Work

Current state of affairs

Time: 9:51 A.M. 24th of March 2015

Location: Desk 5A014, OTP, Bangalore

State: Sleepy

Current options: Go to the bunker and sleep, or sleep and the desk, or just read something and spend the time for the next 1 hour.

Now had this been a normal M shift, the above options would not have been available to me. But this is not a normal M shift. In fact I am not in any shift today. I am supposed to be off. I just came to the office hoping that because of the resource shortage there will be work and I will be asked to work in which case I can charge this in EBH and make more money. But the shift is silent and hence my troubles.

I want to write something about what I do in Oracle. Now what I write today may seem obvious and unremarkable right now.. maybe in a few years time I will forget what I did in my initial days in Oracle. I have long forgotten what I did in my days as part of the REDS team. Such will not be the plight of my Oracle Days!!

Its been 5 months since I’ve been here. Compared to Mphasis, I have found the going here comparatively difficult. I find my situation comparable to that of a soccer player who moves from a smaller club to a bigger club. Talent may have put him at the top of the ladder in the smaller club but to stand out in the bigger club, latent is not enough. Hard work and correctly channeling efforts are equally important if not more important.

So I now find myself in a situation where I have not been able to pull my weight in a team that has a good number of very capable people in it. My initial days were a struggle and even now I am not confident of handling a shift myself. A lot of hard work is required out of me and I must admit to myself that I have not put in the amount of work required. Blame it in part to Bro’s marriage that took a lot of my time. Added to that was the traveling to and fro Hyderabad and I wasn’t able to focus on my “homework”.

Something that I have realized during this time is that life here in Oracle is a lot more individualistic. Running with the pack does not work here because there is no pack. One has to be very clear about the path that one wants to take and then follow that path with determination. The problem here is that there is very little individual guidance available. No spoon feeding, so to speak. Progress is be based upon results shown by self effort.

A brief writeup of what I do right now:

ACS LOB in Oracle has basically 3 teams based out of India. The SSE team, the Migration team and the Engineering Services team. I have been working in Core SSE for the last 5 months.

In Core there are 8-9 hours shifts where you come in and Pull Sev-1’s from the previous engineer. There  are M shifts and R shifts and A shifts which I generally do during weekends.There are active SR’s, Hot SR’s and Inactive SR’s. Inactive SR’s you don’t need to bother about because there is no work required. Active SR’s require work and there is time available generally to do research and to take help from team. Hot SR’s are tough as there is a need to be on the bridge and there is very little time given to do research. Active SR’s about unfamiliar concepts are difficult to handle. Hot SR’s of the same kind are a nightmare.

That being the case, I should say I have had a good time in my first 5 months here. There have been no escalations on me and even though I have not performed stellar work in closing SR’s, I have done okay. The first few weeks I was afraid of pulling actives. I was shit scared of weekend shifts. I had beginners luck in that my first few weekend shifts were all silent. Even when I had actives in my weekend shifts, I had help from others.

Most of my SR closures have been GG SR’s. I managed to close one SR related to PT and one other which I can’t quite remember now. So it’s not been bad.

What lies ahead for me is a lot of individual hard work to put in. My effort levels in the next couple of months will determine how my first year at Oracle will turn out. I will no longer be a newbie in my next few weeks so more delivery will be expected out of me.

I am thinking of sitting down with Chetan this week and discussing with him what how my performance has been these 5 months.

I think I will write another review in October when one year completes.

Sabre

I just felt that I need to write something about my time working for Sabre. I get the feeling that I am at the mid point of my time at Sabre. I have been here for 9 months now and in these nine months, I have grown in stature. The latest achievement was the ATSE Prod switchover which I did last week. The task itself wasn’t very complicated. But given the importance of the servers in question, I feel proud that Dilip had the confidence in me to give me the task,specially at the last moment. I am also proud that I absolutely nailed said task.

How has the work been?
Stressful at times. Specially the oncall.  The difference between oncall in Onstar and oncall in Sabre is that in Onstar I had to be in office at the start of the shift. I didn’t have a lot of work to do and there was not much I could learn. There are no strict timings for Sabre but the work is more and you kind of have to be switched on all 24 hours. And no lapses are tolerated which adds to the stress. But there is a lot to learn.

The key difference between Onstar and Sabre has been the learning. While Iearn’t absolutely nothing in Onstar, I am learning new things every week even now when I am 9 months into the project. The team here is much better compared to the Onstar folks. Overall, it is not a bad place to be. In fact it is a very good place for me to be in. Everything is in my hands now.

I need to realize the difference between mine and bro’s careers. He never had the chances that I had. And I have wasted the chances that I got till now. I need to really dig in here and start putting in some effort. I can continue to go with the flow everyday and that wont be such a bad way to live but I need to do better than that. With increasing expenses and responsibilities, I have to look for a higher pay job. And I am in the perfect position to do just that.

I have lot of scope to learn as much about oracle DBA as I can. I have excellent resources at my disposal and experienced DBA’s working around me from whom I can learn a lot of things. This is my time really. If I don’t put in effort now, I will be letting a big opportunity out of my hands. Patience and endurance are not what are needed now. Determination is what is needed.

2 years at Mphasis!

Yesterday I completed 2 years at Mphasis. The guy I met when in Onstar put up a post in facebook about it. I’m not the kind who puts up facebook updates about everything. Instead what do I do? Write a blog post about it..

So what do I feel about being in Mphasis for 2 years. What do I feel when people express their surprise when they hear that I came from BITS and landed up here. What do I feel when I see most of my friends from college either getting higher paying jobs with better positions or going off to U.S or getting married?

Nothing. Mostly. I told myself that 2013 was the year of dreaming. That I would dream up big things for myself and go ahead to achieve it. I haven’t worked on that as yet. But I should. And that is my reaction to all these things. I do an internal analysis of my position. Find out what I have and what I am lacking. Consolidate what I am having and chalk up a plan to acquire what I am lacking.

If I am honest with myself, I am not too bothered about being in Mphasis after 2 years. I know that I’m going to be here at least for the next 6 months. During these 6 months, I intend to learn as much as possible and use what I have learnt to go out and get a better job. I do resent that fact that Mphasis has given me such a meager raise after 2 years and the bonus that was promised to me hasn’t been given to me as yet. And I will get them back for that when I quit the company.

Regarding the fact that most of my friends are moving off to U.S, I have no issues with that. I never wanted to do an M.S so I have no regrets. I do miss the guys who are leaving but I deal with that by making new friends and making sure I stay in touch with my old friends.

Regarding marriage. That’s a tough one. I know that bro is yet to get married and if it is remotely difficult for me, then it must be even more difficult for him. I cannot be selfish here. I have duties that I need to do first. I have to wait so I will wait.

Good and bad things have happened over the last 2 years. I have to try to concentrate on the good things and leave out all the rest – Linkin Park style. It will be difficult for me to objectify it and make a list but I’ll give it a go nevertheless.

Being on bench was definitely a bad period but I didn’t let myself fall into a slump. I pushed myself to learn new things and although I may not have been able to put in use all the things that I learnt, I am still proud of the fact that I made the effort. I learnt Telugu from almost scratch and I am onto the level where I am not writing my diary in Telugu. Something that I am very proud of. I spent a lot of time on the guitar while on bench and I can see the fruits of that now. My drive pushed me to start running and I am definitely proud of what I have been able to achieve till now. I have run 712 kms since I started counting my mileage in September last year. I must say that is good progress. There are other things I did that were not of much help till now but who knows when something might be useful.

I have tried to carry on even after I got into Sabre. I think I have done an okay job. But I have to do better. I have to organize my  time to make sure I am preparing myself for the jump to a different company. Figuring out priorities is essential in a person’s life and I am glad I have been able to do that very well.

Those are my feelings after having completed 2 years at Mphasis. I have good and bad memories of these 2 years.

The good ones:

Mangalore, Bang Trips, early days in Onstar, jamming with Srinivas, Having a good time with the current folks.

The bad ones: The fall, the removal from ReDS, the pressures, no increment.

I came back from a 10k in the morning so I’m not really full of ideas right now. This post  definitely deserved something better. But I know that if I stop a piece midway, I’ll never get back to it again. So I will just have to satisfy myself with this.