SLM 01: Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a 2007 animated movie by Pixar which stood out for it’s technical superiority and wonderful animation. It spoke about a rat which follows it’s dream to become a chef. The storyline is very simple made up of greed, lust for power and fame, having a dream and following it up and falling in love. The story is pretty interesting with a “Rat” being the main protagonist. The hero is a big fan of Chef Gustav whose main motto is “Anyone can cook”. This rat believes in this theory and truly becomes a cook, except that he can’t showcase his skills as he is a rat. Fate intervenes and at the end of the movie, the rat does realise it’s dream of becoming a cook. I won’t spoil by revealing the intermediate and interesting plots, but would recommend everyone and anyone to watch this movie with their family as it has very invaluable lessons in life.

Chef Gusteau is a fictional character who is long gone dead but has left a rich legacy and a child. However, his USP to this movie is his tagline “Anyone can cook”. This is a very interesting theory to  behold and when applied to the software industry has some pretty interesting and wonderful ramifications. He is an expert in his field and has clearly made his mark in the chosen field of expertise. However, he does believe in sharing his knowledge and wisdom so that anyone with the right ambition and drive can cook or rather realize their dream. This shows that he was a visionary from this perspective who had a bigger aim than just to make some money. This breed of people is extremely rare to find in the current world as possession and subsequent withholding of information is considered to be the way to showcase one’s power. Having the right  vision and having the right focus always is the hallmark of a true leader.

Coming to the hero, he knows his limitation but has a immense aspiration and works his way to realizing his dreams through  sheer hardwork and utmost dedication. Wading through difficult situations, his single-minded sheer focus and determination finally triumph  and he lives the day when his dreams are realized. The final scenes where there is an interaction between Anton Ego and the rat is truly awesome and special is the scene where Anton’s ego is truly humbled. The final scenes shows a restaurant where Rats do cook, but with a clear mandate of cleaniness and hygiene.

What do we learn from the movie? Well… There is a lot one can choose to learn from this movie, but I have listed some of the most important lessons which is applicable in every engineer’s work and life.

  1. Determination to win: The rat’s determination to become a cook at all odds stands out and this a very important lesson for everyone to comprehend. Having a clear goal based approach, one needs to keep working towards their goal until it’s realized.
  2. Setting a Path/Vision: Chef Gusteau’s Anyone can cook is a standout vision. As a leader one needs to sell the right vision which can have a very positive pygmalion effect.
  3. Quality Consciousness: Even though the rat reaches his goal, the final scenes where the rats are sterilized just goes to show that Quality is extremely important even after you succeed and one should never loose the sight of the same, especially when no-one else is looking

This is an absolutely wonderful movie and is a collector’s item. Go ahead watch it.. Oh btw.. As Anton Ego’s character quotes in the end “Surprize me…..

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Announcement: Software, Life & Movies

During a casual discussion, it struck me that there are some wonderful movies which convey a lot of lessons for software development and in general life. It was very appealing and intellectually stimulating to find the relationship between movies and software development and hence behold, I am proud to announce a new section henceforth ” Software, Life & Movies“.

In this section, you will find my take on movies and related principles and why the same is important for life. Comments, Brickbats and valuable suggestions are always welcome. To quote one of the characters from a movie, “Surprise me…