Annual Performance Evaluation

It’s that time of the year again. This is one activity that really drains my energy that’s why I keep on requesting my boss to reschedule it hihihi. And of course I got hit because of the many issues we had last year. Hay. Moving on.

There were also some feedback which I’m taking constructively because it aligns with my personal career goal this year. Akalain mo yun. Nag-align kami ng boss ko about that goal. But seriously, I will be working hard for that goal so that future projects with them will be easier to manage.

I also learned about one news but it’s still on the works. May pumipigil pa. Pero sana positive pa rin in the end. I deserve that! Dugo’t pawis ko yun no!

I am hesitant about her other goal for me. But I’ll take it as a challenge. I’m not sure kasi if that is what I want to do. But while I’m thinking about it, I’ll do it to learn all the lessons I can get. Kahit ganon muna.

Also, medyo may drama because I was asked about my own feedback. Nanumbalik lahat ng hugot ko last year hahaha! But I still told her all about it so that she knows. We both learned our lessons naman. And while it happened months ago, it’s still good to discuss it for future reference hahaha.

Minsan iniisip kong sana may pause button para sa mga emotions para if feeling negative or stressed na, we can just pause and go on with our tasks pa rin. Mas nakakapagod pa kasi if halo-halong emotions and hugot din hahaha.

Anyway, moving on.  😀  😀  😀

No Internet Connection

My internet connection at home has gone kaput since mid February. According to the technician who checked it, they can’t do anything about it anymore because there are a lot of obstructions aka tall buildings surrounding my apartment now, so the antenna is not getting a direct connection from the closest satellite. Hay. It is a little bit frustrating especially in times when I badly need it for work. Like today.

So since I need to check on something, I went out for dinner/work. I was targeting Starbucks at first but I know it would be full. When I passed by Pancake House and confirmed that they have WIFI, Pancake House it is. It’s just weird now because I’m the only one with laptop. The rest are all dining hehehehe. So ganito pala. Anyway, kebs.

Then I just decided that I don’t want to push through with the launch today because we still need to monitor over the weekend. Di ko man lang sya naisip bago ako lumabas at umorder. Napagastos pa tuloy ako hehehehe. Nagkukuripot kasi ako ngayon.

Anyway, at least our issue last night was fixed. So that is one less thing I need to worry about. I just need to make sure that the scheduled jobs run as scheduled, especially now that EST is switching back to DST. May impact kasi talaga ito sa system namin eh. At ang sakit lang talaga rin sa bangs ng timezone difference na ito hahaha. Nakakabaliw na nakakaloko sa totoo lang.

O sya. Done with what needs to be done. Naisingit ko pa ito. Bill out na.

Goodnight world!

Why Do Issues Love Us?

Hehehe. Hay work.

Itatawa ko na lang. Kamusta naman yung akala ko ok na lahat. Excited na akong umuwi ng 9 PM at looking forward na ako sa mahaba-habang sleep starting tonight. Pero meron pa palang finding. Tapos ako pa yung victim talaga eh no. But on the other hand, I am thankful that we were able to catch that bug. Otherwise, mas mahirap i-fix kasi pag later pa ito nakita. Maraming aangal for sure.

So here we are, waiting for the next step para makapag-validate uli. Sana after nito, ok na ok na ok na talaga. Sana. Sana. Sana.

I am also thankful that my groupmates are really smart and quick to understand the issues, think of resolutions, and implement solutions smoothly.

So, dear GSD, pakawalan mo na kami please. Friday na o. Actually, pa-Saturday na nga eh. Antok na antok na akech talaga. At miss ko na talaga mag-cross stitch hehehe. Thank you.

Work Anniversary

Today, February 10, is my 14th anniversary at work. Wala lang. Gusto ko lang i-note. At i-remind ang sarili kong ang tanda ko na hahaha. Di ko akalaing tatagal ako ng ganito dito.

There are ups and downs (di naman nawawala yun as it’s a part of all aspects of life) but I am grateful for all the opportunities, learnings and friendships I continue to experience in my stay here.

Sakto, may binili silang cake for the February birthday boys and girls. Naambunan ako. Biglang cheat day tuloy hahaha.

cake

On another note, my employer is also celebrating their company’s 40th anniversary. And the PH operations is celebrating its 20th this year too! Grabe, half of this company’s life pala has been with PH. So meaning to say, 20 years na rin syang nag-eemploy ng Pinoys. Wow. Naalala ko lang. When I joined the company, there were less than 4,000 employees in the Philippines. Now, we are at 16,000++. I know because I work with HR systems and I am asked about headcount often hehehe.

Anyway, thank you, employer for still not pulling out from PH. I sincerely wish you success in the business as your success also means food on the table for your employees. Thank you.

Done Uploading!

Quick break.

We are testing a system with the end users. We were already panicking because we are not seeing the expected file uploaded. The files of the other testers went through. One tester’s file didn’t. Nakakapraning. After more than an hour:

Teammate: Can you re-upload again? Your file is not going through.

Tester (after a few minutes): Done uploading! (very enthusiastic pa!)

Me: *checks folder right away. No file still. Verifies with teammates if it should go to that folder right away. Yes daw. Light bulb.*

Me: Teammate, ask him what URL he’s using.

Teammate: Tester, may I know what URL you’re using?

Tester: It’s blah blah blah (gives the production URL, not the test URL).

All of us in our chat window, testers not included:

  • Boom!
  • Prod yan eh!
  • Anakngteteng na mokong ‘to.
  • Sino yan, tatanggalin ko schedules nya!

Nakakaloka. But well, I can’t blame them rin. They’re not familiar with these types of things. They’re end users after all. And it’s overwhelming to be reading through a step by step guide to check testing.

Lesson learned for us. Always ensure to check with them that they are using the correct URLs.

Ok, back to testing at nang makatulog na kami 😛 . Isang linggong puyatan na ito eh.

*****

Hala, kaka-post ko pa lang, may next eksena na hahaha.

Via email:

Tester: Hi, I can’t see the schedules I uploaded.

Me: *checks URL. Using prod link.*

Teammate: *sends email with correct information.*

Kaloka this!

P.s. Day 2 of September na, di ko pa nagagawa ang Day 1 blog challenge ko. I’ll just catch up this weekend. Masaya ang first topic eh. Dapat di ako puyat pag magsusulat ako about it haha.

On Choosing Names for Babies in Today’s World of Automation

This is especially dedicated to all parents who are having kids or thinking of names for their kids. And a note to myself when the time comes that I become a parent.

Dear parents,

Please do not give your babies with extra long names. Why? For the obvious and most common reason that it will be hard for them to write it on their papers when they start school. Sumasagot na ang classmates nya, sya nagsusulat pa rin ng name. Worst pa if di nya mapagkasya sa paper di ba? Stressful sa bata.

The second reason is that, most likely, magiging cause of issue yang mahahabang names na yan pagdating sa automation. Naku Naku! Maisusumpa kayo ng mga software developers nyan talaga!

Di ba uso na ngayon ang system automation? Uso na ang email address. Kahit sa FB, need yan kung ayaw mong mobile number ang pang sign up mo. At di ba sa companies, uso yung mga email addresses for their employees under their company domain names (yung email@companyxyz.com ganon). So what? What’s the big deal about it kung mahaba name mo?

Ganito kasi yun sa software development. Lahat ng data, naka store yan sa isang database. Imagine Excel file at nandon lahat yung names ng employees. But a database is a more robust data storage. So each information, may katumbas na space allocation don sa storage and syempre we have to put limits. For example, last name, until 30 characters lang kasi napaka-unusual naman to have a last name with more than 30 characters di ba? Why? Una, to save space. Kasi if dagdagan namin yang 50 ng additional 50, waste of space na yun. Second, security. Pwede kasing magsend ng malicious code and matatanggap yun ng system at kung magaling talaga ang hacker, goodbye important data na yan. Ganon.

Tapos di ba nga uso ang email addresses. Usually sa companies, meron silang naming conventions for email addresses. The common ones are firstname.middleinitial.lastname@companyname.com or firstname.lastname@companyname.com. Ganyan para readable and madaling marecognize ang employee. So imagine if mahaba na ang first name ng anak nyo. Isama mo pa ang last name. At mahaba rin ang company name. E di isang mahabang email address yan. Tapos system ni company, ang email address storage lang ay 50 characters. Ay patay na. Error!!!! Tapos hahanapin ni developer ang cause ng error and lead to that special long name. Sobrang nakaka-stress po yun sa amin. At napapamura din talaga kami minsan. Kasi naman…ang hirap mahanap these kinds of errors kaya uber headache sya for us.

Kung masyado pa ring technical ang dating, basta ganito lang ho. Uulitin ko uli. Please don’t give your kids unusually long names. Isipin nyo na lang for world peace hehehehe.

Love,
Mylene who works on systems

P.S. This post was inspired by the recent error we experienced. The system was running ok for one week and then suddenly it stopped and started throwing errors. Upon investigation, we found out that it was because of that ONE very long email address. Nakakaiyak pramis. Sniff sniff sniff.  😥  😥  😥

Panic Mode!

Last week, I sent this to a colleague.

panicmode

Pramis, panic mode talaga! Tapos medyo matagal pa sya magreply so medyo palpitation levels ako that time hahaha. It will be a mess if that file  was processed by the other system talaga. Hay big headache for us. Blessing in disguise that the other job that was supposed to process the file had an error. So, my colleague was able to fix the error, plus it did not cause more headache for us.

Syempre nakatikim ako ng all CAPS reply from him pero deadma na hahaha. What’s more important is no mess whatsoever.

My colleague said “fortune smiled”. Truee!!!!! And I’m so thankful for that!

Naulit pa ito for another system! But false alarm yun since may error din and walang file na nagenerate hehehe. And in case nangyaring napush ang file to the other system, error din since we have not yet loaded the profiles that time.

Whew. What’s that famous quote? “Once is enough, twice is too much, thrice is stupidity”? Buti na lang wala nang third hahaha!

On another note, today is the other big day for us!!!! No more errors please.

Work Tales: Walang Kamatayang LKAS

I was looking for a specific guideline in my work email’s Drafts folder when I saw this.

work1Hehehe. But it’s true. This was the hardest component of the automation project we were and still currently working on. At the time I wrote that note, we were drafting the processes and requirements. Ang hirap talaga, pramis! Thankfully, after hours and hours and hours of round table discussions, we were able to arrive at the correct data and format to extract and pass.

The draft is dated 2/5/2014 so this was exactly 2 years ago hehehehe.

* LKAS is the code we gave the text file that contains employee data that is extracted from one data source and loaded to another data source. *

Work Tales: Please Answer the Questionnaire

questionnaireWhile searching for an email that I knew I sent 2 years ago, I came across another email from a colleague, asking me to answer a questionnaire for her niece’s school requirement. Mid this year, I also learned that my friend from another team hired someone and mentioned that she is the niece of that colleague. I then asked my colleague if that niece who was in school before is the same niece who is now working for the same company as ours. He said yes. Small world. And happy for her because she was able to find a job that’s related to her course after college :).

And I just had to look for that questionnaire I answered 2 years ago because I honestly can’t remember what my answers were. Baka pala nagkalat ako non hahaha! Pero buti na lang hindi because I take these seriously…as in kinakarir ko ang pagsagot. Here’s the last question of that questionnaire and my answers (emphasis on the s haha!).

Question: As Information Technology students, what advice or tips can you give us in building a good and proper attitude towards becoming a Systems Analyst?

  • Analytical thinking is critical
  • You should have at least a basic understanding of the concepts of development. Know the difference between web and client apps. Which one is appropriate for what problem?
  • At the very least, you should know about databases.
  • You are between your client and the developers. Learn how to speak both languages. You will often find yourself explaining to clients how a system works. A hardcore programmer will always be technical when doing explanations making your client more confused. You as the analyst, should be able to translate technical jargon to simple English that your clients can understand.
  • Do not assume. Always ask the client. Validate and re-validate some more. Ensure that you are both in the same page.
  • You should be not afraid of dealing with people. If you want to become an analyst but you are too shy, work on your shyness. There will be a lot of people interaction.
  • Always know how and when to ask the right questions. There are several ways of getting requirements. Make Google your friend :).
  • Know when to be firm, when to meet halfway with the client or when to give them what they think they need. Be their devil’s advocate if you think they are not on the right track.
  • Always remember that whatever solutions you provide, it should always be aligned with the company objectives. At the end of the day, higher management will just care about its financials. They are willing to invest as long as they see a return on investment over the course. Hence, as the systems analyst who recommends solutions, your solutions should contribute to what’s important to management.

Now that I read it again, parang mali ata sagot ko kasi attitude ang tanong nila pero skills ang mga sinabi ko hahahaha! Huwell, anyway, ayan, graduate naman na so keri na rin siguro hahaha. Koloka!

Update: According to my colleague’s niece, she got a high grade on that project. Good to know haha!

* Image from here *

Work Tales: Zero-Defect UAT

zero-defectsI got news tonight that our internal client was happy with the outcome of the system that we implemented recently. And I was a little surprised to hear that from her knowing that it’s not really her nature to give such kinds of feedback. Specifically, she and her were team happy and surprised that there were no findings during their user acceptance testing.

I’m happy to learn that the team’s hard work paid off, especially so that it was not a bed of roses during the journey. We were not able to meet the original timeline that we committed to our clients due to multiple projects being handled by the same resources, hence causing some delays in the completion of tasks prior their testing. I have underestimated the timeline for my own testing. It took me longer than my estimate. My findings were showstoppers so I had to wait for the Dev team to resolve the issues.

The moment I was not provided with the test site on the day that I should start my testing, I knew there was a chance we can’t make it to the deadline. When I was finally able to do a quick test of the basic functionalities of the system and got major findings, I knew we really will be delayed. I toyed with the idea of just handing over a buggy system to them just so we won’t be tagged as delayed. However, my other self, who have always believed that we can have a bug-free system by doing thorough testing, was against my initial idea. My other self won. And so I talked to the client’s team member working with us, told her that we were not going to make it to the original timeline, presented a new timeline based on where we were at that time and silently prayed that she would just accept the fact that we were delayed and agree to the new timeline. She was ok with it. One down. Composed another email to be sent to the project owner, project manager, and my boss, again with a silent prayer that they won’t have any violent reactions. I must be lucky that day because I did not recieve any replies from them haha.

So off we went with the client’s testing, and while they were doing theirs, I still continued with my own because while I was more confident with the finished product that we handed over for their testing, I still wanted to make sure that I did not miss anything. Good thing that I did beacuase I had one more finding and it happened prior them testing that specific module. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have zero defect haha.

We were delayed for 4 days and a delay is still a delay no matter how short or long it is. So you see, I really can’t help but be surprised with the news. But thank you anyway.

On the other hand, I’m happy to have made that decision to accept the delay even if at the time, I did not feel good about it at all and has caused me too much stress. With this experience, I learned that it’s better to just face the music head on and just be transparent about things. However, as a note to myself, delays should only be because of valid and acceptable reasons. This way, everybody happy. 🙂  Cheers!

* Image from here. *

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