RamsThoughts

June 3, 2016 9:25 pm

Engineering Quality vs UX Quality (Knowledge vs Understanding)

Quite an interesting concept about what and how our mind perceives learning into the muscle memory and the effort it takes to unlearn and re-adapt based on the newly learned information. The important thing to note is, it is doable. Adapting to change is what creates the engine going. In this video, the designer talks about the understanding and the tacit knowledge with an example of riding a bicycle.  The knowledge could have possibly come from the previous understanding. Just because we understood some concept doesn’t mean it gets into our DNA right away, it takes enough practice and re-emphasis to make it happen. The take away from this talk is – Understanding, Knowledge and Adapting to the change with the newly found information.

knowledge1

Looking at this video at first, I used part of my “fixed mindset” to conclude, why should we design bicycle differently. I later changed it to an “open mindset” and applied the thoughts to other areas. I would suggest you to watch this with an open mind and look for the implicit concept and areas it can be applied to.
(Picture : from the video)

 

https://youtu.be/MFzDaBzBlL0

On one of the products I worked few years ago, though we Engineering wanted to upgrade to a better UI, a better performance, on a better and improved technology – the users weren’t ready to accept. Given a mission critical revenue generating application, the business wasn’t ready to accept a new proposed changes. We met with business team to understand the rationale and realized – One of the key resistance points was, the users were so much used to the product, including the tab order (note: the tab order was incorrect at that time), and such a change (though corrective) would derail their productivity with unlearning and learning process. We negotiated differently and found alternate ways to upgrade eventually.

 

Looking around, I see several products that we use fall under this category.

  • Do you see similar examples around?
  • Are there any products that you use for yourself, and you wouldn’t appreciate if it was changed? 🙂

 

 

May 27, 2016 3:08 pm

Book review: Mindset – Psychology of Success

MindsetI am currently reading this beautiful book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, a psychology professor from Stanford University.  It is one of the great books I have read so far, from interpersonal awareness point of view. Being aware of “Fixed” and “Growth” mindset characteristics and the thought process that we cultivate are much imperative for building better relationship, better businesses and better teacher/student relationship overall. Author gives plenty of examples to get better understanding of what “Fixed” mindset is and what “Growth” mindset is. In an essence we all have both the traits in us, and we may use them to the context. We may also crossover these mindsets at times , in our circumstances.

http://amzn.com/0345472322

It is great to see numerous examples in several categories from Kids/parents to School/Teachers to corporate culture, businesses and Leadership, sports – essentially all walks of life and roles. Essentially my understanding and key takeaways reading this book, goes towards two aspects –
(a) the thought process or the mindsets that we inherently come with or put an effort to change our behavior and thought process over a period of time and over different circumstances,
(b) Communication, being a bottom line, is a root cause and remedy for every kind of relationship hassles – be it with any type of relationships – kids, schools, businesses, home, sports, work teams, etc.

What is cool over all of this book is the last chapter, as a workshop of how to change mindsets. Plenty of pointers and notes would help refresh and work on those areas.

Though I am still reading parts of this book – what I like is , as you read along the book , you would relate those scenarios to your own circumstances and apply these observations as appropriate.

Our School system and parenting is an epitome of  nurturing “Fixed” mindset in children. We praise kids for their grades (“what”) but seldom for their approach to achieving the grades (“How”). The action re-iterates over and over so they get bogged down with getting scores as their target, and most often than not, the lessons learned are short lived. However, if the kids were to keep their lessons for life, they should be kept focused on the “How” part than the intended outcome. In other words, we train children with “Fixed” mindset towards academics for the most, but seldom for their life (“Growth” mindset).

One of the powerful quotes from the book – “”We are not looking to crown a few princes, we need to work as a team” – Lou Gerstner, IBM”. Author has taken 3 key CEOs in the history coming from “Fixed” mindset taking the company to a newest height and declining at the same rate , and from “Growth” mindset steadily taking the companies to the greater heights at the same time empowering their employees, instilling the similar Growth mindset teamwork in them. There are plentiful references to Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” and “Build to Last”.

Here isMindset Book review1 a little part of my notes from this book for the extent I have read so far.

 

 

 

Hope you will take time to get hold of this book and read it for yourself, apply the concepts and share with others.

 

November 1, 2015 1:08 pm

Aloo bonda

Filed under: Childhood Memories,Food,Parenting — ramsblog @ 1:08 pm
Tags:

After a long time, we thought of making aaloo bonda (potato) at home. It was just instantaneous that our friends were coming home that afternoon, we looked around for the ingredients required , and happened to have all of those available at home. Viola ! there got started the process of making bonda within half hour.

Aloo bonda

Process at a high level:

  • Make bonda vege mix out of Potato , peas and other ingredients.
  • Prepare batter out of chick peas flour (besan) , rice flour, chilli powder, and other spices
  • Make little rounds of the vegetable mix prepared above
  • Boil oil for deep fry
  • deep fry the the vege dipped in batter until it turns golden brown
  • Wait to slightly cool down to a consumable temperature
  • Eat with chutney or ketchup or as it is.

A good food when it is drizzling out and would prefer to munch something spicy with a cup of coffee or tea🙂
During my childhood, my dad used to make these on evenings while it was pouring out and I would have just then reached home from school with all drenched in pouring rain. This used to be heaven. I loved it.

i will post the detailed recipe to my ootathindi blog when I find some time to do so.

oh did I say, because I had a bit of extra batter left out – I made some assorted bajjis too – they got missing for pictures apparently. Key ingredient contributors for assorted bajjis – Eggplant, Dates, .. hmm, yummilicious🙂

October 31, 2015 11:15 pm

Kids Birthday

Filed under: Children,Food,Friendship,Fun — ramsblog @ 11:15 pm
Tags: ,

For whatever the reason we couldn’t celebrate our kid’s 3rd birthday couple months ago. Our friends were so particular about not skipping his birthday celebration, even if it was a small scale to our usual. Last weekend, was the day finally worked for all of us to meet together and get this going.

cake1

Kids enjoyed the most. The fine morning, it was still cloudy and drizzling, but around the time we were about getting ready, the Sun god showed some mercy and starting showing himself around with a little rays of sunshine and a cool breeze due to drizzle from that morning. We went over to a nearby park to get some fresh air and keep a tradition of his birthday being at the park. Thats what we did the previous years. In a way being a summer born, it works out to go rent a place in a nearby park and have the kids enjoy the environment, instead of confined within 4 walls , that’s usually what happens for our daughter, being a winter born kind🙂

cakeCollage

After the Cake cutting, songs, and playing a bit on park equipment,  we all drove home for the yummilicious food.

cakeCollage2

Being thankful for the friends around and for their friendship. Thank you for making this happen. 3yr old, and his sister and parents have all loved and appreciations go a long way.

#GodBless

May 10, 2015 10:53 pm

Shoot the messenger? Or understand the core of the problem?

Filed under: Communication — ramsblog @ 10:53 pm
Tags: ,

Often times, we tend to get wear thinking hats and find the solution even before we hear the problem statement completely in its entirety. Well, most whom I interact with, are engineers, and it is way too common that our brains work alike. It takes a constant awareness to really hold our feet firm on ground and tell ourselves to calm down and understand the problem. I believe understanding the problem is a virtue one could have, that helps to find the solution in half the time , it otherwise would have taken. I remember the statement, my engineering college professor used to say while teaching “Production Technology of Industrial Engineering” –

“A Problem solvably stated is half solved”

I would like to extend this to say – provided we patiently frame the problem statement well.

I ran into these tongue-in-cheek situations about 3 times today – being on both sides. And the observation was, about the same – too quick to offer solutions.

Why do we shoot the messenger way too soon? Why not wait to understand the problem in its entirety? Does ego play a role there? Or Is it the engineer brain that makes us to get into analysis-paralysis way too soon? OR perhaps, the defensive nature, that we are not too good at taking the feedback, accept and acknowledge, and offer comments, if any.

I remember the conversation with a relative few years ago, where i was at a receiving end, when he gave the feedback about the context we were then talking about. I was too quick to reply, in other words, as I think of it now, defended the initiative I was part of. The immediate reply was, he was providing me of his perception of how that initiative looked to outside, me defending or accepting his observation, was up to Me / our team, who led the initiative back then.

When I encountered the similar situation today, I had to really bite my teeth and remember, that I was at a receiving end, so shut up and listen. Likewise, when I was at the other end, providing / observing feedback and observations, it is upto the receiving end to implement – for instance, my phone conversation with Comcast, and Lingo 2 days ago, and several other in-person conversations this weekend. Even as a giver, at times it is good to bite the teeth and tell the self, it is okay –  as long as the goal is to make things right. Again – “not perfect” , but the intention to make things right.

So what is the downside of shooting the messenger?

— Depending on the relationship between the messenger and the receiver, it will be the receiver’s missed opportunities to make things right and learn from the mistakes. It reminds me of another saying “God has given us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason; Listen at least twice as much we speak”.

So,

Shoot the messenger ? Or Have some patience?

#Context #ListeningSkills #PresentationSkills #OpenCommunication

May 30, 2014 5:46 am

Whats wrong with my inputs for dates here?

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 5:46 am

 

start date: 3/1/1999

End date: 8/25/2000

the validation error: Date must be equal to or after Start Date (mm/dd/yyyy).

 

 

dateValidation

 

May 9, 2014 11:50 pm

Role of Dev and Test

http://angryweasel.com/blog/stop-if-you-want-to/

I agree on thoughts in this post. The testers should be really looking for the dataflow and analyze the root cause of data loss, the security glitches, the performance issues and so on. Last couple years, I switched over to end to test testing space in enterprise commerce testing over 20 to 30 applications in a data flow sequence. When I used to be on vertical applications, the integration played very limited role. But then I wanted to expand my horizon to see how the data flow worked between the integrated systems.

I transitioned over to being a QA data analyst from being a vertical tester. Sure, my automation contribution has reduced off late, but still thinking about ways to automate the end to end context, However, the point is I learned a whole lot about making integration between various applications seamless, which is a daunting task.

It becomes more so important to have the thorough E2E testing in supply chain management and interacting with umpteen number of systems from Quote to Contracts to Orders to Invoicing to Fulfillments eligibility and user access. Connect the dots and that would certainly end at what users could do and the kind of data they process day in and day out . Lets take an example that you booked 4 tickets on XYZ Airlines to travel international. What if the instructions to baggage systems were wrong? what if your transition in 2nd leg had only 3 tickets and missing one for your family member? What if their meal preferences were messed up on the 2nd or 3rd leg where you would be so hungry traveling long distance? and several other what if’s. The Data flow analysis and testing plays crucial role that may or may not be efficiently automated. The goals is to see the same data flowing across the systems. Most vertical application level testing intends to mock up the data as input source, and that may or may not comprise the same set of data flowing from upstream and that wouldn’t provide the good coverage there.

Testers should be adding value testing the right things that matters to the end users. And Developers writing the tests for the functional checking.

November 16, 2012 9:01 am

surface RT! …exploring

Filed under: Uncategorized — ramsblog @ 9:01 am

exploring Microsoft SurfaceRT! last couple of weeks. It has been a positive experience so far though there have been few glitches but the overall experience and the positive features outweigh the glitches, which makes it surfaceRT giving better UX.

September 15, 2012 7:27 am

Cars run on Alternate fuels

The other day , Vidya and I were driving to her art class while filled the gas on the way, she asked :

V: appa (dad) when I grow up to age to drive the car, what kind of cars will be around? are they Gasoline fueled or like hybrids

Me: These cars would still be around (given that it is about 10yrs away)

V: would most of the cars be Gasoline, hybrid or electric?

Me: with the trend, I would foresee mostly electric cars, tremendously improved with mileage, (and so on and so forth)

V: appa, I would probably prefer the cars run on Air fuel, are there those around? If not, how is this IDEA?

Me: made me think. hmmm… isn’t this fantastic idea? but why do you think so? Why air and not electric?

V: Now we stop and at times panic for running out of gas. We saw the electric fueling (charging) station at the city hall or would charge at home, we still need to stop and panic if we run out of battery, like you do when I play games on your phone.  So with air, the fuel can be generated on go, and not panic for gas stations.

Me: Fantastic idea.

V: Can you help me build this kind of car So we would be the FIRST Inventors ?

Me: Lets do some read up on this aspect.

By then we arrived at the arts class location and the conversation paused. I was curious and while waiting at her class, started looking up on similar concept. Looks like there are some similar concepts and research in progress, and some hit the streets .

Do you foresee any improvements in that area? Know of any pointers for further research?

 

August 11, 2012 1:56 pm

Windows phone and Zune connectivity : USB error

Filed under: Mobile technology — ramsblog @ 1:56 pm
Tags:

 

Windows phone enthusiasts: how do we fix this error Windows phone connecting to zune? I have OS Windows 7.5 on this phone.

"One of the USB devices has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it"

image

going further with next step from this dialog says "try reconnecting. if windows still does not recognize, replace the device"

image

i have taken the following steps and none seemed to fix.

  1. Restart the computer and phone
  2. Step as navigated from the notification above
  3. Well, as it indicated, I did replace the device, as we have 2 windows phones on a shared plan Smile
  4. uninstalled and re-installed zune software and reconfigured
  5. uninstalled/repaired usb device drivers
  6. installed drivers from DELL website (‘m on dell inspiron laptop)
  7. finally, also tried connecting both the phones on another laptop and received the similar messages on USB device not being recognized.

anything else? any pointers?

thank you

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