This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone. ‘
Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing.’
He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point.
‘Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country.
Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?’
The man was awestuck; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination.
‘You design and code such things.’
‘I used to,’ Vivek paused for effect, ‘but now I am the Project Manager.’
‘Oh!’ sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over,
‘So your life is easy now.’
This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, ‘Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work.
Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality.
To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always