Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Function Point Professionalism

They had said it back when I was still in school. That once I step out into the big bad corporate world, I would have to become professional in my approach to anything I do. They had also said that I would start learning many more things much faster than I ever did at any point in my nearly decade and half stay in school. And so it proved to be. Professionalism, estimation, time-sheets, project management, tracking, efficiency, re-engineering, standards, process, automation, customer satisfaction - If I am patient enough to considerably strain my memory, I could probably fill in a couple of hundred standard A4 size sheets with all the corporaty stuff that I have come across, starting some half a dozen years back. Of these, I can honestly say that one page full is how much I actually learnt and understood and another three thirteenth fraction of the second page is what I am familiar with.

I walked into office today and that thing called deja vu hit me immediately like a speeding government bus or water tanker or something similarly big. No, not because I come to the same office everyday but because of the talk that was being talked. I had inadvertently walked bang into FP talk first thing in the morning and suddenly felt six years younger. That was when I used to walk into such talk on a regular basis. Anyway, the big hoo-haa in office today was about FP. And that triggered off a memory of this thingy called Function Point (FP) which I remembered to be somewhere on the ragged edge of that three thirteenth part of that second page. More about it can be found here, but for those of you who are like me and would just as well get on with life, a Function Point is a unit for measuring the usefulness of software. Of course this is a highly and overly simplified version of what it actually means but this is all that I have ever understood about FP and this is all that I can pass on to anyone else.

This renewed introduction to FP sort of forced me to pay a little attention to it once again. At the end of the day, though, no good came out of it because I still don't know anything more than what I already knew about it and what I know is limited to the words 'measuring the usefulness of software'. I understand these words. And because I understand that much, I am currently involved in carrying out a thorough Function Point Analysis (FPA) on my brain. I happen to have a semblance of a brain which definitely doesn't have any identifiable hardware in it and without hardware, the only other way it probably keeps up the appearance of being hard at work always must be because of software. And that's why the FPA, to figure out how useful that software is.

Though I already know that it is useless, my FPA will help me present this fact in a more professional manner. But that, finally, is what being a professional is all about.

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