Classroom Fortress

I just read this amazing blog entry on “The Nine Kinds of Students” and thought it funny and strangely appropriate for mirroring real-life.

The Spy, of course, attempts to cheat their way through.

The redeeming weakness of the Spy is that students too stupid to pass the class are usually too stupid to cheat without getting caught.

Trademark statement: “Oh, I didn’t know that was considered cheating.”

Tiring Work

I have not been running for about four months, since I hurt my right heel late last year. I have since started running again last weekend. However, I am so lacking in stamina and energy that I got real exhausted after doing a two-day training at Cradle. Who knew that two days of talking was so damn tiring!

Therefore, I need to exercise more regularly from now on to improve my physical stamina. I need to ensure that I can at least handle working at a stretch with little rest nor relief in between, if I am to handle more and more work.

Yes, I am likely to be getting more and more work this year. Although I am juggling so many hats this year, I have been approached to juggle three more hats. If things go well, I’ll be juggling five hats by year-end.

Getting busy is a good thing if I can keep up with it.

I need to get crazy fit!

Office Plans

I bought more IKEA furniture a couple of weeks ago and moved an LCD-TV into my office. I got some GORM shelves for storage purposes and also some MELTORP tables for the work area. The LCD-TV is being placed in the meeting room in place of a LCD projector. After some consideration, it made more sense to use an LCD-TV that costs the same price as a projector and does not require as much maintenance. I tested it out and the screen size is clear enough for displaying slides that are visible from the back of the room. I will need to make another run to IKEA to get the last bits of furniture but things are falling into place, more or less.

Now, as for the hiring, the intern who was supposed to join me in March has just written to me today to turn me down. The intern gave some lame excuse on how KL is a little too far from Cyberjaya and that the work I am doing is not in-line with the intern’s final year project title. Well, it is entirely up to the intern where to do their internship and I said so myself. Thankfully, I have not bought a new PC for the intern, which I was planning to do right after CNY.

I have another intern who is supposed to join me in May. However, that is months away and I hope that this intern would not FFK me at the last minute. If this intern turns out to be useful, I will probably offer the intern a full-time job and convert that internship period to a probation period. Then, I will hopefully be able to get my first full-time staff.

At the same time, I am now training a student to do some programming work. The student seems quite promising but only time will tell if lack of domain expertise becomes a problem. If this student turns out okay, I will probably hire this student as a intern during summer breaks if this student is interested.

Hiring Engineers

Just to get the word out – Aeste is hiring!

So, if anyone who reads this blog knows any good electronics engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, etc – please let them know that I am hiring. I am looking to hire several full-time staff this year, depending on how much business I will be getting. My HR policy is real simple – hire good people, pay them well, and leave them alone.

Fresh graduates are encouraged to apply – as long as they possess the correct attitude.

Internship Woes

TLDR: Locals do not want to work for me, and I cannot hire foreigners who do. Sigh.

I’ve been trying to hire some interns to help out with work in my company. However, I have had problems – serious ones.

I get applications from several local universities. As a standard, I will get them to answer a list of 15 screener questions. I remind them that getting the answer right is not important as I only wish to understand how they think. In fact, most of the questions have no right answers at all. Unfortunately, most of the local university students do not even attempt the questions, finding them too difficult to answer. The ones who try to answer them are foreign students at local universities.

So, I have offered internship positions to almost everyone who actually attempts to answer the questions reasonably. Unfortunately, the locals whom I have offered, tend not to want to work for me once they find out that I am a small shop. The foreign students at local universities usually end up doing better and get offers from multi-nationals and so, I cannot compete.

As a result, I have difficulties hiring local students.

Then, out of the blue, I get applications for internships from foreign nationals at one of the world’s Top 30 universities. As usual, I send them to my screener and all of them impressed me with the depth of their answers. So, I was happy and looking forward to taking all of them in. Again, I mist reiterate that these are really good students from one of the top universities in the world – one even has two papers being published this coming year.

So, I contacted the Immigration Department and told to visit the local office for the forms and checklist. This is when disaster struck again. I was told by the officer that my company is too small and will not meet the requirements to hire foreigners as interns. I can understand the logic and rationale behind such a policy but it is a little disheartening to find out that the quality people who actually want to work for me, cannot.

So goes my hiring woes – the locals whom I want to take, do not want to work for a small company; and I do not qualify to hire foreigners from a top university who want to work for me. I’ll take this in my stride, as part of the growing process. I am now more determined than ever to build my company into a really large one so that I can happily hire the foreigners who want to work for me in the future.

PS: The locals do not seem to understand the adventure that is interning at a small company doing cutting edge work. It’s much better than arranging name cards or photocopying in a local multi-national.

New Chapter

I am so excited!

I have just turned the page on an old chapter of my life and am starting down the next chapter. I have just tendered my resignation at 5.25pm today. I am officially serving my notice and will be looking forward to moving onto the next exciting chapter of my life next.

There are several reasons that have guided me towards this place in life. In fact, a lot of odd pieces seem to have fallen into place over the last few months of my life, which resulted in me taking this leap of faith and to just bloody go where no man has gone before, so to speak.

I am absolutely buzzing now. I was smiling broadly while writing my resignation letter and signing it.

Yeay!

PS: Wish me luck, as I go onto the most adventurous part of my life.

Server Upgrade

Not sure if anyone has noticed this – might or might not be a good thing – but I have upgraded the server hosting this blog. Externally, nothing much has changed but underneath, things have changed quite a bit. I won’t go into the details but there has been some availability problems with the last server, which was choking under any slight load. It also costs less money!

So far, things seem fine and dandy. The migration was seamless.