“One Indian Engineer Can Make Nine Women Pregnant in One Afternoon!”

It is Dheeman Chatterjee who writes this in a letter.

He is a software engineer working in London, and not very happy about my last article about outsourcing of IT projects to India.

It was Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr. who once said that “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” Brooks added that “nine women can’t make a baby in one month” and it became Brooks’ Law.

Namaskaram, Cheeky Coder.

You think me working in London is some crusade to become the new Slumdog Millionaire, hey?! That the bubble of IT in India is the new Bollywood, yea!?

This is so full of crocodile bullshit! You and that old Fred Brooks guy is so full of tatti! The sali kuta of Computer Science! Kahe ko kha raha hai chut ki chapati aur lund ka beja?

I will tell you this story and you will listen to this story. Then maybe, a little maybe, you will understand.

There were no computers when I grew up, but we had some paper. My father, the carpenter, would use it to write down the specification for the houses in the slum. We, the kids, would later use the spare space on that same paper for our math calculations. My mother, the mother, would use the paper for her shopping lists. We, the kids, would later use the spare space on that same paper for our hand written C code.

So I wrote my first software program on well used pieces of paper. I kept on writing code on paper late into my teens. I submitted my first Linux patch on paper. This was long before Linux transferred all its code to Git, so Linus welcomed patches even on paper. Many years later I sent him a new “paper patch” – I believe it was a bug fix in the network stack – just for fun, and he responded that “sorry, but I cannot merge this. Git has its week point in paper trails.” I laughed long and hard about that one.

Many years later I got my first PC. It was a used one, an old piece of scrap my father found on a construction site. The disk was blank. My first choice would be to put Linux on it; it was what I knew (on paper), but I couldn’t afford the download cost. So I wrote my own operating system. It became very good, but when I started at the IIT, I downloaded and installed Linux.

I didn’t like the HTTP server installed with it, so I wrote my own. I called it HTTP Dheeman. I sent it to Linus. He didn’t like the name of it, so he shortened it to httpd.

So, you see, computer scientists from India are so much more clever, I bet we can make nine women pregnant in one afternoon! Go take a bite on that, Mr. Fred Brooks!

Hardik shubhkamnaye,


This is a post in the Outsourcing to India series. Posts in this series:

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