Awesome April

Hello there!

Going back to my theme of getting out of my comfort zone, the start of the second quarter has been a challenging and exciting ride!

On the first week of April, my colleagues and I celebrated DC’s birthday with the special surprise being a Make-Your-Own-Takoyaki. Basically, we were given the chance to make our own takoyaki ( octopus balls ) at this Japanese restaurant we went. I experimented with a cat-themed cake from Wondermilk, since she likes cats and EL says it smells good. Unfortunately, it was too oily for me and the icing was too sweet. Never mind, at least some of them enjoyed the cake! ^^ It is also around this time that the Danang team came over and I get to talk to my Scrum Master Master again. We discussed about what we are gonna do and what I will be doing. Oh yes, oh no.

Second week was a mixed of emotions! It is the Agile training for Danang team and I was given a chance to practice explaining. As expected, I got tongue-tied. No matter how good my English is, I tend to falter when it comes to delivering technical stuff. Thankfully, I don’t think most of them understood me anyway ( because their English is not very good ) but the one who did was very supportive and communicated his support via thumbs up, with both thumbs! It felt pretty scary and cool at the same time. One, I know what is going on. I mean, I know the stuff so it is like no worries, I can answer any questions directed at me. But, when I had to teach, suddenly I don’t know anything. And my master than took over and began drawing diagrams and showing how they connect. It feels really awesome to be able to try and then watch the master in action. He says it took him four years, so he understands.  Oh well, and he has to translate to Vietnamese to the team too. So, when he does that, I will try to visualize what he could possibly be explaining. 🙂

Thanks to Yen, I got to watch Fast & Furious 8 for free 2 days before it is released. I was kinda upset before that due to some situational conflict but I got over it, slightly later. All is well and I enjoyed the movie with the others. I find the movie funnier this round, with additional humor from Jason Statham’s role. xD Next event is well, visiting the vet for special pets. One of my friends wanted to get her hedgehog checked so I ended up going along and met a few other exotic pets as well, such as a sugar glider and an iguana. The vet was rather cheeky and jokingly accuse me of disliking his career choice when I innocently asked why did he chose this profession. Walao. *grins* And the very next morning, I travelled back to my hometown for my high school mate’s wedding.It felt slightly awkward because I haven’t been really keeping in touch with her as much as I wanted to. I don’t know, I was too shy or too afraid of don’t know what. Anyway, she’s pretty significant in my secondary school life and I am glad I get to be there. I also managed to catch up with some other secondary school mates and met up with their significant other. What really strikes me is how normal or older he looks. < don’t think she or he is gonna read this but no offence if you happen to read this one day> Surprisingly, I got a little cultural shock. Well, my office mates are mostly younger guys and everyone looks super young so it has been a while since I meet guys who look like my age or older.

Come third week, the adrenaline rush just hit its peak! The Bandung team arrived on Monday and without wasting time, the party started! JC ( their team leader ) wanted to give them a sense of ownership of the project that they ( Bandung and Danang ) will be involved in so it felt like a mini boot camp initially. We have a keynote speech by JC himself with a few words from the CTO as well, introducing the project background, vision and mission. Why is my adrenaline pumping? Because I have to explain about the Product Box. Really, it was simple but as usual, I get tongue-tied. I know what it is but I can’t explain it. My mind was in a frenzy as I try to prepare a draft and piece together what I think is simple and clear for them to understand. Luckily, I found a video which can kinda demonstrate what I needed them to do and JC helped to chip in too. It felt like a school project after that. After working on the Product Vision and Elevator Pitch, the guys started working on the Product Box and we are all amazed by their creativity. Sadly, I could not attend their Hackathon presentation tomorrow because…. I will be attending AWS Summit!

Yes, the next exciting event is attending the AWS Summit. Last year, I went to AWSome Day and this event is bigger. It had 3 tracks, 3 keynote speeches and well, more fun! As this event is attended by more guys, it was a refreshing change to see the ladies being rather empty whereas there is always an influx of guys walking in and out of the restroom. The dessert was also so good that I forgot about the other not-so-good food. Hehe. They had this ‘passport’ booklet where we had to go to the sponsor booths and collect stamps in order to retrieve a random gift. It was pretty fun and Github has such cute stickers! I got myself an Amazon Mug. LOL. Okay back to the actual stuff – it was pretty helpful? Although I may not get most of it, but my brain was wide open. My mind began to be filed with random ideas on how I can improve stuff ( related to my company’s work ) and I relaxed a lot. It feels more like a high school camp. Some of the talks are boring but some are well, interesting. They shall float around my head and hopefully formulate something useful, some day! The people that went with me are also pretty cool and that made my day.  🙂 Oh and then the next day, back to work!

Facilitating a team comprising of people from 2 different countries, with 2 different languages is well, not something you get to do any random day.  In a way, I am glad I got this opportunity and I really wish I can be of help! Maybe I was, but I did my best^^
Did I also mention that my place has puppies? Some neighborhood kids found these stray puppies and somehow they all ended up at my place as its temporary shelter. It is amazing how the neighbors come together to care for the puppy. They would feed the puppy, play with it and clean up the place. Initially, I kept my distance but after a while, you know, I had to say hi. I started talking a little to them and then slowly pat them. I got a little scared when they are busy moving around my toes, it felt like their tiny claws or teeth are all over my legs. But the best of all, I got to interact more with my housemate and neighbors. More new friends! Slowly, they got adopted and now there are only 2 left. It feels pretty nice when you get back and they wagged their cute little puppy tails at you. I take it as a sign that they are happy to see me and I talked more with them. Maybe this is why people get pets. Why can’t normal people have tails that automatically wag when they are happy to see you? Haha okay maybe that’s a little too much of a giveaway if you see someone you really, really like 😀

Final week and the rollercoaster ride escalates for the highest lift before it comes crashing down! When I am busy running around for meetings and doing stuff, I am hyped. I got a taste of being an actual teacher when I had to prepare Agile exam questions. Who knew crafting questions can be so hard? And then, there is also the wave that comes after the meetings end. When I finally had a chance to breathe and rest, I felt restless. Like, I am too free. Actually, I have stuff to do and I need to do it but I am scared. Most of my new Scrum Master duties have been a push outside of my comfort zone and I usually take it willingly but the next steps are well, a little more further from my comfort zone. At times, I just feel sluggish and would like to hide behind someone else. But I know I must go forward or risk losing it all. Oh, I also got a chance to write a short essay about Agile and how it benefits the IT team. It was challenging alright as I usually take a long time composing essays. I once spent 1.5 hours just planning on the direction of my essay ( way back in English Composition I in university ). So what happen was I started off my essay strong but the body is kinda weak and the ending sounds a little too cheesy. Oh well, I did my best within the short notice and limited time. Makes me feel like I should have practice writing more. Who knew a day like this would come?

And of course, there is the farewell for our last intern. He is the youngest and also one of the coolest. We went out with the team for a farewell dinner and we all had a lot of fun. It really felt more like college than actual work life. Like, just yesterday, some of us had fun with a baggage weighing tool.  Something as simple as that can make us all so entertained and engaged. Not to mention, all the cute soft toys that have been going around. So, a few people got SW 3 identical soft toy penguins for her birthday in 3 different colors. The guys took a liking to it and has been taking turns hugging it or just playing with it. It just make them all look more innocent and vulnerable. Honestly, where else can you get a second chance of high school / college life? To me, it is like a reverse. In my first high school, I was with all girls. Now, there are much more guys. And of course, a little drama too ( thankfully I am out of all of them ).

Tomorrow, well technically today since it is already past midnight, I will be having my first round of appraisal as Scrum Master with the manager to evaluate my performance so far. Wish me luck!

Bonus feature! How do you navigate adulthood’s complexities? If I was just a young kid, like maybe 6 or 7, I would be perfectly okay. There will be no further questions or confusion and I can probably talk to any adult who will definitely encourage or cheer me on. However, being adults are a little tricky. I have to be careful of what I say and what I do, especially with regards to the opposite gender. A bit too much and you can cause awkwardness or harassment. A little too much and you may cause misunderstandings. Even I myself get confused. Sometimes, I feel like I am playing tug of war. I hold back if I feel like I am going forward too much or I will just go with the flow when I feel it is safe.

Maybe most of all, I just feel like telling a friend that you evoke the same feeling I had with my once best friend. A different person, regardless, with different interests and flaws but I think we clicked, and that’s what makes me open up to you.

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