials!

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  7. Priya – 🙂 no kovam..just irritation!

    Harish – Me has seen ‘Ramana’, if that’s what you’re hinting at 😉

    Manoj – I knew there would be a smart-alec like you to argue every point of mine! 😉 My logic is, the puggles will anyway not know the difference between what’s real and what’s not, so why not show the real technology so the non-puggles can be at peace! 🙂

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  8. Nithya – 🙂 I’m not even starting on technology for the previous generations! I kinda feel sorry for them – its not their fault that its so overwhelming.

    Pingu – getouttahere! they do? well, they cant in my office. 🙂 thank god for the small mercies..

    Aparna – Not exactly freaked out, ‘coz I can change the channel if it happens 🙂 and yeah, being an engineer these days is equal to being 10th pass! 😉 everyone’s one!

    Voltfarce – ‘Ramana’ was a first in many aspects 😉 heights of tech savviness, me thinks. and yeah, realistic mega-serials is an oxymoron! 🙂

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  9. :))

    Vijayakanth does that media player thing in one of his movies…..and in “anandam” one episode…the guy gets a boot error (according to him)

    but the screen just displays run in safe mode!!!:))

    to top that he starts typing the moment the desktop is displayed!!

    Where the world yis goving???

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  11. The comment about Vijaykanth and WMP reminds me of something.

    There was this movie, whose name didnt manage to stay in my brain for long, in which this guy was asusual a cop or CBI guy. He finds a picture of a criminal taken outside the Chennai airport. Unfortunately for our beloved Captain (thats how Tamils call him!) the picture was very dark. He tells the computer operator sitting next to him “Konjam Joom (zoom!) ponga” and the picture zooms in, which was agreeable. The funniest part is, I think this whole thing happens in WMP, this guy says that the pic is really dark. So the operator does something with the cursor on the picture similar to paiting a wall and the it gets really bright and clear! Alas, Captain finds the culprit!

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  12. If you want to show the hero working on some software application, atleast use Micrsoft Office. Notepad just doesn’t cut it.

    About portrayal of the IT industry—does anyone here use Microsoft Office for coding?! I bet some do use Notepad like text editors. So what’s your point? Do you want your hero to be seen as a glorified typist instead of a programmer in the IT industry?

    Windows Media Player is just a media player. It can play songs and movies. It’s not the FBI or CBI database of criminals and/or terrorists. And it most certainly does not come with embedded face recognition capabilities.

    You might be surprised—have you considered that there might be 3rd party plugins?

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  13. Sometimes, even software engineers have to work on a piece of paper. Sometimes, even software engineers have to give printouts of powerpoint presentations. There, you have got a physical file now.

    Bosses, quite often, can stand and shout wherever they want. Depends entirely on the work culture of the company. So generalizations about IT bosses never shouting please. Sometimes, they do.

    What’s wrong with working on notepad? At least you can write code with it. The only thing you can do with MS Word is documentation. Which one is more geeky?

    As someone already pointed out.. there could be 3rd party plugins for WMP. Or the player itself could have been integrated into another software as a viewer.

    The last point about the interview.. yes, highly unlikely scenario.. but not impossible. And what if they are looking for a programmer to work on local language support on some software?

    Anyway.. since your post was a rant.. I thought I would leave a rant in comments as well 🙂

    I am more irritated when they (movies) show the hero just guessing the passwords.. and the system taking their passwords in clear text. “Everything is planned” was a password in some Akshay Kumar movie.

    PS: Totally agree on geeks inheriting the Earth.

    PS2: I guess the reason why some movies don’t care about geeks may be that geeks are the biggest movie pirates 🙂

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  14. loved it… so true. Same applies to their portrayal of the field of medicine and hospitals (Yeah I’m a doc) and makes me fume… But I end up watching these mundane movies anyways…

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  15. First, loved your rant. Very good read.

    But let me share some of my observations.

    1. People in higher ups (bosses) not always read their official emails from computer. Most of the times they read the print outs of the imp emails , sometimes with important parts highlighted by EAs.

    2. Soft copies of the reports are circulated all through the office. But when it is some new numbers or thing improtant, then it is presentation. And before making presentation, the immediate boss of the employee presenting prefers to get print outs of the ppt and just mark/ add her thoughts on it. And after presentation and all , if its a new venture, one must submit at least one file to get the sign off.

    3. Shouting in the middle of the office..he…he… there are always bad bosses who couldn’t care less for the office culture and stuff.

    4. In the place I worked last, textpad(not, notepad) was one of the most preferred editor.

    These are the four things I came across… dont know abt wmp plug ins and all.

    Again, I seriously enjoyed reading your post.:)

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  16. All Indians are engineers or Doctors, are they not? And even the doctors know software. In fact the whole world is made up of coders. How dare these phillum makers use notepad in place of MSword? Angry, Angry, very angry.

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  17. If you want to enjoy Indian Movie,dont bother about reality. Medicine,Hospital & Surgery,Army,Police,courts,Jails and every other field is shown vastly different than what it is in real life.There is no point in ranting about this.

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  18. “The geek shall inherit the Earth” Amen to that! Ah, finally I meet someone who cares about such things 🙂

    You are right, while Hollywood and American serials can screw up too, they get the basics right. I think the local moviemakers forget that a large percentage of their viewers use a computer now.

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  19. Here’s one more for your frustration. In Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman when SRK gives out some analysis – the guy at the computer runs the “dir” command and confirms that his analysis about cement or something was absolutely correct!!! 🙂 Loved the post!

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  20. Princess – 🙂 the line’s not mine though, I just read it somewhere (back when I didn’t even know there was a Bible verse on meek and inheritance 😉 )

    Sidin – Much honored! 🙂

    Biofreak – LOL! It’s established fact that Captain is the most tech savvy of us all! 😀 Welcome to the blog, btw.

    Lalit – thx! and welcome. 🙂

    Chetan – 🙂 I knew I would have to face these 😉 If there are plugins in WMP to access FBI/CBI databases and do face recognition, well, I wonder why that plugin is not a tool by itself! And I wonder why it was never shown previously in any of those hi-tec Hollywood flicks and it took a Captain Vijayakanth to show us how useful WMP is! One can argue till the ends of the world on this, no? 😉 welcome to my blog!

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  21. Vivek – 😀 I like long comments, shows that someone else is as jobless as me 😉 and since you ranted in the comment space in response to my rant to begin with, I wont rant again! (and thus she glibly evades counter-arguing all of Vivek’s points..muahahahaaa!) welcome!

    Neeti – Oh, they do that? I’m no doc, so I sometimes do fall for those verbose names they give to diseases 🙂 welcome to my blog, Doc! [the next time you drop by I might greet you with ‘Whats up Doc’ a la-Bugs Bunny – I’ve always wanted to ask that to a doctor ya know ;-)]

    Dodo – Yeah, I’ve heard about bosses shouting at the team post writing this rant! 🙂 but where I come from, that’s very very very rarely done. So lucky me, yay! welcome, btw. glad you enjoyed the rant 😉

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  22. Rajesh – Hmmm…I’m not sure if you’re being honest or pretty darn sarcastic 😉 but honestly, in these times of having pretty good tools even for basic HTML/XML, I wonder why Notepad is still used for coding. I for one use it only for jotting down phone numbers! 🙂 welcome to my space.

    GSIK – thx! n another thx for droppin by 🙂

    PK – Like I said somewhere above, it’s not worry, just an irritation that these directors take us to be just dimwits when it comes to technology! 🙂 wc!

    Traveller – 🙂 absolutely! even the older generations are pretty conversant with laptops/mobile phones these days, so it’s high time these guys pulled their act together on showing tech in movies. u a geek, eh? u’r most welcome even if you are(not) 😉

    gaizabonts – Oooh, I did not know about Raju ban gaya gentleman! 🙂 but I have seen instances of the windows command prompt being the UI for a nuclear device firing console 😉 welcome to the blog!

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  23. That’s v well observed and well written. Could we publish it in JAM magazine on our Movies page? Let me know, by dropping a line to rashmi_b at yahoo.com. We will pay u a small sum as well 🙂

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  24. Pingback: IT & South Indian Cinema - Priya « கில்லி - Gilli

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  26. I remember Venkatesh’s face when he flops the GD in that god forsaken movie about software people……..wish that would have happened in my GD for accenture..

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  27. hehe.. I was so irritated seeing that scene.. and no, such things never happen in real life (reason enough why they shouldn’t be happening in reel life, but who listens?!!) 😦

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  28. Good post…
    I wouldn’t protest if you went even a bit further in ridiculing the director. The director had simply lost it in my opinion.
    Your last line caught my attention,
    Geek shall inherit the earth… true indeed geeks may inherit the earth.
    Second and we’re (I assume by we you mean Software Engineers) first in line for the throne… I somehow can’t stop protesting. You are assuming you are first in line because of a dollar machine half way down the earth that is paying you peanuts for the so called nice job that you are doing. Ever wondered about the nice building you work in? ever wonder ed about the nice roads you criss cross on daily hopping to work?
    Ever wondered what might happen if people stop building those roads and those buildings?Or maybe if people stop making those vehicles you travel in?Remember those people are also geeks in a line where you claim you are standing first.
    All you will be left with is the “Earth” to inherit with, you can track back to stone age with your software codes. Ever wondered what will happen if you go on strike? Try and see what will happen!! And pray daily that this thought of going on strike doesn’t creep in to the minds of other geeks behind you in line for the throne.

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  29. Thx for dropping by, Vishnu 🙂

    As to your stance on the line for the throne, the comparison here is only between geeks and non-geeks – not between the different kinds of geeks!

    Then again, its just a play with words..twisting a biblical verse to put a point across that being a geek is not a bad thing (considering the culture in ‘some’ countries where ‘geek’ is considered un-cool and crummy).

    Nothing against my fellow geeks (or the non-geeks for that matter), let me assure you. and oh, please to not assume my dollar machine pays me peanuts, I wouldnt work there if it were peanuts, there ain’t no charity and I ain’t no incompetent git to stick to a job that doesnt pay me! 🙂

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