Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Happy Ending....

Oh my, its been so long since I wrote the last post. Its been almost a complete week since I wrote the last post mentioning that I shall be in an "unwanted travel". This was among the most toughest programs that I have handled so far and there were just so many reasons for it as well. First of all, I was asked to do this program since there are just about 3 people who can handle this program at the moment! So yours truly was asked to take over and finish it. I knew from the starting of the discussions that there would be huge issues that would arise and unfortunately , I was right on the money! To make things worse, there were some personal issues also which did arise. But all said and done, I decided to do this program.

The starting itself of the program didn't go well. The whole set up installation had to happen using Linux but initially, it was our good old Windows which was installed and upon asking, delegates clearly mentioned their not-so-happy emotions about it. Well, it was too late to start the installation since we already did start so with an assurance that there would be an attempt to change Windows to Linux, we finally started. The delegates were very senior and experienced folks. In the initial one hour only, it was evident that the program is going to be a completely interactive session. Because there wasn't any setup or installation done, all what we did were discussions about various things covered in the chapters. Day got over but the tension over my head remained the same. I could clearly see that its going to be a tough ride this time and I got completely convinced when I asked the system adminstrator to give me Linux and got the answer that it can't happen just like that. A formal email needs to be sent and than only, anything would be changed. Bummer! Shoot me, I said to myself!

Day two did have a similar sort of environment. The setup wasn't done and the delegates were becoming more and more restless because it was a "no-action all talks" kind of thing happening and I completely agree, it becomes unbearable after some time! But even with my utmost desire that they would get the required installation done asap, my hands were tied as I couldn't do anything myself and had to rely over the system admins that they would finish it asap! Finally, on day three, we got the setup done of Linux on the machines and we thought, finally our worries are over! How so wrong we were because even there was a Linux running, it wasn't of any use to us as there were still 4 packages missing from the installation which did stop our installation process in the mid way. Once again, we were on the mercy of system admins as there was no direct internet connection given to us. It had already been three days and all what we did were talks about the chapters and discussed their contents. I could clearly feel the pain of the delegates but I was helpless as well. We took the first step by having the Linux over the system but the next step seems to be still miles away. Sigh!

Finally day four came and system admins gave us some happiness when they told they would give the remaining four packages. YIPPEE! We quickly installed them and tried to go the third step only to see that we can't proceed as there was another missing package. Well, I asked the delegates to install Oracle on whatever we had at the moment in our hands so that at least some action we could see. They agreed and started and I started doing the preparation of a virtual machine where I could set up all what was needed. I thought it would be a very easy task but later on, this simple looking task as well ended up in a complete mess. We needed some packages to be downloaded( yes they were the same packages which gave us a problem before) but our virtual machine was not going over the internet. Finally, when all else got failed including calling a Virtual Machine expert as well, I decided to do what all the admins prefer, and that was to starting all over from the scratch. Well, magically this worked and now we had a running machine with all what we need! The delegates by that time had finished the other tutorials. I was able to show them something was pending from the last four days. It was already very late so I decided to finish the entire thing the next day. It was a long day but at least, some action did happen. I was still so much upset but now a bit relieved was as well! PHEW!

Finally it's Friday today and also it was the last day for the training as well! Rest of the things were going on fine but the machine, over which the installation did happen yesterday, that machine didn't work today due to some hardware issue in it. So it means that I today also, can't do anything since there is no machine! We otherwise, did a lot of other demos which I hope, delegates did like and that did help them in understanding what was being told in the delivery. And in doing all this, it was now late evening when we finished.

I don't know anything about Oracle but still, I heard so many EXCELLENT comments from almost all the delegates. Thanks so much guys! They all said so many kind words about me and even more, one guy did get me a gift, a set of pens from Parker. I don't accept anything like this in general but that guy got it for me with so much of respect, I couldn't say no for too long and accepted it. One guy even took me to a near by McDonalds. He also mentioned so many things which I don't really think I am worthy to listen as I am very small and novice! But still, thanks so much guys for all the kind words, the gift and most importantly, a good memory! I didn't expect an happy ending to be there but I guess, it still did come and it was much more than I expected! I am at Sidhu's place. I was initially leaving today only but due to fog and being so tired, I (hopefully) would leave tomorrow! Its time now to go over the bed and catch some much deserved without-tension sleep!


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