It may be a bit late to post this, but it’s been in some drafts since long time. My New Year resolution being ‘Get it done’ hence this is one of the first thing I want to clear off.
July 1st 2010, I somehow managed to successfully complete one year in the organization. Life during the past one year has been truly a roller coaster ride with full of ups and downs, obstacles and hurdles, something I never expected or anticipated. As it is said ‘Life would have been so simple if it were to be the way we wanted it to be’. It’s been like a party with some uninvited guests; some pleasant and some…. The journey begins once again, Down the Memory Lane.
It started on July 1st, 2009 with rigorous training program for about 3 weeks. With rigorous I mean it was as good as getting out of one classroom and entering the other in the corporate world. The only difference being the company paying for you to attend. Even though my lack of belief in classroom trainings, I must admit it helped me. Not to the amount it should have but only thing which mattered was it made me sit and concentrate from morning 9 to 7, 8, 9, 10, tough this was just the beginning. For a guy like me for whom concentrating on a thing for more than 2 hours was like climbing Mount Everest, the tough times were about to start. The most important thing that I learnt from training (yes, I did manage to learn something from classrooms ;-)) was how to learn quickly. The reason being I had to understand it in a limited time, no other option. I had to get familiar with the stuff at hand. I started to compare things which were told to the things I know or to the things surrounding me. It really helped me visual things, and understand how things worked. This was the most important aspect which I think I would not have been acquired if I were to work in a field which I was familiar with, and it helped me or to rephrase, is the only reason I managed to survive.
The 3 weeks came and went like a wave, and I hardly realized these went by. The only thing I could remember is the training room and the jokes we played during the training sessions.
July 31st 2009, the immediate next day we all were to join our allocated projects and meet the ‘so called dangerous’ Project Managers. When I first saw him the first thing that came to mind was like a college teacher which in fact happened to be my BE Project Guide. The simple straight forward ‘prototype’ person, but it could be because of my lack of exposure in understanding people, made me come to a conclusion in such a short duration. We met him with full of enthusiasm. But the very first day we soon realized the tough times were just about to begin. We were 3 from the batch of 17 to join this particular project.
It began with a small introductory talk between 3 of us and him. He introduced us to the team where we met some of our senior members; soon to be very good friends. Looking at the flurry of emails flooding the inbox was something new for me. Almost all the mails which we received that day had a same subject ‘Some documents - Go through them.’ I opened the first document and realized it was about 450 pages. The last line in the mail saying, “On 3 consecutive days, we would have 3 presentations one from each on you.” What the F#$*K!
I looked at the calendar and saw it was already Friday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday! The 3 days on which the 3 of us were supposed to make a presentation. I felt like somebody just pre-poned the exams and the Idea of PLs (Preparatory leaves) was dropped. Reading PDFs was something that was new. Never read one earlier! I just could not manage to read PDF sitting in front of PC. I still remember my first presentation which I had given. I barely could read about 15 – 20 pages and was asked to talk about an hour. For a minute I put the head down, and said to me, consider this as a College Seminar; only difference being here the listeners were aware of what I was going to talk about. I pulled up my socks and used up all my engineer experience and still the talk lasted for about 20 minutes only. Good Luck being Manager on Leave, it doesn’t get better than this, does it? ;-)
Days came and went. Soon the uneasiness of professional environment turned into a group of friends. Including the days of the First Salary, the first JIRA, writing the approach document, sending out mails for code review, the comments, the first feeling of ego coming between friend ship, the first dispute, first induced jealousy, the competition and competitive environment which I never cared about, thinking from management perspective, putting defensive thoughts, etc…etc.. The list is almost endless. The project deadlines have been tough each time. The agile process with sprints every 2 weeks, with Day 1 being for Pre-Planning and Planning meetings while Day 10 being Review meetings, which meant you were left with only 8 working days left. This meant working late nights on weekdays or working on weekends or compromise on quality. Just wonder if this is what agile is meant for?
However, as I already said the year has been full of uninvited guests some in the form of gifts and some in the form of setbacks; each one making me mentally stronger and tougher at each step (at least this is what I think, My colleagues may have other thoughts ;-)).
There were some other important incidents that happened including the first appraisal and the push back that followed which I would like to write in more detail, hopefully would follow soon. As time went on, things came and went, asking me to tighten my seat belt for this roller coaster ride and be prepared for greater heights. Somehow somewhere, the tightening seems to be loosening a bit; is the roller coaster ride getting over? Or I am getting used to it???