Archive for August 2011

Motivation   1 comment

“Motivation is a driving force by which human beings achieve their goals” Wikipedia. I think this is the way people start writing about something. These days you find lots of quotes and definitions from Wikipedia. I am not going to write about wikipedia though. I was listening to ‘This developer’s life‘ podcast yesterday, specifically the episode about motivation. They interviewed two people, one developer and one database administrator on what motivates them to go to work. Take a look at the picture (Photo: © MkeT) and imagine what motivates the farmers….. What comes to your mind first, money, pride, love of the profession, the people he feeds …. Honestly, when this picture was taken I was in a car feeling asleep, that is what I would have done if I was not traveling; but I would open my laptop and do something.

Before I started programming, I have tried to look at networking and then system administration (specially sun systems). I didn’t get the drive to get through it and become either a network engineer or a system administrator. If you are in one of these, you have your own reasons so you tell us what drive you to it, but for me at that time I had to drop that choice. I loved the theory about the networking and the technology and then when it comes to configuring the devices, I had to learn lots of commands. Same thing happened in the sun solaris administrators path. For few days I thought about the amount of creative work I could do with the commands and the effort. My logic that time was, there is a programmer behind both of this who’s telling the network and system guys what to tell the device to do a certain job; why not I become that guy behind, who’s telling people what to do to get what they want.

I started developing on what I took in class on programming. I loved it for real and the motivation was internal. I’m not writing this post to tell you how I got into programming, but what drives a programmer to do his job and if you like to comment to give you the chance to comment on what drives/ motivates you on your job. In the podcast I told you earlier, the developer used to work in a company where there he was the top guy. He was considered the ‘go-to’ guy for any challenge in the company. Currently, he works for Microsoft where there are lots of genius minds. For a moment I it made me think about my earlier years in Cybersoft, where I worked for four years. When I joined the company, there were lots of good programmers that I could learn from. In those days, what motivates me to go to work early in the morning, to stay late in the night was the passion of becoming one of them and learning to grow to their level. There is one thing clear, if you grow technically, you will have the chance to work in big projects and the return in finance is also satisfactory; however, there is something more to that, the people you work with. If the people you work with are also motivated, positive toward the thing you work, that is a great input. Managers, I think you have that kind of responsibility to make the work environment motivating.

Sometimes the things that motivate now might not be a reason for motivation sometime in the future. I think internal motivation and purpose of life is what remains in us for a longer period of time, even if it seems it vanished due to temporary ups and downs of life. What ever your profession is please tell us what motivates you to go to work, considering you don’t have time constraint at work, if you stay late in the night, what is it that keeps you in the office?

In contrary to the positive motivation there is a negative motivation. You might have faced it in different scenarios. If you are not lucky enough to work with all positive people around you, sure you get one motivated to do something negative. There are people who are motivated to get to office in the morning to make your life a misery. Have you faced one? I think this kind of people are one of the ruminants of the older generation, forgive my words if they are offensive.

Whatever motivates you, please let others know, that would be letting sunshine in to ones life, motivating them to get to their goals.


Posted August 26, 2011 by Behailu S. in Uncategorized

Applied technology   1 comment

I was on a trip for about ten days. We started on August 8, 2011 and it covered about 2000Km through the Amahra region. I hope this also tells why I didn’t have a post for the past weeks. There are two of my colleagues traveling with me. One is working on the VPN that we are changing to new technology and the other works on the social aspect of the work. On our last mission to Dessie, which is 400 km away from Addis Ababa, we faced a broken bridge that links Dessie with Woldia which is 520 Km away from Addis.

After few hours of working on a detour the roads authority of the region let some cars to pass from Dessie to Woldia for trial purposes, the opposite way was not open. When we get the chance to try out the way out, our driver was not able to make all the four wheels work and get us out of that river. He was confused if it is L2, L4, H2 or H4 (gears in 4 wheel drives) that works for that scenario. Here comes the application of technology to the rescue, we had to take out our CDMA’s and get connected to the internet to check on how to handle the gears to pass through. We were like the masters when we tell the driver, though he has been driving for the past tens of years. Finally we made it to Dessie to continue our work according to the plan.

The other guy posted about the broken bridge on Facebook and a friend of his commented on it about a detour through Chifra to Mille then to Kombolcha, which takes us to Dessie. With what the technology giants, Google and Facebook, did we were able to apply the technology in the time we need it.

I have heard lots of people complaining about Facebook and other social media. In some offices it is prohibited to use social media and email during office hours. I am not blaming the system administrators for this. It takes lots of bandwidth and kills the productivity of the employee. We all know what the majority of our people use the social medias for. This post is not about supporting or opposing the policy in offices about social media. I am just opening the discussion looking at different perspectives.

I was once listening to This Developers Life, a podcast about developers and their lives. One of the episodes of the podcast was about the revolution in Egypt and the developers there, what they were doing and so on. Their effort was all to get the people connected to the social media to let the world and people in other parts of the country about the revolution. It tells something about how an important role social media is playing in communicating with friends and people around us. We have heard a lot about the revolutions that took place in North Africa and most Arab countries and the engine behind was the social medias. In a country like ours, social medias are opening the eyes of most people to use internet.

Google plus is the new entrant to the social network group. It is growing in a faster rate that no social media has ever seen. The guys there are talking about a social working platform that is going to be part of Google plus. You will have your colleagues in one circle and you can exchange documents and discuss on issues or have a video conference in the hangout section and so on. It sure also have the fun parts of sharing status updates and photos.

I think there should be some thing like ‘Drink Responsibly’ kind of logo in the social medias too, ‘Use it Responsibly’ . I feel any technology has its advantages and disadvantages. It is about us to get the best out of it and apply it in the right time and place. Please feel free to share your thoughts on how social medias should be used.


Posted August 19, 2011 by Behailu S. in Uncategorized