It’s not easy to keep frustration at bay, being a software engineer in India. Onsite is a dream of all software engineers and possibly the single greatest reason people decide they want to engineer software. For better and for worse, the management knows this.

What these software engineers undergo, can be understood by briefly considering the case of a hamster.  A cliché representation of a hamster is one where it is placed in a wheel, with a treat dangling five millimeters from its perky nose. The hamster runs as if for its life, turning the wheel round and round, but never getting any closer to the treat. There’s only two places this can lead – the hamster either tires out and goes to sleep, or it loses its mind completely.

That is the situation of Parth, our frustrated software engineer and our hamster in this story. Onsite, dream of millions, is the treat dangling in front of him. Clients, superiors, management, Visa formalities, and a dozen other things are what stand in his way, the difference between him finally getting to drink a Mocha Latte in a Starbucks in Central Park, as opposed to a cutting chai opposite his office on a streetlittered with paan stains.

Parth goes full Sunny Deol on his boss when he’s once again asked to ‘wait’. He repeatedly bangs his “dhaai kilo ka haath” in frustration, and to be fair to him, we’d all do that were we in his position.

“A Frustrated Software Engineer 3 – An Onsite Dream” explores the lack of freedom software engineers perceive in their lives these days. It is important to understand the feelings they experience. The feeling of exhaustion over spending insane number of hours holed up in their cubicles, the feeling of their life being restricted to four walls, and the chai vendor from across the street. However, above all is the feeling of not being valued, or being undervalued, not to mention a very rational feeling of fear regarding the rumoured layoffs in light of Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. This is not about monetary valuation, but true value of character and competency. It is about the feeling that software engineers get of being stringed along a ride on the pretext of an onsite at the destination, but its actually a ride where no fixed route is set beforehand and the management are the drivers.

You’re still here? Go watch the film!

[This is part III of a thread of blogs on A Frustrated Software Engineer series]