Recent Success // Relish

It has been a while since I have been back to my blog and I have been feeling that i am missing my whole point of why I started this – to leave back a legacy a story that my kid can read and know her dad more.

Last year I have been busy a project that I was working on during my tenure for Sapient Nitro. I joined Sapient Nitro back in Nov 2012 and by April 2013, I

The NASCAR Busch Series field at Texas Motor S...
The NASCAR Busch Series field at Texas Motor Speedway in April 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

was already working for one of the most well known Sports Giant in USA ~ NASCAR. Yeah you heard me right – I was (one of) the Architect on the project and was responsible for delivery from India team. It was a long project and needed me to step up big time. It took a lot for me to get back to what I was several years before. Once I was in the grove it was plain and simple fun for me.

After spending 12 months on the project, I can proudly announce my success looking at the following 3 dimensions

  • Delivering a new platform NASCAR.com which is viewed by millions of people when their races are one;
  • I was nominated and then won the Distinguished Technologist Award in Sapient. This award is given to a selected few every year and I was selected as the one of the technologists who made a difference;
  • Got promoted as Sr. Manager Technology and it felt great because i had just joined as Manager Tech and in a year’s time I had proven myself yet again

 

 

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Effort vs. Value

A fellow blogger wrote about Income Inequality and in his post he also mentioned about glaring lack of demand for effort equality. The point as I understand John is trying to make is simple that while we seek incomes for everyone to be equal, we often forget the need for efforts to be same.

As I was reading this, only I was asking myself what is more important – the effort of the value. Someone who maybe more skillful can add more value for a significantly lesser effort.  thought came to my mind and this thought leads to several questions like Does the effort relates to what is being put in now or over a period of time? If effort put is

is effort more important than value?

Food for thought?

Goodbye 2011

I recently read somewhere – “Nothing really ends when a year ends. But a lot can begin when a new year begins”. But, a beginning without an introspect would be simply be aimless. While this may be okay for some, for me 2012 has to be in perspective of what 2011 was – this is simply a way of trying to improve on things.

2011 for me can easily be categorized in 4 buckets:

  1. Agneepath
  2. Vanvaas (Exile)
  3. Dream
  4. Awakening

Agneepath

As the year started, I had just come back home after a 5 month stay in US away from my family. I had come back for a purpose i.e. Aabhya’s admission in school. And the year 2011 started like a challenge for both Preeti and I where we were working through various schools in almost all parts of Delhi. It was nothing less than an ordeal for us. However, it all went well and out hardwork was rewarded in February when Aabhya was admitted in Maxfort where she will complete her pre-nursery this year.

However, in February as we were done with the admissions the next test was my return back to US for completing the 1 year assignment. I was scheduled to be back in US in February itself until July and this time Preeti had made it clear that she will not visit because of the long journey. This time, I was not looking forward to going abroad, but still there were obligations to my job that made me think otherwise.  It was a true Dhrams-Sankat for me. And, at one time, I did something I would not expect myself to do it. Yet, on March 26, I flew away to wrap up what I started or should I say “clean up my own mess”.

Vanvaas

This is not what Ram did, but I still call is one because I was away from everything that I liked – especially my home and family. Considering that I was alone this visit brought a lot of different challenges than the previous one. This time, I knew the place and how to navigate my way around it – so my troubles were different especially – “How do I spend my time?” The work as I expected was almost non existent. Although, my bosses promised otherwise, but like any their DNA they failed to come through with what they said and it became a mountain out of a molehill for me to spend my time in US. However, this Exile allowed me to think what I need to do with my career and by the time the Exile was over, I knew my time with UHG was up.

This stay saw me do a lot of things – Tennis: Playing, Coached and Coaching; Road trip to Chicago – where the trip to House on the Rock was simply amazing. Finally, when I was going to come back that was an adventure in itself. Eventually, I was home on July 31.

Dream

When I came back, there was debrief of my project and then there was “no work” for me. My bosses kept me sitting idle for like 2 months; and it simply meant that what I was thinking during my “vanvaas” was just getting resolved. and then there came a 360-degree turn in my life. I went from doing nothing to learning PHP, and taking my framework to 90% completion. I was signed up by an online magazine to publich my technical articles which was a huge boost to what I was doing. Around August, I had started to look out for other job opportunities and I landed up a couple of offers, one of which was with Sapient Nitro. I promptly resigned; and ironically it all happened in the week when I was told “I am not technically sound to be an architect”; and then I was presented with an award for my technical contributions to the company by the CTO. But, I had decided and I was going to move on – and I did in October when I left the UHG and moved on to better things in life.

The Dream also included me started a brand new endeavor and try to do some consultation while I was in between jobs and it was all looking up very nice. The phase was a dream because then I woke up

Awakening

Just like a dream, it all started to crumble – there were issues one after another and I was unable to spend any time to my own learning or my framework. The consultancy that I had opened started to dwindle and soon I was left to make a decision. And, I did but that decision meant that it was time to wake up to the reality.  I went about to join Sapient and close the consultancy and to find out that after putting my sweat and my health on the line – it will all end up with friends not trusting me. Yet it happened – and it made me realize something important. Something I knew always, but never took the time to understand how important those things were. Today as I sum-up 2011 for myself, I know what needs to be done.

Overall, 2011 was a good year – it showed me that I can be strong and yet weak enough to know what I nee; I can dream and work hard to make it come true; I do put my family in front of me even if it makes me miserable; I am more practical than emotional – something that my family does not like about me. Goodbye 2011, lets hope your successor allows me to….

 Coming up next is going to be my resolve for 2012 and lets see how well I do that.

No end is Good

After working with a friend of mine (who I now choose to refer as an acquaintance) just came back and proved that my instincts right. Anil and I had been engaged in a business for almost 4 months now and he was introduced by a common friend. My initial take on Anil was that we should not include him, but I went ahead not hearing to my instincts. The business came to an end in November 2011, due to another reason. Anil, Babul and I met on Nov 30 to discuss all financial data and close the business. That day we discussed everything and came to 3 decisions:

  1. All revenue till that day will be split equally between the three of us;
  2. There are two projects, which we have to refund money and if that happens, the revenue for those two which have been distributed will be refunded back and;
  3. Anil will continue to support me in the business if i choose to continue

2 days later, we realized that one other project should have not been included because no work has been done and the amount agreed upon in decision#1 was reduced.

After 2 weeks it was evident that the business can not survive and we will stop all existing projects. And, one of the projects as discussed in #2 had to be refunded in full.

Today, Anil drops an email asking me to provide him with:

  • A detailed transaction of our accounts because he received lesser amount that in the email
    • He did not read and forgot the entry where we decided to reduce one other project. That was in the email I sent to them
  • Then he asked if I had added to account the work we did for Pipeline s/w
    • I had to remind him on email that all was discussed openly with all three of in that room, and accounts were settled till them
  • Finally, he said that any profit and loss after 30/11 is mine
    • To which I simply accepted the loss for that project which we had to refund

While we had this email conversation, I was so angry at the fact that he did not trust me with money. Nothing wrong for someone to ask for accounts, but he was questioning my honesty when we had cleared all accounts mutually in front of each other. After 4 months of working I handled the company affairs more that he ever did. And, then after 11/30, he promised to be around which led my decision to try and salvage the situation and then he walked out on me (being self-centered). And, even then when we discussed that very day about those 2 projects if refunded will be born by all three of us, he refused.

It has been a week and I have not spoken to either of them, I hope for the good that it is over sooner than later when it could have been a lot more destructive.

 

Why this Kolavari Di?

Risk
Image by The Fayj via Flickr

Start of the Last month of year 2011 posed a very challenging and a life altering situation. I was provided with a choice to let go of my current career and dive into a brand new career to start a journey towards a hopefully better tomorrow. It was something that I have been thinking for almost 8 years now.

It all started off in August 2011, when with lots of questions and challenges and us knowing that we have to follow a path that will lead us to success. However, four months down the line it all crumbled (will be lost in a few days) just because I was not upto it when the time demanded it – or so I chose to. I was asked to “Risk it all” and I was just not ready. Either ways, it was life altering – it showed me who I am and helps me understand the level of risk I am willing to take.

The good part is that it brought in open a side of me that I was not aware of – “Absolute Calm when everything around me was blowing up”. I did not panic and started to run all over. I was calm and tried everything that I possibly could to save my initiative. Until, I was left with only one option – let go of my career and jump in to take control. But, the risk was just too high. I had so many lives attached to mine that it was putting everything at risk and not just my career.

Somehow, my biggest takeaway from all this a newly found confidence that re-affirms my faith in myself that I can still do it. But also allows me to realize that it is something that I will not do at the risk of my family – no matter how much it may disappoint me.

A 360 degree turn

Two months back when I came back to India, little I knew that my life would take a U-turn for good. Everything that has happened since July 26 is a welcome surprise. And, it all started with my leadership to decide to allocate me to a project. Next few weeks unfolded very differently

  • I was told that there is a possibility I would be sent on bench if no suitable project was found for me;
  • I was awarded IMPax award which meant I was recognized by the CTO of the organization for my work towards the Java Technology
  • I was told by “the director” who leads Architects in India that I am not skilled enough to be an Architect

On the other side, I was making super-duper progress on my personal front and within a few weeks of my arrival back to India I had achieved:

  • Learnt PHP and WordPress and moved my websites/blogs to self-managed hosted environment;
  • Gave share to my iFramework so that it can be shared with a community bigger than any organization (open source community)
    • I finally released my project to OSS community as a Maven Central Project
  • DZone selected me as one of their Most Valuable Blogger – which meant they would publish my articles on their JavaLobby
  • I started to work on the “Testing Framework” that was Work In Progress for last 3 years and finally I gave it shape that i can be released as a framework
    • Even purchased domain for it: EAMSteps.org
  • Wrote a Multi-threading framework

On personal side, some things started to change and in all this mix I realized one thing – I had lost my touch on technology during last thre years and all this happened because a laid-back attitude that I had developed. Now, that for 6 weeks I was so active which was hard to believe, it seemed appropriate to continue with the momentum and it was time to do things that matter.

Last 3 years made me realize that age is catching up with me and if I do not do something substantial soon, it will be too late. I would have another 2 (maybe 3) years to make a significant impact on my career.

Amongst all of the changes, it became evident that it was time to move on from my current organization and figure out whats next. And, here I am now just looking at another month maybe 5 weeks with my current organization and still figuring out whats the next best thing to do for me to make the very best use of next few years of my professional life.

A 360 degree turn

Two months back when I came back to India, little I knew that my life would take a U-turn for good. Everything that has happened since July 26 is a welcome surprise. And, it all started with my leadership to decide to allocate me to a project. Next few weeks unfolded very differently

  • I was told that there is a possibility I would be sent on bench if no suitable project was found for me;
  • I was awarded IMPax award which meant I was recognized by the CTO of the organization for my work towards the Java Technology
  • I was told by “the director” who leads Architects in India that I am not skilled enough to be an Architect

On the other side, I was making super-duper progress on my personal front and within a few weeks of my arrival back to India I had achieved:

  • Learnt PHP and WordPress and moved my websites/blogs to self-managed hosted environment;
  • Gave share to my iFramework so that it can be shared with a community bigger than any organization (open source community)
    • I finally released my project to OSS community as a Maven Central Project
  • DZone selected me as one of their Most Valuable Blogger – which meant they would publish my articles on their JavaLobby
  • I started to work on the “Testing Framework” that was Work In Progress for last 3 years and finally I gave it shape that i can be released as a framework
    • Even purchased domain for it: EAMSteps.org
  • Wrote a Multi-threading framework

On personal side, some things started to change and in all this mix I realized one thing – I had lost my touch on technology during last thre years and all this happened because a laid-back attitude that I had developed. Now, that for 6 weeks I was so active which was hard to believe, it seemed appropriate to continue with the momentum and it was time to do things that matter.

Last 3 years made me realize that age is catching up with me and if I do not do something substantial soon, it will be too late. I would have another 2 (maybe 3) years to make a significant impact on my career.

Amongst all of the changes, it became evident that it was time to move on from my current organization and figure out whats next. And, here I am now just looking at another month maybe 5 weeks with my current organization and still figuring out whats the next best thing to do for me to make the very best use of next few years of my professional life.