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Chapter-3: First presentation

Cast: Me, Nimit, Sid, Andy Supporting Cast: Mr. R, Mr. D

Flashback:

We finally got a project, in the Powai office, our PM, Mr. D and our project guide Mr.R.We had a few meetings with Mr. R, who explained us the requirements of the project. The requirements included the kind of screens required, the different entities and the database requirements. We were asked us to document the design document, the database tables and the screen navigation flow.


Our presentation with the "librarian" was slated on November 20th 2002.

End of Flashback:

Scene 1: Getting ready

Location: My home

2 hours before the presentation

Nimit: Yaar ek ar baar ppt dekh lete hain

Sid: abey fattu, kitni baar karega, sab aata hai apun ko

Nimit: Abey decide to karo koun kaisa bolega

Atlee: Nimit, librarian ko hi to presentation dena hai, itna tension mat le

Andy: Sab aata to hai apneko, pandhra (15) minute ka kaam hai

Nimit: Par yaar...

Sid: abey chupp...jaldi jaldi doc dekhle...uska print bhi lena hai

Atlee: saala print bhi nahi liya...saale tujhe bola tha printout leke aane

Nimit: Sid , tu saala kuch kaam nahi karta hai

Andy: Sid gaya ab tu

Sid: arre par...vasai main power cut tha...isliye nahi kar paaya

Atlee: saala tera gaav

Nimit: yaar, thoda serious ho jaao be...pehla presentation hai....thoda jaldi jaate hain abhi

Atlee: haan yaar, wahin printout le lenge

Andy: main rakhta hai softcopy.

Sid: Andy , rehne de, last time yaad hai na...sab ghafla karta hai tu, main rakhunga

Nimit: chupp dono...kaise kaise logo ke saath fuss gaya main...laa mujhe de

Sid: chal sahi hia, Nimit is the best

We take the printout in some stationary shop and move to the busstop. Buses were Atlee's second love. His first love was always temporary. He would know all the BEST bus routes in Mumbai and also had a bus conductor friend. Andy would call him BEST ka baadshah. As he found out which bus would reach the quickest and cheapest, a bus apporached us. Once inside and comfortable in our respective window seats, the conductor approaches us with the irritating sound of the small stapler like device in his hand.

Conductor: Ticket , Ticket

Sid: chaar ehh-ann-tee

Conductor: IIT?

Sid: ehh-ann-teeee

Conductor: IIT naa?

Sid: nahi re EHHH-ANN-TEEE

Conductor: arre kaay bolto haa (what is he saying)

Andy: master, chaar LnT dya...IIT naahi (Andy's learning Marathi for a cause...since then!)

We all are rolling on the floor bynow as Sid frowns and hurles a few abuses.

Scene 2: All set

I would like to explain a little bit about our breakthrough library management system.

This software would be used by the librarian at the Powai office, to issue/retrieve/reservation of books/periodicials and cds for employees of LTITL. A book may have 'n' copies in the library. We had two terms to distinguish between them;


bookId: unique id for a book

accId: unique Id for any individual entity in the library.

For eg: The Book :Java For professionals would be assigned BookId: B1 and its 4 copies would be assigned as A1 to A4.

I still remember, we have fought nearly once every day in order to understand this simple logic.


Our arguements would be funny as well.


We always used to gang up against one another.


Nimit and Sid would have an argument.


Nimit: Abey, BookId ek book ke liye hoga...par accession No ek book main se har copy ke liye hoga


Sid: chupp saala..sab galat bol raha hai


Me would join one of them....take Sid this time


Atlee: bookId and accessionId saath saath hona chiye. Otherwise we will not be able to identify an issued book from the database.


Sid: jo primary key hota hai, woh unique hona chiye..ab bookId cannot be unique....since there are many copies of 1 book...and accID cannot be either becasue you cannot differentiate between copies.


(Sid was the master of databases. Only reason being he was clear he wants to take up a career in Oracle. He only knew some fundae on databases, but we trusted him like God)


Andy would be silent till then...Thinking which side to join in.


Invariable, he would join the weaker party of the argument, Nimit in this case....


Andy: Par 2 variables lagenge na saale, jab search karega to accession number is not required. We need only book id in that case.


Now the fight was on!! 2 on 2.


Sid: But primary key is only one unique key. Woh book nikaal Korth, usme sab theek se diya hai.

Nimit: pata hia mujhe woh...saala tujhe database aata hai to mujhe bhi aata hai

Andy: do variables rehne de na. Jab search ka kaam hoga to bookID ki hi zarurat hogi

Atlee: ab yeh search kyu beech main laa raha hai.

Sid: Andy tu chupp baith...we need just one variable BooKKey which will be a mix of bookID and accessionID

Nimit: no ways...kuchbhi bol raha hai tu...documentation theek se padh...2 months ho gaye shuru karke, itna simple cheez nahi aa raha hia...Andy...tu hi samjha isko

Andy: Yaar, fir se shuru karte hain. Apna project main books, perioidicals and cds ko librarian issue/retrieve ya reserve kar sakta hai. Ab retrieve karne ke liye search feature hoga jisme bookId search key hoga. Uske results main number of availabl copies aayenge jab we will need accessionId to decide which books are available. Now, when he issues a book he will select one of the accesionIDs active and issue or reserve the book to the customer.

Sid: Customer nahi be...employee. Log galat samjhenge

Nimit: chee saala Sid, ganda dimaak

Now, Nimit-Andy combine was titling the arguement in their favor.

Atlee: But we can do that with the combined Id as well.

Sid: Yes, jo search hai usme exact wahi key aayega jo available hai. Librarian need not bother which Id is availbale not.

Nimit: Par agar sirf book pe search karna hai to accessionID will not be required. Kya dimaak kharaab kar rahe ho yaar...20 min hogaya...fukat ka discussion chal raha ahi

Atlee: Dekh Sid aur main barabar bol rahe hain...when we can do it with one id why need another varible.

Nimit: Yeh sab baat apna ho gaya tha...TUM LOG FIR SE WAHI BAAT KAR RAHE HO!! think of the other things we need to do in the project. Database design sab baaki hai...Main aur Andy isi approach se kaam karenge...tum log ko nahi karna hai to bhaad main jaao. Andy , tu hi samjha inko

Andy: err....waise Sid jo bola woh bhi barabar hai...dekha jaayega to...waise bhi kar.....s..s sakte hai..

Yes, Andys on our side now...Its 3-1

Majority wins! Arguement over!

Andy usually the confused soul...would switch from one side of the debate to another. I dunno if it was on purpose in order to end the arguement, but eventually we finished our battle 30 mins later...we almost come close to blows...all agigated...glaring...

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More on our arguements later...Right now we are entering the LTITL office, the reception area, talking to the sweet receptiionist.

Overcofidence oozed in our swagger..as we walked up to Floor:1

The door opens, and we reach the cubicle of Mr.R, our project guide.

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Scene 3: Nightmare

Mr R: So, you guys have arrived. Are you ready?

Atlee: Yes sir! ( As usual foot in the mouth)

Mr R: Presentation ready hai na?

Andy: Err.. Yes Sir

Mr R: You guys move to the seminar hall. We will be there in 5 minutes.

SEMINAAR HALL!!

Nimit: Yeh librarian itna bada aadmi hai ki seminaar hall main presentation.

Andy: Theek hai re, librarian hi to hai. Chalo neeche chalte hain

We reached the seminaar hall. It was dark room, with a white screen on the wall. Across the wall were placed around 10 desks with computer desktops attached. We took a few deep breaths and swtiched on the lights. Me who was still the technically challenged among the 4 of us, didnt venture out to the floppy drive. Nimit, moved ahead and swtiched on the CPU, arranged the wires to swtich on the projector and the seminar hall came to light!

We had everything ready, the ppt, set to slide:1 , with the title Library Management System in Font 14, while our names magnified the screen in Font :20.

"Software se jyaada, Developers ko bhaav milna chiye", Nimit used to boast. It looked nice too, as if we are the Bjarne Stroustrup or Niklaus Wirth of this era.

Our eyes were fixed on to the door, waiting for the librarian and our project guide.

I had seen very few librarians till then. In school, I hardly remeber going to the library, in junior college, our library had separate seats for girls and boys, so library was like "where"! As far as our engineering college was concerned, we had this librarian, a Marathi Manoos, jolly good fellow, who used to bore us with inane jokes, especially about authors and books which we hardly knew about. I expected our librarian to be another Marathi manoos, and someone who would be easy to convince as far as the project was concerned.

Sounds of the footsteps....Louder Louder...In comes a gentleman...In his mid 20s, short , curly haired with a pair of rimless glasses ushered in, took the far right corner of the room.He could probably sense the inquisitive look in our eyes.

I almost put my other foot in my mouth, by telling him, maybe he is in the wrong room. Andy asked me to remain silent.

Another sound...no, sounds...a lot of footsteps... this time two gentlemen. Just walked in and took their positions. None of these guys were the librarian(i assumed) or our project guide.
3 strangers who could easily have looked like managers. The next minute, to our astonishment, surprise or rather...shock..this was the right expression, the seminar hall was filled with 10 people. It also included our project manager Mr M, and his boss, Mr. J (who was a very very serious fellow) In came Mr. R, our only messiah in the room cool,calm and stylish.

Mr. R: Yes, you may start with the presentation.

What was going on! 11 people in the room, all big shots...and no one looks like the librarian. We are cheated! I looked at Andy, infact all four of us were shouting with our eyes...lip shut, body unmoved and feet rooted to the ground. Nimit, almost hid himself behind the computer he was adjusting just a minute ago.

Mr R: Common guys, we do not have much time.

Well, we had to start something...I managed to pull myself to the dias, oh what a feeling it was...stomach was curling inside, heart pumping outside and the feeling of going to the loo!!! I must stop here....

Atlee: gg Good Afternoon Sir...Sirs...(If was around 430 Pm, I was confused between afternoon and evening, stuck to afternoon as I felt it was going to be a loong day at the office). We are fourth year students of Vidyavardhini College of Engineering working with Larsen and Toubro Infotech Limited on our final year internship project.

Mr. J: It would be nice if you could introduce yourselves.

Ofcourse...what a fuckoll introduction it turned out to be...no introduction, no pleasant nothings straight about the project! Engineers will remain engineers. I thought...Im sure, neither of Andy Sid or Nimit may have done better. Atleast I took the leadership! Its so strange, pressure brings the worst in all...so much that suddenly the team became insignificant.

Atlee: Ahh...yes Sir... I am Atul Pujar(Atlee). I would like to introduce my team members, Ananthasivam Iyer (Andy), Siddhartha Joshi( Sid) and Nimit Patel. Each one giving a customary bow, as if he just sung an aria.

Mr. D our project manager sat alongside Mr. J, his boss...The others took their seats and took out their notepads and pencils. Mr. R sat next to the short curly haired guy. It seems, they were good friends as they started talking in Marathi and smiling at each other.

Mr. D: Yes Atul...go ahead.

Atul as I would like to call myself now, now that it is a professional affair.

Atul: Good afternoon again, We are fourth year engineering students ofVidyavardhini College of Engineering , Vasai and are specializing in Information Technology.

Mr. J: Is it the same as BE Computers?

A cliche question! Asked by almost every other older guy I have met and who knows something about computers! We had typical answers as well, and had mastered it over the years.

Atul: Well, BE I.T. and BE Computers have similar course structures.However, BE IT focusses more on Softwares than Hardware. BE Computer Engg course has more courses on Electronics, VLSI while IT focusses more on C, C++, Java.

Mr. J nodded in agreement.

Atul: As per the university curriculum, we are required to implement our academic learning by working in the industry. This internship project is of 12 months duration after which we have the final presentation in June 2003. We are working with LTITL under the guidance of Mr. D. Our project is titled "Library Management System".

There was a slight ease in my tone. The initial hesitation had erased, Sid and Andy were giving me a thumbs up while Nimit was keen to take me to the next slide.

The problem with our presentation was, it was not planned at all. No one knew who was taking what slides. Our premise was simple, if its the librarian whom we have to presentation, we can do it simply impromptu!

Impromptu brought us to a seminar hall with 10 people watching each move, each word closely.

Had I seen the ppt once, I would have been more than comfortable, but the fun was, each slide was a suspense for all of us ,except Nimit. And he chose to move the slides at the keyboard. Apprehensive, I asked Nimit to move to the next slide. Slide1

Slide 1 which was a gist of the system, the same books, cds periodicals thing. OK! I know this...

I spoke fluently about the various entities the system incorporated. Entusiastically I mentioned the versalitily of the system, it will also include periodicals, journals and cds! . As if they are completely different models with new technology or something. Now some confidence! Next slide please.

The next slide showed some rectangular blocks. Issue/ Reserve/ Reservation written in 3 blocks. I can speak about all 3! YAHOO!

Another easy slide this...wow! I can take any presentation in the world now!

Next slide! Suddenly request turns into arrogance. Nimit looks into my eye with scorn.

Next slide comes in! DATABASE STRUCTURE!

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

ATUL

I came back to earth! Now what! What am I saying next. The slide showed tables with some arrows around, our database design to baaju main...the table design was so horrible, with arrows flowing all around the page to meet its corresponding key in the , messing it all.

A moment's pause...everyone waiting for me to speak.

Atul: I woud now call upon Ananthasivam to take over the presentation. Andy stumbles from his seat, Main Kyu!! He looks at me as if Im Brutus, stabbing him in the back.

I decided that I could not handle it any further and someone had to take the mantle from me. Andy was the best bet. He was almost sleeping by then, assuming it would all be over. Andy takes over the stage now.

Andy: Database Design!

Andy looked much more in command. He started by explaining some variables, what exactly they meant in the system. I , meanwhile sat down in the far end of the hall, in front of that curly haired guy, whom we will now refer to as "pocket dynamo". You will soon know why!

As Andy was busy explaining the table structure, I heard voices of disagreement behind me.

"Naahi re, haa database design madhe gondhal aahe" ( There is something wrong in this database design). I ignored, focussed my attention to Andy. By then, Sid came and sat next to me and we were trying to control this tense situation around us.

Suddenly, pocket dynamo stands up!

Pocket: Excuse me, I have a doubt!!!

Silence!

Doubts! From where! Such a streamlined presentation going on, how can you have any doubt!

Andy: Err...Y Yes Sir...

Pocket: I want to know how is this table normalized.

NORMALIZED....normal...norm...normal....ive heard this somewhere....normalization!!

yes, normalization...where where....Cricket...no ..some movie...nayy!! C++...no...Microprocessor...no!! your close....Database....yess....maybe...Korth!

Yes, Korth!! Chapter 10. Rules of Normalization. Yes, Rule 1 says.....BLANK...... I often remembered the source, but not the contents....this was yet another such instance. The moment we realized it was related to database...all eyes turned to Sid!

Its his job!

Andy: (in a hushed tone) Sid....

Sid is looking elsewhere. Andy again prompts out to reach Sid, but since me and Sid were sitting towards the end of the room, some 25 ft away from Andy, it was difficult to call someone in hushed tones. Finally Andy had to resort to brute force

Andy: Yes sir, About Normalization, I would like to ask Sidhartha to answer your query.

Sid gives Andy a killing look. "aha mil mujhko"..somehow Andy got it...bahar mil mujhko he said and took the stick pointing it to the table on the screen.

Sid tried to explain the rules of normalizaiton which I would like to avoid saying it here, since I will have to open Korth myself. However, there was something wrong in our design. Soon, pocket dynamo rose once again...stopping Sid midway.

Pocket: This is wrong..This field should not be in this table. It is redundant.

aah! Redundancy was something related to normalization. I was trying to understand the rules in their discussion.

Pocket went on to explain something else. We nodded our heads with compete authority. Then, he turned to another table. Pointed another defect. It looked like things had already turned sour. This shorty had ruined our presentation before it was even halfway through. Our shoulders were dropping, no one was ready to defend.

Kahan se defend karte, none of us knew the intricacies of the database, and Sid, was already out! clean bowled!

Suddenly, Mr. R our dashing project guide, spoke. I thought, thats it, now he will start bashing the design as well.

Mr R: I do not agree to your point.( Looking towards Pocket dynamo). This design is right. If you see, the redundant fields are not seen in this table...

Soon, it was a free-for-all. All the gentlemen in the room started discussing/arguing over the structure barring the four of us. We wee looking in the direction of the person talking...half understanding the words, half understanding the table structure. "Oh kool, apna right hai". "Oh, yeh to galat hai"...The fish market seemed endless, pocketdynamo, was vibrant with energy , criticizing the design, showing how he would have made it. Mr. D joined Mr. R too, showing him that his table had a wrong field, not normalization. The short curly haired gentleman, suddenly exploded into this techie whiz kid who would blast the project once n for all.

Hence the name "Pocket Dynamo"!

Finally, the commotion ceased. They asked us to continue with the presentation. Andy continued with the other slides which were screenshots of the to-be project. There were minor changes asked, which we noted down. As Andy reached the last slide "Thank You" we heaved a sigh of relief.

A brief pause and Mr. D stepped up. Although he didnt look overjoyed, he managed to smile and applaud the presentation. He told us, that the work has just started and the next phase will be crucial to the project life cycle. We nodded, once again.

Nimit, who was in hiding till then, finally spoke. He told Mr. D that we will begin with the coding phase from the first week of January after our seventh semester would wind up. The gentlemen started to walk off, as we waited for them to leave.

Andy: Gone!

Sid: ohh fcuk!! kya waat laga be

Atlee: Shit! itna khatarnaak presentation.

Nimit: Chalo yaar, ab yaha se niklo....warna fir koi presentation dena padega. Baahar jaake baat karte hain

We rushed out of LTITL, took a rickshaw and went straight to a restaurant, ate and drank some cold drinks while recounting every thing that happened the afternoon.





















1 comments:

Prince said...

Too good.. sid n conductor s conversation of IIT n LnT is awesome.. I can imagine that its tuf to understand wat sid is saying :)

 
 
 

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