Friday, December 29, 2006

Final day at client office

It’s my final day at the client office. I’m happy to go back to the loved ones but am going to miss the quality of work life.

I really enjoyed work during the last couple of months because I got to work again in the project I first started at Virtusa. It’s a code base I know pretty well and the changes I do to it now are mostly the ones that I wanted to do couple of years back. It gives a good feeling.

I love doing that so much, I arranged myself to work on the same project from Sri Lanka for three more months. It would probably slow down my career progression as I wouldn’t be playing a higher role – yet enjoying work for three months is worthy than that.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Pursuit of happiness

On last Friday, I went for another movie, “Pursuit of happiness”. One of the best movies I've ever watched.
Will Smith stars as Chris Gardner, a bright and talented man who was unable to continue his education after high-school because the lack of money.
He barely makes a living by selling bone scanning machines which are too expensive for its use. He loves his family and struggle to provide for them. His wife is stressed out by financial constraints and leaves him.
He gets thrown out of the house they live in because he’s unable to pay the rent. He manages to stay in a church some nights. When he fails to arrive at the church which offers shelter to the homeless by a first come first serve basis, he sleeps in a men’s room at a railway station with his son.
In the midst of all this he manages to impress a business man and enroll in to an internship program for stock brokers. The internship doesn’t have a salary so he continues to sell the last few of his bone scanning machines.
At the end, he was offered a job as a stock broker. In the movie he quotes we always pursuit happiness, but hardly ever achieve it. Even when we do, it’s only momentary.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things I would miss when I go back

  1. 8 hour work days
  2. Roads without three wheelers
  3. Free and nice lodging with no annoying landlords
  4. Hi-speed internet connectivity
  5. Realistic speed limits (which I still can’t adhere to - I do 50mph on 35mph roads - lucky still didn’t receive a speeding ticket.)
  6. Room service to clean my room, empty my trash and change my sheets and towels
  7. Polite people who mind their own business and doesn’t think giving the right of way is a favor
  8. Online shopping for just about any thing (on which I spent US$ 2500+ during this short period)
  9. Cheap gasoline (Yeah, it’s cheaper than Sri Lanka)
  10. Extra Cash
  11. Managers who understand work
  12. Comfortable temperatures
  13. Lesser polluted, lesser crowded environment (I’m not living or working in downtown)
  14. Efficient, responsible and polite government servants
  15. Systematic way that every thing is implemented

Preparing to come back

My onsite allocation is coming to an end and I’m preparing to come back. I bought lots of stuff from here and spent a lot of money.
What I forgot to mention previously in the blog is that I bought a laptop. Not much of a fancy one. From recent past I have shifted to a policy of buying what’s necessary than buying what I can afford.

So the laptop is a Dell Inspiron with Intel Celeron M 1.6GHz Processor, 15.4” WXGA Display, 128MB non shared video memory. 60GB Hard Disk Drive, 1GB Memory and DVD writer. I also bought some wi-fi gear to network with my home desktop, which is also a Celeron 2.53GHz running with just 512MB RAM.

I’ve pledge not to install any development software on the laptop. It’s going to be 100% personal home computer dedicated to entertainment, web browsing, reading etc. (Ok I have installed notepad2 and XMLNotepad, but not to do any coding.)

Those of you who have been reading my blog from the begging must have realized that I have transformed from a technology enthusiast to a average man who works on IT for a living. Perhaps it’s because of the type of work I get to do or just because I’m not competent. I don’t care the reason. I’m still comfortable with who I am and happy with what I still can do.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Mel Gibson is my favorite Hollywood actor, or rather he was. Last week a movie named Apocalypto was released in USA which was directed by Mel Gibson. Jack Mathews of New York Daily News had said,

“Mel Gibson is sicker than we thought.

As his new film "Apocalypto" makes clear, he's not just a drinker and a raving anti-Semite, but a man with a grotesque appetite for human suffering and an enormous talent for exploiting it.” (Read his review here)

But I believed too much in Gibson to believe it. So I went to see it today. This was the first time I went for a movie while in the states, so let me start with the good stuff.

AMC in the Alderwood mall is a complex of 16 theaters. They seem to screen the same movie in couple of theaters. The ticket was US$7.50, thrice the price of the most expensive theater in Sri Lanka, but was worth it. The seats were really comfortable and are placed so that even if an eight footer sat in front of you, your view would not even be slightly blocked. There is a nice cup holder in the seat so you wouldn’t be accidentally kicking the drinks. “Switch off your phones” message wasn’t a blurred text on the screen but and effective advertisement, where a director gives out the message, “My movies don’t disturb your calls, so don’ let your calls disturb my movie”. Every thing was nice until the movie started. And there were no breaks in between.

The first scene was a group men hunting down a wild boar. It was a brutal kill, but hey, they were hunters, so even though the scene was a bit disturbing I could handle it. (before proceeding, I can watch humans getting brutally killed in cold heart, but not animals), then the story revealed people butchering each other, cutting out the hearts from alive, chopping off heads, cold blooded throat cutting.... so much human butchering that the making men run and shooting arrows and spears at them was one of the most civilized scenes in the movie. I don’t know what Mel Gibson had in mind when he included scenes which humiliate a man for being impotent. I couldn’t stop the thought that the director enjoyed seeing people being tortured in such brutal manner. I was so happy when the movie was ended.

The story seems to say that great Mayan civilization is nothing but a bunch of butchers who enjoyed butchering each other alive. And the end was white men coming ashore with swords and crosses, as if to imply it’s the white man and their religion that brought true civilization to North America. Nothing against Christianity but why put Mayan civilization to such a disgraced status?

At the end, I couldn’t say any better than Jack Mathews. He knew better.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Yasas has started to blog

Yasas, one of the first ten engineers who started my current project with me has started to blog.
Yasas is an International award winner for excellent performances from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). He started his career as an Associate Software Engineer at Virtusa and moved on to Business Analysis track where he excelled during his two year stay at Virtusa. He worked with major clients both in the US and UK before he moved in to Australia few months back with his wife. He is renounced as a confident and talented young professional.
He is an expert author in many online IT magazines and have published a book on IT as well. His expertise is in the border between IT and business and he does a marvelously job in binding the two together for major companies.
Recently he got elected to the Executive Committee of ACS and is playing a major role in bringing it's focus more in to Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is Google too smart for its own good?

Google's famous for hiring the best and the brightest, but when they get bored, they're bound to create the son-of-Google, warns Fortune's Jeffrey O'Brien.
Read more

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sri Lankan anti-terror police to advise on Beijing Olympics

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Beijing Olympic organizers are seeking advice on security from Sri Lanka's anti-terrorist police commando unit.