Today, I feel good to initiate to update my superior the progress of my work, to tell him some of my plan, to tell him some of the problems the team faced recently and the problem with the task assigned to me. The advantage of doing so at your own initiative is you are prepared. When he comes to you to find out all these things, you are not prepared, at least at that time. Gonna keep doing this periodically or when needed.
Yesterday was last day in BCS Information Systems (BCSIS) and this is my longest working career (4 years 3 months and 20 days)! My previous record is only 1 year 8 months. This is an achievement that I am proud of 🙂
Some recent photos:
Standby Support Phone
One of my job scopes is to provide system support to our customer through a unique phone called ‘standby support phone’. My colleague and I will take turn to hold this phone. If that is my week, I need be alert to receive calls from our end users for 24 hours. This includes midnight. So, the phone has to be on and put besides me the whole night. But I make sure not to place it too near me to reduce the radiation :D.
If I am not able to solve the problem via this phone for about 30 minutes, I need to escalate to higher level of support and at the same time I need to go on-site to continue to investigate and troubleshoot the issue within one hour after informing user that I will be on-site.
This could be one of the main challenges if you want to be in this cheque processing system industry especially you got a lot of calls during your week. I think each job/company/industry has its own challenges and benefits. However, there will be claim for holding this phone. Addition to that, each on-site there is an extra claim, as well the mileage to and fro. And you can also come to office a little late when you receive midnight calls or need to go on-site during midnight.
Personally, during my week, I did once need to go on-site at around 2am. When I got into my car to prepare to drive to our customer site, I wonder if I’m dreaming :D. Once settle, I went back home at around 5am and continue my sleep.
So, when you see my holding three phones, you know what this third phone is for 🙂
Mid-year review with my manager
Main input given by him is my development skill is very weak because I need to many man days to revamp AIF module. Oh, hard to swallow that. In spite of much hard laboring into development lately (so many hours I have been working outside working hours), is it still so far to meet his super high expectation. I think he expect that AIF enhancement/revamp only take 5 man days while I gave him 25 man days. Thinking back, the man days I gave didn’t take into account that I got one week (5 man days) as backup support and another week (5 man days) as primary support in between.
I think if the module is 100% developed by me and they have a clear requirement what they need to change or add in, then I think I can complete it in 5 man days. And don’t forget this 5 man days include other job function as well like first level investigation from ihelpdesk, attend weekly meeting, other training.
To do first level investigation/troubleshooting can be one of the most difficult thing to me, because the scope is extremely wide. Even if all the programs are developed by you, to support all of them also not easy because so many modules and you need to know so many business logic as well. Example for your the core system and for one bank, there are 40 queues and one queue come from some conditions. And there isn’t a lot of documentation like system flow chart for your reference. But the actual fact is those programs are developed by so many people and majority of them are already long gone from the company. In order to know and understand the system flow and because there isn’t much documentation like system flow, you need to open the source code to understand what is going on there. One of the source code module I open last week, when I look at it, those source code are very neat as well.
And also about multiple version of source code due to multiple banks factor. What about testing. Just one bank itself, the testing can be so comprehensive due to so many validation and so many different types of scenarios. And what about the documentation part? Now, technical team lead requires three types of documentation: system flow diagram, sequence diagram and class diagram and what about code standard. There could be a lot of redundant code in it and to clear them up, you need to retest it and what about comment standard? what about the existing code is not too maintainable and revamp the module might need to make sure the code is easy to maintain as well. What about consistency area? Need to make sure that the term in comment or method name is consistent. What about those hard coded code? Need to make it a common code for all banks, so code merging will be easier.
One thing he asked me to do from now is to update my team lead weekly (Monday or Friday) on how do I spend my working hours. Example how many percentage on support and how many percentage on development. And to give reason on why I didn’t achieve certain goals if there is.
And for future, start from October 2009, my manager might most probably transfer me to GWC team which is using JAVA programming language. I can makan JAWA mee and drink JAVA coffee but I don’t think I want to go into JAVA programming now as I have been into ASP and ASP.NET from the beginning of my career until now. I wish I can continue to stick with VB.NET.
No matter where I will be next month, for now I should give my best to do a good job for this AIF enhancement task. Another thing I should tell myself also is I don’t have to ‘kill’ myself to meet my manager’s super high expectation. If he has extremely unreasonable expectation again on me in the future, I think I will go straight to his manager or HR.
Nevertheless, I should continue to work hard and to give my best to do a good job in whatever tasks given to me. One more thing I should tell to myself is not to take his remark so seriously and personally.
An input which helps a lot
Beginning of this month, my immediate superior gave me an input about my Internet surfing. After the session, I told myself that I am not going to surf the Internet during working hour. It was hard at the beginning because I feel addicted to forum-posting and Internet surfing but I know that the trick is the first few days. Indeed, after successfully ‘tahanning’ for the first few days, the rest of the days became easier. And I did manage to keep up with my decision until today. And since then, I have been more productive in my work and I feel better, less guilty. Thank God for this input from him.
If you have the same problem like me, you can too make a decision to do something about it. If you are a senior to your junior, don’t be afraid to give input to them. You will never know how much those input helps another person.