Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy 2006 New Year

Being Pretend to be unconventional guy that I am, I refuse to do the whatever new year ushering-in ritual of reviewing of the year achievements fucked-ups of mine. Nor will I do those new year resolution thingy. Not that it is wrong or anything :-) Just don't feels like doing it. Maybe next time *wink*.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year!!! May all your wishes and new year resolutions that you have come true.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Missed my ride

Been a year and more since I last rode my bike :( Eversince I bought the car and promised my boss I won't be riding the bike no more. But I don't think I can keep that promise any longer. Went play golf on Monday morning, and stop by at my cousin place to pick up his golf bag.

The bike has been left there like 6 months already. The road tax is dead, and the engine need a service. I lended it to my cousin when his car had some problem back then. And ever since then, it is being left there because of the dead roadtax and the engine can't be started anymore.

Gonna take a day leave next month to send fella to workshop for servicing and gotta renew the road tax too. Gotta arrange a transport with my cousin for that. Really missed the kick of riding a bike. Don't get the same kind of "kick" from driving my car. In fact when I just got the car, I was bit of disappointed with the pickup. But then I should't expect too much from a 1.5 Auto car in the first place anyhow. bleh.

'Nuff said. Here another set of photos I manage to capture with the Nokia N90 that I "borrow" from office.

Nice view of the lake
Another nice view of the lake. Unfortunately the lotus blossoms might have been "hit" by rain the previous night.
Suppose to be able to see KLCC and KL Tower in the pic on the right. Look at the air that we are breathing in everyday. *sigh*

I didn't have breakfast that morning. And I wallops two plates of rice with my favorite petai ulam with budu and tempoyak during lunch. This morning, I noticed that the jean I was wearing has shrinked. Damn... ^_^

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The promised photo

So as promised in my previous post, here comes the photos. Click on the photo to get the larger ones.

Just being brought back from V Station, and unwrapped

From another angle

The shepherds' pie prepared by my aunt

Distro time, a bit dry though.

What's left after the attack in less than 20 mins.

Next come the photo from the Teluk Gong dinner

A couple of first dishes to arrive. Lala and dun-know-call-what-bean :P

More are here. Fish and kamhiong crab.

The aftermatch

'Nuther aftermatch pic

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Live to eat

I felt like the only reason I stay alive today, is to eat.

Woke up at 8:00 a.m. and get ready to drive to my colleague weding lunch banquet in Bahau. I was suppose to pick another three friends on the way there. The last friend to pick up was in Seremban. We were initially suppose to meet up with another colleague for late breakfast in Seremban, but when we finally arrived in Seremban that colleague ffk :(

No worries, the Seremban friend that I picked up brought us to eat the famous Seremban Beef Noodles. We finnish after 11:00 am and head to Bahau. I never been to that place.

It's trunk road all the way from Seremban. It tooks us about 1 hour plus to travel from Seremban to Bahau. The road was not to bad, except for a small stretch with lots of 270 degree turning. Overall it was a fun drive.

Our table was the most noisiest one. I lost count of number of bottle of beer we had comsumed. Should be not less than 12 bottles. Me alone I think took down at least 3-4 bottles. Another colleague took more than 6 bottles and the rest took less than 1 bottle each. It was fun. We even joke with the bride (our colleague) that we are driving there, and we will be taking boat back. *grin*.

Anyway, at four pm we are all done with the lunch and I drove back to KL. I got another dinner appointment with my cousins in Teluk Gong. After drop off the friend in Seremban, I speed back to KL. Unfortunately there was a freak accident some where near Bangi (I heard from another colleague who drove another car) which caused the traffic to almost stalled all the way to Nilai.

I took a detour out from Bandar Baru Nilai and head to the KLIA through the trunk road, and took Kesas back to my office to drop off another two colleague. They left the car there. From there I speed through Kesas and head for Teluk Gong. When I finally arrived, everyone were already there and the food had been ordered.

7 dishes and one hour later, we laps up everything and head back. I travelled 420+ km today, just to fill my bottomless stomach. Burp. Excuse me :-)

Of family get together and gossips

Had a great time at my cousin's place last night. 15 of us (3 1 kiddo included, the other two were fast asleep from exhaustion) finnish the turkey and the pies within 30 mins.

(pics to be uploaded later)

My cousin pick up the turkey from Victoria Station. Looks pretty delicious, well I found out later that it's a bit dry.

Next comes the family gossips back from hometown, from no other than the best story teller our beloved cousin. I think the drama that happen and unfold in the family can be turned into an interesting soaps mini-series. With it's twist and turn and just the right amount combination of all elements of popular dramas.

Head back home at a little bit after 1:00 a.m., after all the stories has been unfolded *grin*. I gotta get my sorry arse up by 8:00a.m. the next morning to attend the colleague's Lunch Wedding Reception in Bahau.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry X'mas

I don't normally celebrate X'mas. Anyway this time round, my cousins and sister from home state pay us a visit. There is a small family dinner and get together in a short while. My cousin just went of the fetch a turkey and I am just came back home to take a bath and going off to my cousin place next door in a while.

Brought my cousins and sister to IKEA this in the noon, been a long time I never been there. While I was there, thinking of giving a face lift to my guess room. Thinking of turning it into my study room. Okie, that a plan for next year.

On the way back stop by Giant for late lunch and buy some stuff. While the rest of the gang shop around, I just grab a bottle of white wine and a couple of sparkling grape juice (this one for the kids, yeah my cousin brought along her three heros.) Then I head straight to the car, started the engine and turn on the aircond waiting there for almost 45 mins. I was just too tired. Manage to finnish read a newspaper and took a short nap before they finnish the shopping.

Gotta go take bath and head back to my cousin place next door now. To everyone of you,


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

When it rains, it really pour

Why it has to be like this? Always! When there is nothing to do, it can go on and on for few weeks. Then suddenly when it started to come in, all of them just come in one after another? Ya, it's about my work again. Don't get me wrong, I love what I am currently doing. I love the team of people that I am working with too. This is the best team I ever work with, EVAR1111oneoneone!!!!!

Finally manage to push myself to the gym afterwork just now. Didn't dare to push myself too hard. Been more than one months never been there. Just walk on thread mill for like 20 minutes (prolly run for 3 mins) and did some machines. But wasn't able to do the abs one cause there were couple of people used it when I wanted to use it. Lazy to wait, and I called it a day. Manage to sweat a lil, and not really feeling good now. My body is little bit heaty now. Feels like falling sick. *sigh*. Now boiling myself a barley drink. *make mental note to check the pot on the stove once done writing*.

I might need to go Shanghai on the first week of next month. I pray that my colleague can solve the problem with the partner technical person by this weeks, otherwise I got no choice but drag my arse there. Keep my finger crossed. I just don't feel like going there, not at that time. It's very cold there now. I can't really stand cold weather. Further more there are loads of things which I need to attend to over here. Darn!!!

There are three four projects that need to be delivered by March next year. Darn!!! Darn!!! Darn!!! Why do they have to come all at the same time????

Okey.... better go check the pot of barley on the stove now. By the way, if I didn't manage to post another post before X'mas and New Year, I would like to take this chance to wish all of you Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Blardy Jet Lag

No, I didn't go anywhere that have different timezone from here. It was the stupid project that I have slave work on for the past three months weeks which induces thise jet lag like sympton onto me.

As expected, I can't put myself to sleep until 3am even with a glass of vodka ribena (double shots of vodka). Blardy hell!!!!

Woke up at 10am and dragged my sorry ass to work. Being a zombie, I didn't expect I can get much thing done. By end of the day, I just manage to passed one letter of increment to one last person in the batch of my team that got an increment for this time round.

Do a little bit of google-ing to find a solution for the issue we are facing with web server of the Three Months Weeks Clean Sh*t Project. Think I found a resolution for it and passed the resolution to our support team. Since the system are now already in production mode, this issues is now under their care.

Take a look at the project plan for the new project which suppose to be delivered in March next year. The project plan has been prepared by one of our consultant. Seems like there are a handful of tasks has been omitted. Someone better put that in or we will end up with another shitty project by march next year again. IM my boss to know what is the arrangement for this project. Basically he has no single clue as well. Mostly he just look at the money and financial side of the project. He ask me to advise him on the technical and project delivery. I promise to get back to him once I have a clearer picture after a discussion with my team member and with the consultant.

Get my team member who I have identified to oversee the highlevel requirement of the project, and share with her my concern on the project plan. The long Chinese New Year holiday wasn't taken into account in the project plan, there are no mentioned of hardware acquisation and preparation. A few more things prop up while I was having discussion with her. Those I asked her to take note and update into the project plan.

Those are the three thing I manage to do in a state of zombie. The rest of the time, I just lepak at my desk. Strike up a few useless conversation with some of the other team, just to past time.

I was still pretty sleepy while driving back. I have to stop by at a shopping mall to buy a X'mas present for the gifts exchange programme for Office X'mas Party this coming Friday. Someone have help me to draw a name for me. It's one of my team member whom I to buy present for.

Got a shirt for him. Next gotta get gift wrapper. On the way to the gift wrapper shop, I walked past a setup of don't-know-what-company and the lady trying to give something to me. I brought up my hand with a no sign. Then I walked away, she shouted "Eh... it's free!" What the fuck!!! I have already said no. Which part of me looks like a sex sleep deprived freebies collector to you, fucking mind you!!!! Do you need to shout so loud??? Darn!!! Which part of NO didn't you understand!

Anyway, I just walked away and get the gift wrapper and got back home. Tapau lamb curry for dinner. Been a long three months since I last had this lamb curry. It's the pwns!!!

I am damn sleepy now, but I dare not sleep now. Otherwise I will wake up in the middle of midnight and can't get back to sleep again. My colleague suggest I go to gym to tired myself up, and have a good sleep. It's been one months since I last visited the gym. Yay!!! I'll do just that tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Look at the Bright Side

Now that the whole mess has been sort of cleaned up, I am sort of relieved. No so worried about this project anymore. Though there are still a module to be delievered, the time line is not that tight anymore.

My bio clock is totally whacked. Yesterday and today, I keep fell into sleep during day time, and last night I can't sleep until 4 am then woke up again at 5 am. Darn! I dare not imagine what gonna happen tonight and how it's gonna be like at work tomorrow. If it wasn't far some urgent stuff on other project that I have to look into, I would have give myself another day off. bleh.

Back to this shitty project. There are lot's of things which I don't like about this project, but those are the things which are out of our control. So either I like it or not, still have to telan. Yet still there are things that I like about this project.

  • My team the Rawk. We manage to complete a work which were supposed to take 2 months (and still can't be completed after two months) in 3 weeks.

  • We gain the customer confident two weeks after we takeover the project. Considering that the customer confident when we started the project was rock bottom, this is a great achievement!! Yayaay!!!

  • I have perfect excuse to dooze off during work. Not that I did it often.

  • I have perfect excuse not to check or reply my work e-mail. Yayay!!!!!

  • I can work at night (and wee hours of morning too). mmm... it may not necessary be a good thing. Yet by working at night there are less interruption.

That's all I can think of now.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Operation Clean $h*t IV

Yeah, it's finally done (but not over yet). We had passed the UAT, and done with migration to the production system. The migration was carried out on Thursday morning (farking morning of 12am) and maintenace window that we had for the migration was 12 am to 12pm. In total 12 hours. So far this is the longest migration I ever involved in.

Unfortunately, there was some glitches in KimChi team during the migration process. As for my team, by 10am everything are up and running and been tested completely. We could have finnish it much earlier but our systems are dependence on KimChi system. So we gotta wait for them. While waiting, I was too tired that I just lied flat on server rooms floor. Luckily the server room's temperature was not very cold. It was about 23C.

By 11am, the KimChi team was still having problem to bring up and test the standby unit. Seems like there are some configuration, and communication path through the firewall has been overlooked. That's what they claimed. By right by that time we should have initiated the rolls back sequence. The migration has failed. Even though they have managed to bring up and tested the active unit, the failure to bring up and test the standby unit means that this whole migration process has failed.

After an urgent meeting with the customer, they finally decided to just let the system run without a standby unit. The Doraemon agreed, I think they are just too desperately needed to get the upgrade and added feature up after many delays. That's why they are willing to take the risk to just run the system without a standby unit.

During the urgent meeting in the server room, KimChi promise to fix the problem with their standby unit by that night itself. I disagreee. Our team need rest, and I think his team needed rest too. Fatigue body and mind will raise the possibilities of mistake being made. Luckily one of Doraemon member has some sense to agree with me. So the next maintenance windows has been approved for 12am - 2am on Saturday morning.

Now the KimChi team was suppose to bring up the active unit, which had been brought down in order to test the standby unit. I hate Murphy, especially when his law was proven again. When shit can happen, it will happen. There was some complication in bringing up the active system again. KimChi team has to request for the maintenance window to be extended for another 2 hours. That would mean it's gonna be farking 2pm until the whole process is completed.

I have no eye see anymore, I decided to pack up my stuffs and go back to the vendor room where another group of my team was carrying out the testing. Asked another of my team in the server room to pack up to. Told the KimChi team, I was leaving and if they need another help, please call me and I will remotely access the system from the vendor room.

Luckily at 2 pm they finally manager to bring up the system with minimal time for our team to test again. Yet, we did some tests. Our service manager and me asked the rest of our team (3 of them) to go back first while we are waiting for the KimChi team to comeback and have a progress and informal post-mortem on what went wrong. Only after that did we go home. It was about 3pm when I got home.

We thought, and pretty confident that the migration can be completed by the day itself. I have even get my team to organize a Karaoke session that night, for a small celebration and as a way to unwind ourselves after a very damn hectics three weeks. So I only manage to nap for a megre 3 hours before I gotta wake up and head to the K.

Unfortunately, halfway through the K I'd got call from our service manager about an issue with the systems. I overlooked something during the migration. Most of the function works perfectly fine, but I didn't check one minor redirection page (which I never aware is required.) So for the next 1 hours plus, I was outside making phone calls to investigate the issue and get one of the KimChi team to help us to remotely changes a simple line, and voila! the issue resolve. Communicating with KimChi team in engerish proved to be difficult.

Went back into the K room and continue with booze till 2 am. Because of the second round of migration, I decided not to go to office yesterday. Take a rest at home instead, at noon woke up and get a few call from a colleague who needed a device that I had with me. She agree to come over to my place to pick it up. Went our lunch with her and another colleague who tag alone with her.

Got back home at 3 pm and just about when I wanted to take a nap, got another call from the service manager. Things was not well. The system was having problem around 2pm. Even though the KimChi team manage to bring up the system again I was still being asked to go back to investigate what cause the problem. F*ck!!!!

Drag my sorry arse back to the site, and found out that the problem might has caused by the customer load balancer. Had a small discussion with them on what can be done to avoid this problem again, and I get some clarification on their load balancer setup.

Then prepare for the morning migration, and went to have dinner. Luckily the second session of migration went through pretty smoothly. Reached home at around 3am hit the sack. I was suppose to be relief, but don't have that kind of feeling now. Probably the feeling have not sink in yet, and it might be because there are still some work needed to be done and delivered on in mid-Jan next year.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Operation Clean $h*t III

Been drifted in and out conciousness most part of the day today. It's has been one of the longest two weeks in my life. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Planned to get back to work briefly today, yet fatigue won over me (or this it just an convenient excuse.)

There are still a few more problem to be fixed with the system. After what we have done throught this two whole months weeks, we are now in a better position, and can afford to take a few good breath of fresh air. I have send almost all of the team member off to a good rest, asked them to take a day off on Thusday.

Only me and the our Service Manager (who I have drag into this :P) were back at the customer site while they carried out the User Acceptance Test. Unfortunately they discover a bug with the printing routine that is supposed to be one of their requirement. We have overlooked on that problem. I had to call one of the team member to come back to fix the issue on Friday morning, yet he offered to come back on Thursday evening itself.

So despite of lacking of sleep on that day, our Service Manager and me stayed back to accompany this guy to fix the problem. While waiting, we carried out some changes to the text on the User Interfaces from the comments made by the Doraemon's internal users. There were a few hilarious moments through out the process.

The service manager, who has not done any programming for such a long time decided to get his hand dirty to made changes to the codes. Along the way, he managed to fix some of the problem but not without some hilarious moment. I wouldn't blame him. He and me only manage to sleep less than 1 hours in that 36 hours. One funny mistake he made was he copied one of the code into his notebook, and somehow didn't relise he copy the file to another location. He made the changes to the second copy, and applied the first copy into the staging server. He was perplexed why the changes he had made doesn't seems to be reflected in the staging server.

He asked me to help him find out what was wrong. Just when I was to start to go through his code, he himself finally realise the blunder he has made. We laugh our loud.

It really help to take things not too seriously. In fact this is what I think keep everyone of us sane through out this ordeal. In fact, while at the dinner last night, my boss commented to our Directors we were having a fun time despite having an impossible deadline and stressfull environment. He has witness first hand how everyone talked and did silly thing while he accompany us till the wee hours of the morning for at least two days. I guess he don't feel good either to have to made us to take up this project. Despite not being able to do anything, he just sit there accompany us till we decided to call it a day (it a long long days.) On last Sunday night (and monday morning) we accompany us, and I knew he got few calls from his wife but I still want to stay back. I just tell him to go home to accompany his wife. Only after a few time did he willing to go home, albeit with a very heavy heart.

This is the kind of spirit and commitment that I didn't find anywhere in my previous jobs. This is the kind of commitment that allowed us the pushed through this. Yet, as a leader we have to take care of the welfare of our team. I have given many very clear hints to my boss about rewarding this team.

We were invited to a dinner with my boss, couple of directors of the company and some friends of their friend last night. I wasn't to keen to go. I would rather come back to have a good sleep. But the service manager is in the fit of his alcohol withdrawal and hoping to get to satisfy his alcohol need asked me to go with him. I relanted.

Anyway during the drinking session after the dinner, we brought up the rewarding thingy with our CTO again. On the spot he did some calculation and has decided to set aside 1/5 of the total sum that we gonna billed to DongKie to reward this team. Equally divided, that is about month on salary for some of the team members. To other it's almost equavalent to almost two months of their monthly salary. This is a very good shot in the arm for our team. At least I will not feel very bad (still some bad though) to mobilise this team tomorrow to fix few more problem before they sign-off the acceptance on this Tuesday. I would love to announce this to our team, but I have to keep it to myself until we get the money from DongKie.

In fact when I sent out a sms to asked a favour from a couple of girls to come back to work tomorrow, she complaint that the people at the beauty parlour commented that her face is terrible when she went for facial earlier today. I told her we will go back by 8:00pm tomorrow, and wanted to tell her with the amount of money we gonna reward them she can afford to go for few more facial sessions. But I can't tell her that. I just told her I will ask my boss to give them some money so that they can go for more facial session.

It wasn't fun to have to keep this kind of information to ourself. Yet there are a certain reason why we need to keep this kind of information, especially some strategic decision which can only be reveal at the right time. Another information that I have to keep from my team is the top management decision to move our office back to HQ earlier next year. I knew most people will not be so happy with this, because the location of our current office is much more convinient. But there are some cost cutting measure that the top management has to take.

Unfortunately this relocation news has been leaked out by one of the manager, which pissed my boss to no end. I am not sure how that happen, yet it's a very irresponsible act. She might have done it with good intention, but leaking that kind of strategic infomation out at the wrong time and without any measure to counteract the negative impact will make matter worse. It's better for our boss to broke this news and give a proper explanation on the rational of this decision. *sigh*

I know I shouldn't be thinking this way, but I can't help to think that she did that on purpose. I might be wrong. Anyway, this is purely my speculation. You see, sometime certain people just can't to grasp the importance and roles that they are suppose to play when they are being assigned to a position. I think she is among the group of people who will not like to relocate to HQ, so intentionally or otherwise this is her idea of how she should handle her personal dislike to this decision. By leaking out this news, she might gain some point from other staffs negative response to make a point with the top management to reconsider their decision. Unwise decision and unfit to hold her current position.

Stop the digression, back to this clean $h*t operation. The Doraemon team has already kick start their migration process on Friday morning. They were having the kick off and planning meeting in the room where I was working. This could only mean one thing. In principle, they are pretty please with what we have done so far to the extend that confident enought to start the plan to the migration of this system into migration next week.

Though there are still some minor problem need to be fixed, they are no longer that harsh with us anymore. In fact they are more compromising and cooporative this few days. This is a good sign to us. This achievement is no small feat. Our team have manage to regain back the confidence from Doraemon within less than two weeks. From the rock bottom position, we pulled through and now they are pretty please and happy with the commitment that we have shown so far. This turn of face is a 180 degree change from their attitude in the meeting with their top management that I attend with my boss last friday. Where they threaten to sue DongKie for screwing up this project and they will consider the while system no fit for deployment if they found more then three problem. After two days of testing, honestly I can say there are infact more than three bugs has been discovered. But all I hear from them is please that your time to fix it. As long as it is fixed before the migration, we are fine.

I owe a lot to my team to this. None of my team read my blog, in fact I wish they will never found this blog. Yet, I want to let everyone of the them know that "You gals and guys RAWKs!!!!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Operation Clean Sh*t II

Just got back from work! Ya, at this hour of the day. For the last two weeks, actually it feels like one months already, this has been a routine. Wake up in noon, head of to customer site. Most of the time, pick up one or two of my team from their place on the way there. Slaving ourselves till the wee hours of the morning, then head back home, beaten.

The User Acceptence Test (UAT) will be conducted, in just 4 hours from now. The risk of oversleep and missed the UAT session if I were to take a short nap is too high. Crossed my finger for this UAT. I had just discovered and fixed one bug in one of the modules just before we wrapped up just now. I believe there are still some lurking underneath. I can't blame them, this is a very rush job. This kind of thing are bound to happened.

Half of the team members has been relieved of this project, back to office with the normal routine and working hours. Another half sailed through this with me, and a couple of my team office team has been pulled into this project after we had decided to take over the other two modules.

This two modules was badly written, and the codes are extremely messy. There are so many flaws in the design. I don't think the previous developer put in any effort to at least give some thought on the design the codes. The presentation layers and the business logic are scattered all over the place. This is a real living hell for our team.

I feel bad that I have to asked them to work on this project, it is really rediculous. Yet, this is a strategic decision that has been made by my boss, and I have agreed with a condition that my team with be rewarded for their hardwork.

Half way through, I have to ask my boss to pull our service manager in to manage the project. I have to concentrate fully on the development and bug fixing, and another reason is I have no experience in managing customer expectation. What more in a situation like this. I hate to drag him into this, but that his is our best bet in this managing Doraemon.


DongKie's PM shown me an e-mail from the Doraemon PM to me this morning. The Doraemon PM stated that she want only a single point of contact, from today on. lol. I knew what brought that about. The previous night, the network suddenly developed a problem. I had to call her to get the network fixed or otherwise it will hamper our work and negatively affected our delivery date. After a few calls, she still can't seems to be able to help us solve the problem. In the end, she just send me an sms to let me know there is nothing she can do, we have to wait till the next morning when the person in charge of the network is back to work.

One reason I keep calling her is because this problem will hamper our work, and secondly is to let her feels what's it like to be in a position we are in right now. The two meetings with their highlevel management that I attended with my boss, all I heard from them was DongKie (and we now representing DongKie) doesn't give enough commitment and doesn't have the sense of urgency to deliver this project on time.

So there's it goes, is this the kind of commitment you are looking for? We have shown our commitment, and being unable to solve the network problem over at your side will not reflect positively on yourself, ain't it? That where single point of contact come from isn't it?

Our service manager told me the Doraemon PM has soften a lot since we took over the management of this project from DongKie PM. It's not just about deliver the project. This is just like a game. You wanna play hardball, we can play hardball too *grin*. Calling her in the middle of the night to complaint about the network problem was part of our gameplan.

From my observation, DongKie PM just have no clue on how to manage the Doraemon. Yet at the same time the Doraemon PM, maybe unconciously, just taking advantage of this fact to let the project slipped into disarray and put all the blame on the DongKie. That's the reason I had roped in our service manager, who has vast experience in project management, to handle this project. Particularly to manage the Doraemon expectation.

So far this seems to work pretty well.


Again I am glad and very lucky to have such a dedicated team members. Being in their position before, I did my best not to repeat the kind of mistake that some I observed being made by other team leader.

I make sure I am the first to arrive at the site and the last to leave. Got my hand dirty at debugging and coding. Make sure their meal are well taken care of. One of the member is getting married this X'mas, only last week I knew about it. I feel very bad to make her work in this kind of condition few weeks before her important day.

There are plenty preparation needed to be done, and what more she will have to take care of her "face". Working within this kind of environment is not good for your skin and complexion I figure. Anyway, I asked have let her take two days off from today and tomorrow and no work for her this weekend too.

As much as trying to avoid any blunder, I did fucked up. I reprimind one of the team member for her lack of clue in carry out certain task. She wasn't happy with that and told me I shouldn't expect too much in this kind of situation. Maybe she was right.

Yet at the same time, I just can't help feeling frustrated when I was debugging the code written by them. There are just too many silly mistake in their codes, and if they were to put in some effort during the good days to study and learn how to write codes properly they should be able to do better, even in a high stressed project like this. *make mental note to raise this issue with them, albeit more deplomatic and subtle when the condition is right*

Maybe I am too demanding, and expect too much. Maybe not...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Operation Clean Sh*t

Where should I start? The scene in the meeting room can be an interesting one. The scene was the starting point of this whole ordeal that my team and me have to go through. On second thought that wasn't exactly the starting point.

It all started when I received a message from my boss through another colleague. I was having a discussion on one of the existing on-going projects with my team members.

Abruptly cut short the discussion and went back to my desk. Saw the messages from my boss in the IM on my PC. A new business partner (for sake of this narration, will from known as DongKie Corp) needed our assistance in their existing project. That's my initial impressin after having read a few lines of messages from my boss.

Give him a buzz, and didn't get any extra information than what I read from the IM. All I hear was DongKie Corp needed a technical assistance that he think our team can offer. He asked me to join him for a meeting, that I initially thought between us and the business partner to gather further info. Little did I knew we were actually heading right into the eye of a storm.

On the way to the meeting, we were stuck in a traffic jam. The meeting has started the moment we arrived at the door step of the meeting room. With almost zero information, we stepped our foots into the meeting that was well underway and well heated.

Our business partner's project manager was being grilled. Within less than one minutes of putting our poor arses onto the chairs in that cramped little room, we still have no clue on what was all this about. The only thing that I knew at that moment was our business partner had screwed up big time, and being fucked by their customer (from now known as Doraemon Corp) (actually, only yesterday I found out that the other party was not really their customer, but their business partner. This project is on profit sharing basis, so technically they are partners.)

All six of them from Doraemon Corp were attacking these two little poor fella. Till now I haven't mentioned another party in this story, a company from oversea (again for this narative sake, known as KimChi Corp.) which is the business partner of DongKie Corp too. So there we were in the meeting room, six from Doraemon Corp spewing bullets toward DongKie's project manager and KimChi's project manager.) Since we were brought in to rescue DongKie Corp, indirectly the bullets was spew ed in our direction too.

Seeeing that the bullet was spewing all over the room, and sense that the meeting wasn't going anywhere and not going to achieve anything meaningful; and still without a clue on what going on, my boss suggest we adjourned the meeting so that we (DongKie, KimChi and our company) are able to have some time and space to discuss and give an assurance that Doraemon was seeking. I knew my boss pretty well, not so surprise with this stunt from him.

* bullets spewing *
M16 #1: *bullets* give us assurance *bullets* *bullets*
M16 #2: *bullets* *bullets* *bullets* give us assurance *bullets*
M16 #6: *bullet* give us assurance *bullets*

my boss: can you give us some time, and we will get back to you with the assurance that you are seeking from us.

M16 #2: WTF? In the first place we are calling this meeting to get the assurance (that you are not going to f*cked-up the fucking deadline again) from you. Now you are telling me that you need some time to discuss? You are wasting our (precious) time having this meeting now!!!!

this is a direct hit onto my boss

M16 #1: Sorry... I didn't get your name.

The situation was very tense, but I don't why the moment she said that, I almost chuckle in my seat. Maybe because I would expect another round of bullets from the M16 being fire, or maybe it's the way this lady responded to my boss's interjection just make it sound funny to me. lol

Anyway, cut short the story. My boss did actually manage to convince them to give us until the next morning to get back to them. I think M16 was pretty sharp and I think she can sense that we are new party that came to defused the situation, or prolly she reckon that the meeting wasn't going anywhere even if they keep firing rounds and rounds of bullets toward us.

We moved out from the meeting room and move to the vendor room to have a discussion. DongKie and KimChi brief us on the issues. They had totally fucked up and slipped a couple of deadline, and it was just amazing that they wasn't being kicked out from the deal earlier. Anyway, on my part there was an impossible deadline that my team and me gotta meet to salvage the sinking ship.

We only had 5 days to rewrite one of the module, which was supposed to be written in two months. This is a mission impossible. While my boss was having a discussion with DongKie and KimChi, I called up each of my team members to see if they can work over the weekend to rush through this "nightmarish" job. A couple of them already have plan on the saturday, but willing to come back on sunday. I feel pretty bad to have to ask them to come back and work over the weekend, but I just do not have other choice. Luckily them are pretty supportive. I just told them this is a really rushing job, and one of the can sense something was brewing that she send me an sms afterward asking if I was excited or worried because I sounds very "kancheong" when I talked to her over the phone. I told her, I am was both worried and excited.

Another member already had plan and needed to go back to her hometown over the weekend. So I told her to go ahead with her plan. She agreed. Yet a few moment later, I received a couple of funny sms-es (well it sounded funny to me, I can't remember what she had written) from her. She wanted to be in this project. I replied that I will discuss with her when I see her in the office tomorrow. I was glad and blessed to have such a corporative and commited team members, and still am.

After DongKie passed us the source codes, some systems documentations in a DVD-ROM we left the place and headed home. I planned to sleep and have a good rest that night, so that I could be fresh next morning. Unfortunately, was too worried. My home PC doesn't have a DVD-Drive and I needed to access and assess the documents to come out with an action plan.

At 3:00am, after a couple of failed attempts to sleep I decided to head to office. Took bath and head over to office. Arrived office at 4:00 am. By the way, to travel along Federal Highway at that hour of the day was very pleasant *grin*.

Another colleague was surprised when I went into the office. They were there to carry out a migration for another project. (In case your are wondering if the staffs in our company has to work at this unheavenly hours all the time, the answer is no. The migration only happen once or twice in every three months, much depends on the nature of the project.)

Three of my team members has been seconded to the Service Team to help them in this migration. The Service Manager thought I'd came back to lend some support to my team members. Anyhow, there was some hiccup in the migration. I did give some assitance, put the other project aside for a while.

Once that was done, I went back to original task. Read through the documents, and the codes for the Phase I of the system. DongKie is supposed to deliver Phase II of the system, with about 5 additional modules this time round.

We have never really work on this technology before, though we are very familiar with the programming platform. That's another reason why I was worried. I needed to know how much learning we had to do before we can start the real work. After run through the codes (luckily not as messy as I thought initially) and googled for about half an hour on this technologies, I reckoned that my team will need one day to pickup this new technology and that left us with just 4 days to carry out development (ya, 4 days include Saturday and Sunday.)

I thought, we will able to do that. Though it was very though, I was confident my team can deliver by the end of the 5th day. Once I got all the plan sort out, I was less worried. By 7:00 am, I finally feel sleepy again and slumped on the office chair until 9:00am when everyone started to come in the office.

To be continued...

On side note, I was told by the Service Manager that he had scolded a couple of the migration team member for not done enough preparation for the migration, caused the hiccup. He asked if hear him scolding them? I didn't. When I sleep, even on a chair, I am just as good as dead. I hear nothing. Anyway, he told me one of the team member that I seconded to him walked off without saying a word after the scolding. I don't blame him, he told me her major target was one of his team member, but somehow it was just too obvious if he were to scold her alone. My team member was a "Collateral damage" in case. Anyway, when I talked and explained the whole situation to this guy on following Monday he admitted it was his mistake too and I was relieved to hear that. I reassure him, it was just about work and not to take it too personally. He responded pretty positively to my advice. phew... We are already short handed, I can't affort to lose a capable and comitted guy like him.