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Showing posts from June, 2007

Majority

Source: a forward mail from friend

I was in the car with my brother last Saturday, when I thought of asking him about his choice on the following story just to break the silence. I found this to be very meaningful. That is why I still remember this even though the email was forwarded to me some months ago. So I dug this from the email archive and posted this in my blog (obviously!)

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.

The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the disused track and saved most of the kids.

However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make...

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice…

Great Tip for reading news

If you are not those who buy and read newspaper everyday, here is a great tip for you. It has been working very well for me so far.

Step 1:
Get and install a RSS Feed Reader in your workstation or notebook. One of the software I use is RSSReader.

Step 2:
Access your local newspaper online and subscribe to their feeds. Most major newspaper have online website and also RSS feeds subscription.

Step 3:
Make it a habit to browse through the feeds everyday. Be it local news, world news or business news. OK, I did not subscribe to sport. :)
Sort the feed by published date in descending so the latest published news are at the top.

Read each new titles and only open the articles or news in browser if the news interest you.

Outcome:

I only spend around an hour a day to read the news, but I never miss out any important news.

YOU HAVE TO CONSTANTLY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU AND IN THE WORLD. It is important for your self-development and for you to socialize with other people.

Most technical person …

What if there is no second chance?

Let's imagine this, you get the news from your doctor that starting from tomorrow after your operation, you will not be able to eat any ice-cream at all. And this is going to be permanent. But today, you can have all you want. How will you react? Most probably, you will head out to the stores and buy tonnes of ice-cream with different flavors. You will also buy a lot of very expensive ice-cream that in normal circumstances you will not buy or you will not buy as much. You probably will forget how fat ice-cream can make you. After all, it is just one day, right?

What if the operation is rescheduled to next week and you have one week to devour all the ice-cream you want? Will you care about how fat ice-cream can make you? Probably not. You probably say, worry about the dieting and exercising later.


Let's see another scenario. What if you know you are going to die tomorrow or in a week? Will you decide to go to work as normal from 9 to 5? Will you decide to spend your last moment…

Forgiving? Of course not - Chinese woman breaks silence on sex slavery horror

An article from local newspaper featured a Chinese women who had served as sex slave during WWW 2 for the Japanese.

This harrowing experience has left a deep scar on Zhou's life. She cannot forget, and nor can she forgive.

They (the sex slaves) were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers on a daily basis.
"OF COURSE I HATE THEM" , she said.
"If it were you, wouldn't you hate them? Of course I hate them. But after the war, all the Japanese went home. I'm already so old. I think they are all dead by now."

How much can we understand and feel the sufferings the other party has been through when we never experience that before?

No matter how empathized we are, we never will get the 100% hit if we have not been through the same experience. So, try to respect those who cannot or do not want to forgive and forget because not everything can be forgiven or forgotten.

Tribute to my colleague's mom

My colleague lost her mom this morning. So sad. I cannot come close to imagine her grief. I had known that her mother had some health issue before but I had not known it was such a dire situation.

Despite her family problem, she has been very dedicated in her work and did not really show she was having trauma. If I am in the same situation, I do not think I can hold up.

I guess behind one's calm and strong exterior, there are some different stories and problems hidden that only few others can know and understand.

Again, do cherish the one we love.

Mount KK - Peak

Following up my post on Mount KK , finally I managed to upload some photos here.

6 May 2007 - REACHED THE PEAK at around 6 a.m. after starting the journey at 3 a.m.

Here is the sunrise view.

Too bad we could not take the photo where the first glimpse of the sunlight was seen. Actually we were a little bit late because the guide was late and we could very well started without them! On top of that, me and my partner had not bring the camera and had to wait for the rest of the group to reach. At that time, the sun was already quite high.


Down view......







Up view......

You can see the actual highest peak when we took this photo. We were actually around half a km away when we snapped this photo. After that, we were too lazy to go out as it was very cold. So, we actually technically not really reach the peak but I got my full certificate anyway. :)...shhhhhhh

I guess this was one of the thing I regretted. But I guess I do not really mind as I intend to go there again. So, this may be something I ca…

Effort vs. Result

Have you ever spent a lot of effort or determination to achieve something and in the end you achieve nothing because you failed to execute the last part?

I have this experience of putting efforts to try to help people. Though, it is not a lot of contribution, but I try as much as I can to help. But in the end, I failed and the most frustrated part is I failed the person who I wanted to help.

Stories 1: Getting Good Discount for Dell Notebook Purchase for my Uncle.

My Effort included:
1. Checked the models and prices online and suggested appropriate models to my Uncle. Called him and SMS him several times to report progress and check with him on things.

2. Checked with my company CEO several times whether he could get me any great discounts. My CEO has been very helpful and in fact, a lot of times, he followed up with me throughout the process.

3. Checked with a contact passed to me by my CEO, a friend of my CEO whom his company had ordered a lot of Dell products and have a sales person cont…

Great Leaders

Despite the entertainment, the movie “Hot Fuzz” made me think about leadership.In the movie, sergeant "Angel" was transferred to a peaceful and seemingly crime-free village. The police officers there care more about food and drinks in the pub than anything else. Soon, capable and dedicated Angel found out there was a totally different story than what the village appeared to be.A series of cold-blooded murders were happening, but were covered up as “accidents” and nobody every suspect anything except , of course, Angel. The truth was there was a group of “leaders” consisted of some prominent elders in the village that had gone around killing people who could threaten the good images of the village. Those people who committed vandalism, acted badly in a play, having affairs, or had a bad smiles were being killed for the reason for “Greater Good” and the intention to keep the village title "Village of the Year”.The leaders thought it was the best for the village to elimina…

Google news - Partner vs. Competitor

Keeping up with Google news:

14/06/2007 -Google in spat with Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft is defending itself against charges by Google that it rigged its new Vista operating system to give its desktop search software an unfair edge over that of its rivals. In a freshly-revealed complaint lodged late last year with the US Department of Justice and state attorneys general Google accuses Microsoft's Vista of violating a 2002 antitrust decree. - AFP

12/06/2007 - Google ties up with Sina
SHANGHAI: Google Inc, which trails Baidu.com Inc in China's Internet search industry, will partner with Sina Corp to gain share in the world's second-largest online market. Google and Sina, owner of China's biggest Web portal, will cooperate in Internet search, advertising, and news in China, the two companies said in Beijing yesterday. The agreement helps Google access customers of Sina in a country where the online search market is forecast to grow to US$587 million (US$1=RM3.46) by t…

Four kinds of managers

Jack Welch categorized 4 types of managers:


TYPE#1(BEST):
Managers who deliver great results and adhere to good values are easy to cope up with.They should be rewarded at each and every opportunity.

TYPE#2:
Managers with poor results but good values deserve another chance, maybe in another position in the organization.

TYPE#3:

The third kind of manager,with great results and lousy is the kind that usually destroys the organizations.They deliver the numbers,but usually on the backs of their people.Companies very often keep these jerks around for way too long, destroying morale and trust as they do.

TYPE#4(JERKS):
This is poorest kind of manager.He's got poor performance as well as poor values.Here,even if the manager has good technical expertise but, he may be a threat to major projects since his management skills are poor.These kind of managers should not be kept in the organization and should not be given any second chance.



Skeptism about Agile

When you are starting something new, you can sure to expect some skeptism. Do not let these deter you though.
While just 2 weeks into starting Agile, I received some optimistic remarks like "I really believe in Agile. ", "Yes, we should go agile". A lot of people are showing great curiosity and asking all questions to get prepared.

Sadly though, there are people who showed skeptism......
"We started talking about Agile for two weeks already..and I still do not see anything and cannot even start to contribute in terms of product requirements. Yes, Agile may help us but ultimately, it is attention to details and preserverance that are required for us to have successful executions - just like a good race car may help but the driver is the most important."

My reply was:

"The problems highlighted in development actually boiled down to the planning, design and execution. These are which Agile is supposed to improve.
Anyhow, we will start agile asap. Start very …

Technology is Changing the World

Not only technology do not do evil (yeah, google mantra again. :) ), technology can stop evil.
Now we can help to monitor some parts in the world to prevent violence using the following URL:http://www.eyesondarfur.org
Here is the link to the news:http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/6/worldupdates/2007-06-06t102718z_01_nootr_rtrmdnc_0_india-301691-1&sec=worldupdates

Celebrate Agile Adoption?

Ryan blogged about when we should celebrate while in agile adoption.

Then you go agile and start shipping every six weeks or so. You deliver value on a regular cadence, respond quickly to your customers' needs and are suddenly nimble enough to leapfrog your competitors. But being agile has one Achilles' heel - it's hard to know when to celebrate.

When your team should celebrate its Agile success? I think every release, when it helps meet your corporate performance targets and when the market tells you. Don't miss an opportunity to celebrate. We're not. :)

And in my earlier post about Becoming a Good Leader , one of the rule is Leaders Celebrate!

Today, my CEO bought some cakes and called everybody in a stand-up meeting to tell them we are starting Agile adoption. Although more than half of the people in the room already knew that and half did not, it is still an small act of encouragement. And who can think about celebrating even before we achieve anything solid yet. M…

Google Master Plan

Google has been and continue to be a very great inspiration for me!
Google Master Plan in a whiteboard:
Click here Larger Picture.

Google Master Plan in a movie:http://masterplanthemovie.com/

Life and Death

During my recent misfortune which I labelled "the event which change views on my life and career goal", I begin to open up and view things differently. I told almost all my close friends and family about my distressing experience. Thanks to all of them, I got all kinds of the supports and advices from them. I love u guys!
I had make it through, a changed (hopefully better) person. And, most importantly, I am given a second chance to start things over again. Although, I am still doing almost the same things everyday, but this time, I know what else I can focus and improve on. In long term, I hope to have more skills and knowledge to rely on.
Not all people have second chance. A lost can be gone forever, such as death. It made me feel very small, when I treat my misfortune like a very big thing to me. It is not! Death and physical suffering such as disease, are big things.
Here, I would like to pay tributes to all these great people.



1. Those who had gone through physical suffer…

Agile Project

I think it was worth it to start blogging about Agile adoption at my company. Maybe one year from now, I can become an Agile consultant. :)


Product Backlog/User Stories:
1. Agile members can understand the agile benefits, practices and values. (7 points)

2. Agile members can provide feedbacks, concerns and receive further explanations. (1 point)

3. Agile members can have a room (called war room) to work on agile planning, review and estimation. (3 points)

4. Agile members can record and track user stories, projects, iterations, tasks. (3 points)

5. Agile members can understand their roles and what are expected of them. (5 points)

6. Deployment to QA is automated. (7 points)

7. Some testings are automated. (13 points)

8. Developers can start to develop unit testing code (8 points)


Sprint / Iteration 1 (Week 1-2) :
Story 1 & 2

Sprint /Iteration 2 (Week 3-4) :
Story 3 , 4 & 5

Sprint /Iteration 3 (Week 5-6) :
Story6


NOTES:

1. My velocity is 7-10 story points per weeks . So I can manage story 3, 4 …

Google Search Continues

I just read an interesting article about Google latest development in a local newspaper. I feel compelled to blog this. Yes, I am a Google fan!!!

Google's Search latest challenge and tweak included:

Better at reading the minds of users to interpret a very short query.
Are the users looking for a job, a purchase or a fact? The formulas can tell that people who type "apples" are likely to be thinking about fruit, while those who type "Apple" are mulling computers or iPods. They can even compensate for vaguely worded queries or outright mistakes.

Gave more weight to pages with phrases like "French Revolution" rather than pages that simply had both words.

Finding local businesses - Finding local stores without enough importance to links from other sites . I think this is working well as I was using Google successfully to find some companies in Malaysia and it showed up as first ranking or at least at the first page.

QDF, for "query deserves freshness.&q…

Good and Evil

I heard from some people that as ones grow older, they tend to see things in gray, not white and black anymore. They are wiser. Only the young and brash person will see things in white and black. But I beg to differ. Sometimes, seeing things in white and black are not really bad. Maybe because I am still young. Or maybe not.

Seeing in white or black, right or wrong, gives us :
1. The spirit to fight against evil.
2. The spirit to fight for good things.

Do the "wise" people stop fighting against evil because they see things as gray? They let evil things happen to the organization and to the world, let people do evil things because they have done a lot of good things also?

If all the things you see is in gray, wouldn't it be a very solemn sight? I prefer to see things in black, white, all other vibrant colors and also gray, of course. I do agree, there are things which should be in gray, but not all of them.

There are only heaven for the good and hell for the evil. Earth is the …

Why Employees Leave Organizations

Interesting articles posted by my colleague today......
Every company faces the problem of people leaving the company for better pay or profile.
Early this year, Mark, a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office,and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Mark was sent abroad for training. "My learning curve is the sharpest it's ever been," he said soon after he joined.
Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Mark walked out of the job.
Why did this talented employee leave ?
Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away.
The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study …

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I spent my Friday night up to the wee hours of the morning to finish this book - “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. This was the first time I read Mitch Albom’s book. So, basically, I did not know what to expect from the story.

It turned to be a very interesting experience reading the book. Getting used to motivation books that laid out the rules or values and explained them with stories, the stories presented flowed ever so nicely, bringing out a very compelling and touching story, but without being too emotional. The values are embedded inside this story and it is up to one to interpret the meaning.

The story is about Eddie, a very kind person, who was killed in a tragic accident and went to heaven. There, he learnt that he must first encounter five different persons from whom he would learn something about the meaning of his life.

It was a remarkably memorable story. I am still as intrigued as ever on trying to replay back the 5 people in the heaven. What are their purpose in makin…