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5 Love Languages – Part 5

Love Language # 4 - Act of Service

This love language essentially means helping or doing tasks of your spouse proactively to make his/her life easy. If you are a house wife you would expect your spouse to cook meal, help with household activities, make a tea or coffee for her sometimes. Where husband’s expectations will be like wise. 
Life gets quite boring when we do only what’s expected from us. If we are not helping each other, if we are not coming out of our comfort zone, then we will never be able to express our concern for the other. Act of service then means being considerate of what your spouse and alleviating his portion of tasks or sharing responsiblities with him/her.
 Imagine your wife has served you for 20 years. She had done everything possible for you and you have been utterly inconsiderate of all that she has done. You never helped her, you have never been appreciative of all that she has done and you have made her feel as if she was meant to do what she did and there is nothing spectacular about her work. This way you are ignoring her and treating her like a doormat. This happens when you become too self-centered and fail to understand that you wife needs help. 
There are 3 interesting observations which the author has made : 
  • What we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage
  • Love is a choice and cannot be coerced
  • Criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love
We all are touched by these 3 observations  and we truly need to consider love as an action not as a feeling. 

Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to re-examine our stereo types of the roles of husbands and wives. These have changed over the last several decades, but models from our past can linger, and different cultures have different expectations of the right way of things are done in marriage.

Personal Experience

Every person has different strengths and weaknesses. They choose tasks based on what they are good at first and then think of what’s required from them. The expectations of your spouse might be such that you need to work on tasks in which you are not that good first. Don’t shy away from doing the task, because your act is an expression of your concern and your love for her.
 
The spouse also need to understand that we all have our unique strengths and weaknesses.  Your spouse might not be good in doing what you do best. You need to lead in such situations. This is where first love language Words of affirmation also come in to play. For example if your husband is not good in cooking but out of concern he has cooked world’s worst dish, don’t make him insignificant or disparage his efforts. On the same note, the husband should understand that doing things for his wife will only make her feel good about you. Don’t shy away with your weaknesses, take feedback and improve in future. 
 
Your husband might not be as good as you are in household activities or vice versa but a he needs your encouragement to improve himself. You got to help him to help you. If you demean his act of service, you will discourage him and he will never think of helping. Remember you are what you are first because of your parents and then because of your spouse.
Having said that it’s very important to also understand that there should be only one leader who should lead from the front, and other should follow with full support and open mindedness. For example, I believe my wife is much better than me in handling relatives, at home and with my son, so there she is the lead and I follow and in may other cases, I lead and she follow. There shouldn’t be two leaders at the same time. This will create conflicts. 

 

This is 5th  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 6

Love Language # 5 - Physical Touch

Physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love.  For children this is particularly relevant. It is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love as well.  Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating love. for some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it they feel unloved and with their emotional tank is filled. They feel secure in the love of their spouse. 

Almost instinctively in the time of crisis, we hug one another. Because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. In a time of crisis more than anything, we need to feel love. We cannot always change events but we can survive if we feel loved. 

A simple hug mean more than a thousand words at the time of crisis because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. In a time of crisis, more than anything else, we need to feel loved. We cannot change events, but we can survive if we feel love.

Personal Experience

Sometimes a simple hug speaks more than 1000 words. Just  a pat on the back is the most precious experience. This is the only language which breaks your boundary and requires the other person to be involved for its expression.
Before marriage when the infatuation is high, you tend to enjoy the sense of touch. But that gets eclipsed with you do not come to terms with your spouse because of so many reasons.  Forget about a hug, a simple handshake becomes a big thing. We unconsciously erect a wall between us due to various factors like. 
 

Just do one thing, the next time when you fight with your spouse, give him a hug to placate his emotions. The next time when he is gets home, welcome him with a hug. The next time when he gets a promotion, give him a sincere pat on the back.

Not that Words of affirmation are not required. Physical touch will add more value and feeling to the words you utter to your spouse

This is 6th in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – The conclusion

The final part

When I finished reading this book, I was a changed husband from the inside. It’s a different thing if my wife will notice that change and will appreciate the improvement I have made.
I could easily relate all that the author has explained in this book to a hindi movie called Baghban. 

Baghban  is a story of parents whose lives revolve around their children. Like a typical middle class Indian family, they did everything possible for their children right from their education, to fulfilling their demands even when when the children started working. But when the father gets retired the children were unwilling to take care of their parents.

The plot sounds quite similar. But what really make this movie worth remembering and what really made this movie so special was the love of husband and wife. Even in the age of 60 both husband and wife were so dedicated to each other.  Both husband and wife love each other so much that even in their old age, they can’t bear the separation from each other. Their love conquered the misbehavior of their children and  because of this love, they had the courage and zeal to start their life after retirement. 

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They are not worried how they will earn the money, or their children from whom they did so much, are unwilling to support them. The couple’s romance is so jubilant that it’s infectious to people of all the age around them. If you pay attention all the 5 love languages have been exhibited through their love story in the movie.

Love is not our only emotional need. Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth and significance. Love however interfaces with all of those.

How to discover your  love language ?

  • First observe how you most often express love to others. If you are regularly doing Acts of Service for others, this may be your love language.
  • Second, consider what you complain most often.  When you say to your wife, “I don’t think you’d ever touch me if I didn’t initiate it”, you are revealing physical touch is your primary love language.  
  • Think of the requests you make your wife most often. If you are saying “Do you think we could get a weekend away this month ?” you are requesting for quality time.

The Final words

I have found this book as a way to express my thoughts and reflect on the 9 years of  my marriage. No one can remain alone. You need someone to share your joy, to share your grieves, your success, failures and many other things, in short you share your life.
 
Your parents give birth to you, they do everything for your upbringing and make you capable to earn your living. They are the happiest ones when you get married. They think this as their last responsibility for you. They know that they will not be with your forever.  The reason they are happy for your marriage is because they know you have got someone in your life who will be with you longer than they will be around, who will love you as much as they do, they know you are with someone who will care for you just the way they have done for their entire life. 
 
I have discussed this book with few of my friends. They say, it’s not one person’s job to embark on this journey of transformation alone. My suggestion to all is just this, if you focus on what you can do, and be consistent on it without being deterred by what your spouse is doing, a day will certainly come when you both will start walking through this journey. So don’t wait for your spouse to start with you. Just start your journey and one day you will definitely see your life is changing, your marital bond is becoming strong and you are experiencing the love again. 
 

So in my first post, I started with the question “What happens to love after marriage ? ” My answer is it turns out to be what you yourself want it to become. If you want your love to become ecstatic and blossom your life with joy, it will become that. If you want it to become hell, it will become that. Either ways you are responsible for it and it’s always your making.

This is last  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 2

First Language : Words of Affirmation

Words have the power to make or break relationships. The choice of your words and the way you express yourself have a huge impact on your marriage. This has been emphasized many times in my life and I am still learning about my choice of words and how I express myself. Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew wisdom literature has rightly said: “The tongue has the power of life and death.”  I have seen this happening many times with many people.

Gary Chapman lists out these 4 dialects which make a lot of difference in the way we communicate with our spouse.

  •  Compliments: Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love. Just a simple “ You are looking smart today”, Oh you cook so well “. Thank you for waiting for me. I want you to know I don’t take it for granted, conveys a lot and shows you care.
  • Encouraging words: The word encourage means to inspire courage. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure.  Your words can instill confidence in your spouse. When he loses many battles in the outside world, he relies on you to reinvigorates his self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  

Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspectives. We must first learn what’s important for our spouse and then give encouragement. 
  • Kind words: This is more about the way we speak. The same words can convey different meanings and create different responses depending on how we have spoken them. 

“ Love doesn’t keep a score of wrongs. Love doesn’t bring up past failures. None of us is perfect. In marriage, we do not always do the best or right thing. We have sometimes done and said hurtful things to our spouses. We cannon erase the past, we can always create a pleasant future” 
. 


The best thing we can do with failures of the past is to let them be history. Yes it happened, whatever we had spoken to each other may have given us painful wounds but let’s not make them scars. For wounds heal but scars leave marks behind. We can choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s a commitment, a choice to be merciful and expression of love.  

  • Humble words: Love make requests, not demands. When I demand things from the spouse I become a parent and she the child.  She is mature and grown up to be commanded. And it’s insulting for her. If you insult somebody, you can’t expect pleasantness in return.

We are grown up and we have become a partner. We all have our individual desires. If we express those desires as demands, then we will be hurting our spouse. If however, that demand comes in the form of requests, then  we are giving guidance, not ultimatums.“When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you.  However, when you make demands, you become tyrant but not a lover. “ 

We cannot get emotional love by way of demand. My spouse may, in fact, comply with my demands, but it’s not an expression of love. It is an act of fear, guilt or some other emotion but not love.  


We lack courage and that lack of courage often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. The latent potential within your spouse in his or her areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.

Personal Experience

Being cognizant of the words and the way we speak makes a lot of difference in all the relationships. We human beings are very sensitive to what we hear but not very sensitive to what we speak. It happens most of the times because of how we handle our thoughts, emotions and the way we conduct ourselves.  



I have always been critical and at times rude to my wife. Initially, I thought my anger is being triggered by her actions, but after reading the book I realized that it’s actually my inability to conduct myself well, that I react rather than taking the responsibility of what I am saying. I believe a lot can be simplified only if we take the responsibility and understand if there is one person who should happen 100% the way we want is “we ourselves”.  These days I practice listening. I am not blessed like her with a lot of patience, but I understand that my words mean a lot to her and impact our relationship.  


 
I have been fortunate here that my wife understands this very well. Irrespective of the situation, she manages to still be soft-spoken and not hurt others by her words.  What she wants to convey may have some really strong words but she effortlessly manages to speak them in a quiet, composed and in a peaceful manner.

This is  2nd in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 3

Second Language : Quality Time

Time has literally become the most scarce resource for human beings. People have everything for each other but time. In this situation, the expectations from spouses are bound to be high. We know that friends and relatives don’t have time and there is no one to whom we can talk wholeheartedly. Getting somebody’s attention has become a big deal.

Giving someone time means giving them our undivided attention. If you are sitting in front of the TV watching some movie on Netflix then that movie has our attention, not our partner.  We all have 100s of things going on in our life. And they all need our attention. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day.  We can make most of those hours by committing some of them to our spouse. 

Here are the aspects of quality time which the author highlights in detail : 

Emotions themselves are neither good nor bad. They are simply psychological responses to the events of our life. Based on our thoguhts and emotions we eventually make decisions.

  1. Focused Attention When we do something together keeping our differences or arguments aside and try to have a pleasant time together. In this era of many distractions giving somebody, our undivided attention is the toughest ask.
  2.  Quality conversation: It means sympathetic dialogue when two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context 
  3.  Self-Revelation: It means opening up yourself to your spouse so that your spouse know who you are as a person. It’s only when you know how you think, what you feel about the various events, what is the process of your decision making, and how do you form impressions and interpretations of various situations in life, you get to know who you are as a person.  For self-revelation communication between the two persons are absolutely critical. 
  4.  Complimentary personalities: There are basically two kinds of personalities: one who talks a lot about themselves effortlessly and the others who have a hard time explaining their feelings. Remember it’s a different thing to voice our thoughts but explaining how we feel is difficult for many people which depend on their upbringing and conditioning from early  childhood. 
  5. Quality Activities: Spending some time for your daily routine and doing what your partner likes. Keeping all the worries, thoughts and distractions aside for some time and indulging into the activities which you both enjoy or at least one of you enjoy. It could be a simple walk in the near by park.

Personal Experience

When it comes to time, I feel I am a very stingy and vigilant person. I believe there are two aspects of time.

  • How much time do we actually have? 
  • What are we doing with the time we have in hand?

It requires a lot of consciousness, discipline, and honesty when it comes to taking time out for someone or for yourself. Most of the people of my generation think they are doing some great stuff and they are facing this time crunch because of responsibilities, their job, their lifestyle, and many other nonsense reasons. The fact of the matter is just this, they are not disciplined when it comes to time. Somewhere they are putting their indiscipline and laziness under a fancy carpet called time.  

The other aspect of what we are doing with time depends on how valuable time is and you want to make.  For some weekends may mean just sitting in front of the TV, having 10 hours of sleep. For some weekends means meeting relatives, learning new things, doing shopping with your spouse, playing in a park with your children etc. In short, it means more life.  Time is never the problem, the problem is willingness.  Are we willing to make life a lazy business or joyful experience? The choice is completely ours.   

This is 3rd  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 4

Third Language - Reciving Gifts

Gifts are a symbol of love.  If Words of Affirmation is about being sensitive to other person’s emotions, giving gifts is about expressing those emotions. When you give gifts to someone,  you think of the other person, you show how much happiness of the person is important for you. I must say that it’s also about how well you understand what will make another person happy. 

There are people who are very good at it. They know how to make someone feel special. These kind of people are quite expressive about their feelings and even if they don’t have money, they know how to make small things in life an absolute treat. 

There are other kinds of people who are not good at giving gifts.  Sometimes because they are not very expressive and sometimes because of money. Remember, if giving gifts is a waste of money and you want to save it for future, then you are being self-centered as you are purchasing self-worth and emotional security for yourself.

If you are the other kind who find it difficult to express yourself, then just think how important the other person is for you, how important his happiness is for you.  A love if not expressed to the other person, one day will lose it’s the charm. Yes, it’s true that not everything has to be explicit, but every person has a longing that someone should make him feel special. Some could make his special moment in life truly memorable forever, whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc.

Giving gifts is an investment in your relationship and you are filling your spouse’s emotional love tank. There is no such thing as a bad gift or cheap gift. It’s all about the emotions the gift has been given, it’s about the thought, it’s about the happiness of giving gifts as much as receiving gifts. 

Every gift need not have to be tangible.  Sometimes your presence itself is a very precious gift. Especially in challenging times and some very special moments, your presence worth much more than the costliest gift someone can think of. 

Gifts need not be expensive nor must they be given weekly. Their worth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with love.

Personal Experience

A gift is an act to show that you are thankful to the person.  Your spouse may do a lot of things for you and your family. Gifts present an opportunity for you to be thankful and show that you are thinking about your spouse. 
 
While it feels good to be on the receiving end, there is a feeling of self-gratification when you are the one who is doing the giving.  The happiness you get when you are opening a gift is temporary, but giving provides a more self-fulling experience that lasts for a longer period of time.  
 
I make sure that I make every new year special, every birthday special. This language I have learned from my father. He was very good at it and I can never forget the happiness which my Mom used to have while giving gifts to my her. 
 
If you are someone who doesn’t get gifts from your spouse, then don’t stop yourself from giving him gifts.  Because giving gifts is as much pleasure as receiving gifts. And who knows someday your spouse will understand how important this love language is for you.  

This is 4th in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 1

5 Love Languages - The Beginning

 What happens to love after marriage ? Whether it is a love or an arrange marriage, or even if you are unmarried, I am sure you would have this question at least once in your life. And every time you would have asked this question to yourself or to anybody else you either wouldn’t have got an answer or you would have got enough reasons to think quizzically, ironically or regrettably what happens to love after marriage.  The fact is whether you are happily married or unhappily married, you would have certain expectations from your spouse and longing for the love at any age. The form of expression and acceptance of love changes with age and it was this observation which prompted me to explore more about these dimensions of life called love and marriage. That’s the reason I chose to read this book and share my thoughts in the next 7 posts.

About the author

Dr. Gary Chapman is  philosophist, counselor and an author or 5 Language series. He is perhaps best known for his concept of “Five Love Languages”, helping people express and receive love as expressed through one of five languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
Chapman argues that while each of these languages is enjoyed to some degree by all people, a person will usually speak one primary language.

He has also authored the Five Love Language concept books for parents of children and teenagers, single adults, and a special version for men.

Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another person, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. We need to be loved by someone who choose to love us, who see something worth living in us.

Key Take Aways

  • There is no dearth of couple who feel love in marriage doesn't exist. This happens because husband and wife both have different love languages which seldom are same. They just fail to understand each other's love language
  • Most of us enter marriage by the way of "in-love" experience where everything is ideal, our infatuation is at its peak and it's euphoric. The "fall in love" experience requires discipline and efforts. It's a choice to expend energy in to another person through which you also feel special when he feels special
  • The 5  Love Languages are  Words of affection,  Quality Time, Receiving gifts, Act of service and  Physical Touch
  • Discovering the primary love language of your spouse is essential if you have to keep his/her emotional tank full.  But before that ensure you know your own love language first
  • Love is a choice - when your action doesn't come naturally to you. It's a greater expression of love. The key is to speak our spouse's primary love language whether or not it comes naturally to us
  • Our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth and significance. Love forms the basis for all of the three
  • Learn to express love as an action rather than a feeling. You cannot fake your feelings but you can always choose your actions consciously
  • We come to marriage with a different personality and history. We all have differences in many aspects of life, but we need to learn how to handle those differences

What made me read this book

I had some questions which kept on coming to my mind and I was seeking their answers :

  • Why love lose it’s depth, shine and intensity after marriage ? (well …in many cases)
  • Why  is it becoming increasingly difficult for people to stay together ? 
  • The rate of success of marriage was quite high during my parent’s time, however in my generation it’s becoming increasingly impossible for the people to keep the love alive
  •  Lastly, I was very much curious to explore the various dimensions which will help me to handle differences with my wife, keep the romance on and always remain lovable for my wife.
Clearly these questions are difficult and not one person can answer them in an absolute way. I found this book to be something which opened various simple yet overlooked dimensions of marital relationship. And the author has done a very good job in eloquently explaining them with situations that everyone can relate to. 

Why should you read this book

I strongly recommend you to read this book because it will help you to understand your spouse in a way you had never tried consciously. It will also help you to unfold the ways love can be rejuvenated, experienced and expressed to make the marital bond stronger. You might know about the likes and dislikes of your spouse, but what is it that really make his emotional love tank full ? How can we make love stronger and deeper as we grow old ?

We belong to different families and even if the couples know each other for years, still there comes a time when we face challenges in marriage. There are issues like, unfulfilled expectations, loneliness, the feeling of insecurity and insignificance which many couples struggle to deal with and end up finding their life in misery.

Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse’s primary love language, I believe that you will discover the key to a long lasting marriage full of love. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive, most of us will have to put forth the effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if your spouse does not understand it. If we want them to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in their primary love language. 

This is 1st of 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 resolutions every seller should make in 2019

New year new beginning may be a cliche’ for many but for sellers it absolutely make sense to consider new beginning with new year. One, they will literally be starting their budgets from zero and second they should give themselves the time and opportunity to overcome the success or failure of the past year. Here is the time when a seller will start writing new page of his career.

So here is my list of 5 new year resolutions which every seller should make:

Unless you are not selling something which is niche’ in the market, you know that there is a plenty of competition and customers really have an upper hand in negotiation. The only weapon in your arsenal is discount. But if you center your discussion only on price, then you know that you have very thin chance of winning the deal because a customer can have more competitive prices.
Furthermore, your job is to maximize profits.

To come out of this, you need to sell value to the customer and justify the reason he is paying the premium when compared to other cheaper options. Teach people how much they will benefit, how much your product or service will help them, and all of the things your product or service can do to help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. The more you focus on these values, the less important price becomes. This is not an easy task and will require significant efforts from your side. But trust me, it’s worth putting in this effort.

What should you do ?

  • Create a  territory plan with marketing, partners and your leadership to increase the number of qualified leads 

  • Plan your schedule judiciously, make sure you stick to it and don’t procrastinate
  • Utilizing sales tools like CRMs, communication tools and route planning can greatly increase your productivity

 

There are plenty of reasons because of which you didn’t stick to your plan, you miss out on building your database, you missed out updating your CRM, you spent less time on selling. You know there are repercussions of this and you are the one who is going to face all of them. 
Becoming more productive means spending more time selling rather than doing admin or customer support tasks and rate at which you are increasing company revenue. The more you are productive, the more time you will spend with the customer.



What should you do ?

  • Create a  territory plan with marketing, partners and your leadership to increase the number of qualified leads 

  • Plan your schedule judiciously, make sure you stick to it and don’t procrastinate
  • Utilizing sales tools like CRMs, communication tools and route planning can greatly increase your productivity 


You must have spoken to 1000s of prospects but you spent time only on the ones who you think will close deals with you. Spending time with the prospects who will give their money is quite obvious and that’s what we sellers want to do. But in this process we ignore leads who might not be buying from us right now. You know it’s important to nurture them, you know it’s important to keep them warm. But you didn’t do it. 

If you are in sales profession you must remember that the seeds of relationship you bow today, will reap benefits later.



What should you do ? 


  • Create your reach out plan using email campaigns, writing blog posts, linkedIn posts, attending conferences and calling your prospects once in a while. 


It’s very important that a seller use his time wisely and judiciously. If you don’t invest time in upgrading yourself, learning new skills and enhancing your selling skills, you are deemed to become obsolete soon.

What should you do ? 


  • Spend at least 8 hours per month to study. Invest time in learning about your industry, products/services, technology, customer persona, communication skills etc. 


Sales is a career filled with lots of uncertainties and rewards. As long as you are meeting your quota you will be The Rockstar of the organization. Everyone will applaud you and it will be easy for you to get carried away due the success. We all want to be in this situation. 

But when the market is bad 

and things are not going as planned, you definitely need to have some kind of security. You must be cognizant of this and ardently plan your future before life surprise you.

What should you do ? 


  • Network within and outside your organization

  • Keep working on alternate skill 

  • Prepare a contingency fund, so that in case you lose job for sometime, you can take care of your finances.




Wishing you lots of success, rewards and recognition in 2019. 


An introduction to Serverless Computing

What is serverless computing?

In one word serverless is the ultimate abstraction of IT infrastructure for compute function which takes away a lot of pain of developers to go straight in to developing applications.  They don’t need to worry about what’s going at infra level at all. They can simply upload their code and functions will be executed at the trigger of an event. See the below image to see how we have advanced to serverless :
 Earlier organizations used to purchase hardwares set up a network environment and ensure fault tolerance plus a lot of other things which used to go behind the scene. It used to easily take 10-20 days to set up the environment and start developing application.
This started changing when AWS introduced IaaS. Suddenly you were able to provision servers using APIs, you no longer need to worry about your hardware, you can now spin up servers in a matter of minutes
But you still need to worry about Infrastructure and something can still go wrong, what if it gets crashed, what if it gets hacked. That’s when Microsoft came up with PaaS offering.  You just need to push your codes, VMs and run time environment could be set up automatically. You were no longer responsible for servers   But then you still had to worry about servers.
Then came containers which are light weight alternatives to full blown virtualization and isolated but still need to be deployed in servers. Plus they have their own house keeping challenges. You still need to worry about keeping your containers, running your stuffs to worry about scaling, response to load etc.
Then came Lambda and server less computing was born. You are able to take your code without being concerned about managing the server.
There are quite a few service providers offering FaaS. Some of them are :
  1. AWS Lambda
  2. Azure Functions
  3. Google Cloud Functions
  4. IBM Cloud Functions
  5. Apache Open Whisk

 What are some of the Top Use cases of Serverless ?

The technology looks amazing but what are it’s applications.   Practically every monolithic application can be broken down to micro services and all microservices can be further broken down to 100 different serverless functions. Presently not all the applications are cloud native and there still is a hesitation from the customers to adopt this architectuer. Some of the key use cases for serverless are shown in the below figure.
Serverless requires a new architecture of developing applications.  Start small, start with less critical applications, perhaps few automation tasks or event driven use cases. According to a research done by The New Stack, Web services are the top planned use case for Faa

Serverless computing comes with a compromise too.  Some of the shortcomings which you should know before you choose serverless are :
1. Portability of application is an issue. You may end up locked in with a particular vendor. In case you are not happy with your vendor there is a lot which you will need to change and migrate to another vendor
2. You will have limited to no control over the infrastructure on which your application runs
3. Flexibility of architecture also gets compromised

 

The Effective Executive – By Peter Drucker

Every career has a pattern. For example, if you are an international cricketer your career span is 10-15 years on an average, you make most of the money in this time . You go through the ups and downs, you learn, you get your share of opportunities to excel and then you retire. But everything happens in these 10-15 years before you hang your boots.

If you are an actor, your career depends on the type of films you are doing and the type of roles you get. It’s very random, determined by a lot of people you work with and other other factors.

A career of an IT professional or anyone who is doing a 9-6 job is comparatively long and  have some stability and predictability. You really work hard and work long to make money.  You have a long inning to play before you finally get retired in your late 50s or early 60s.

One thing which remain common in all careers is how long you remain relevant in your professional life.

There is no dearth of people in the market who lose their job because they have got over valued . There is a mismatch in their skill set and the money company is paying, especially in a private sector job.  Companies can easily replace employees with cheaper options and automation.

So sustaining at the same level and making to the next level, both are tough. The people who are in this situation and who have an experience of  6-10 years are called mid-career professionals.

After working for 8 years in IT, I see there are many peers of mine who are in this situation today. Their careers are inching towards saturation, they are making decent money but the question of getting replaced have started haunting them and they are finding it tough to go to next level.

I had a lot of questions and I started actively looking for answers. Consequently, I came across this book, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, which was suggested to me by a Prof during my MBA days.

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker delves in to what managers should accomplish and how they should conceptualize their role.  However I find this book relevant to mid career professionals because it helped me to rethink and re-purpose what I am doing.  It essentially answers 3 questions for executives  (I will use the word professionals to make it more relative to many other readers):

  • Why a professional must be effective ?
  • What 5 habits must be developed to become a productive professional ?
  • Why society depends on successful organizations and the professionals who make them so ?

In this summary , I will talk about the 5 habits which you must be aware of .

1. Know your time : By the time you reach your mid-career, you are married, you have responsibilities, if you are lucky to still have your parents, you need to take care of them and you have children. Your personal life has become a lot tougher. Your professional life has its own challenges. You know that your compensation has increased and hence the expectations are obviously high. You also know that unlike your good old bachelor days, you have  financial commitments, EMIs, financial goals etc . 

You are expected to achieve more  and do more in the same 24 hours.



If you have not shown an inclination to  manage your time, you definitely have become a master of mismanaging it. 

I can’t emphasize how important it is to understand that there is only this much time you have and it’s all about how you plan and make use of it.

2. What can I contribute : This question is something which one must ask  everyday, every quarter. But people often ask this towards the end of the year and most of the times, it’s been forced by the manager.  People typically remain constrained to what was expected from them rather than taking a keen interest and ensuring that you go beyond your responsibilities.

I guess it requires a sense of curiosity to understand and be aware of what is happening around and what has to be done. There is always a situation which you and your company will be in and then all we need to focus is what is required  to be done. You may like or may not like the situation the tasks the people around etc. But if you direct your action or focus towards the situation you  certainly know what can you contribute.


3. Making strengths productive: You may be having best possible communication skills, but it’s of no use if it’s not productive. Similarly you might be having best possible coding skills but if it’s not aligned to business priorities, then nobody is going to value it.
 Fact is, you need to keep discovering your strengths and be aware of how is it going to create an impact.  The effective professional always builds on his own strengths and others’ strengths as well.

4. First things first : Multi tasking is a mistake and  never works. You can’t focus on more than 2 tasks at a time. Instead of multi tasking work smartly and quickly on one job at a time. This doesn’t mean working in a hurried dither; it means concentrating and working steadily on the task at hand. 

According to my experience there is always too much to handle and you will definitely have that feeling of missing out on your commitments often. You will almost always be working on important and urgent tasks, which need your full attention. If you don’t have set priorities for yourself and you have not planned meticulously, you will never be able to be disciplined. You will eventually end up working only what is required RIGHT NOW and there is some consequences to face in case you miss out on that task.

5. Decision making : The dilemma of a person who is in to mid of his career is that he is stuck between two extremes. On the one side you have a leadership who makes all  decisions and you are expected to follow and help them in decision making. On the other hand you are not at the beginning of your career that people will expect you to follow instructions blindly. There is also a good possibility that with your experience, you have developed some wisdom of your own and would have your own opinions in everything you are doing or you are a part of. 

To come out of this situation, Peter Drucker highlights a very important concept. The challenge is to determine when a situation is, indeed, typical or when it is different in some way that needs unique handling. The biggest decision-making mistake is to try to deal with a generic problem as if it were unusual. 

You need to understand the type of situation you are in. Is it typical or does it really require unique handling. Most often you will be able to assess it over the period of time. If it’s a typical situation, then don’t think much and do what is expected. You always have a limited visibility of the entire situation. Your leaders know much more about the situation than you and they will come back to you if there is a help needed. 

There might be just 1-2 situations in a half or in a quarter which would require unique handling. Be smart enough to recognize such situations and then do your best when you get a chance.

There is no one who doesn’t have a mid career malaise, whether it’s a sportsperson, actor, businessman etc . We all have times when we wonder, “Am I at the right company ?” Am I in the right job ? What would be my next big “aha” moment in my career ? As a mid-career professionals we all are searching for fulfillment while juggling demands at home and intense financial pressures to earn.

I believe  “The Effective Executive” is worth your time and you can use this as a reference whenever you need some expert career advice.