And to India again!

Introduction

I love India. Friendliest people on earth, awesome food, great country! So I was happy to go there again. I was there to do some support/training in a large project with many people. All in Rhapsody and all in C++.

The Trip

The disadvantage was that I would be in India for a week, so that would cost me two weekends traveling. So on saturday morning I got up at 6 (am -> the wrong 6…) and before 7. I was sitting in the train to Zwolle that was surprisingly filled. Now, that part of the trip went very well, apart from the early hour of course.
Step-over in Zwolle to Schiphol and I arrived there on time.
I love Schiphol, great airport. It is really big but you hardly notice that, everything is being signed out very well. As long as you speak English or Dutch you will not have any problems finding stuff (Eat your heart out Munich and Paris…)
Checking in took longer than usual since I found out I was not checking in at the normal KLM booth (Hall 1 or 1A) but in 3 with Jet Airways.
I booked KLM, as usual, but it was a code sharing flight. I’ve been busy last weeks (Wauw: Tell us more new things….) so I did not really had studied the flight data.
It turned out I had quite a funny flight. All flights were Jet Airways, not a single segment was KLM, luckily also not Air France… On the outgoing trip I first flew to New Delhi, then to Mumbai and then to Hyderabad. Not really efficient… There are many direct flights from DEL to HYD. But OK. It is what it is. Rebooking was not possible, all flights were full.
So I checked in, left my good old Eagle Creek Roller at the desk and went to the KLM Lounge.

First Leg

It went faster than I though, I could hardly eat a small breakfast and then the screen said that the flight was already boarding. So I hurried to the plane, a Boeing 777 and quickly found my chair. A nice chair (Business class this time!!!) The flight left on time at 11:20 and it was good, Jet Airways is fine, nice staff and great food (Indian of course!!)
We arrived in Delhi on time and in the dark. Last time in Delhi I found out that there actually 2 airports in Delhi with the name “Indira Gandi Airport” Read “Incredible India”. This time I was OK (I thought…) because the connecting flight was in the same terminal. Even if your luggage is checked “through” (The label on the suitcase already contains all destinations) you still have to pick up your suitcase from the belt and bring it through customs and then check it in again.
With some trouble I managed to do that. I did not check the monitors on the airport so after going through security again ( Which was “Pedantic”… I had to completely unpack all my backpacks…) I started looking for the right gate. Just to find a monitor where my flight was indicated as “cancelled”. !@#$%^&*(
I started looking for help and at another gate with personnel from Jet Airways to ladies told me to wait, someone would come and sort it out.
Pff… But now I had time to organize an internet connection. That is not easy in India, there is “Free WiFi” but that works with a text message to your mobile phone. You first fill in your phone number, then you opt-in for some things and they will send you a Text Message with a code. Then you have to hack on your phone until the login screen comes again and give that code (with the phone number again, all very tiresome.
But that did not worked… I tried several times: no Text… Then I remembered that I am the new proud owner of an iPhone XS and that I have 2 SIM cards. The normal Willert Phone and my Dutch number.
So I tried it with the dutch number and: Bingo! a Text message and yes… I had internet. OK… only for 30 minutes… So I could FaceTime with home and then post on Facebook. Then I routinely checked my mail just to find 2 mails from KLM with a new Ticket and new Travel information… from hours before… So the cancellation was apparently nothing new.

Second Leg

Back to the ladies from the Jet Airways desk. Just when I did that the Manager appeared and started to speak with people who appeared from nowhere. With some pressure he looked at my stuff and organized some guy to escort me out of the secure area. He brought me back to departures where I tried to check in again.
It appeared my flight was now rebooked to Air India (?) at 7am (?) and directly to Hyderabad (!) OK. I would arrive an hour later than planned… that was doable.
Getting a ticket was not.. I went from booth to booth until I found a guy that was willing to help. He organized that my suitcase came back and that I could check in at the Air India Booth. he even brought me to the lounge (through security!) so that I could try to sleep a little bit. It was no 4:00 am and I still had 3 more hours…
No sleeping though… the lounge was noisy (Parents with small kids… really??) so after some coffee I went to the plane. This was again a 777, the business class was completely  empty. Shortly before take-off an Indian guy came in with lots of people around him. He was something important I think. the staff was crawling around him to bring stuff and wait for orders. Luckily they did not forget me (I was hungry…) and I was served breakfast. The Business Class was the widest I have ever seen. I had a huge place, the chair before me was really far away. A large screen was built-in but I could hardly see it. Not that I wanted, after breakfast I turned my chair into a bed and slept for the rest of the flight.
That went quite well. The Taxi from the hotel was not there (They had received my mail that my flight was cancelled) so after 25 hours I was in the hotel. Time for a nap..

Work!

I had the reast of the sunday to rest a litte bit. I did not sleep long. First a phone call from the check-in desk… then a knock on the door from somebody that wanted to fill the minibar. Grr.
So I already prepared for the busy week. I had to support a project where many people work on with very different levels of Rhapsody expirience. It is what it is… UML and certainly Rhapsody are not easy to learn. reading a book and do a 2 day training is not nearly enough to become expirienced. Not even beginner level can be reached. It requires a lot of effort and patience to become an expert there.
For all it is learning the process of MBSE. It is very different from just hacking source-code. These are the questions that you should ask yourself on different levels of the development process:

  • WHAT must be done
    • We take Use-Case diagrams for that. Add Sequence Diagrams and/or Activity Diagrams to explain the requirements. This is the base for the planning on what the system does.
  • WHO will do it
    • This is the domain of the archtectural Diagrams such as Class, Object, Package, Structure, Component and Deployement Diagram. They define the architecture of the system.
  • HOW must we do it.
    • Here we use Statecharts and activity diagrams, also flow-charts. Here we define the behavior of the system.

Of course this is not Waterfall anymore, we are agile! So we wil iteratively go through all these phases until we are done.
Thi smeans that just creating a class as placeholder for a statemachine and just adding a state to be able to respond to events is not the way to use MBSE.
Objects have states, the light is on or off. Objects also move between states and not only from inner to outer states.
The secret to finding out what states we have is to use many, many sequence diagrams. They will clear your mind and give you the information needed to define nice small statemachines that are understandable and re-usable!

So. That was it from India. I”ll be back!

Walter van der Heiden (wvdheiden@willert.de)

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