Thursday, September 27, 2012

I miss writing software!

The last serious work I did in software was a project for the Jain Dialysis Trust where their coupon distribution system was automated. I remember I had deployed the software and reached their office a little late on the day it was about to be used. I wasn't very worried because it was tested thoroughly by Ankur, my former colleague from Effigent (and a brilliant tester). As I entered their office, I noticed patient beneficiaries carrying papers that seemed familiar. A closer look revealed that those papers were coupons generated using my software! I was so thrilled. It felt really great! I almost had tears in my eyes!

For months, the trust did everything manually. Writing out coupons by hand, painstakingly collating data into registers, tallying cash against the coupons. Now everything was automated. The coupon distribution system that would involve 10-12 different people could now be handled by 2-3 people in the same amount of time! This whole project was coded by me! I never felt so ecstatic! Software gives you this kind of high.

I gave up my career in software to a full time job at NephroPlus in October last year. I have not done any coding for about a year now. I miss it!

There are things I did not like about software - the deadlines, the hurry to get something out there even if it was not perfect, the tension that comes with a production app having problems and so on. But the high you get when you see something that you have produced being used by users and actually making a difference like it did in the Jain Dialysis Trust project is unparalleled.

Even in my career in software, the period that I worked for Grene was most satisfying. My work at Effigent was mostly managerial. Managing teams of people writing software. Managing software teams never gave me the high I got from coding! My work at Grene was pure coding. I was the only developer on iOS and WebObjects. I was the only guy working on what I was producing. I thoroughly enjoyed that work. Of course, most software jobs would not be like that (unless of course, you are Jayadeep!). You generally work in a team in which you write a small part of the whole product. In Grene and the Trust projects that I did, my code was basically the whole code! So, I guess the satisfaction was that much more!


Anonymous said...

Kamal that is the drive which usually leads people to start their own companies... much more so than the hopes of getting rich.

Anonymous said...

Your favorite company Apple is also now in the mode of releasing software/hardware before it is perfect. Quite a sad turn of events.

- Bhanu