Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Anonymous Programmer

I'm reading through the first few weeks (which is how the author referred to chapters in the book) of Anonymous Lawyer, a novel by Jeremy Blachman about a hiring partner at one of the world's largest law firms.  There's a reason behind why he used "weeks" instead of "chapters." That's because the novel was adopted from his blog of the same title. If you click this link, it will take you to the Anonymous Lawyer blog site which remains to be one of the most popular blog sites in the web today.  It even now has a spin off site called the Anonymous Law Firm.  For all those seeking opportunities how to make money online or simply if you want to be famous, this is certainly another possibility!       

I simply can't get enough of the book.  I find it hilarious!  It's fun and interesting to read the thoughts of a lawyer who's a jerk most of the time but can be sensible at times as well.  I know that the book is a work of fiction but the caption at the back saying "He lives a lie but posts the truth" seems to sum it all up.  The character may be fictional but the ideas presented seem to reflect what the author, who happens to be a lawyer himself, believes is needed to become a partner in a big law firm albeit being over exaggerated at times.  The book is highly recommended! Special mention goes to aspiring lawyers who want to know if they have what it takes to be a partner according to Anonymous Lawyer's standards.

An anecdote about billable hours reminded me of my time as a software engineer in Anonymous Company.  In an effort to improve processes and measure the actual time spent on programming in a certain project, Anonymous Company required everyone to log the hours worked on every project at the end of the day.  The catch is, everyone was expected to allocate the total working hours spent in a day into specific projects.  I couldn't help but be skeptical because I couldn't find projects labeled as "Bathroom time", "Snack time", and "Sleep / Rest time" on the charts!  Not that any decent programmer would actually input times spent for these, but it just shows how some processes will not work for every system.  Not to mention that for most projects, more than 50 percent of the time allotted for development are actually spent idle.  Just like Anonymous Lawyer  who charged his clients around 600 dollars for his bathroom time, I can't help but think that we may have done the same!  Although I doubt that the time would come when software programmers can charge 600 dollars per hour! (^o^)/  Imagining the days when I just sat the whole day staring at my computer, waiting for updates and fixes, and yet willfully inputting 8 hours for a certain project makes me feel a little guilt within me.  Although it is abruptly followed by a feeling of entitlement considering that staring at the computer and doing nothing at all for the whole day is actually more difficult than doing actual programming (^o-)v.

On a last note, I'd like to share what Anonymous Lawyer had to say about his nephew who's a sophomore in college and is taking up painting.  He wrote "He thinks making money is wrong unless you do something good with it. He said I'm selfish. ... I think he has a lot of growing up to do. ...  He wants to paint.  Not everyone who wants to paint can make a living painting.  He doesn't understand that the world doesn't always let you do what you want to do.  There are sacrifices and trade offs.  You can't always follow your heart. ... Too many kids are stupid these days.  They have too many options.  Too many choices.  They think they can have ridiculous dreams and make them come true. ... I understand going for it if you don't have anything else you can do.  But if you're smart enough to get a real job, and make some real money, you're just being an idiot not to secure your future."  

I don't know about his nephew, but it surely knocked some sense into me. (^o-)v.

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  1. I had a good laugh at how you co-related anonymous lawyer to anonymous programmer. I have to say that I so agree with your statement that - "staring at the computer and doing nothing at all for the whole day is actually more difficult than doing actual programming".
    And the last paragraph ... well it kind'a made me ask this to myself - "is staying home to be a full time wife and mom securing my own future?" But then maybe, I am not my own priority anymore.
    Great post!

  2. Hi Charm! Thanks for the nice comments. THis blog misses you. ^^

  3. i super dislike those times when I had to fill out time report and had done nothing because there's nothing to do. Now, I'm reorganizing my department... i just had them log their "time spent" haha mean me, but it's just one time.

    Keep dreaming big, make some real money, secure your future and live a luxurious life :D

    by the way, how do you make the recent comments appear below? mine doesnt work anymore.

  4. @freeze

    i stopped playing Monopoly long time ago. hehehe

    I got a new one, I don't remember where, just search it in google.

  5. was hoping for some hints hehe, figured it out after so many tries.

  6. good thing you got it.
    i forgot na, I just copied somebody else's code as well.


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