Good Bye 2010 , Welcome 2011

Wish you a Happy New year 2011.

Its that time of the year again, where I get to look back with mixed feelings on what I did/didn’t do. No wonder, I have too many not done’s than the done’s.  It has to be that way, for I have something to chase after. Good or bad, chasing has become part of life.

Spent most of my 2010 away from home and that meant a lot of self reflection in solitude; which in-turn brought in many insights. Read many books & articles, met different people, went around places.  I am a far better person than I was at the start of 2010, which is kind of good, but I am not where I wanted to be.

Reflection has changed my perspective towards life, career and many other things. As such, from 50,000 foot above, my 2011 would be spent on (not in any particular order)

– Focused improvement on skills
– Building an online identity
– Learn more on Farming(I am from a farming community and I would be starting a new blog around it soon).
– Focused Financial investments
– Quality time with Family
– Travel to learn farming
– Help people grow

Some call this chasing – a rat race, survival of fittest and what not.  Like it or not, I am part of it- getting away from it means a lot, which is what I am going to work on this year.


One Year since I landed in Melbourne

It is one year passed since I landed in Melbourne.  What started as a three month trip would finally end up as a 14 month trip.  I would be returning back to India at the end of Nov.   

I thought of writing about my professional & personal experience during this past one year in Melbourne.  

A not-so interesting thought that runs on my mind is how the projects are planned or otherwise how the due dates were calculated.   When I came in, this project was already delayed by about six months and was expected to be completed in 3 months.  Hence it started as a three months trip.    As the due date approached, the optimism faded away and the due date was pushed by another couple of months, then another couple of months and  now the due date is getting puhsed by week(s). You guessed it right,  the project is not going to end in Nov. It is going to take a while, but the good news is that the project is very much under control  than it was 14 months back.

You could imagine the pressure on the team, the management and the client on such a project. Sitting with Client made me realize how hard it is to get funding for a project that misses deadline. It is not easy – the business manager has to convince the IT department, accounts department, strategy department and so many people to keep the project going.   It is not that easy to convince someone after a couple of times,  you loose your trust-worthiness.  Looking back there were many things that had gone wrong.  If I were asked to pick one thing that could have bettered our chances of determining the date, I would choose “Loosing the bigger Picture”.  Most of the times, the due dates were calculated based on the burning issues that is on hand. Fix the burining issues, next set of burining issues creep up and the next and the next.  And Yes, there were many things that we didnt see it coming (performance issues,  Virtual Server enviroment issues, Network issues on  VM , issues on third party tools etc.,).   It would be a very long story to write, so, I end about this subject here.

Another dangerous thing that is happening in the industry is the way in which the agile is being adopted. Well,  I am not against Agile, but the way it is being driven for adoption is really concerning me.  The client I am working with had brought in best of the breed Agile Consultants to educate its employees, prepare them to go agile for over a year. A lot of money was spent on training and education.  When the client had an understanding on the way the agile projects are run, they wanted its service providers to do the project in Agile way too.  Most of the service providers are clueless about agile.  All they *think* is Agile methodolgy is fast catching up in market and is another resume skill..  Isnt it a big bullshit? I can seet it failing big time.  Seervice providers are trying to mass – commoditize Agile, which I think isnt going to work.  I am wondering what these people would be talking about Agile after a few years.

 A lot of professional learning on software writing and project management.   The last one year has thought me more lessons than any of the years in my career. 

Personally, my perspective towards life has changed a lot.   May be I am not able to put in on writing, but there is a lot of change in my attitude and approach towards my life.  I learnt and experienced a lot moving around Melbourne.  I went around places, learnt cooking ,  went  to Australian Grand Prix,  Austrlian Open, local Footy  and a couple of cricket matches.   A good experince all together.  I gained new interests and hobbies – photography for example.   They say, Melbourne is a live city and I would recomend anyone to spent sometime in this city.
A good year so far.

Surrounding yourself with positive friends and doers..

When I landed in Melbourne seven months ago, I  met one of my friend with whom I wasn’t in touch for last 8 years.   We went to same college, we started our career in the same company and we stayed in a same home then.   For some reasons we lost contact and we met again last September.  I was staying in his home for about two months when I landed in Melbourne.

I learnt and  still learning many things from him.  The most important of all is how to remain positive and openness to accept things and change them the way we wanted it to be.  He helped me to look into the aspects of life which I have never looked at, the aspects of work and the aspect of many a things. Being with him, I feel more energetic, more enthusiastic and much more.

It is important you should have friends whom you can wake up at middle of night to talk nonsense. Surrounding yourself with positive and good friends is very important for your health, life and work. This is not a long kept secret, but a simple thing that takes you miles.

This post is to express my thanks and gratitude.

The result of Laziness, Procrastination and the Opportunity Cost.

Opportunity Cost ,  the real cost of lost time, lost credibility, lost career, lost love, lost life which are brought into one’s life by our seeming friends – Laziness and procrastination are very high. In long run, these seeming friends bring more pain to life than pleasure.

More than any other losses, these seeming friends brought pessimism into me; against which I am fought every day.  There are many theories out there about pessimism – it feels good to read about it, but it is very hard to spend a few months / years with it.  I have been there, felt that and know what it means. Pessimism :  I call it a strange disease;  puts a filter on to your vision and the result, you see negativity in all sorts of life.  The more pain of this strange disease is- you don’t know you have it.  I thought I was more optimistic and realistic, but the reality is I had that filter on my vision without me knowing about it.

I tried many things to get out of it – To Do lists,  Not To do lists, doing three important things a day and so many other suggestions out there on web.   Nothing worked.  Thank God : I read this post of  Reg Braithwaite . The techniques in the book  –   Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life has helped me a lot in taking my pessimism out.  It took a lot of time and pain for me to come out of it,  I am now out of it.  I have re-read the book many many times.  A Great book.

Yesterday, when I logged into my blog to make my first blog of the year, my heart felt bad to learn that the last post I made was in April last year.  So many opportunities lost in last one year , but it is OK.  As the saying goes ” Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”

As with regards to my career, I have two certification goals for this year.  One is planned by end of July and the other by end of Oct-2010.  I now feel very optimistic that the opportunity cost of my decision, the choices I make now will make me better in times to come.