Indian Computer Science (CS) & Information Technology (IT) Academic Reform Activism Consolidated Blog Document

Content of Programming Courses shared on Blog For Free Access To Anybody

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Content of Programming Courses shared on Blog For Free Access To Anybody

Net url:

A couple of days ago I sent the following mail to top Indian ministers and bureaucrats associated with higher education, UGC/AICTE academic administrators and others.

Dear sir/madam,

In the past I have sent you esteemed ladies and gentlemen some mails on my views about Indian Computer Science and Information Technology academia and my suggestions on how to improve teaching in general in this field as well as how to improve the practice of software development in this field.

So I felt it appropriate to share the contents of the home page of a new blog of mine having contents of some of the programming courses that I taught, below. You may want to have a look at it.


Last updated on 23rd March 2014

This blog has been created to offer the content of software lab. courses created by Ravi S. Iyer, Software Consultant, Puttaparthi, India, while he was offering free service as Honorary Staff/Honorary Faculty/Visiting Faculty to a Mathematics & Computer Science department in a deemed university in Andhra Pradesh, India, from 2003 to 2011. To know more about Ravi S. Iyer, please visit:

The software lab. courses Ravi taught some of whose contents have been uploaded here and some whose contents are planned to be uploaded in the near future, are:

  1. C++ Programming

  2. Advanced Unix Programming

  3. Unix Network (socket) Programming including pthread Programming

  4. Minix/Linux Kernel Internals

  5. Java Web Programming

  6. C# & ASP.Net Web Programming

  7. VC++/MFC/Windows Programming

  8. Open Source Web Technology (As applied to a free school educational web portal)

This blog is owned and operated by Ravi S. Iyer. This blog aims to share useful output of Ravi as a teacher of software lab. courses/programming courses.

Feedback from Former Students

A former student who was taught this course by me in the deemed university in Andhra Pradesh, India, wrote the following over email on March 18th 2014 (modified slightly to fix a couple of minor grammatical errors):

It is great that you have shared the C++ programming teaching material prepared by you on your blog. I really hope that people make use of it for I know how useful it could be. I can say this as a direct beneficiary of this, and today that is what fills my bank account at the end of every month.

I just hope and pray that Swami gives you the strength and determination to keep up the good work. I also think that I too can take a tiny part of the credit in this endeavour of you putting up these slides, as I was perhaps one of the many who would have suggested that you put these slides up in some forum accessible to the students’ community. Thank you for considering the request.

Another former student who had been taught Advanced Unix Programming and Unix Network Programming courses by me, wrote me on 22nd March 2014:

These courses (Advanced Unix Programming and Unix Network Programming) went a long way in helping me land my job at Alcatel-Lucent. I had a one-on-one interview with my hiring manager that was entirely on Unix. After joining the company I learned that this person(manager) was a big time ‘Unix fan’. It was very satisfying to have done well in that interview. On the job, we completely relied on Solaris Unix based servers and the concepts of processes and threads gained from these course(s), went a long way in helping me grasp the software.
Thank you Ravi Sir.


Net url:


Ravi S. Iyer

Software Consultant

--- remaining part of email signature snipped ---

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Will wake up the world to the urgent need for professionalism and accountability in software development?

Net url: can’t handle appeals of enrollment errors,, is a very scary report of problems in the US govt. website which seems to be the primary mechanism for the new health insurance 'marketplace'/'exchange' system in the USA.

Some notes and comments:

The report mentions tens of thousands of appeals having been filed related to supposed overcharging, being steered into wrong insurance programs or being denied coverage by website. [Ravi: What a stressful thing it would be for such users! Medical costs in the USA are said to be very high due to which most people barring the super-rich have to have a health insurance plan. Otherwise, as I understand it, they simply may not be able to undergo medical care involving operations.]

It gives the case of a lady who was not given the right amount of subsidy by the website due to which she was advised to pay full price for insurance cover (she was due for surgery) and then appeal.

It mentions that the (USA) 2010 Affordable Care Act provides a guarantee for timely hearings for appeals dealing with subsidies or being denied insurance and that legal advocates are looking at the matter. [Ravi: Is this going to be a legal issue? Will somebody also look at the contractual obligations of the software provider and whether such obligations are fair and include accountability?]

It reports that, as of now, the system can only store the appeals and does not have the functionality to permit officials to process these appeals. [Ravi: Not a happy picture.]

The system seems to have asked some users to opt for Medicaid as they quality for it but their state Medicaid agency denied that. These users 'loop' back to the federal system and that is not able to fix the error. [Ravi: What a mess! I can imagine the fury and frustration some of these users would be having with the software system.]

The article mentions that after undergoing surgery the above mentioned lady checked about resolution of her problem with the website and was told that the system does not have ability to fix a mistake in somebody's account. [Ravi: I am so disappointed that the software system handling such a vital part of the life of US citizens has let down some people so badly.]

--- end notes and comments ---

I think steps must be taken to ensure that software dealing with such vital matters ('infrastructure software'), even if they are more of application type of software (as against systems software), go through a more professional software development and test lifecycle before release to users. Further there must be accountability like in so many other professions - civil engineering, medicine etc. with serious failures like these resulting in investigations and some kind of professional action against those software managers, analysts, designers, developers and/or testers found to be at fault.

Some people may feel I am being very harsh especially since I am no longer in the software industry. But I think that it is the lack of accountability and lack of fear of professional action being taken for serious lapses that makes software development a 'Wild West' kind of enterprise. If software development earns people a lot of money then they need to be accountable for what they have developed. Is that not a fair thing to ask? I mean, will we accept going to a medical doctor who is not accountable for the treatment that he/she gives us? Will we live in a house/apartment whose builder and civil engineer are not accountable for the safety and durability of the construction?

Monday, June 17, 2013

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