the responsibility we have as software engineers

“We, software engineers, have superpowers most people don’t remotely understand. The trust society places in us is growing so rapidly that the only thing that looks even remotely similar is the trust placed in doctors. Except, most people have a pretty good idea of the trust they’re placing in their doctor, while they have almost no idea that every time they install an app, enter some personal data, or share a private thought in a private electronic conversation, they’re trusting a set of software engineers who have very little in the form of ethical guidelines.”


I had the chance to chat this week with the very awesome Kate Heddleston who mentioned that she’s been thinking a lot about the ethics of being a software engineer, something she just spoke about at PyCon Sweden. It brought me back to a post I wrote a few years ago, where I said:

There’s this continued and surprisingly widespread delusion that technology is somehow neutral, that moral decisions are for other people to make. But that’s just not true. Lessig taught me (and a generation of other technologists) that Code is Law


In 2008, the world turned against bankers, because many profited by exploiting their expertise in a rapidly accelerating field (financial instruments) over others’ ignorance of even basic concepts (adjustable-rate mortgages). How long before we software engineers find our profession in a similar position? How long will we shield ourselves from the responsibility we have, as…

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When you accidentally call your old number

I left office today in good mood because I was happy with my work. Moreover it’s friday. No wake up alarms for tomorrow. I can sleep to my heart’s content. 

So I just came out of office and started walking down the street. I took out my phone and as usual started playing with it.

Suddenly out of the blue I dialed in the first mobile number that I had. Just in a blink It reminded me of the excitement of having a mobile number for the first time. How much I loved it then. How I wanted to share my number with a lot of people. Also that I had paid 1,000 bucks to get life-time validity which we now get it for free :p

In the meantime I had forgotten that I had called the number. Now it is with some other person. He picked up the call, said “Hello!” twice, yelled it couple of times and then hung up the phone saying “Dhurr sala!”( what you say after getting irritated :p).

I didn’t mind any of it. I just liked that what happened today, reminded me of some good memories and a few good friends 🙂

Its the TRP Game

The Black Sakura

A few years ago, I got hooked to a popular Australian show that fuelled the dreams of aspiring home chefs. The judges and the contestants became a topic of discussion at home and among friends. It was and still is a great show.

Two years ago, I started my food blog and all my friends asked me to apply for the Indian counterpart of the same international show. Honestly, I hadn’t watched a single episode of it. Here’s why:

1. An actor was the judge/host: While he makes a living by taking up roles that cracks up not necessarily everyone, he was here on this show to convince me that he was knowledgeable about food. Okay.

2. Drama: How much drama can you stuff into a show? Well, looks like these guys have got it down to the tee. If you’ve got a sob story and bucket loads of tears…

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How to change your TATA DOCOMO Self Care Language

ImageI bought a Tata DOCOMO sim card in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh). When I called the self care number the default language was Telegu. I could make out nothing of it. Finally after trials, here is the way to change your language preferences.

  1. Call 121 from your Tata DOCOMO number.
  2. Wait for the Announcements to end.
  3. Dial 1. 
  4. Wait for some instructions where it talks about balance and VAS.
  5. Dial 4.
  6. Now you will be provided with languages. Choose the preferred option.

Congratulations. You are saved from all those time consuming search to change the language. Thank you! 🙂