Is it fair to ask “Married or Single?”

Read article Married or Single?  posted by Punit Soni. In recruitment process, candidate asked this question”Married or Single?”. I was surprised to see this article. May be I did not expect an article on women rights from Punit Soni (sorry?) and was happy that he was ready to scratch upon the tip of the iceberg. Made me think my IT Career experiences.

Been for more than decade in IT industry, I agree that huge effort is needed from new manager to follow fair approach towards women and differently able people.   Not only large companies can create a fair environment for women, small companies and startups can do also. What is needed is a positive mindset and that comes from positive interactions experienced by male employee early in career in his team or by his supervisor Did they have right experiences that influences them on being manager to  create positive environment for women?

Here my experiences and learning that has helped me to create my perspective towards women employees. sharing the same to say it is possible to create positive mindset.

In my second job, the only Tech Lead I worked for long duration and was friend was women. One day, she had to leave late and she comes by 2-wheeler from south Bangalore. My manager Asif had called for a taxi. On her leaving, he asked her to go home safe in taxi. She went in cab leaving her 2-wheeler. These are times when team worked using desktops and  cab means private card called in advance and we worked in Central Business district. Thanks Asif to help me get right perception to support female employee.

When we went to USA, we had our first daughter born and we were only two of us. Not knowing what to do in new city, I asked my female lead engineer(45 years old) and she was extremely helpful to make me see the responsibility to take care of my wife and my child.   At the same time, She raised question to my  company manger “what will Srini do if baby is born and project is over previous week”. My manger neither gave her proper answer and also came and polished asked “How does she know that your wife is pregnant? I responded that this is our problem and we will handle”.

This lead engineer c and manger shared  how my manger responded and  shared that we take steps to ensure that  your family will not be in zombie state and know what to do. Surprised that how Mid-West Americans supported, contrary to my past wrong belief ” Americans do not care”, both men and women. When baby was born, support received from everyone in Milwaukee, made me humbler and also make me to think of “Pay backwards”what I received. Our manager  attitudes gets developed when we are engineer and the positive it is towards women, it remains positive later. 

In my third job at startup, it was multiple experience. As company, women were treated well. Company bought 4 wheeler and hired driver for company owned 4 wheeler and employed the driver.Officially the driver becomes escort for female employee going late. After Prathibha case, female employees were asked to go home by 8:30 pm and we had a cab at 8:30 pm . Another trip at 7: 30 pm to drop employees to closest bus-stop. My friend Sudhakar showed that we can  balance diversity and being frugal and it is mindset.

On my end, I hired women employee for short term. she was quick learner, well skilled and went for higher studies later.  Thanks to V who  was my first female team member.  She shared how guys behaved, remarks shared without bad intention and why it hurts. My patient listening to her geared myself to hire women employees and understood their needs from manager.

Talent needs to be valued, irrespective of  men or women. My colleagues used to share with women candidates project challenges, late evening call support needed. We conveyed that we will support your well being, we have constraints and still we try our best. Planned their work  to allow them leave home by 8:30 pm or have setup to Work from Home.  We need to answer questions from male employees for this partial support to women.

For my team, there was female candidate for interview for automation engineer and I observed that she was pregnant (already father to 2 children). J performed extremely well in the interview and answered beyond my expectations and her current salary was too low with our offering.  Asking her to wait, I went to my HR(female) & recruitment mgr(child) and said “she is pregnant and she is best fit for role”. They said “Hire for talent”. HR influences in large way in creating culture of organization towards women employees. 

I went back and shared with her our interest and said ” I have seen my wife pregnant.  Are you pregnant?”. She answered yes and asked  how she can travel from Vijaya Nagar in this state. She shared that her company is in ITPL and our office was half the distance compared to her office. I asked next bold question” When is baby due date?”. This date fell 2 weeks before release, there was (>) 5 months from day she can join  I hired her.

This girl learnt learn C# and write code in C# using Visual Studio in first month. She did all this independently with  little supervision with my team lead. Her work impressed me to keep in touch for long time, even after both left company, she went abroad and searched for a job coming back to Bangalore. Today I will hire her again if she looks for a job. Jothi taught me to never look at things like pregnancy in job interview.

In my own startup. S , started as fresher, after an year she got married, she became pregnant too.. We switched off elevator beyond 1 hour in morning and evening. The pregnant employee was permitted to come to the 3rd floor office by elevator. If you are attentive to your actions, you can create exceptions every where. 

When she left of maternity leave, we paid salary across her maternity months.  Thanks to Guru who would keep S’s salary first aside, even in tricky times. When she came back, there was an unfortunate scenario for her to leave. S was given gift and asked to get things right and join back. There was clarity in thought that paying her maternity days was right thing to do as employer. Allowing her to  leave was right thing as that is what is expected from a  parent in her situations.  Being parents, we could relate to S as parents.  Your colleagues drive and influence your approach towards women. 

To end, We see more people beyond women with need on humanity to support them fairly and equally to enable them get a fair life, differently enabled people. As part of my product marketing role in 2nd startup, I proposed an innovative way to make NGOs to use our product. GN, my partner allowed creation of  campaign to provide our product offering free for differently enabled students. While we obtained a lot of learning about our learning software and it opened new opportunities, GN decided to walk the talk by hiring 3 differently enabled people in office. The whole office learnt how to work with them and how we make them feel in our interactions. Thanks GN for humble experience that gave me confidence to work with NGOs and organizations working  with differently able students.

On one side, when companies like SAP offer day care centers and special support for female employees, picture is not rosy across IT employees. These are experiences heard from employees, friends and neighbors.

Female employees, mothers in small companies are scheduled calls at 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM or from 9 PM to 10 PM. What would happen to their children sleeping habit?

Female employees in ITPL areas can be found on BMTC VOLVO buses even after 9 PM when roads get deserted. I see girls who stay in one of our apartments coming late. I am happy with women walking on road in night. If female employee is not ready to care for her safety in Bangalore famous for its Pratibha case, how will it strike to manager (male) to think of female employee needs? 

Both male and female employees in India attend calls between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM. Assume that these Indians can attend from home, when do they spend time with their children? Mostly, you would see their American colleagues would do best to have all things to  protects his personal time. Do Indians not need personal time?.

I know houses where fathers lock their rooms because child would not allow them to take calls. when my girls were young, they come and sit on my lap across client call. I used to inform that she is listening and my daughters rarely shouted/screamed. May be a rare case. Today in home calls, when people ask to ON webcams, I do not or at times I hear that I look dull, I ignore and focus on agenda.  I and my daughter share study room. .

To note, at closing time of call at 9:30 PM, lead/manager asks team member to send minutes of meeting  or send email with some details or perform a small change and wants the same immediate, sharing that would help them be more productive. My question is ” why they fail to understand that employee took call in personal time? How fair it is of them to assign work and ask for  completion in personal time?

Have your children gone to summer vacation?

On the way back from gym, I observed boy in school uniform. On inquiry, he shares” I am going to higher class, there are special preparatory classed till end of April. Then vacation starts for me”. Could see that boy was not happy to say this. Why are schools planning classes  of next year prior to summer vacation? My daughter is to 8th standard and  I started to wonder what will be her short  summer vacation after 2 years.

On walking around the apartment, a small girl asks me about my daughter. On my response, she asks about my daughter return date. Inquiring about her plan, she answers that her grand parents are present at home and other grand parents are coming too and adds “We are going to this place {HongKong} or {Florida} or {Kashmir} by flight”. I asked myself whether she is going on real summer vacation or tourism vacation.

Currently My children have gone for summer vacation to Chennai. They would spend time their grandma’s place in Chennai and possibly with my sister and her daughter in Chennai. They  visit beach in relaxed manner, which is not in Bangalore. Go along with their gran parents to charity shop and learn how to how to transact in cash and learn basics of retails. My big daughter carried her kindle to read for  a month.

I am happy that they spend time away from regular school activities and try doing new things. Children should spend summer holidays enjoying freedom to dream of new ideas and explore things by themselves. Once they know what they want to pursue focus, they need to ask elders  guidance and guidance in areas of their interest.

I wish that children go less to coaching camp with pre-defined schedule to enable parents to attend work. May be children will have fun being at home alone too. How about going to shop  and work there? How about working at restaurant, handling cash box or cooking or serving at tables?  It will help them learn some new skills that would stay for their life and what does it mean to earn money.

I wish parents put limits on the digital entertainments time or to specific part of day. Allow children with time to get bored, leading to dream about new things, which would push them to explore new things in life. Take time off to understand  their interests to explore and help them to pursue their interests as hobby or passion. Do not become teacher , just become their enabler.

In my childhood, all summer vacation were at home most of the years.  Neither did we travel and not there were much coaching camps. Here is blog  Summer holidays in Neyveli – nostalgia  that talks of my summer holidays. Some years helped me to experience evening state level football matches and hockey matches in Neyveli stadium

While I missed to mention in the blog, that we visited local movie theater. Remember theaters played same movie on all shows for more than a week or close to 2 weeks, compared to today, where there are multiple movie played by a single theater on a single day and multiple theaters co-exist in a single location.

 

Pichaikkaran for love and affection of mother

pichai

Today I saw the movie Pichaikkaran with story that revolves around hero,  a rich business man, whose self-made mother has been hurt and wants to give best efforts to save her. Starts searching what he can provide beyond medical facilities, which are not causing impact in improving mother’s health. A baba or swamiji  suggests the son to explore alternate method beyond money – ” Take a role of beggar and beg for his mother’s life. for next 48 days, not revealing his identity to others and start every day with no money ” effectively  have faith on nature and humanity and ask for his mother’s life.

I am impacted high with the movie as I strongly feel that it is worth to beg for 48 days, if the faith and suffering by son can bring back a mother.  “I am Pichaikkaran for love and affection that comes from mother” and my mother died when I was 12 years old.

Having no mother helped me to respect  women knowing the value they bring on the table. Some women have said insensitive comments like “Do not try to gain things quoting your mother is not there.” at occasions. Though I have been angry with them. I never wanted any one to undergo pain of being without mother. I always fear of losing my loves ones.

In last 28 years, I learned “Do not ask what others do for you. Think what you can do for others“. Knowing my mother was active volunteer in malaria campaign of early 60s, I volunteer for social organizations. Still I feel that I am still Pichaikkaran for love and affection. If you want to know, please continue reading.

A mother is person, one takes for granted and one does a lot of things for you that you take them granted, in addition be a friend to whom you can be truthful and share your inner most fears and mistakes, with no fear of being exploited.

Here are some of my lost privileges in my first year of losing my mother and this loss in early childhood impacts me for long time. Before sharing what was lost, I am thankful and grateful for my friends who supported to cross my first and second year. J. Krishnamurti, A.Karthikeyan, V.Shankar, Nandha, Albert, Muri’s father and neighbors Iyappan Anna, Krishnan, Moses,Joy. One person,my strength today too is my mother’s sister, Vanaja.

Emotion of being Deserted:  My grandma and my mother’s sister who lived with us deserted me and I  was left to stay with my father. My sister  was too young and put to school with my father’s brother.

Emotion of Loneliness: On entering home from school, there would no one when I entered home. I need to find your own thing to eat/munch and some time there may be none.  I have to balance the time of playing games with enabling servant to enter & clean house.There were days that I went to sleep without seeing any family member. My father used to work late in 1980’s itself.

Food: I could not get food 3 times a day at home. I have to go to hotel and eat food every day and this gets repeated 3 times a day. I prefer to eat home due to this experience.

No food with love and affection. My father put me in relative place to take care of my food and he paid them. I did not get food made of love. I  would be hurt with harsh comments when I ask them for tasty food. One of  care taker’s son used to come to my house with reason to take care of me and used to read porno books. Exposed  to dark part of life and some of his actions when reminded relate to being abused sexually( looks like that today).

Fear and Loneliness is devil workshop. (I am in &th standard) Our house has garden and was not apartment and poart 9 pm, it is dark all sides. My father used to leave money at home. Some for my use and some were kept  in steel almirah. I used to use money to eat and purchase comic books. When money in hand is over and there is no one, I used to take from almirah. I used to think that money in-house can help me get rid of loneliness and pampering myself with chocolates  and comics as source of entertainment when no one is at house.

Fear and Scare of perfection: (I am in 7th standard) My father used to travel to Delhi regularly on office trips. My relative’s son used to stay with me.  When he used to come back, my father would not bring any thing for me. On might before one of his trips to Delhi, he inquired me why there was no money in safe place of steel Almira. I was scared  as I have taken some coins and never rupee notes. He shared with my relative about loss of money and I used to stay at their place during my father’s trip.

Not Cared and Exploited My relative beat me anything  and threatened to kill me if I fail to accept that I took all money. Tried and afraid of beating, I accepted. When my father came back, my relative shared that I accepted to take all the money.  My father judged that I have stolen money. I got thrashed by my father and he tried to tear my clothes and push me out of the house naked to make me ashamed of my action. He did not care as father to ask my side.

Getting exploited for others mistakes: While I was in my last  7th standard  exam,  my father had left money at home and went for personal work and comes back to find that money is not in place. For first time, my father realized there is another hand playing mischief and I thank Gods that I was in school writing exam

For the first time, he inquired with neighbor who shared that their daughter has seen an old boy putting stick through windows and trying to pull some thing and as she seen boy earlier when my father was also not at home with me, they did not feel wrong action. For first time, I realized that my father can only beat me with his assumptions and was not incapable of doing anything in this place. He tried to get in to conversation with my relative who was not ready to entertain him at all.

Mother believes her child unconditionally with love. Even when the child does mistake, the mother may beat child and she never allow others to beat the child.  

Loving Second mother does not solve issues. My father got married  when I was thirteen, a year after my mother died. We got a wonderful woman as our second mother, who was quite keen to take care of me and my sister as her children. My father and his mother talked  to her some thing to extent that these are not your children and she then resigned to state where she performed duties of my mother as provider and will not take ownership of a mother.

School Fees, Books and Notebooks: (I am in 8th standard). I used to go and buy my own books and note books. I used to wrap my own books and note books. Over time, I did this for my sister also. I paid my school fees from my 8th standard foir me and my sister.

Clothes and Washing: (I am in 8th standard) I used to have few clothes. I used to go to school wearing old and some time torn clothes and have to get approval to get new clothes.  You have only 3 pairs of clothes  and you need to wash clothes to have fresh set of clothes to wear.  Also learn to iron clothes. I ended up buying my dress for most of my life till marriage.

Groceries for home: (I am in 8th standard) As my second mother came from small town, she would request to buy groceries. I used to go and buy all groceries. Some time I used to take her is back seat of  my cycle to groceries and help her visit the medical dispensary when she is ill.

Summer holidays in Neyveli – nostalgia

Today it was time to talk story to my children and did not have story. As their exams were over, I started to share with them how I spend my summer holidays. It was nostalgic and it involved explaining them new things and I have to remind myself. When they went to sleep, I decided to pull from my memory and blog them here.

Still summer holidays seems to fresh in memory except that it is 25 years old story. These were days were there was much TV programs, computer was less prevalent and no kindles. But Neyveli provided some interesting experiences which we thought was boring and which you find to be expensive today and not existing in cities of today.

Mud mountain: Neyveli has mud mountain and water streams that originated from mines. It was fun to climb the same, go across to other side and eat in mines canteen and then climb back to reach home and that was a one day exercise.  Looks like we really had adventure, climbing small mountains and crossing water canals our-self.

Park Club. I remember visiting park club and viewing movies on Saturday evening. I feel the place special as they had projector to show movie on large screen. They had one open place where they used to put screen and project movie providing a open air theater effect. We had this experience free. My father was not a member and used to go tagged along with my friend A.KarthiKeyan (Commander in Air Force today).  It was interesting to observe employees(fathers) coming at 6 pm to play cards and caroms at park cub. How do I explain Park Club to my children when  my apartment club house is empty most evening except for family function.

Library Neyveli had large library with well stocked books. My children pick books to read regularly from TailorBird library every week and can connect to library.

  • Children’s corner which I was member from my 5th standard to 10th standard
  • All books corner, where I read philosophy and  Tamil books and learnt stuff to question Brahmanism customs of my house.
  • Technical corner with technical books including engineering books, where even wards who went to outstation college came to pick books those days.

Neyveli library

Cricket : We used to play cricket on road opposite to our houses. Some times, it was on common play ground. All play was under scorching sun. No one cribbed out the sun and standing on heated ground, some time without slippers to bowl or bat. Cricket stumps were sticks. Why stumps, there was not even proper cricket bats. Bats were either coconut tree stumps or some wooden piece carved as bat. Rare to see people wearing gloves or knee pads or shoes till my senior years at school. No one carried water bottles. On being thirsty, you asked house auntie near  ground, who gave water to quench your thirst

My kids play in closed environment of their school or apartment or their tennis academy. They fear/hesitate  to ride cycle on the road. I rarely see children play in the sun even in summer holidays in Bangalore. Now, every one has all right gears from shoes, water bottles and gears for the sports they play. They get dropped and picked when they visit a sports place.

I am not able to make kids experience that Neyveli has well planned township with a rectangular layout,as they have not visited Neyveli yet and township is made of blocks and most blocks are rectangular in shape. Till I take them to Neyveli, I found and bookmarked blog that lists maps of every blocks in Neyveli township. (Copied Block-17 map). Also book marking  official map on  Neyveli corporation site..

Once I saw these maps, I was reminded of even more places.

Neyveli Hospital: amazing structure that offers affordable heath care for employees and also public present around Neyveli at affordable prices.  They had clinics or dispensaries spread across township so people did not travel far for common illness.

Sports Stadium : I still remember sitting at large stadium to watch National level hockey matches and foot ball matches used to happen in late 80s and early 90s. kids have never visited a stadium.

Swimming pool : Though I am not swimmer, I  remember large swimming pool where my sister used to visit and national level selection used to happen.

Tennis Courts: Tennis courts came free for paying coaching fees. Today  I have got my children to learn to play tennis( costs lots of money for sure). I never played.

Cinema theaters : In era of no TV  or few TV programs, 2 or 3 cinema theaters in township  were source of entertainment.

Town Bus: The maximum cost for local bus was Rs 1 in 2000 when we left Neyveli. It costs for shorter distance Rs 80 in Volvo bus in local Bangalore. We were well connected to travel to places as far as Bangalore and Trivandrum. This blog post provides more bus inputs of today.

Hearing Stories: Summer times will have Krupananda Variar or Pulavar Keeran’s Villi Bharatham who shared story of Ramayana and Mahabharata and other epics. I have heard their programs multiple times and their programs were in evening, from 6: 30 pm to 9 : 00 pm. Better source that reminds in my memory than books that I have read as I have heard them say similar stories multiple times. No one would believe that some days I used to carry food during their stay from my home, along with my father. A different way of treating guests, compared to today. Experience my kids will miss in modern days of today.

Main Bazzar: In era of malls,  main bazzar gets reminded as set of shops in row, setup like today’s malls. The main bazzar was outer circle and inner part of circle was 4 parks filled with trees. While parents shopped, the children can play in parks with swings and slides. Remember punctured whole body with iron fence around park trying to attempt short cut jumping fence in my first outing.  Kids have not seen mall this way till now.

Santhai: In era of buying veggies and fruits from super markets or chain stores,  vegetable market is something unique.  Something to show my kids.

Villudayanpattu Murugan temple :  I still remember ten day Panguni Uthiram” festival. The crowd was the highest on the chariot day followed by the kavadi day, a local holiday. How did families connect with relatives in  crowd on the chariot day near temple, when there was no mobile phones?  Next interesting was practice to provide pilgrims with free jaggery water, butter milk and also food on Kavadi days. At our home too, we placed  mud pots with water and stainless tumbler at  gate. Do “Thannir panthal” still exists in festival days of today where trend is to buy mineral water bottles to drink? Also experience of constructing kavadi and getting it ready for pligrims  Something to show my kids.

Feel free to add more places to list as part of comments & also links to latest photos.

Do you run unit tests prior to code check-in?

In 2005, my project activities included running  unit tests as part of a larger unit test suite every day as part of daily morning and evening build (to identify parallels in code branch) and weekly build (to identify parallels across multiple code branches & unit test failures). Team members received an email with build results and parallels getting created and failures in unit tests.Developers were to look for errors in their unit code code check-ins and for parallels in their code modules and perform code fix or code merge action

In reality, Developers ignored or missed the emails in busy schedule with claim that length of integration build email runs in to pages spanning across all modules. Engineers (includes me) were assigned shared responsibility to ensure unit test errors and parallels gets resolved within the same day and got allotted time  to engage/remind developers to result in to regular fix. Never was happy with the explosion of incoming emails (code review, resolution and responses), all of which I did not understand in detail.

Still, I found benefits from this exercise. I gained ability to get bigger picture and visibility in to solution architecture and mind-map the entire code base, which helped me to be helping hand for integration efforts at end of agile sprint and agile milestone demos. Otherwise,this was a boring routine that needs highest amount of attention and needs timely execution. Also gave rise to fun scenarios where follow-up of developers who failed to fix in required time created conflicts with them, in addition to being pulled for gaps by the manager.
CI cycle.png
In one of my consulting assignment, I found project team where development cycle was not complete and was keep on adding technical debt to development cycle. I set myself to work on the below mission.
technical debt.png
Unit tests were executed using Microsoft unit test frameworks(MSTests.exe) with TFS build engine. TFS code check-in allows to run custom operation before check-in. Based on final status of the custom operation, the check-in can be allowed to be added to code repository or the check-in can be rejected. Decided to create experiment to run unit tests prior to check-in to reach my goal.

Started experiment with one team good with unit test success. Team developers liked idea and shared that this approach is more transparent to developer and were able to see through benefits of validation as part of performing check-in. Some of them pointed out that the same tests can be executed to identify potential errors and decrease scenarios where tests passed in isolation and failed in integration runs.
Run unit tests before code check-in
With positive note with one team, when we expanded to other teams, there were new challenges to execute unit tests process as part of check-in.  To start with developer check-ins got queued. The code check-in became a long time consuming process and also demanded more resources.

  • Developers moving code from old branch to new version have not fixed unit tests failures reporting lack of time in sprints for through tests.
  • Some team had no failures in their teams unit tests. As other teams unit tests failed, they were also prevented to do check-in.
  • Some teams for testing algorithm performed database operations to retrieve every test data  input and to store results of every test in database increasing time span for unit test process. They could have got test data from excel and store results in database in a batch mode.
  • Unit tests  included simple unit tests  specific to class (no external interaction) and complex integration unit tests ( interaction with external databases or queue). The complex tests increased time span for unit test process.

How did we approach to make unit tests run as part of code check-in?

We leveraged support available to run unit tests based on Microsoft unit test framework to resolve unit test mess and get unit tests to happen streamlined as part of code check-in.

First, Test categories was created for each teams. When code got checked-in by team members, only unit tests of the team were executed. Team could specify unit test exempt counter that allow teams to  check-ins with unit test failures on short-term basis. Fewer test errors compared to team’s exempt counter allowed check-ins to happen. More test errors compared to team’s exempt counter stopped the check-in. if there was few errors compared to team’s exempt counter, the team’s exempt counter was reset to lower value.

Second, unit tests that belong to team were categorized as unit tests (simple) and integration tests(complex). We decided that unit tests  to run as part of code-check-in and the integration tests to run as part of daily integration build.

To run unit tests for code check-ins,  entire tests in the current test suite was marked as integration tests.  Development teams were to mark unit tests that satisfy simple definition from current test suite, to run as part of team code check-in.
Re-engineer unit tests

Started with first success check-in, with no unit tests to run as part of code check-in. Teams started to mark integration tests that need to get marked as unit tests. We have to evangelize with teams to have own self goals to increase unit test count every day/sprint, increasing in code coverage.

Developers can add new tests and mark tests as unit test or integration tests.  Code Coverage was implemented to additionally track code covered by unit tests and teams were given goal to achieve  for code coverage.

Requests were allowed to increase unit test exempt counter  to allow code check-in in presence of failed unit tests. Every exemption request got published to the entire team, and this helped team leads to drive team focus to bring unit test failures to zero.

Third, work with team to rewrite unit tests better.
Better way to write unit tests

Obfuscation : High Level Overview

Programmers obfuscate code to conceal its purpose or its logic, in order to prevent tampering, deter reverse engineering. Program that obfuscates is called an obfuscator.

While obfuscators like Javascript Obfuscator  and  http://javascript2img.com/  are there for JavaScript and some embed JavaScript code in image , should data (data, API keys, login credentials, etc.)  transmitted between client-side to server-side  be de-obfuscated? if yes, de-obfuscated data needs to get deserialized at the server-side API endpoint.  This blog is about my learning of   obfuscation  in .NET world to explore obfuscation  in javascript  code

Assemblies can be obfuscated using a GUI and/or a command line program.  GUI program helps in learning  to select/define various settings which specify the different ways an assembly can be obfuscated.  The obfuscator command line program is used in scripts that help automate the build process.  In VS, the obfuscator command line program is executed in a project’s post-build event, immediately after the project’s assembly gets created.

Approach to obfuscate  assemblies depend on the assembly type. Let us look at three type of assemblies. Private assemblies that may not be signed at all,  Strong named assembly  signed with the private key from a strong name key file. Delay signed assembly signed with the public key from a strong name key file. Obfuscating a private and a strong named assembly is straightforward.  Obfuscating a delay signed assembly becomes tricky, when the assembly is installed in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC)

VS solution can have multiple build configurations. Which configurations do you apply obfuscation to? When the Debug solution configuration is selected then my tests are always run against the non-obfuscated assemblies. Do we generate both obfuscated and non-obfuscated assemblies under the Release solution configuration?

If a problem occurs in the obfuscated assemblies, developer wants to test for the problem occurrence in the non-obfuscated assemblies. The question becomes whether problem created is related to the process of obfuscation. Thinking  deeply you question also how  to configure VS to selectively build non-obfuscated assemblies in one run and then build obfuscated assemblies in another run?

The solution is to create a third solution configuration based on the default release configuration called Obfuscated Release. On selection, obfuscated assemblies are build.

How to confirm that your assemblies are being obfuscated? When the obfuscator is executed in the post-build event, it should log information in the VS output window. Hence, when you do not see this information in the VS output window then the obfuscator has not been executed.

One can make use of  ILDASM.exe  to view human-readable info about an assembly.  If ILDASM displays such info then the assembly has not been obfuscated.  On other hand, if ILDASM is unable to display such info, then assembly may have been obfuscated.

Does reflection and obfuscation play well together? Not always. If you write code that uses reflection to query information about MyClass then this code will fail because the name MyClass does not exist in the obfuscated assembly. Be prepared for obfuscation to introduce bugs into your applications that use reflection.

How to start debugging a problem with no prior obfuscation experience?  Start with checking  whether the problem occurs under in Debug and Release solution configurations with disabled obfuscation. If problem is reproduced, fix problem and end debugging.

If problem in production does not get reproduced, move forward to second step. Modify the obfuscator project file to disables every single obfuscation setting and try to rebuild the application to see if the problem reoccurs.  If the problem does not occur, enable one obfuscation setting and test again.

Keep continue enabling obfuscation settings one at a time, and testing application until problem gets reproduced.

Deven, The future werewolf hunter

[ Provided the first line(in bold) by her school, Mridula has attempted to write a story and also a title. Posting the same here].

There was just enough light in the darkened room for Deven to notice that two large eye balls staring right at him. He rubbed his eyes thinking it was his imagination. The eyes disappeared. He again fell asleep again without any worry.

The next day was a weird day for him. He saw a black cat in the bathroom while brushing his teeth, a mysterious fog was there around hos house and every now and the, a screaming screech was heard. Nothing happened at his school much, only that his friend Thomas was acting strange.

Thomas was supposed to come to Deven’s house in the evening. When he came, Jacky, Deven’s pet dog  started barking at Thomas. ‘ This is unusual’ thought Deven. They played all evening. As night fell, Deven;s mom got a call saying that Thomas was supposed to stay in their house for the night.

It was almost dinner time. Thomas and Deven were sitting on the dining table. Deven’s mom has prepared pasta, especially liked by Thomas. But Thomas did not even touch the plate. He told that he was going to check on Jacky. He went upstairs after that. Deven did not take a glance of his face, but there were red marks on his white t-shirt, like he had fell on some red mud.

Deven went to check on Jacky after eating, but he found Jacky dead like something has eaten him. Deven started freaking out and was suspecting Thomas. The moon was shinning brightly & it was bed time. Deven and Thomas slept in the same room. In the mind of night,  Thomas stood up and he opened his eyes. His eyes was not sparking blue, but were large and glowing orange. These were the same eyeballs, Deven had seen the night before.  He found an pencils knife on his bed side table and kept it ready if something happened.

Thomas started screeching and transformed in to a werewolf. He started howling. It was the cry for the help of other werewolf’s. Suddenly he stabbed Thomas, the werewolf on his chest. The werewolf was dead. Then Deven heard a lot of howling. He was startled.

That was the time Deven found that there was a whole pack of werewolves there some where and he was going to hunt them down.