Thursday, July 12, 2007

Aha, a bug...

Say IT in India and Bangalore and it immediately evokes sharp debates. One side, very rightly, feels that the work that happens in India is grunt work and the other side, very rightly, feels that this is an innovative business model. Both these are facts to a great extent, the second more so than the first.

The first is a fact, only because, there is no job that is pure superstardom, including superstardom. Ask Rajni or Amitabh, behind every movie (and successful will make it even rarefied) is a lot of grunt work.

Behind any software program is tons of grunt coding work. Behind every great musical composition or good write up are a zillion drafts and rejects. Behind every building that stands, is a lot of grunt work. A good theatre show packs in the grunt work of a thousand rehearsals. A nicely written editorial goes through a few proofreads and someone finds a typo. So, grunt work is a given. Can someone create a business/job/career without grunt work? Disagree with me if you like, but grunt work as a composition of "great work" or "aha moments" is pretty much constant for nearly all jobs. On the face of it some jobs have it more than others, but even there, outsiders feel that because of the difference in the definition of the "aha" moments.

So, software has its "aha" moments, as does a call center job; as much as there is an "aha" moment for a teacher's job or a driver's or a cop's or a typist's. Just that you and I may not know about it, or appreciate it. And, in any case, as I have argued before, the primary purpose of a job is to enable you to make a living out of it. If you are dead, you dont need a job, much less a satisfying one - aha!


Emperor said...

I would like to extend your argument as follows:

The primary purpose of a job must to be enable you to make a living out of it "on a long term basis".

How often do you get "aha" moments in flipping burgers? That is probably why certain jobs don't retain people on a long term basis.

Unless the job you do excites you, you probably will never realize those "aha" moments, even it happens.

It is those "aha" moments that will make up for all the unavoidable company jerks and their attitudes, etc. It is those "aha" moments that help your job be a tool for long term financial cashflow.

The "aha" moments will come only when you love your job.

Neelakantan said...

You are right, the aha moment makes up for all the crap around, but the company cannot create an aha moment.

The aha moment will not come from someplace else - you have to create it for yourself.

Sometimes, the aha is big enough for an hour, sometimes for a day and sometimes it will help you quit your job and start a new one!

Shruti said...

the aha moments for writing..

wonderfully written..

Take care