Archives For International collaboration

Millions of people living here, but no highrise to disturb this hard working city

Monday evening Yonathan and I arrived in the City of Jaipur. We had just come from Mumbai, from a meeting with Ravan Boddu, CEO of a partner who wants to do sales with us in UK. Upon arriving we found Jaipur to be very tranquil and well organized. Kumar and Naren, the two directors of our Jaipur unit, were there to pick us up and drove us back to the apartment.

Back to basic
On our way back Kumar started to manage our expectations and warned us that the appartment might not be to our liking. But we insured him that we would agree quite easily after having staid at a very small double room at the Kamran Residency in Mumbai. The appartment turned out to be very spacious and had 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 living room and a kitchen. Kumar was kind of nervous showing us the 2 bathrooms, 1 toilet and the 4 beds that were ready.

Kumar was happy to see us again as we were happy to see him again

Just after we said that the appartment was really fine for the tenth time, Kumar announced us that there was no warm water, but that it would be there by tomorrow. So the next morning I could experience a cold wash, with water from the bucket. The last time I had an unwanted cold shower was in Lviv, Ukraine about 3 years ago. The breakfast was simple, the next day I was all fresh and ready for a hot day at work 🙂

Good results from the team
Of course Kumar was proud to show that he had grown to practically double the amount of people working at the office. The additional office space was painted with the same orange / blueish style to match Componence colors.

New office space was added to fit the 100% growth since March 2008

In the coming days we would find ourselves in different meetings that resulted some clear lessons learned that showed that we in the Netherlands would sometimes behave the same towards our Indian colleagues, like our clients do. And other talks would show that they had the same issue as ourselves; the developers who were not getting the right information on time from our Dutch team also showed the same behavior towards their internal QA team.

Another exiting meeting was the kickoff session for a new product, a caching layer that will allow portals to perform much faster than it is now. This time it was not just a technical talk, but the complete picture was discussed starting from the businesscase. This new product is really exciting, as it’s results can really improve the throughput of any Weblogic or Websphere portal with at least 10 times. That’s solution thinking! The team was really excited about this development, as the whole project will lie in their hands, from requirements to delivery. Of course we’ll help out, but it’s exciting to see if our Indian unit can do total job like this.

Naren and Abhay are discussing if it's possible to implement the page cache as a separate application

And as the week ended we were able to win back some time on a crucial project, I guess we could expect nothing less as most of the days were from 10:00 – 21:00. Yonathan was very pleased to see all the progress and Krishan seemed to be happy too.

Yonathan and Krishan seem to be satisfied after a week of hard work

Great vegetarian at Urban Bistro


Urban Bistro made sure that we were well served every time, trying out their complete menu by the end of the week

Since last March a small restaurant had settled in the Anchor mall at Jaipur, Urban Bistro. Upon first sight it looked like a small diner, with just a few simple fast food dishes. But after returning for the 3rd time it became apparent to us that the owner knew our unit quite well, we had custom menu’s made for us every time we got in. So after 5 days of vegetarian food we have tasted many delicious dishes from different regions of India. Indian cuisine has a strong vegetarian side and is quite satisfying in this climate. Personally I thought I would crave for at least 1 piece of meat during my stay, but none of such … The place was even so good that we went out to celebrate the birthday of Coen, the support coordinator who is working closely with our Indian unit 🙂

Urban Bistro serves food good enough for a birthday party

It’s Componence time!

Just a few reasons why working at Componence is so cool

And of course the week could not end without a presentation and a company diner. As 18:00 was approaching I could just see every one standing and waiting for Naren, Kumar, Yonathan and me to leave to office towards Hotel Hawa Mahal (wind palace). In March we also had the presentation here and for Yonathan it was a trip down memory lane as he was staying at this hotel last time. This time the group was bigger, no more U-shaped conference setup, but just straight rows to give enough space.

Almost 40 people were sitting in the conference room waiting for my presentation to start.

And this time I was acquainted with the surrounding and gave a presentation with some new slides about Componence, why we’re so cool, about Portletsuite 1.x and 2.x and some slides about why we need our Jaipur unit to increase their quality and individual capacity.

This time I was better prepared and the people are more familliar

And probably Yonathan and I performed a good job as this time more hands were shown and there were definitely some people standing up to give some discussion. That´s what we´re aiming for, more initiative! One of the persons that I´ve met during this trip showed me that this unit is really going in the right direction. Sudesh, our system administration, turned out to be a powerful personality who really wants to contribute to this world through his work.

A new shining personality within our Jaipur team, an system administrator with good potential

So talks and foods followed, giving me some chance to speak with more of young team members. It was definitely a big releaf to see that here India women do IT!

Last time I think we only had Megha, now we have 7 Componence ladies in Jaipur

Ok … that’s all for now, time to go to bed (it’s already 02:23). Tomorrow we’ll hit the road to New Delhi, as Mumbai would not allow our relatives to be at ease. Anyhow, terrorism is a part of life in India and it can happen anywhere. Hopefully just not tomorrow in New Delhi 🙂

My personal vision to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden on Will they listen to my outcry for a better balanced American Dream?

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The Netherlands is ranked 8th in the Global Competitiveness Report. But at the same time the Dutch seem to complain more and care less about their collective well begin. Is this true? Is it necessary? Do they feel the urgency of action? Are there enough Dutch people who are strong enough to really take action instead of just complaining? I trust that there is enough spirit amongst this reasonable folk, they just have to find their drive …

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Will it come to a new (cold) war between the West and Russia? Or are we all used to prosperity enough to really do our best to prevent a new war.

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Eelco is the co-author of Wicket in Action

About 3 months ago Stefan Schrader and Kristofer Eriksson, friends of mine from Germany, were helping me out at Componence to find new technologies for our new product developments. When it came to front end technology they told my team and me for the first time about Wicket, a cool components oriented web development framework where HTML is mapped to components and every component has a model that represents an object.

It’s simplicity allows developers to no longer hassle with HTML and allows designers to work with practically no conflicts with developers. And compared with framework like JSF, you no longer need to have lots of XML configuration files. And purely the fact that it’s a component oriented framework makes it match so well to the philosophy of Componence. After hearing about Wicket my enthusiasm has only grown since, as Componence and I have the chance to work with a lot of very smart and nice people. I have no regrets of pushing my developers into this direction.

Lots of Dutch developers in Wicket
As I started to learn more about Wicket it was Eelco Hillenius who started to help me out with questions and helped me to make the choice for Wicket. I contacted Eelco directly through LinkedIn after seeing his name on dozens of comments on various blogs about web development frameworks. It was maybe a coincidence that Eelco, one core developers of WIcket and development group, was Dutch and had found a new start in Seattle through his involvement in Wicket. He’s also the author of the Wicket book ‘Wicket in Action‘, together with Martijn Dashorst. Martijn is the leader of the Wicket development group and still lives in Holland. I have also had the chance to speak with Martijn and it’s good to see that there are still pure and enthusiastic developers around in Holland, even if they might be expected to become a manager or something like that. Probably there are a lot more cool Dutch Wicket developers, I’ll try to meet more of them when there is a Wicket gathering again in Holland.

Impressive minds in the US
Since Eelco was living in Seattle it was by chance that he was a friend of Jonathan Locke, the founder of Wicket. And by chance Jonathan was introduced to by just weeks after I had made the decision to go forward with Wicket for our new Vanadium product line at Componence. And chance provided me the opportunity to interest Jonathan into working with us in Holland, as he was quitting his job at the time. And from then on I guess it was luck that Jonathan was interested in our idea to link Wicket ot Portal technology. A deal was made quite fast and easy to work together in Holland.

So Jonathan came to Holland last June and I’ve had some nice talks with him about all kinds of matters in life, also a lot about his worries about the way US is running their finances and how a vacuum tunnel could really generate ‘high speed trains’. With an IQ well above 130 Jonathan has been able to put matters in great abstraction, probably how he founded Wicket. And during the discussions of the issues related to the Wicket and JSR-286 bridge (portlets 2.0), it was Jonathan came up with the ‘Gizmo layer’ concept for Vanadium. Yes, I really enjoyed working with Jonathan, as beside beside being smart he also introduced me to Miko Matsumura. After a 5 hours drive to Frankfurt it was definitely worth to have Miko challenge some ideas that we have at Componence.

And now two months later Jonathan has also put me in contact with Tim Budreau, the NetBeans specialist. And again I’m lucky enough that Tim is interested in our project and will be working with Jonathan further in Seattle to make the Gizmo layer more concrete. Currently I’m very excited to see their results, as the conceptual documentation should be ready in about 2 weeks.

Is it easy to get experts on board?
So it all started with a new interest and from there on the tools we now have today on the internet just bring us together. I think easy because we talk about bringing developers together as their interests usually is in new technology concepts. I think at Componence we have cool ideas for our software developments, making it more easy for us to have great technical minds to work together with us. And of course the luck factor always needs to be around the corner …

I believe in the statement in Covey’s book of 7 habits: “Treat your people like you want them to treat your best clients”. This way you can get any person of any culture to understand how you want them to treat your clients. This blog tells how I see the Dutch, American and Ukrainian culture make their people treat their clients in a certain way.

I hope the blog will help managers to deal better with issues related to offshoring units in the Ukraine. At the same time I hope that Dutch politicians will see my worries for the Dutch society. Btw, the blog is long, sorry for that.

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Imho professionals should fist learn how to use Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 to make more money in the short term, as this is more tangible and can create more sense of urgency. Only then it will become more easy to use Enterprise 2.0 for internal purposes, that will eventually need more patience as organizations are just usually slow to adopt and support new initiatives.

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IT manager; let developers and architects from all over the world help you …

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Willing people of different cultures, who want to have success together, can be more open towards each other as the lack of similar background brings up the necessity of communication. Working and living in multi cultural environments can really boost up social and communication skills.

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So Enterprise, if the man or women who is leading your Enterprise 2.0 strategy doesn’t blog, only uses LinkedIn for their profile and network and doesn’t have a profile on Facebook (or any local community), then it’s time to reconsider the position 😉

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