2013-11-16

Reacquiring Study Forms

After work at my day job, I find that my subconscious is still too active from being on-guard against social aggression - too active to focus fully on the study of computer programming. More efforts must be put on allowing the subconscious to switch contexts - I suppose this is a subset of what some people refer to as meditation. I just think of it as studying the subconscious, by studying the changes in conscious data fields, and assuming that inputs are either from immediate sensation, or from the subconscious (or non-conscious) information systems of the mind.

Some cannot stand loneliness. For others, loneliness is a way of life - it helps us get things done with fewer distractions. Do good work. Walk carefully, and die alone. If one pays attention, it is easy to overachieve.

2013-11-14

Exit Facebook...

Co-incidences can be relieving.

I was just shutting down Instagram access to reduce distractions today, when my boss informed me that one of my responses on the company Facebook page, to a message from a private individual, was deemed unnecessarily patronising. I was asked to contain myself, and I did by removing my administrative privileges. So having no further occupational use for Facebook at the moment, I am taking the opportunity to stop logging in for the time being. I will retain access on the mobile messaging app, just in case there are direct messages.

Back to Twitter, for now!
Following which a chat on the company channel at 0200 keeps me up till 0330 doing documentation. Whatever needed to be done by the business owner was done, basically a public yelling down, and a public stonewalling on my part. Ah well, it is good that I am accustomed to this pattern of communication... having been brought up in such an environment.

Stonewalling is very important when avoiding antagonism/offense/tearing-into of the counterparty, while preserving your position on a field.

0441 hours, and I am up studying. Feedly. News. Reading up on Android tablets, and trying to figure out what phone/tablet/development-platform I can move to next. Learning Java/Scala may be inevitable.

0453 hours, having some comfort form readings in months-ignored genres, discipline is enforced, and I return to bed. Much work remains to be done, and all I can manage for now is to try and ignore the noise of local problems. Surely, I can do better than this lackadaisical attitude, soon enough. But it is only 15 days since the last project, and I sluggishly feel that it is a holiday. Now to convince myself, that I am mistaken...

Rant: New Media Agencies Should Own Developers

The next day: of course, there is demand for the case of outsourcing.
...this is a bunch of related reactionary thoughts, in a minimally structured fashion, which I'm noting down before I rush off for work.

'communications-service-provider': CSP
'technology-service-providers': TSP

If a CSP views itself as being content-focused, rather than media-development-focused, then sales teams need to communicate clearly with customers as to whose head is on the line if the medium goes down (website offline; other tech bugs; etc.). All is well as long as the customer understands that the risk of new media is the risk of having to manage/development new content (creative campaigns/CS communications/ etc.) on media that are young, changing extremely fast, and high-risk. Unfortunately, end customers of creative campaigns are often software illiterate, and if they have the misfortune of meeting CSPs who pitch new-media solutions without underscoring the technological risk involved in doing so... then the customers are ultimately screwed.

If a CSP-TSP puts its ass on the contract, to handle up-time of media, and if it fails to do so in the following ways (there may be other ways), then the agency deserves to be slaughtered.

INSOURCING:

It's the CSP-TSP's responsibility to build and maintain a development team that survives "bus error" - or "the errors that occur when X staff are hit by a bus" ('bus numbers' being the number of staff that the team can lose before it starts to lose its capability to deliver on mandates).

As for the role of the HR department, agencies that are trying to develop new media, upon which to develop content, can't simply delegate hiring to HR, unless HR knows how to test the competency of potential recruits in terms of their artisanal capabilities as software developers. So the ideal hire for the in-sourcing of a robust technology team is language/platform agnostic CTO: who knows how to hire other developers, who can manually involve herself in troubleshooting unknown systems (the term "alien systems" might communicate more to the average reader), who has the capability to manage and buffer financial, time, and human resources for the development team, and who also can communicate well with the downstream creatives and account managers.

OUTSOURCING:

Otherwise, a separate TSP is engaged. CSPs typically have technology headcount to maintain outsourcing relationships with (a) in the best case scenario, a long-term relationship with a mature TSP that is able to guarantee continuous availability of platforms upon which the CSP is deploying content, (b) in the worst case scenario, a myriad of ad hoc relationships with tool-specific freelances, which is the management of band-aids, really, and (c) something in between (a) and (b).

But it seems that CSP like to cut corners and try to outsource technology work to TSP without hedging contract (read: encashable) guarantees from the TSPs about penalties for failing to guarantee a particular metric of stability in the media that the TSPs are supposed to build and maintain.

Example: CSP trusts the TSP and officially the job has been handed over to "a trusted partner" without any documentation that elucidates the audit of that "trust". What is the TSP's bus number for the current solution? What processes does the TSP have to deal with bus errors? Etc.

2013-11-13

Love? Omg, Wtf, and Haha...

Not sure which is funnier:

1. ETP paid someone to write this (and I'm in it).

2. I got my ex-client mentioned, as part of anti-marketing efforts. Also wrote a piece for a lit magazine which may or may not get published, since it was deferred, and I told the editor not to bother.

3. It's a completely off-brand depiction of me - I don't love jobs - I love getting jobs done. :p So that I can get paid.
Love? Unlikely. I work as a bartender for the physical exercise. It’s a tactical optimisation, since my hobbies are rather deskbound.
And don't for a second think that I'm in love with my hobbies - they just my hobbies because they're deemed the hardest problems I can get my hands on at the moment...

2013-11-12

Blah

Deep exhalation.

Two new business meetings and some social stuff over the next coupla days.

Outstanding response to request for proposal from a philanthropic F&B financier who wants to help people who want to change their lives by owning a business - the mismatch I feel, is that I will never lose sleep over not-owning a business.

Software development studies all up in the air - latest work on esoteric language study, implementing some very basic web infrastructural tools just kinda sitting on a shelf since May.

Math & stats studies all down in the doldrums - having strategically focused first on the software toolkit for the past few years (see above).

Social life virtually non-existent outside of work, cybersports, and one not-for-profit project for the past coupla years (this is somewhat intentional).

Deep exhalation. Sometimes it feels like I deserve all the negative criticism that I put up with.

:P

TO BED.

Two days later.

Long day, but three meetings with good contrast. First was to open up a new business development channel for general consulting work. Second was to visit a friend in the industry, and to sample his wares. Third was a social meeting over Ender's Game.

Then the long drive home. If I didn't have a day job, I'd be staying up to write code, but given that I need to get used to leaving home by 7am, I'm just going to do some reading, then go to bed.
Reducing social distractions which were required to keep me from quitting the last project. Since I've already quit the last project. :)

2013-11-11

Noob Guide to Ordering Espresso-based Drinks

[...] espresso coffee goes out of whack really easily, and the process of getting it back into whack is called "calibration". On the other hand, it can cost RM2-40 and 2-20 minutes to execute a recalibration, so if you're going to demand that the barista at your fav[ourite] espresso shop does that... you'd better have a good reason to do so.

Please do specify what's wrong with the drink: "is it too sour or bitter?" is probably a good place to start. If the house doesn't agree with your taste, at least they can try to pull you a shot that you'd prefer - if they're that sort of house.

You can go study common vocab for third-wave coffee flavours at your next er... break... or something. Haha.

Geeking Out

Until I fall asleep: financial modelling for a restaurant/retail operation.

I don't need the money, but if I get the investor's mandate, with proper performance targets, we are GAMEON, baby...
Figuring out what it'll cost me if I hire everyone in the executive office on an hourly basis:

- marketing executives (product & positioning : choices & communications)
- spreadsheet analysts
- logistics executives
- janitors

I don't think we actually need anything else on a regular basis except for the FTE ops crew, and outsourced SMEs like plumbers.