Sunday, July 09, 2006

fix a problem or find a new one... Wiki or svn....

Does it really matter. We are using svn to store the narratives in our current project. But after some iterations we had some problems. With some stories spanning multiple iterations (inspite of our efforts to aviod it) we had about 3 to 4 copies of the same story. So there we were, two distributed teams updating the same narrative in different versions in different iteration folders. Then there was the comments and questions that were being added on to the cards, owing to the fact that our two teams were working at two different time zones... All this lead to us having multilple versions of the same card being updated at different times in different versions. Huh... what a mess.
Thats exactly what we thought and we decided we could try and solve this problem by updating these cards on to a wiki page. This way we could atleast have only one copy of the story narrative, never mind the pain we had to go through to update the wiki page and not being able to link supporting documents (it may be possible, but we didnt have the required expertise in the team. May be we should hire a wiki expert for this).
But then, if we managed to maintain multiple copies of a story narrative in svn what would stop us from doing this in wiki. After all there was nothing stopping us from creating two pages for the same narrative and having it in different iterations. Also there was the problem of not having versioning for the story narratives.
Any way my intension is not to weigh the pros and cons of the wiki and svn and then decide which is the one which should be retained and which one goes out of the window. After some discussion with our home team during our Pre-IPM we came to a conclusion that it was too much of an effort to try and maintain the entire story narrative and the supporting documents in wiki (compare it to word and excel and i dont see much of a dilemma deciding on which to go for). But at the same time we had a tough time maintaining all the comments and questions on word documents. We decided we could use wiki for this. I dont see much of duplication here, since we use wiki for the common IPMs we have across both teams. I think the problem would be better solved by trying to be better desciplined in maintaining the documents than trying to come up with a new way of doing it which may have worked for some one. All problems need not have the same solutions and the same tools to solve it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Unwinding to recharge

Going to Leh has been something that I have been looking forward to for some time now. Planning for that has been an experience in itself. First we had to start with what we want to do there. We had a rough idea and we built upon that taking feed from people who had been there.
Going for a seven day river rafting expedition was one of the most appealing ideas.
But the costs involved would not allow us to do anything after that. As we were going to Leh for the first time we wanted to also check out some places and also do a trek, so we decided on a three day trek and three day raft plan.
Next came the booking. We had to consider the travel, stay and equipment that we might have to book before we get there. Started with some Google search and calling up some people. This followed by some mails gave us a rough estimate at what we were possibly going to spend. This was more than what we had planned for. So we checked with other people and concluded that it would cost us roughly the same amount.
Shopping for some of the equipment came next. We ordered for some sleeping bags and are planning to pick up some back packs. We also wanted to see if Santosh from ‘GetOffUrAss’ could arrange the whole thing for us. We got an estimate which I think is quite good considering everything would be booked and arranged for us.
So much winding to unwind…

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

43 things...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hobby-Consultants Inc..

Last Sunday while going for a Hash-run some where on Mangalore road, Rohan and me came up with a list of things that we would do given that we would have all the money and time.
We thought of making a poly glass-fiber Bicycle, a Quad bike (all terrain vehicle), a Telescope, a Helicopter and loads of other stuff. We thought of the possibilities of getting some kind of a sponsorship for building these things (got to agree the possibilities look pretty bleak). When it came to time we thought we could take a couple of days off from work or probably a sabbatical from work for a couple of weeks. But would all this be really possible…. . Well, two weeks ago a control line model airplane was just a possibility.
Talking about possibilities, how would it be if we could be consultants who could help out help out people who want to break out of their routine and pick up a hobby. We could help them in everything from deciding which crazy hobby to pick up to what they should do to find all the stuff they need.
We could call it Hobby-Consultants Inc.

Commitment for hobbies ??????

Last week when Rohan and I were going to finish off with our first control line model airplane, we hit upon an idea which at first sounds a little stupid but makes real sense real fast.
Rohan told me how he thought of probably setting aside a part of his pay every month for doing something different and probably innovative. I thought that it was a good idea but was wondering weather it would make any sense. A little thought over it made me realize that having a part of our pay set aside for doing something different would help us in keeping the interest alive as I think the lack of funds is one of the main deterrent towards being involved in something different.
With in a few minutes both of us were convinced that the money we commit into such activities would really help us in making things like an airplane, cycle, quad bike etc..
The totally worth the satisfaction that we get when we build something that works. And as Rohan put it ‘life is short – what the hell’.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A flying plane finally

The day before yaterday I got a chance to fly the first glider. From the 6th floor.we were just about to leave to Eshwars place to pick up wood for the control line model, when Nate saw us with the gliders and offered me 200 bucks for launching it from the sixth floor.
I thot it was a good deal and launched the plane. the plane flew for some time and went straight down, nose first. It landed right in front of jaggu, one of my collegues. the plane actually took the impact and I got my 200 bucks to go along with it. But I had hoped the glider would fly.
any way we went and picked up wood for the control line model. we also got the tyres and all the other accessories along with that. were qiute excited to begin with a plane that would actually fly.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The second glider and the Guru

The first glider actually flew. This kind of inspired us to do some more research on aeromodelling. Rajesh also gave us an idea that we could probably mount a camera on the model that we were planning to make and take some great shots from the flying studio.
when we searched for some info on aero engines for the control line models (these models can take off and land and fly for some time and are powered by an engine and controlled by a set of wires attached to the planes) , we found a person named Mr. Eshwar who has a factory which actually makes them and some RC (remote controlled) models(he exports them).
We called him and then gave him a visit. He turned out to be just the person we were looking for. He gave us all the details about the control line models and the Rc models. He was really helpfull and gave us a lot of small tips that really helped us in our next model. We picked up materials for another glider. The second glider's much better and shows more promise with respect to flying. Kini and me are planning to test it in the park across the road.

Monday, January 31, 2005


Since i was getting a little bugged with the monotonous routine of my life, thought it would be a great idea to put my creativity to some use and build something. building an airplane was an obvious choice as it's lind of a passion and has been my desire for some tiime now.
Found this beautiful place in ulsoor which deals with all the things required for AeroModelling. it was perfect. So on saturday after we were done with work Rohan and me went to that store. Checked out the wood and the engine and everything else. But we decided its better we build a glider before we build the actual plane. So we picked up two pieces and decided to see who's would be better.
today we started making the glider at around 7:30 pm and it's done now( its 10:30 now). got to see if it actually flies.

Books I strongly suggest

I started learnign the java language with the help of a book called 'HeadFirstJava'. It's a really cool book filled with pictures and examples which help u learn about the objects and all the OOP concepts and the java language itself in a very good way. It's a great book for any one who's starting off with Java. trust me the pictures really help.
Another book I would suggest for Java has to be 'Thinking In Java' by BruceEckel. It's one of those book , that i think every Java programmer can learn something from. All the concepts are explained very well in the book. Most of the examples are good ( but i must confess, some of it was not very good) . It's definately a must read for anyone learning Java.
I picked up a book called 'Open Source Java Programming', which explains some of the open source frameworks which can be used to develop complex web applications. They have done a very good job with explaining the reason these technologies could be usefull. I am curently reading the webwork part of it, would also want to check out Hibernate.

TWLIbrary project

Some of us at ThoughtWorks decided that we would involving ourselves in a project which would be starting from the begginning, would be a perfect way to learn about all the technologies and decisions that go with it, and in my case all get better at coding.
we started off by talking to chris, who helped us decide the technologies that would be suitable for our project. At present we are planning to use Hibernate for the OR Mapping layer and WebWork for the MVC frame work. As kini and me both were not familiar with both Hibernate and WebWork, we started off by looking at some online tutorials and reading some books. I would say 'Hibernate in action' is a pretty good book about Hibernate. I would strongly suggest reading 'open source java programming', i think they have done a very good job with explaining about WebWork.
we then got Naresh's help in setting up CVS and ajey gave us an account on Jhakas.
after all the set up we finally started coding on friday(28th i guess). we decided that we would use all the XP practices and make it a TestDriven Project.
we are planning to do some work on it today. I also have to speak to some of the analysts to ask them to write some story cards for us.