MySmartPrice recently caught up with emerging writer Dipen Ambalia. Dipen Ambalia has recently launched a new book with a truly catchy title “Life of a Software Engineer aka LOSER”. Dipen was kind enough to give us this interview.
Hi Dipen, Great pleasure to have you on MySmartPrice for this short interview.
DA: Thanks so much. It’s my pleasure to be giving this interview.
Qn: Tell us a bit about yourself. How did the writing bug bite you?
DA: I am an electrical engineer from VJTI, Mumbai. I have been working in the IT industry since July 2004. I have worked with Polaris Software Labs Ltd., Mphasis (an HP Company), Citius IT solutions Ltd and am currently working with Hexaware Technologies, Mumbai.I have been through the SDLC (software development life cycle)i.e. I have done Development, Production Support, Testing, Business Analysis and am now in Presales.I am an author of two books – 1) In Their Shoes
… (released in April 2010)
Qs: This book is about life as a Software Engineer. Are you still a Software Engineer or have you moved on and are now a full time writer?
DA: Yes, I am still a software engineer. Now I am in Presales. I wish to become fulltime writer, depending on the response from my dear readers.
Qn: How did you come up with L.O.S.ER? What inspired you to write this book ‘LOSER’?
DA: I am a big fan of Scott Adams.His2 books – 1) The Dilbert Principle 2) Joy at Work- are excellent work of satire on the marketing and management world in general. One day I thought that since I have been in the IT industry for so long – more than 7 years and have been though the whole SDLC, I am in a good position to make a satire on the IT world and then I wrote LOSER by mixing fiction, experience and exaggerating it to make the whole concoction humorous. So, in short LOSER is a satire on the IT world.
Qs: What can readers expect from your book. It it about a particular person or is it about life of a software engineer in general?
DA: Readers can expect real life situations exaggerated to the core! I have used everyday examples or analogies to explain the IT world. For eg: I have compared Arranged Marriages with the Software Development Life Cycle in the world. This comparison has been appreciated by a lot many readers. Similarly I have compared fictitious reports of the very (in)famous contemporary hindi news channels to the situations in the IT world. These things will surely make readers laugh their backside off! (atleast I hope so ). This book is not about any person in particular. It’s like the common man in the IT industry made to go through the various phases in the IT industry. LOSER is a narrative; i.e. it doesn’t have characters or a story as such. While reading the book, you will (or should ) feel as if I am sitting in front of you and talking to you about the software world (and we both laugh together!)
Qs: Will this book appeal to people who are not software engineers ?
DA: Yes, sure. Every and I mean every person in this country has at least one friend, sister, cousin, uncle or any other relative in the IT world. I as a kid used to wonder how one bhaiyya from my building used to enjoy his life in US and used to bring me chocolates when he used to come to India. I always used to be inquisitive about the life of a software engineer. I think that there would be many such people in this country who would like to know what the software engineers do so as to deserve high salaries. And since this book is a satire on the IT world and hence doesn’t glorify the IT world, it is going to be more fun for the non-IT people to read what the IT people actually do in the IT world!
Qn: Tell us a few factoids of your own life as a software engineer.
DA: I have always maintained a rating of 3 or 4 out of 5. I have never tried to excel at work because to get a rating of 5 out of 5 one has to work very hard/ be the project manager’s pet/ pass off colleagues work as yours, etc. My funda is to enjoy work and personal life and shift jobs in 2-3 years to get the necessary hike!
Qn: What is the best part about L.O.S.E.R?
D.A: The best part of LOSER is the humour generated out of unthinkable exaggerated analogies of real life situations with the IT world. In every chapter, the IT reader would feel “abe, haan yaar, mai to exactly aise hi manager ko ulloo banata hun… “ or “this is how the girl coming from onsite behaves re..” and the non-IT reader would laugh his heart out realizing what his IT friends do every day in office!
Qs: Will Software companies find it difficult to recruit once your book is released.
DA: Hahahaha… not sure. If this book is taken seriously then kuch problem ho sakta hai. But, if LOSER is read in the right spirit, then there won’t be any issues!
Qn: L.O.S.E.R is your second book after “In their shoes” . Could you tell us your experience about writing two books.
LOSER belongs to the humour genre. So, writing this book was itself a fun-loving experience. There were a few chapters where I used to laugh after reading the just-written chapters.
Qn: Who among the present Indian Authors inspires you most.
D.A: As far as serious writing genre is concerned, I like Rohinton Mistry and Sudha Murthy. And on the humour front, I like Scott Adams (creator or Dilbert) and Cyrus Broacha (Karl, aaj aur Kal)
Qs. If you have to give one mantra for all software engineers, what will be it?
D.A: Don’t work so hard that you have waste your life in office to get a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5. Maintain a good balance between personal and professional life, be happy with a rating of 3 out of 5 and switch companies once in 2-3 years to get the necessary raise in salary! Life is not a race. Decide whether you were born to do only coding or something else in life. It’s always good to have a backup plan in life in case you get bored of the IT world one day!
Thank you very much for taking your time out for this interview. We wish that L.O.S.E.R emerges a winner among your readers.
DA: Thanks so much!
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