Thursday, December 16, 2010


Deployment day is today after several months of work. Finally we are a breath away from go live. It’s been a long project with almost 2 years of unceasing labor, confusion, big breaks, difficult challenges, redemption and resolution. But the way is not clear yet. Today will be the first remote test. But everything will be in place with everybody on call to respond. The ball is with Big Blue who has repeatedly delayed the deployment that caused us to stay the weekend in Nevada. It was a good idea to stay because the allotted 2 day stay was really not enough. But it was a hair rising ride with combination of a structured methodology, agile methods and the usual seat of the pants confusion. Nevertheless, it has reached this point which is a major step despite what happens today.

There are a lot of problems in the start-up and most folks are spinning the story wrongly. One’s perception is the key and despite the difficult journey one feels that definite progress has been achieved. My old boss is leading the charge despite moving to a new position a few months ago. He is still fully invested and there is no way he could leave it alone. He even admits that he caused the mess. Sometimes I feel that he is thrashing out wildly like an old boxer using the old moves to fight the enemy but the enemy has evolved with the rules of the game changing as well. So he is like an old fighter fighting a young challenger with new rules. Fortunately, he is not alone and everyone is pitching in to help move the project along.

It was an eventful trip with a great weekend of travels around the lake, to the nearby mountains and ski-resorts, playing billiards, exploring the casinos and great food in different restaurants. Reno is an old mining town with vestiges of the Wild West. The cities nearby evoke memories of romantic time: Carson City, Virginia City, Border Town, Lake Tahoe. These are cities heard or seen in the old Western television shows or movies with legendary actors like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood or Steve McQueen. It’s a thrill to be in the actual place where all those stories actually happen. There is a large bronze statue in the hotel lobby of a horse and rider in tribute to the Pony Express. The Pony Express is that ancient relic of delivering mail where one rider handed off the mail to another fresh rider until the destination is reached. The bronze plaque says that the record was achieved in delivering the news of the victory of Abraham Lincoln from East to the West states.

Its fitting that the pilot is done in this city of pioneers where individual labor and sacrifice is the key to success. We will find out at the end of the day if everything will turn out well. Last night after dinner we went to the center of town to the excellent hotel Silver Legacy. It’s an old hotel – the best I have seen so far with elaborate carpets and well lighted places with elegant slots machines and gambling tables. This is an old replica of a silver mining rig that looks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was designed by Eiffel himself for his friend, who was the richest silver miner in Nevada, The hotel was built in the site of the silver mine that made him rich. There was painting in the lobby of scenes from the Wild West – cowboys in horses, Main Street with dusty lanes. The huge silver rig in a dome that replicated the sky above gave the exact feeling of how it was like in those days.

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