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Assisting the Assistant

So first of all, I completed a year at MyGlamm. Joined as a CTO and ended up doing lot more than Tech. I actually wanted this and really happy that the company is allowing me to do so.

So the work load piled up like crazy in the past 3 months, more responsibilities, long working hours, too many things to manage. Decided to get someone who can be a helping hand. The new word “Executive Assistant (EA)” came in picture. To be frank, never required anyone to assist me in the past 14 hours but I was never so busy in the past too.

Gave it a try. Hired someone to work with me, bit uncomfortable with the idea of someone managing the calendar, following up with the people etc.. so far, I was happy with my Wunderlist to manage Todos, but this time, an actual person doing it and people started responding quickly too.

Worked well initially but sometimes on random basis, I had to kept reminding the EA too, ended up assisting the EA, during my business travel, I really didn’t know what kind of work can be given to the person. So back of my mind, I kept thinking, do I really need EA? I can just rely on a smart reminder script to remind people or just change the people to whom I have to send repeated reminders.

So in short, EA has become history now. I am still exploring the option whether I should look for a better person or just be happy with my Todo lists. EA helped in few ways but I still feel I need to think of more things to keep the person busy.

Just few random thoughts. Let’s see how things go in future.

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The Right Age

So, we often come across this question at many steps in life. What’s the right age to marry, what’s the right age for first child, what’s the right age to promote someone at work etc..

Today at work, I took a decision which was quite opposite of what people would do.

Often when people hire someone at a higher post, they check age, experience etc.. but I generally see how the person connects with others.

Many times, even the person with 10-15 years of experience can’t do what a person with 2-3 years of experience can do. So what’s lacking in the person with experience? The art of connecting with people.

Obviously learning from different experiences helps too but the core always remains “the connect”.

So, having said that, I am really excited to work with someone who is about 13 years younger to me.

Let’s see how this gamble plays out.. though I am quite positive about the future.

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A New Chapter

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Like I always say, life is full of different chapters. We just don’t know how our next chapter  will turn out to be.

Yeah it’s about work this time. I have decided to move on,  it was my last day yesterday with Bitebank Media and B2 Information Systems. Yeah, I never expected it too. But had to make a decision, tough one but I guess, you need to make a firm decision at one point.

It was a joy ride which was extremely rough towards the end but hey, I am not complaining, I was ready for it. Few things worked out the way I had expected and few did not. But I am sure, sooner or later, everyone is going to be happy.

So what next?

Well, I am really excited to start a new chapter tomorrow. I am not going to tell you so soon but Just look around and you will find it and yeah it’s exactly what I wanted. I LOVE challenges and solving problems.

Lastly, so what about Web1? Well, no changes there, it’s my passion and I love to help out people directly so that will keep going. No web development though, just hosting.

Image Credit: Octavian Todirut on unsplash

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Do we really need QA department?

I have been running business for the past 11 odd years and went through many different phases where I felt QA department is a must and now I am at a stage where I have realized that it’s actually not needed. Let’s first understand the whole scenario.

There was a phase when our company was on rapid growth path, many projects in hand, many bugs in hand as well. So basically, I was in a situation where I felt, the projects are getting delayed due to too many bugs and client has to spend time in testing bugs and get back to us with bug list. Which was unfair and I really did not like that.

That’s when I thought, let’s hire a QA guy and see if it helps us or not. My imagination of the QA guy was like a soldier who would kill all the enemies quickly and make the king happy.

Well, that was kind of true. It worked really well for smaller projects. I was happy, developers were happy. clients were happy.

As it worked out, decided to hire few more to offload the work from one guy’s shoulder and within few months, I had a QA team of around 7-8 team members including a team leader.

Like earlier, I was liking this team, the soldiers with shining armor who would kill the enemies very quickly. But then came larger and complicated projects, obviously these guys came handy at that time too but it took more time than expected. Multiple testing rounds, back and forth with developers. Gradually, the modules kept going in loop of development, testing and bug fixing. This delayed the projects.

Apart from this, a new type of problem started. “Who will take the responsibility for the bugs?” According to QA, the developers did not do the job properly and according to developers, QA guys did not understand the scope properly.

We made few changes in our internal flow to overcome this but what I realized was, no matter how much you explain to QA guys, their understanding is not going to be as clear as the ones who have developed it.

But this was late realization. This was actually the worst time for me. Developers and QA both were working like dumb robots, modules got stuck in QA for 1-2 weeks and this was affecting the projects.

Gradually, I reduced the size of QA team and decided to give this responsibility to the developers. I did not work well with few of them so I had to perform a clean up job there too. Basically the ones who wanted to work like a robot without thinking of business logic were cleaned up.

The remaining guys did the job fairly well, obviously there were hiccups in the start but hey, I never expected a smooth ride.

I won’y say it was a 100% successful experiment but I am on the way to make it perfect.

So to summarize this:

Take time in hiring the developers, keep tough tests and filter out. Currently more than 90% of the developers are used to working in environment where they have to work on the given task without thinking about the business logic. Skip those guys. It will be difficult to find such guys but definitely not impossible.

Note: This kind of problem is mostly faced in Startups or SMEs. Larger companies generally prefer dividing everything in fragments between large number of developers / testers where you really don’t need to understand the business logic. But this process will be costly and would require more manpower. I really don’t think it’s a good idea for Startups or SMEs to follow that process.

 

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Honda, Arya Honda and My Honda (City)

Honda launched new version of City in January 2014. The car I was waiting for since quite sometime. At that time, even though I wanted to buy the car but was not ready for it.

I made up by mind after reading user experiences. Though, it took me 3 months to decide. Around 25th April, I called up Arya Honda showroom at Bhandup and asked for test drive.

Fixed the time and place for the test drive. Since, I wanted to gift this car to my parents, so decided to go for test drive bit away from my house. The guy was supposed to reach place by 12 in the noon, we (My friend and me) waited for the guy. Called him up after 10 minutes, the guy said, he will be reaching there in next 15 minutes.

We waited for another half an hour, this time he said, he was stuck with one of his clients in Mulund so he will reach in 10 minutes.

We waited for another 15 minutes, got reply saying, he is still stuck with his client. At this time, I was totally pissed off but still waited for another 10 – 15 minutes and called him up saying, if you don’t turn up within next 10 minutes, I am leaving. He promised me that he will be there in few minutes.

Obviously, that did not happen, I left the place. I get call after half an hour from the guy, saying, he is ready for the demo, he has left too. I deny as he kept us waiting for an hour, I hate guys who do not value time. After this, I sent mail to Honda with the feedback about the whole experience.

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