I am currently doing a project where one of my tasks happens to be rather complicated and this is my first attempt at it. It falls under ‘rather complicated’ category as no engineer in the company has ever done it before but some IT genius at MIT might think it’s just a piece of a cake.
This task assigned to me involves integration of a few software and hardware component that are so alien to most of you; I might as well not mention their names here. Let’s just say these things are not taught in the technical training classrooms. All of the information are gathered from internet forums, white papers, technical blogs and published step-by-step references from the hardware vendor.
I managed to find a very good technical e-book as my main reference. The book was written by 9 IT experts from the States. So, I started my work following the recommendations from this book.
However, halfway through I was stuck with a configuration problem. The parameters were rejected by the system. I spent more than 2 days to troubleshoot but to no avail. None of my work colleagues could offer a hand because they’ve never done this thing before. So, I had to resort to posting the problem to internet IT forums. I also raised some concerns on whether the examples provided in the book were still valid because in my setup, I was using new software versions.
After 4 hours of posting, I received a response from an Indian IT specialist who didn’t offer any solution but inquired more info regarding the setup. So, I replied and then proceed to finish another task – system documentation, what else.
A few hours later, I received another response; the name was so familiar. I read his suggested solution over and over again because it was so good and it never crossed my mind. When I reached the final paragraph (which was not part of his solution) I realized that he’s one of the co-authors of the technical reference I was using. He turned out to be a really humble person; I’d never realize it was him hadn’t I noticed his last sentence:’ I co-wrote that chapter with Patrick and the example in the book explaining that rule is my daughter's name. ‘
Gosh, that was the coolest thing that ever happened to me in my entire IT career. Getting his response to my question was like getting Pak Samad Said explaining a chapter from one of his novels. Sometimes you thought you understood what you read from those novels, but you will realize how wrong you were after you learned from the idea churner himself.
For those who have read ‘The World Is Flat’, this might not come as a big surprise to you, but my work colleagues were impressed like crazy when I told them about it. Obviously, they haven’t read ‘The World Is Flat’ and they were so excited because they have been using the same technical reference book ever since 2005! I bet they had a zillion things to ask but never did.
Itulah, orang tua-tua kan dah selalu kata: ‘Kalau tak paham, tanya…!’