Originally I drafted the post below three months back, but I totally forgot about it. I just reread the whole post today and found that something that I had mentioned three months ago has slightly changed. But I have published it as I had written it , albeit with minor changes, and at the end of the post I have added an update with regard to the current situation.
A Battle that I carried over from 2011 (into 2012)
At the start of the year 2012 I was very optimistic and I had taken a resolution to learn to be even more positive and also learn a lot. But unfortunately my positive energy took a dive and even though I learned a few things it was not up to the mark that I had set at the end of 2011. I found a few things about me in the past one year. They are –
- I am very optimistic and full of positive energy when the going is good. But when something untoward happens my positive energy goes down.
- I am a slow adapter to change and I don’t like change much (if it’s not fun, of course :))
- During a change I go into a shell and refuse to come out until I am used to the change.
I didn’t like 2012 much. But if I should blame someone for it I should blame myself, because I chose a different role in my office. But then, I knew beforehand what was in store and still I chose this role to learn things. It’s been eight months now in this new role and still I haven’t adapted to it completely. There are two reasons for this slow adoption rate. They are –
- I find this role to be boring
- I didn’t get completely released from my older project and I was also working on it for the past eight months. So I couldn’t completely concentrate on my new work.
But there is good news. I did something great and I am so proud of myself! The reason I didn’t get released from my old project was because of one pending task. It was such a complex task that my clients gave me a lab environment to play with first. I had to install a DB2 repository in a Mainframe system. I struggled for about six months in the lab environment and failed. Time was running out and so we were asked to try and install it in the test environment. This time I had learned a lot from the lab experience and so I was more confident. I installed it, but ran into a lot of issues and again the struggle continued for about six months or more. Finally we solved all issues and the repository was ready in the month of August. Next I had to repeat this in production. One of the reasons for this huge delay, apart from the technical issues that we faced, was the safety processes that my client company followed. But in production the process was different and the plan was to do this install within two days. This repository is a vendor product and the vendor support person assured me that it was completely doable within two days. He said that since he had all kinds of access to his system he usually did these kinds of installs in about six hours or less. I knew that wasn’t possible for me as we still had a few processes to follow.
So the date of the install was fixed on December 15th – a weekend. The system should be up by Monday during business hours. I was to work in night shift which is morning time in the US, so that I could get the vendor support. I was nervous when I reached office by about 8 PM. I had a team mate for support and it turned out to be an interesting night. The installation was like solving a big puzzle. I was afraid that it was going to be a strenuous exercise, but I enjoyed myself. It satisfied the inner geek in me. I had to do it step by step to get the big picture. It took me about 15 hours to complete all the steps. By the time I left office it was 11:30 AM, Sunday. But still I had to leave with a heavy heart as I was not leaving with success. There was a technical glitch and I was not happy about it. I returned the next day and started troubleshooting with a lot of help from the vendor person who is also a good friend of mine. Finally we sorted out all the issues and successfully completed the installation. It took me 15 hours to do the upgrade and another one and a half week to troubleshoot the issues. But finally, it all ended well.
A Battle within a Battle!
It was a battle indeed. I was under immense pressure and I came out successful and I am so proud of myself! But there was also something else that added to the pressure – my management. They are supposed to be helpful and supportive, but no they weren’t. My management was keen on me working on my new role. They wanted me to get completely released from my old project – they didn’t want me to do the upgrade! So I was forced to work on the upgrade on weekends to escape from the eyes of my management. You may ask, why did I want to work on something so complex when even my management didn’t want me to? Good question. I continued to work on doing the upgrade because –
- I was the senior most person in that project with 4 years of experience. If anyone should do that work, it should be me. I asked myself the question who is the best suited person to do the work and the answer was naturally me. My two other team mates have only about two years of experience and their knowledge on the repository is questionable. But they are smart people and would have figured it out eventually, but that would have taken more time.
- There was a miscommunication and my repository clients had no idea that I had moved into a new role! Preposterous! My management should have communicated that properly. My client once called me personally and voiced his worries about the repository upgrade. He said that he knew that I could do it, but was concerned about the delay. From his voice I knew that he was really very worried and if he came to know that someone else was to do the upgrade instead of me, he would have had a fit.
So as I said earlier, if there was anyone who was fit to do that task, it was me…..and I did it!
Oh well, All’s well that ends well!
Update (April 14, 2013): It’s been almost a year now into my new role, and there is a part of it that I actually like. It’s a learning experience and I am learning some new stuff, so it is sort of okay. But I hate all the MS Excel stuff.
Click here to read about my 2011 experiences. That one’s very short, not as detailed as this post and I just wanted to convey what I felt about 2011 personally.