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Engineer to entrepreneur: A love story

Last updated on: March 10, 2010 17:31 IST

Engineer to entrepreneur: A love story



It's become a trend now for young Indians to become authors. Whatever their professions -- doctors, software professionals, engineers etc, etc -- these young authors are doing the un-mundane. Jayanth Gurijala, a 24-year old BTech in computer science from Sastra, Thanjavur, too dared to write a book after he quit his job at a leading software company.

Aptly title the book Exotic Engineer Entrepreneur describes the journey of a software engineer and his love story. It is about Vikram who, when he finds true love, wants to become an entrepreneur because he wants to give his love a comfortable life. Excerpts from the book:

Router crashes instead of giving error when user enters the date 43rd Feb.

In over a million lines of code, split across tens of thousands of files, my job is to isolate a few buggy lines or sometimes one buggy line or sometimes just one single
buggy symbol. This is my life, my boring life. When I was tagged as "the debugger" in my college, I never imagined that I'd be stuck at it for so long. At times, when I realise that I might be stuck up with a job like this for the rest of my life, I end up feeling like running away, keep running and never stop, like Forrest Gump.

But now, I'm stuck to my seat and have a bug to squash.

I curse Hang Ho, a Chinese in the testing team for finding this bug. Why the hell will someone, intelligent enough to use a router, enter the date as 43rd Feb? I open the bug description and the answer stares at me.

Instead of typing 4, I typed 43 and the router crashed. I look at the keyboard. This guy or perhaps a girl must be having real fat fingers to have achieved this feat. Curious, I search in the online Indigo Employee Directory and zoom in on the photo. Two small eyes of a sleepy, fat Chinese stare at me. His podgy face confirms my guess. He must be having equally podgy fingers.

"Who is he?" Oops! I dread this sarcastic voice; it always spells trouble. I turn around; Rakesh is looking curiously at the zoomed photo.

'As engineers we are tuned to take up an IT job'

"Submitter of the bug," I answer.

"Maybe you could send a mail across on how to solve bugs by looking at submitters' photos. I see everyone else struggling hard with the code."

Thankful that Hang Ho didn't turn out to be a lady, I look around. Everyone is busy, even Vinodh (I can swear that he had Orkut opened a while back).

"Any progress on this?" asks Rakesh.

The only progress I made today is to find out how Hang Ho typed 43 instead of 4. Sure that this cannot impress him, I started blabbing about my feeble progress in the last three days.

"Try to finish it by the end of business today," Rakesh says and walks away.

Ridiculous! It's impossible to meet that target. "Well better get prepared to face his wrath tomorrow," I tell myself.

"Didn't you observe him in the back of you da? I'm not as good as you are in sensing the presence of unwanted agents in the vicinity, next time try and warn me."

Vinodh can actually sniff out Rakesh's presence. Initially I used to laugh at his English. But soon, I realised that he does not consider this as a handicap. He has the ability to confidently address any audience in his lousy English. This made me stop laughing and start admiring him.

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh

'I want to quit Indigo, not fired!'

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After 8 hours of continuous work with just half an hour break for lunch at 2 and ten minutes for tea at 5, I'm feeling exhausted. Debugging is like searching for a pin in a haystack. It would be so much easier to go and buy a new pin. But unfortunately, the cost of buying a pin works out to be much higher than to hire people who will look for the lost rusty pin. Yes rusty; with thousands of people fixing hundreds of bugs every day, the code is in a mess, like an overused rusted pin.

I open Sametime, the Online Instant Messenger:

Vikram to Rahul: Come let's go. There is no way I can solve it today. Rakesh doesn't understand any technical details and yet sets deadlines. Wonder who made him a manager?

Rahul has been pinging me from the last one hour. We started playing table tennis three months back and we are now TT addicts; leaving without playing will render our day incomplete.

No response from Rahul. The large round bubble against his name is red, meaning he's away. But only 10 minutes back he said he's going to wait for me. I call him up.

"Hello," he answers after two rings. "Where are you?"

"In my cubicle, waiting for you."

"Idiot! Why didn't you reply? I wasted a rupee calling you."

"Reply to what?"

"I just sent you an Instant Mess Oh my God."

I stare at the screen. My mind goes blank. This is not possible. This is the end of my career in Indigo Solutions. I sent the message to Rakesh instead of Rahul.

Rahul: "I didn't receive any Instant Message;" my cell phone squeals. I throw it aside, run to Rakesh's cabin and look through the glass door. No bag on the table, he left for the day. He'll be oblivious to this message until he logs in tomorrow. Once he reads the message, I'll be fired; there is no doubt in it. I want to quit Indigo, not fired!

I slowly walked back to my cubicle thanking God for small favours. I'm an optimist. A pessimist would be cursing the world now, but I know the situation could have been a lot worse if Rakesh was still working; highly improbable considering the fact that he runs home the moment clock strikes 6.30 pm, but not impossible.

Rahul is waiting for me beside my cubicle.

"Kya bey, what happened? I called you about 10 times. Hey, you look so worried. Why are you sweating?"

I look around, some cubicles are still occupied.

"Come to the cafeteria. Emergency," I say. Tension was evident in my voice. Rahul started following me without another word.

"I just screwed up my career," I say, choosing a table in the remotest corner of the huge cafeteria.


"I sent an IM to Rakesh instead of you!" I blurt out.

"Rakesh? Your manager right?"


"What did you send?"

"I wanted to take out my frustration. So I typed in a message saying that he does not know anything and it's a wonder that he's a manager now. I I messaged it to him instead of you."

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