Aged Red Wine

Murugan and I were best friends during my Masters degree in Pondicherry. It was one of the most memorable periods of my life.  Searching for a tea shop at 1 AM at night, waking him up with a bucket of water, late night discussions at beach, going to a bar with him even though I did not drink anything, Boy! Lots of memories

 

It was great to be living by the beach, having our own resort accommodation called dorm, catered by a chef in a town that blends French and Indian cultures. Yet, we both were living a miserable collage life. 🙂

 

Since both Murugan and I were relocating often, it was difficult to keep in touch with him. We meet once in a few years, catch up from where we left, and bid farewell. I have lost touch with him since 1996. Interestingly we were both looking for each other’s contact information. I had been actively looking for him for the last two months. I received an email from him yesterday.

 

Talking with Murugan was just great. It brings back a flood of memories. This morning, Murugan’s brother, Lenin, called me out of nowhere. When I was leaving for the US, both these brothers were so helpful.

 

It has been 10 years. Wow! We both are still growing — professionally and personally.

 

Since modes of communication has grown so much during this period, I hope we keep in constant touch from now on.

Being an Architect

Unlike my previous titles, I have been playing the role of real architect for sometime now. What I like most about this role is that
* I am truly agnostic to technologies. I get to evaluate IBM vs. Microsoft, Oracle vs. Microsoft, Different SOA platforms, rules engines, etc. This is a bliss for me.
* Great opportunity to make difference at enterprise level. This is huge win for me.
* Exposure to C level executives and learn about their thinking patterns
* I am truly empowered to save money.
* Constant pressure to adapt, change, and proceed. This helps me test my tensile strength. So far, I am doing good.
* Great opportunity to improve my communication skills. So far, my manager is happy with me on this front.

* I say the same stuff that I did before. Because of my title, people listen to me more. If only I can make my kids listen more using my title. 😉
 

What I don’t like about this role is that
* Information overflow, at times.
* I am in the middle of inter-team politics all the time.
* I have to compensate for lack of capabilities of development teams.

Miller Breweries Project Experience

I was traveling to Milwaukee, WI for the last few months. The project was with Miller Breweries. This was the first Agile project for Miller and for me. As usual, I was excited about new opportunities. I read up as many articles and books I could on Agile methodology and was ready for some action.
 
At many level, this is the second worst project I have worked on in my entire career. The first one was with my very first employer. Here are some of the takeaways for me from this project:
 
Miller allows its employees to smoke in their office as long as they have a door to their office or in certain break rooms. Closing their door while smoking is not mandatory.
 
Miller decided to improve productivity by moving 30 plus bodies to the office space that is partitioned out of a large conference room with poor ventilation. Guess what happens when someone outside this room decides to smoke cigars? A big bonus for this project is second hand smoking.
 
Agile Project Methodology is not a staggered Waterfall Methodology.
 
Being on road for six days a week is not worth it when you have young children in the household.
 
Do not expect managers from other regions to be as sincere or as efficient as from US West region. The PM I worked with in this project is a great combination of Dilbert characters. He manages to say wrong things at wrong time to everyone. I talked to the client managers, our team, and subcontractors. I have not heard a single positive feedback on him.
 
If the project management does not have time to talk to you before you start on the project, they probably don’t know what they are doing.
 
If the architect would not explain the detailed design of the system and organization of code after giving an overview, the project is in dire trouble.
 
I can go on a much longer list of ‘lessons learned’. 
 
There are also some positive outcomes from this experience.
 
Miller brews great beer. I love their Sunset Wheat, Creamy Dark, Peroni, Mickys, MGD, Miller Highlife, and Miller Lite.
 
Miller Time — 4:30 PM till 7 PM — is free beer time. It is the best time to get to know individuals.
 
The beer brewing process is awesome. I enjoyed going on a hard hat tour to the manufacturing and packaging facility.
 
My immediate development team is the best team I worked iwith n a very long time. We had a great chemistry. I have identifed a few talented developers and earned a few friends in this engagement. When I have my own company, I will certainly partner with many of these very talented and dedicated problem solvers.
 
While the overall project experience was bad, I felt a bit of sadness on the day I left. I have not had that feeling since I left Microsoft.
 

A couple of thoughts

If Jesus is going to raise ‘true Christians’ from death upon his next arrival, why do we embalm bodies?
 
In Mahabharat, they talk extensively about Krishna and his family tree. What happened to Kamsa and his children?
 
Is life full of sorrows with happiness sprinkled on it or the other way round?
 
What is the meaning of life?
 
The first three questions are out of my curiosity. I am serious about the last one. I have not found answers to any of them. Do you know? 
 
 

Why God Made Moms

When my wife asked our 3 year old these questions, here are her answers:

Why did God make mothers?
So they could cook and bake.

 
How did God make mothers? 
He put blood in them cause people are made with blood.
 
What are mothers made of?
with blood, uhg!! I already told you
What kind of little girl was your Mom?
Me, but you’re just you. 
 
Why did your Mom marry your dad?
Because we had a baby named Jaida.
 
What’s the difference between moms and dads?
Moms cook and bake, Appa – I don’t know.
 
 
What does your Mom do in her spare time?
Cook and Bake
 
What would it take to make your Mom perfect?
Taking the things out of my hair.
 
If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
Nothing, your simply beautiful.

BG MCSD.Net

I passed the last exam, 70-300, yesterday. It relieved a big pressure off my shoulders.

 

Now I am officially MCSD.Net.

 

In fact, this exam was easier than the SQL server one. I have tons of experience with SQL Server and I was expecting it to be the easiest exam. Overall, none of the exams can be categorized as the easiest one.

 

Now, I have MS, MBA, MCSD.Net, and MCP in BizTalk. What would be cool is a PhD in computing or Linguistics. I will pursue my PhD dream after I retire. 🙂  Beside Philately and Numismatics, I like to collect degrees. J/k

 

For now, I am going to focus on BizTalk 2006 and SQL Server 2005.

 

 

“Numa Numa” Very Funny

Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you fall off your chair and hurt yourself while watching these clips.

I accidentally (you are right) stumbled on the following site. I am impressed with the creativity of the nerds. Check out various versions of the "numa numa" song clips and the associated comments. The comments make the videos bearable.

http://www.kontraband.com/fullsearch.asp?Keywords=Numa%20Numa&stype=1&rtype=1&subject=homemov&p=1

 

We went for Avanade’s Company Brunch yesterday at CamelBack Inn. It was very nice. I really liked their service and food. I also liked the fact that I got to meet with some new faces and known faces. We won $25 gift card for Pottery Barn (J picked the GC) our raffle ticket.