Thursday, June 22, 2006

Seeing things through completion

Greg Doherty, a tenacious senior manager from Oracle had hired me to work in Onebox during the .com boom. On my first day at work I did see a very chaotic atmosphere (this was my first startup experience). No welcome letter, No desk, No computer, People busy doing things and profanity flying around like there as no other words. After about 1.5 days of this I had it. Times were good and job offers were dime a dozen. So I left, only to later find out that Onebox was acquired by for 800 million dollars. And later that year I had managers from Onebox taking First course in Java from me in UC Berkeley extension.

Before I left Onebox, I did talk with Greg Doherty about the situation. He told me outright that I did not fit into the genetics of Onebox. I did ask Greg what are two things that shape his goals. He said:
1. I take on a lot of things (that why he was always busy).
2. I never let the ball drop on anyone of those things.
3. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

This lesson from 1999 would later shape my career. I did join a startup and found two companies (that are all successful). I now make sure that what I start, I finish - bring it to a closure. It is important to weigh the consequences of what you take on and accomplish the set out of objectives. This is a key for success of any project execution.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Transaction Management and Project Management

What does Transaction Management and Project Management have in common?
Yes I am talking about Transaction Management with Databases and Distributed Systems.
They are both a unit of work in which all participating operation should either succeed or fail and recover together. How many times have you thought about your projects in this context?

Of'course things become a little more complicated when you are working on several projects together that may have dependencies on each other. You have to coordinate tasks to manage such dependencies and synchronize the effort of several tasks. The other element is of thinking of risk mitigation and preparing for failures to ensure that project timeline and budget don't suffer. And if they do how do you proactively communicate so you can have a safe landing versus a hard landing.

The solution lies in knowing a project management theory such as PMBOK which amplifies the characteristics of planning, risk mitigation, execution, control and closing. Once you know this theory, contrasting it with Transaction Management theory reinforces the concept.

Monday, June 05, 2006

So what is the big deal?

De Anza College is now offering four courses cis 95a, 95b, 95c and 95d as a course sequence to teach project management. This is a great opportunity for all techies to gain those skills on project management so that your projects can be on time and under budget.

You see - project management is both an art and science. In the first course we put your through several projects so you can understand what does it take succeed. You learn some project mgmt. theory from PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) from PMI (Project Management Institute) and apply it to case studies you work on. Some of these case studies are very interesting.

First course in the sequence will be offered this Summer quarter starting on July 3rd 06. The fee is a whopping $17.00 per unit (sure beats those $800.00 per courses offered by other institutions) and yes it uses learning by doing approach - same pedagogical style used by Carnegie Mellon - West (

If you know people that want great quality education at this affordable a price then pass on the word. Course work is taught by faculty trained in project management / pogram management and working professionals.