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....a place of random thoughts

Here’s looking at you Ram

Filed Under (Projectplace) by Olle on 08-11-2010

So Ram have been leaning on me for the past two days to write a blog post as I normally do when down here in Bangalore. I have told him that he needs to feed me material for me to be able to do it.
Unfortunately he does not give me much, it’s just the same stuff as always. He swears a lot(now even the grammar police on Twitter knows about him #Evidence here >>), and say’s it’s only due to me being present. He talks about not being worthy his pay, and I agree. When I talk about commits and say “I can’t wait until I can $ git commit -m "small modification of jada jada" something again”, he says “Talk to Taquin about it, he won’t like it“.
We still don’t understand each other. An example of this is that we went out looking for some stuff for my kids after work today, and we ended up walking around in a mall for 45minutes because I thought he was looking for some PS3 games, when it turned out he though that I was looking for it. After that I went home.
He is still careful with stuff. Yesterday is was raining really hard when we left the office, and what did Ram do. Did he turn on the windscreen wipers, no not Ram. He manually, every minute or so,  turns them on leaving us in total blindness for 58 seconds per minute in the middle of Bangalore rush hour traffic. I couldn’t stand it for more then two minutes. With a bit of  yelling and  force I was able to “convince” Ram to turn the wipers on. I did not ask when I turned the AC to “mist-removal-mode” instead of “foot-heating-mode” Ram runs. Rams comments, “Ahh, so that’s what it’s for“.
Ram still gets his blisters all over the body. He claims it’s the bad Bangalore air that does that to him. So how does Ram solve it. In real Ram fashion, he take the 3 hour drive to Salem and lays down in his fathers rise field for an hour and is cured.
But I guess some things have changed.
He talks a lot about love, and now not only love for me or Annika and Annika at the Stockholm office. He talks about changing his name to Svensson and building a house. He even mentioned that he would like to have a Golden Retriever as his second dog. Yeah, I’d like to see Ram walking the streets of Bangalore with two dogs.
Another change is that he now drives like a true Bangalorian. In other words, he uses the horn more then the breaks. He has even stopped screaming at other drivers, since he has as everyone else in Bangalore, totally given up. In his own words “The traffic is insane, this town is insane, the country is insane and my dad says I’m insane“.
Another big change is that Ram has started to go to the gym, my guess is that it is Durgesh who forces him to go. He say’s he will look like Hrithik Rosha in a month or two.

So not much have changed here in the country of holy cows.

A new version of the Projectplace Extension

Filed Under (Projectplace, Safari) by Olle on 20-09-2010

Now with the 1.6 version I feel I’m starting to get to the extension I from start aimed at.

In the new version we now have checks for new Conversations from the, by Projectplace, newly released Social Overview.

If you have been notified by a new conversation you will see1 it on the button as a label.
This image show a user who has two “unread” conversations awaiting inside Projectplace,  a click on the button will clear the saved number of conversations and log you into the system.

In the future I see a potential new Extension bar to be able to present more information since the toolbar label is somewhat limited. Today I only present the name of the last new Conversation and who created it in the button title.

Settings window

The new settings window have gotten a new option, “Check for conversation”. If you enable it, the Extension will automatically check for updates every 2 minutes. I use the HTML5 localstorage features to store the number of new Conversations and who created it. The current Database Quota is 5mb, so hopefully you will not get a question to accept a higher Quota.

Of course you can disable this if you feel like it, but the question is why you would want to do this. The new conversations are really good, so use them!

If you have the Extension installed, you will get a question to update it, and if you currently have not installed it, feel free to download the Extension HERE

Hopefully I’ll send out an update for the Chrome Extension, with the same features, as soon as I get the time.
1 Due to different technical issues, you will not see the notifications if you are using the Projectplace for iPhone app. The iPhone app is simply to fast :-)

The Bangalore Report IV – Day 4

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 19-05-2010

You as a frekvent reader of this blog will notice that day 3 just disappeared, and it actually did, so here comes day 4!

Today me and Ram had one of those conversations again:

Ram: Do you know that Pakistan is gone, it’s Afghanistan now.
Olle: What?
R: Yes, it’s true. Afghanistan is taking over Pakistan.
O: When?
R: In the TT20!
O: What is that.
O: Ohh, how do you mean?
R:  All the cricket players in Pakistan is from Afghanistan!
O: Why?
R: Be course the Afghans have both Afghanistan and Pakistan passports.
O: Ohh, why
R: Well they travel over he border all the time.
O: Why do they do that.
R: Be course they live close to the border. All day long they pass over the border and play cricket in Pakistan. They train cricket, the play matches, they train.. Do you understand? And then they play for for Afghanistan.
O: Well, yes. They play a lot of cricket. But why do they  pass the border to Pakistan to go back into Afghanistan to play.
R: You are not listening to what I am saying!
O: Well, you said that Afghanistan is taking over Pakistan, right?
R: Yes.
O: And you said that  Afghanistan players are playing for Afghanistan.
R: No, for Pakistan.
O: No, you said not.
R: Yes, I did… You don’t listen to me.

So as you can see I have had a great time here in Bangalore, with Ram and the rest of the gang.
But now it’s time to go back home, can’t wait to see the family again, I miss them like hell.

…. if no ash cloud stops everything that is..

The Bangalore Report IV – Day 2

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 17-05-2010

Finally back in the hotel room at 11pm after a long day.

The day started out by Ram blaming me for all the bad things that happend to him durring my 24 hours in India.
Apparently he had no electricity durring the night, so the AC did not work, leaving the flat hot as hell. Olle to blame, and not the thunderstorms raging all night.
Rams phone ran out of power, and since he uses it as his alarm clock, it did not wake him up on time. Olle to blame.
Rams cow and auto rickshaw incident was also to blame on me.  Finally we reach the office and  Ram manages to scratches the side of his car in a big brick wall when we are about to park… Hmm, now this is what you would call a bad start of the day.
Ram finally calms down when he gets his cup of coffee, and starts to talk about other things. But when it turns out I’m the only one in the office that has Internet access(since I’m not running on the Projectplace network), Ram have had enough. He stands up and screams: “The internet was working fin all last week, the moment you step in to the office, it’s down!”

Other then that a lot of things happend durring the day, both good and not so good things. All I can say is that transparency and honesty will always win in the long run.

When finally Ram let me of at the hotel, I managed to get some dinner in the restaurant before it closed. Somehow I always manage to eat when no one else is eating. Yesterday a couple of hours to early, and tonight a couple of hours to late. Interesting thing, they did not serve any beers tonight in the restaurant.. A white monday they said, ok.

After dinner I talked to the family back home on Skype, but the kids did not want to talk to me since it was Lilla Sportspegeln on Bobster. Well I talked to my wife at least, and she told me that a ash cloud was approaching Sweden. I’m really hoping that this does not become a problem on my trip back to Sweden. But if it does, if I where Ram, I would blame me.

The Bangalore Report IV – Day 1

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 16-05-2010

Yeah, guess what.. This trip also started with getting up really early and head to the airport.

An interesting thing happend in the check-in line at Arlanda. A group of approximately 50 elderly had encountered some problem at the self-checking machines and was now queuing with the rest of us. I was standing next to a couple where the man was really frustrated that the self-checkin machines did not work when flying with “Solresor”, words like “It’s a disgrace, I say”, “How can it be that the checkin opens first at 05:50. Our flight leaves at 07:30, so much for two hours checkin-in before the flight leaves.”, and “SAS have no service what so ever”. It all escalated when a elderly man, standing somewhere in the front of the que, step out of the line and walked up to a security guard asking him some question I did not hear. The result at least was that the man walked back and placed himself infront of the que and scream to us all, “He had no idea why the self-checking does not work for Solresor. SAS have no service what so ever!!!”
I do hope the trip went well for the gang, and that they could find Swedish coffee at the hotel.

I sleept the hole way to Frankfurt, was fast a sleep when we left Stockholm and woke up when the plain touched down in Frankfurt.
I worked with the XP2010 talk, listend to Johnny Cash while waiting for the connecting flight to Bangalore.

When I entered the Bangalore plane, it hit me that I once more had ended up on row 42, it’s the row where one can not lover the back of the seat. The same row I sat in when I needed to help an elderly woman all the way from Frankfurt to Bangalore. I was pretty upset with myself!
Luckily I had no elderly woman next to me this time, I was placed between a german guy and an indian girl.. All went well, except that I could not bring my laptop up due to cramped space. So the notes I needed to do for the Sunday meeting had to be done on the back of a receipt.
The only mayor problem I encountered was that there where a thunderstorm  located precisely above the Bangalore airport that held the plain circling for 45minutes. The german pilot calmed the passengers with “We still have some gas in the resevers, so it shall not be a problem”. Tip to all of you who are or want to become a pilot, never talk about “gas reserves” and “it shall not be a problem” in the same sentence. A white lie is some times ok!
We eventually landed, after a very bumpy ride

I managed to get through customs with out any problems this time, even though I had two passports with me. My new one, and the old expired one, with holes in it, that holds the visa.
I waited for my bags for 45minutes, and later went out to meet Prasad who had Rams car to pick me up. Rumor says that Ram was out drinking Vodka all night.

Prasad, as always, brought me safely into town and the hotel. He had brought his camera along so I was watching pictures and moves of his wife and from the last ceremony he had take part of in Kerala. (Prasad, if you read this, please paste the link in the comment box to the youtube movies so we all can see them )

Getting to the hotel was great, I was really tired from the flight but I was really pleased to see that the hotel had upgraded me into a two room suite.

After four hours of sleep it was time to get up, got some breakfast and re-wrote the notes found on the receipt. Ram came by the hotel and picked me up. We spent some great hours of talking, walking and lunching in the central parts of Bangalore. Joy and jubilation is all I really can say.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to get Ram some swimming trunks, and Ram mentioned that he could not swim. I said, yeah yeah, and did not really think more about it. We finally got him some sexy trunks, and drove towards the hotel. That was when it happend, my first car accident in India!

Approximately 1km from the office, I saw a cow standing in the middle of the road somewhat hidden by the car infront of us. I said to Ram, “watch out, theres a cow”. Ram, “softly” steers the car to the left to pass the cow, but all of a sudden we hear this squeaking sounds coming from the back of the car. A auto rickshaw had hit Rams car when he was trying to avoid hitting the cow. It took about 5-6 seconds before Ram realizes what has happend. But when it all had sunk in, Ram turns of the engine in the middle of the road and steps out of the car..The conversation that now occurs between Ram and the auto rickshaw driver I can not repeat here, since it was in Tamil. But I can tell you one thing, it was mostly Ram doing the talking, well not really talking it was something else. Something that is between screaming and talking..really strange.
A cop came walking by and asked Ram to move the car from the middle of the road, and Ram did what he was told. Done, he steps out of the car and continues the monolog with the driver, and all of a sudden he stops. Walks way from the guy, gets into the car and says: “Now you have something for the blog. Ashole”.

We finally got to the hotel, continued the talks we had had all day, and when we where steaming hot we went down to the hotel pool. Now it became clear to me that Ram really can’t swim. If I someday feel sad, I will try to remember how it looks like when Ram dives. That will make me happy for sure.

Ram left after the thunderstorm had calmed down a bit, and I went of to have dinner.
I really really hate eating alone in a restaurant. I almost hate it as much as when someone calls me Sir.
Durring dinner today I was not allowed to bring more rise to the plate, no no. When I tried, all of a sudden a waiter turned up and took the plate away from me. After serving me he went back to his secret hideout to continue the surveillance. The same thing happend when I reached for the bowl of Naan. All this forced me to finish dinner in under 10minutes.

Tomorrow the adventure continues, I can’t wait.

The Bangalore Report III – Day 3

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 11-03-2010

So, this is my last day in Bangalore for now, and it’s a bit sad but at the same time I really miss the family back home.

Flow of the day:
1. Check out of hotel
2. Wait for Ramesh to pick me up
3. Talk to Ramesh in the car
4. Talk to Ramesh in the office
5. Laugh about things with Ramesh
6. Talk to Ramesh a bit more in Coffee Day.
7. See Deepa and Ganesh succeed in the investigation of @ referencing.
8. Take part in a BBC* news report, a three minute interview about what I think makes a distributed team work.
9. Talk to Ramesh and Blue Star about stuff.
10 und so weiter, und so weiter…

Ramesh has been complaining about headache the complete day, I think it’s due to that he has been forced to think today.

Durring a coffee break with the gang today I got a little more information regarding the “on thursdays the developers don’t eat meat” thing that was reported yesterday . Apparently all the weekdays are somehow connected to a god, so if you are a fan of a specific god you don’t eat meat on that specific day. To add some confusion to this, apparently Saturday is the day for som big god that most people like, so almost no one shall eat meat on Saturdays. Bad news for all restaurants I thought. But Adarsh unfolded the truth to me, apparently there are ways around the “don’t eat meat on the day”. The trick is to have some relative pray a lot, then you can do as you please, even have a steak on a Saturday.

Since me and Ram have had massive amounts of talks today as all other days, we have also had our moments of confusion. The conversation, in Swedish, I have in mind started due to that Meriem had sent the tickets through mail:

Olle: You will arrived late to Stockholm on Tuesday right? Don’t forget to print the ticket for the Alps trip here in Bangalore before you leave.
Ram: No, I’ll come by the Stockholm office.
Olle: Ahha, ok. Yeah then you can print it there.
Ram: Yeah, I’ll be staying at Christophers place and we have plans to go out and buy some moss in the evening.
Olle: Moss? Why do you need moss?
Ram: I have thrown away the one I had!
Olle: But why the heck do you need moss?
Ram: What do you think, I don’t wanna freeze when going to the Alps, all of  you guys wil have moss!
Olle: Oh you mean a hatt of some kind
Ram: What?
Olle: Well you see, “mossa” is moss, and “mössa” is some kind of hatt
Ram: Aaaa, how do you spell that?

Today I also had the chance to talk a bit to Prasad and he had som really happy news. His wife is pregnant in the second month and I’m positive that Prasad will be a really cool dad to a really cool kid who will know how to  drive through the Bangalore trafic at the age of 3.

So, that’s about it really.
Finally me and Ram had lunch now at 9:45PM, better late then never, and I’m mostly waiting for the cab to come and pick me up at 11PM to take me to the airport for the flight that leaves at 03:30AM.
Durring lunch Ram shared the secret with me about how to get upgraded into Business Class. Apparently is just to ask a lot of questions, that can be answered by looking at your ticket, at the checkin counter. But according to Ram, that’s the trick. I will surely try to look really confused tonight!

*Blue Star Broadcasting Company

The Bangalore Report III – Day 2

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 10-03-2010

Day 2 is over and tomorrow is my final day here in Bangalore. Can’t believe how fast time fly.

Today has been kind of slow on the blog material front, or as Ram put it at 5PM today: “ha, today you will have nothing to write about!”. Due to that comment I have decided to focus this blog post on Ram.

Well the day started as most days do here in Bangalore for me, I get up, eat breakfast(this time out in the sun, really nice) and made sure to be on time when Ram arrived to pick me up. The trip was like always, Ram swearing at the “Yellow Nazis”(that’s auto rickshaw for the rest of the world), while leaning at the horn and trying to miss the cars in front of us.

Today me and Ram have mostly been hanging out together doing a lot of talking and walking. Really not much action. But talking to Ram can sometimes be an adventure. Today we where sitting at the local “Coffee Day”, den having the fourth bubble espresso for the day, discussion on what day Ram had booked the “Star of the Sprint / 70% Coverage Celebration” dinner, since Lisa had re-scheduled the Sprint Meeting. The conversation went like this(image this in Swedish):

Olle: So we have made a reservation tonight, not on Thursday?!
Ram: Yes, tonight!
Olle: But you booked the dinner on Thursday in the calendar?
Ram: No, on Wednesday!
Olle: No, on Thursday.
Ram: No tonight!
Olle: No, see here(showing my phone). It’s booked on Thursday.
Ram: Probably a bug, we will have the dinner tonight!
Olle: But does the gang know about this?
Ram: Yeah, probably!
Olle: Probably? But who made the reservation?
Ram: Jojo or Adarsh I think.
Olle: But how can we know that they know its tonight?
Ram: They know!
Olle: Ok, but still, why can’t we have the dinner tomorrow?
Ram: It’s Thursday, so they do not eat meat!
Olle: What? Is it some religious thing that happens on Thursdays?
Ram: Think so.
Olle: One every Thursday?
Ram: No, don’t think so, just this one
Olle: Well, they do not need to eat meat!
Ram: If they go out and eat they must eat meat!
Olle: But aren’t they vegetarian?
Ram: No, just me and Ganesh.
Olle: Ohh

So this is the kind of conversation me and Ram always seem to end up in, it’s kind of fun when one looks back at it.

Well the dinner was reserved by Adarsh. Adarsh seems to be the guy when it comes to reservations, mostly due to that he is the one who is the most picky when it comes to restaurants. Adarsh has one demand, and not all restaurants can live up to that, and the demand is Buffet! Adarsh would never ever set his foot in a restaurant without a buffet, and with this demand he has become the natural booker of dinner reservations in the team.

Once more Adarsh selected the excellent Barbecue Nation where we celebrated Supritha and Ganesh(a draw this month) as worthy Stars of the Sprint and we also celebrated the great effort of 70% Coverage in the last Sprint. Way to go!

We (the non vegetarians that is) all ate great hot food(Adarsh won) and some of us(Adarsh) even managed to have several cakes as dessert. After dinner some of us(Adarsh) had problems walking out of the restaurant due to the massive amount of food we had eaten.

After dinner we got stuck outside the restaurant a while since Ram needed some Indian snus. A word of warning, never ever try it, it burns big holes in your throat.
After we had said good by to all, and Adarsh left on his motor cycle with this helmet nicely hanging on the back of the bike; me, Ram, Durgesh and Jojo went back towards the office in Rams car. Luckily me and Jojo used the belts where we where sitting in the backseat, since Ram had a 100% hit rate of all road bumps on the way back. Ram’s comment to this, when me and Jojo notified him about our bouncing in the back of the car, was that his new car “has shitty shock absorbers”.

Tomorrow the adventure continues in the land of double parking holy cows(check out twitter/olled for proof).

The Bangalore Report III – Day 1

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 09-03-2010

So the trip started the same way as always, the alarm trashed my dreams at 03:40. The Taxi arrived at 04:00, driven by the most talkative cab driver I ever met. Arriving at Arlanda was kind of a relief.
But I sure hope the family issues sortens it self out for the cabby.

I shared the flight to Frankfurt with the Argentinien DC team, I think I even satt next to one of the players. He looked like it at least, really good looking with long black hair and a big bag of tennis rackets. I managed to sleep and hour on the flight.

Arriving at Frankfurt my first task, after checking e-mails, was trying get a window seat for the flight to Bangalore. I had been seated in a middle seat and I was not looking forward to the long flight squeezed between two people. But I was out of luck since the Business Class was over booked, so they needed the good seats in Monkey Class (in other words the window seats) to move the Business people to. So I was stuck between, I hoped, two tiny frequent flyers who mostly would sleep.

Well I did not get two tiny frequent flyers, but two large versions of the same, one German and one American. The American guy worked for Cap Gemini in Pittsburgh as some sales guy going down to Bangalore with some customer to meet the teams in Bangalore and Mumbai. We had great talks regarding his experience working with skilled Indian developers and finance people, hockey, the Olympics and the massive amount of snow some parts of the world have received this winter.
The only thing I heard from the German guy was a “Hallo”.

The flight from Frankfurt was delayed with an hour due to that one of the engines didn’t start the normal way, so they had to start it manually. What?

Due to my “stuckness” in the middle, the amount of sleep I got was very limited.

I was a bit nervous about the my encounter with the Indian customs, but to my surprise all went very well.
After I had managed to get through the first Passport/Visa/Are-You-Carrying-Any-Deadly-Virus section of the customs, I took an extra minut or two, while waiting for the luggage, to see how the really experienced got through the last part of customs, the give-the-little-papper-to-customs-guy part.

My analysis was that one needs to walk really fast, ignore any form of queues, and look like you have done this hundreds of times before and simply give the little paper-thing to the customs guy and just keep on walking. So my strategy was clear, but everything was destroyed when I got my bag.
The thing was that I had planed to use the small bag we have at home, but just before the taxi came to take me to the airport I realized that the bag had no lock, so I quickly grabbed our big bag instead. What I had failed to notice, in the bad morning light, was that the Mark of Customs(the white cross feared by travelers of the air) was still shining bright on both the back and the front of the bag since my last visit to Bangalore.

So my plan to look confident failed badly! But I managed to place my laptop bag on top of one of the crosses and I passed through the last Customs defense successfully!

Ram was waiting for me outside the Airport to bring me to the hotell. But unfortunately he had managed to upset two people working on the parking lot, so before we could leave, we needed to talk to some parking lot manager so that Ram would not get a 6000 rupe fine. That’s my Ram! Well I guess it’s easy to upset people at 2AM.

After a bumpy and long drive into Bangalore Ram finally dropped me of at the hotel at 04:00. I checked in and to my surprise I had gotten a bigger room then the one I had reserved. Later I have found out that Prasad of Blue Star had called the hotel, urging them to upgrade me. He’s simply too kind!


The wakeup called at 07:40, and I managed to drag myself down to breakfast. After a while Ram came by to pick me up, and we, by gods grace, made our way to the office.

At the office it was great to meet the gang again, we chatted about stuff for an hour or so before everyone got into coding stuff.
An interesting fact is that Durgesh and Jayesh always sync the big things in life, they buy cars at the same time, buy apartments at the same time, and will have babys at the same time.. Really strange, but it seems to work for them. Great!

Work for me have mostly been looking and thinking about Excel/Numbers sheets, talking to Ram and having meetings with Blue Star people.

Besides that I have had my first real encounter with website blockers today. Places like Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Craigmod.com and translate.google.com have all been blocked for me a couple of time today. Rams calls someone, they fix it for a couple of hours, the blocking comes back, Ram calls…. yeah you get the picture.
It’s really really bad, I really noticed how dependent one is one access to the Internet.

At 8PM me and Ram left the office, Ram was a bit pissed of due to massive traffic, but we made it. If they had bounty on auto rickshaw here in Bangalore, Ram would be first in line to sing up.

I had dinner at the hotel and wrote this.
I’m really impressed by how smooth this trips is going, not stuck in customs, no stuck in elevators.. no nothing..Hope it lasts.

The Bangalore Report II – Day 4 and 5

Filed Under (Projectplace) by Olle on 11-11-2009

Release day with a big R!
A lot of great work to be released.

The wakeup call did not wake me today, so I hade only 20min to get my shit together and have some breakfast before Ram would come by and pick me up. I managed to get a toast and two cups of coffee before it was time to join Ram on his tripp to the office.
Once at the office I noticed something, every time we come to the office the parking lot is empty, and the same when we go home! Ram, you need to go home earlier!
In the morning between 9AM to 2PM we hade three interviews with some potential developers(with great interest in creating cool web GUI:s) to join the team down here. We even managed to talk to the guy who was involved in the car accident on his way from Chennai to Bangalore for the interview last saturday, and we have chosen to meet two out of three again next week to get a better feel on who they are and what they love.

At 2PM we hade a great meeting regarding frontend coding and Technical Debt meetings. The outcome of the meeting is that we shall test the Mikado method by @ellnestam and @danielbrolund to start paying of some technical debt. We also hade a great discussion regarding how we can get better at validating the xHTML and Javascript code that we create. I’m certain this will turn out into something great!

After the meeting is was time for me and Ramesh to get some lunch, we thought we’d go to Melanies favorite veggie restaurant but unfortunatly it was closed.. So it had to be the Bayleaf, the resturant I hade promised not to eat at on this trip..Well we’ll see.
On the way to the restaurant I told Ram that I have promised my son to take a picture of a cow in the middle of the street. Ram then started talking, in swedish, about a queue on the way to the office today:
- “I saw this big queue before I picked you up at the hotel”, Ram said.
-”What! A queue”, I said, thinking a queue in Bangalore was not something to call home about.
- “Yes, it was really big. A male queue”, Ram says.

Ok, so the thing is that Ram swedish has really taken a nose dive to the worse these 1.5years he’s been back in Bangalore, I think it’s about time to send him on a swedish course.
Ram, cow is “ko” and “kö” is queue!

After lunch we started doing some final tests before the release tonight, and at 6:30PM it was time for the Release Information. It was really great that we could join, all of us really liked it. Adarsh and Appa fixed some sweet indian sweets, Mango juice and some really hot chips for the show.
When Lena started to talk about the new version of Projectplace Plugin something happend with Ram, he started screaming “Start of the year, that’s me.. that’s me”.. Well the development time has almost been a year so I guess it’s not more the fair, and luckily the microphone was muted.

After the meeting the gang started looking at different things, I heard talks about one of the SMART Q4 goals, some wave stuff and such. By the way, is there anyone out there using Safari Version 4.0.3 (6531.9) on Mac OSX 10.6.2 gettings a nice malicious software warning at http://www.topachievement.com/smart.html , it does not really go hand in hand with the name of the site!? Or possibly the question shall be, is there anyone out there reading this blog?

So time flies when you are having fun, all of a sudden 10:30PM and time for Release. It was really fun to see, 10-15minutes before the release it was dead calm, but the second the mail from Christopher came it all exploded! People were running around talking to each other, a par fixing one bug calling for help from another par, Ram talking to Christopher looking for logfiles etc etc.

So we were fixing bugs and testing until 2AM in the morning, we had a chat with Barry, Lena and Per and after that the gang down here went home. Me and Ram stayed behind for a couple of minutes… Now this is something we should not have done!
At 01:58 me and Ram stepped into the elevator, going from the fourth floor to the entrance level. All of a sudden the elevator stops and we are stuck.. Ram started laughing hysterically and saying things like “It’s all your fault! Why does all the bad things happens when you Olle are here?”etc etc.. After a minute or two Ram calms down a bit, but still really happy, and we start screaming to see if there is someone left in the building who can help us. Ram screams “I can’t breath”(this was due to his laughter), and then we hear someone calling on us to be calm and that they would fix it. And so they did, the elevator had got stuck so the elevator cart was halfway on the entrence floor, the guys outside managed to open the doors manually and we could crawl out and jump out of the elevator, felt like John Mcclane. I bet Ram is stil laughing about this, since the elevator does still not work today Wednesday at 11:11AM.

Day 5 Wednesday

The morning started with me checking out of the hotel. Prasad had promised to come by to get me since Ram had to leave his mother at the bus station at 07:30AM and I had refused to get up that early! Before I left the hotel, the hotel manager came down to me to ask how my stay have been. The only thing I complained about was the weather. And as Alanis Morissette would put it, And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think, that is has been raining for 4 day, and the hotel has a pool, and on the fifth and last day it’s sunshine and hot and I’m going home.. No pool for you the gods seem to say.

Talking about gods, an interesting fact is that Lord Krishna has 16008 wifes! It’s true, Jayesh told me, and Suprita told me that he’s not really married to all of them. The woman simply feels that they belong to him. Being a love god seams like a pleasant life.
The gods thing seems to be a big thing down here. When I asked Prasad in the car on the way to the office if he knew that Lord Krishna had 16008 wifes(he knew surprise, surprise ) he started telling me about the time when his body was taken over by a dead grandfather.
Apparently every year his family has a big ceremony for dead relatives in his home village, where they somehow try to get in contact with the dead ones. They fast for something like 7days and occasionally a dead relative takes over the body of the dead relatives favorite relative. They stand in a ring, have drums and fluets that eco through the night(this can be scary to kids Prasad says). The ones not been taken over by a dead relative, sometimes get really angry and starts to hit themselves with big knifes leading to big wounds in the front of their heads(also scary for kids). But luckily the one who has been taken over by the dead grandfather, in this case, can calm the angry ones down and eventually all chill down.
But still being under influence of the religious moment, some people can do crazy shit. Prasad has a cousin that always, after he has been hitting himself in the head with the big knife, wants to take a bath.. So one year he jumped down into the village well! So now it’s somewhat of a tradition that the family always brings out a big bowl of water for him to use instead before the ritual starts.
Another thing to handle for the family is that big parts of the males in the family have big bleeding holes in their for heads,  but they have a solution for this as well. In the temple they have a mixture of different things to put on the wound, and the main ingredient is cow shit.  Make one thing about all the “oil of oley” shit we buy.

Now it’s time for me and Ram to have a meeting with the Blue Star people, after  that probably fix some eventual bugs and then take a trip to the airport for the flight home.

As always it’s great to be down here in Bangalore and work with the great people of Projectplace, but it will sure be nice to come back home and meet the family!

The Bangalore Report II – Day 3

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 09-11-2009

So the third day is to it’s end, and I’m really starting to miss my family! And I can tell you, eating alone it not healthy. I even tried to contact an American who was sitting eating at the table next to me durring dinner.  I said to him “Oh my, that looks really good, what is it?”, his answer was: “Shrimps!”. Fine, I know when to back of.

Well, today started as most of the days here in Bangalore starts, Ram picked me up at the hotel at 08:00 and we drove down the crazy streets of Bangalore to the office. I really think Ram has taken my previous report to his heart, he used the breaks at least four times and the horn only like 15times on the way to office. This is true improvement.

At the office Ram got an hour or two with his friend GWT. Me, I also did something, I’m certain, but I can not really recall what it was.
At 11 we hade a great workshop on Initiatives(again) and SMART Goals, we hade some great discussion and I also finally understod how the heck I get the Presenter Screen on my Macbook and not on the projector. Why the heck have Apple decided that the default setting shall be Presenter Screen on the alternative display? Well, the meeting went really well and since I’m talking about the Bangalore team, talking about initiatives is just like pouring gazoline on an open fire. It’s great. We even managed to reach four Q4 SMART goals for the Bangalore Team.

After the meeting it was time for me and Jojo to take part in the Steering group meeting and the rest of the team went of for lunch. It’s kind of cool that it’s really easy to take part in a “committee that decides on the priorities or order of business of an organization and manages the general course of its operations”(according to Apple Dictionary) while being thousands of miles away for the office. The coolest thing is that it is possible to make funny faces durring the meeting without any one knowing(well, except Jojo that is). On my previous trips to Bangalore I know I have reported on the screaming Scrum Master in Stockholm(a behavior we are used to know), but today me and JoJo found out that the screaming Scrum Master also always spells out load everything she writes. In the normal case this is not a problem I guess, but when you participate in a meeting through Skype and the Online Meetings found in Projectplace, thinks become somewhat strange.. We heard everything that was being written before we could see it on the screen, and it was also somewhat hard to hear anyone else in Stockholm since notes was take constantly durring the meeting.. Great fun!

In the afternoon Jojo also booked some meetings with three different developers to strengthen our frontend knowledge here in Bangalore. The first meeting will start at 9AM and the last will end around 1:30PM, so we got our hands full tomorrow. I’m felling really positive about the meetings, it will be great. We will not have a normal formal interview, but instead first talk a bit with the developer, and after that we will hack together to get a better feel for the person, how he thinks about the code, how he explains his ideas and how he behaves in the par programming situation etc etc.. But we need to cut the guys a bit of slack, just imagine yourself coming to a intervju to code with me, Ram and Jojo.. I’d be scared shitless.. But we only want the best, so we will try it this time!

One of the biggest drawbacks with being in another timezone, and working with people in a different one, is that the people in the other timezone don’t understand that the other person is in another timezone.. You get what I mean? An example: At 20:39 The Rose calls me on iChat. First he softens me up with asking how things are and such before he goes in for the kill. The question is if I can have a look at some script, we don’t know which, that makes the css render a bit strange for Safari certain cases. Thanks a bunch dude.. But he promised me that he would shout bad words, mostly popular names of the male reproductive organs, loud and clear in the office if I fixed it. Unfortunately a lame VPN setting hindered me from helping The Rose, big failure, we will have a second go tomorrow!

After work Ram drove me back to the hotell, and this was the first time I really thought about what happend in Mumbai, the terror attack,  durring a previous visit in Bangalore. It sent shivers down my spine. Outside my hotel they look under every car with these big handheld mirrors before you can pass, they have metal detectors infront of the entrance and security that always goes through my bag looking for guns or such. It’s really scary when you think about it. My reaction was somewhat strange though, I asked the serious security guard going through my bad. “what is the most peculiar thing you have found”. The security guard did not answer.

Interesting fact nr 1: Today durring lunch Prasad of Blue Star gave me some wedding tips(even though he knows I’m married and all). Apparently down here in India it’s tradition that the woman get’s a lot of gold as wedding presents from friends and family, and the trick is to wed a woman from a specific religion(I wont’ say, since it’s my secret). According to well know facts the followers of this religion always get’s the most gold, Prasad even sent me pictures as proof, and I believe him! I can’t understand how they even have the power to stand up, it’s a massive amout.

Interesting fact nr 2: Ram is talking a lot about his cousins, so today in the car from the office, I had to ask him how many cousins he really has. “22″ he said. “What, 22..22!. Are you sure it’s 22?” I said. He said: “well it’s a lot at least. 17 lives in the states.”