Triumphs of a personal nature: Willingness to take calculated risks

Some time ago, I mentioned that I took up a counselling course. Tonight, we begin the study of ethics, and discussed about it, which reminded me something I did previously.

On two separate occasions for two different companies, I was contacted to provide different services.

The first occasion was to write a backup script for Solaris 8 to backup the filesystem to the tape device. Back then, for the work on Solaris 8 backup script, either I wasn't aware of VMware yet, or it wasn't available yet in Singapore. So, I setup a dual-boot configuration, so that Windows and Solaris 8 could boot from the same machine.

The second occasion was to install a printer driver for Solaris 9 for a unique printer model. Both these Solaris ran on SPARC machines.

The challenges inherent in these two jobs were the fact that I did not have a SPARC machine, no tape device and no printer of the same model.

By the time I was working on the printer driver issue, I was already exposed to virtual machines and knew I could simulate the issue. The risks were that I could end up looking like an idiot and behaving unprofessionally.

I knew Solaris x86 and SPARC are meant for different machine architectures. However, I decided to wing it. So despite having little experience in Solaris, I agreed to take up these 2 jobs, as my foundation in computer technology is very strong, and after confirming that it is indeed possible to do the work.  From experience, my customers knew that when I agreed to a job, its success is guaranteed. The customer was ecstatic when I agreed. What I did was to set up a virtual machine and downloaded Solaris x86, and installed it into the VM. I then practised for 2 weeks, covering all possible scenarios.

I then went onsite and performed the jobs successfully. The rewards of performing these services far outweighed the time and effort I spent.

On yet another separate occasion, I was asked to do a consulting gig where I would have to go to Malaysia in 2 days' time. I had the confidence that I could do it, but given that the time frame to prepare was pretty short, and I did not have sufficient time to prep myself, I declined the job.

Published Tue, 10 Nov 2009 @ 10:51 PM by chuacw
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