Sunday, September 24, 2006

Go Coogs

UH football is a phenomenon this year. They are undefeated in the last 4 games include the game this Saturday against the Oklahoma State U Cowboys 34 - 25. The Cowboys is currently in the big 12 conference.
Last game with Grampling State witnessed the come back of UH fans: 28,000 people showed up for the game which is the biggest crowd ever in 5 years. And today game is even more crowded. I guess about 30,000 people in the audience at the stadium. I was getting inline during half-time for some water. And they just ran out of food and beverage to sell. The only item left was beer of course. Yeah, they're not going to give up with that $7 a cup of beer deal.

Bottom line is we win the game, again, this time against a big player in the league. And I also lost my frigging voice again for screaming the entire game. I have never seen something like this happen at a ball game: the entire stadium stand in the rain to watch the whole game and they just run down to the field after the game to congratulate the team.
Chaotic - yes, crazy - yes, excited and fun - yes.

Support your home team, and believe in them.

Change In Career

I just received the offer from JP Morgan Investment Bank last Friday. I went for the interview last Thursday and they made the decision one day after that. Pretty quick isn't it?
The opportunity comes without my expectation. I wasn't in a race actively hunting for a new job. But I a friend of my passes the chance to me and I am just going to take it without hesitation.

Sometimes I have this weird feeling that if I keep pushing and things don't go well, I just take it easier and things would come naturally. Maybe I'm being watched from above!!!

The resignation procedure is pretty funny too. I tell my manager about my resignation on Monday. I want to give them 2 weeks notice before I join JPM. The reaction is quite different from the management. I guess my boss doesn't really care. He calls his boss which is my friend in college, the one who brought me into this company, comes and talks to me. After an hour of meeting him, I have to come down to HR and have a conversation with the HR manager. Then my boss's boss gives me a letter. Next, I have to talk with one of the guy from the architecture team. All that happens in one single afternoon!!! I think they're all puzzled by the fact that I'm a decently happy guy. I never shown any disappointment, complaints for such similar things like that at work. The sudden resignation somehow makes them wonder what is going on here. And I constantly tell them I leave because I feel a need to change, a need to experience new business, new career. They still don't believe it, I guess. Of course, compensation is also in the scope but it is secondary only. It will go on til my last day. I wonder if anybody watched "The Firm", my friend tells me to watch it because things could go similarly to the movie :-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Group Project for Ruby on rails Class

The good news is I am the project coordinator for the project.
The bad news: this job is eating up my free time. By free time I mean time to play video games, watch TV, movies and watch football. It's just more work than I originally expected. But it's fun, exciting and rewarded because I could apply some of the management skills I copy from my manager at work onto this project.

I'd always disagreed with my project managers at work (past and present) for their lack of coordinating among team members, assigning inappropriate work to the right persons (or vice versa I would add), and recently is the introduction of the notoriously time consumming, child-play *scrum* meetings methodology of the SCRUM process. Scrum meetings are pretty boring. Each person has about 5 minutes to sum up what he/she did yesterday and what is to be worked on for today. Normally, the same monotone is used everyday: "I fixed a bug yesterday, today I will create more bugs today!" as it is a complaisant prayer. And also normally, it would become a heated, prolonged debate on design and implementation issues in which only banging baseball bat against developers' heads may stop them from discussing.

There's even a school to help you earn some kind of scrum certification (which ranks somewhere between tying your shoe laces and not choking to death on your own drool in the universal spectrum of skills)!!!

But there are some good things about the process that I learn while being a project coordinator. Planning, you need a lot of plannings. Basically, you list out all possible tasks you could imagine for the project. The the team members estimate the time needed to complete the tasks. Then base on the estimations, we put a certain number of tasks into a timeline called sprint. Each sprint should last about 2 weeks for a small project like ours. So we keep defining the sprints until the project is done. It's that simple.

Secondly, developers most of the time know what they're working on and what they schedule is like in each sprint. Because they're the one giving the estimation so they could manage their time to work better instead of letting some bone-headed morons pull the estimations out of thier asses.

The last thing is each srpint is short. So we could focus more on a particular task. Make it simple first and then enhance it later on on next sprint. This is the way I like best about SCRUM: promote agile practice.

For the school project, right now we are busy defing tasks needed. I mainly spend most of the time now to write trackers and assign them to team members. Take a look at our tracker system. I created about 14 issues and look like I would do half of them. Robin, where art thou, I need your help man. Screw you...

By the way, UH football is doing very well. They beat up the Green Wave Tlane 45 - 7. I'll be comming to the home game next Sat when they play against Okahoma State. Go Coogs!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Football: Ruck Fice

College football season starts this labor day weekend in Houston with UH Cougars vs Rice Owls. The game begins at 2000 but we arrive at Rice stadium really early for the tailgate party. I am surprised to see that many UH students and alumni show up a few hours before the game. And it's quite obvious to see that we outnumber the owls' fans. Five or six tents are setup for UH. Most of them are honor societies'. One belongs to the UH Alumni which is really generous to provide free food and drink (I mean beers) to UH students and alumni. Saturday weather also seems to anticipate with the game's atmosphere: nice sun with a little breeze, top temp. is around 90. And at 1930 when the sun is set, we have a perfect setting for a football game.

Newsletter asks us to "wear red - eat free". I don't have any red shirt so I put on a orange one. But they actually don't care much. At some point, I feel lost in the red crowd so I ask the management to give me a red shirt. Without hesitation they give me this Alumni shirt. Nice people.

The game is very exciting. I scream a lot and of course my voice is gone the next day like it should be after any football game. In fact, I think because I scream too loud a group of owls sitting next to me is put in silence for awhile. And UH band is marvelous comparing to child-play style Rice band!

UH plays very wells in the first quarter and leads 14 - 0. Second quarter is a disaster when UH lets the owls make 3 consecutive touch downs. After the first half, UH manages to fix up their formation and beats the owls by one point margin. Anyway, one point only but we win by determination. Fice rucked!!!