"A team outing just before the certification?"
I couldn’t believe when Libin told me that. He was equally bewildered when the news hit him. Boy, how many times do you get IBM Rational to conduct free certification… and we seem to be taking it lightly. Moreover we just had an “All hands meet” of the Quality team… But we both knew that there’s no point raising such questions. We went for the team outing… it was awesome… just awesome… and we all knew that there was something much better left for the next day, 23rd August, 2007.
Early in the morning I set out for Senthil’s place… had a nice breakfast there... chatted with his mom and played with his kiddie… I have to mention, the tea, it was amazing… and I even observed that they had a special way of handing over the tea cup to you…
Our ride from his place to Hotel Leela was smooth… with a couple of halts due to the traffic jams at the cross roads. Senthil would have preferred me driving a bit slower, but then… who cares ;-)
The arrangement right from the main road was perfect. There were placards placed at the right places to guide us to the parking lot. RSDC was being held on the first floor and on reaching there I saw our entire team. Most of them had “tiredness” written in capital, bold and underlined on their faces. The team outing was to be blamed. Like me most of them had crash landed on their beds the last evening.
Senthil and I went for the registration counter after which we attended the opening speech. While we got ourselves registered we were given a sturdy backpack apart from the other stationary that usually come and the timetable; much better than the umbrella last year. We agreed that a cup of tea would do us good. The biscuits looked yum and so I kept my cup near the table and by the time I was back with the biscuits, my cup was gone. Senthil was laughing away to glory. This never happened in my office; I’ve got a habit of not holding my cup when I’m not drinking the tea. The biscuits were still yum!!!
The session was informative… I was glued to my RUP book. I had the certification to be cleared and the previous day didn’t see me with the book. The timetable came in handy to decide which sessions not to attend. Hehehehe… A couple of talks on Requirements management and Unified process were all that was there for me. Another snacks break was followed by landing in one of the comfortable arm chairs and focusing on the RUP book. Sitting there, one cannot deny the scenic beauty that lays there… a beautiful landscape done… with waterfalls, tracks and shrubs.
Lunch was yum!!! Dessert was yummier!!! I loved the main course too… especially the fish preparation… no Bong connection please. Post lunch some of our team members had already appeared and cleared the certification test. I kept studying… no one had appeared in RUP and so I had no one for feedback…. Senthil and I had planned of taking it together. Evening snacks was again followed by discussions on Rational tools and clarification from the support staff there. I stuck to my RUP book. I had found one vacant room where I studied, undisturbed on RUP.
After the session was called for the day, all left, except for me. I found myself a spacious armchair near the corner lamp and studied. The evening was wonderful in the hotel. I saw an Indian family being interviewed about life in some other part of the world…. There were people all around, some socializing, some making a few deals and a couple of kids deciding where to have their dinner with mom close behind. I was done by then and left for home.
Next day again Senthil and I revised the course material once more. We had a question bank to aid us; later Senthil complaint that the question bank had confused him more than clearing his doubt. Niharika helped me with the test pre-registration; saved me the effort of standing in the line. Once inside the test centre, I got myself registered and an hour later, certified. When the screen blinked with the words “Congratulations… you pass”, I was so so pleased. I came out all beaming… none of my group there, I went into the room just besides the test centre… and there was our team. Libin was the first to realize where I came from and asked “Bhai.. kya huya?”. I smiled and punched the air. It was all congo congo for me then… Amit sir, Kamalra, Shilpl, Shivanj, Deeptiu, Ashish and Jayatp. I was so damned relaxed then…
Along with our preparation for the certification and attending sessions, Asha, Nihar and I were collecting the coupons to be exchanged for the gifts that were kept in the retail counter. We did all sort of things… just to have the coupons. Of course our whole team joined us in the collection spree. Finally I came out with enough coupons to buy me a coffee cup…
Lunch was awesome, I savored the chocolate mousse and I found company in that… Nihar. I had about four of them… I loved it. Libin was a bit tensed and preferred missing the lunch… how foolish. We attended Libin’s session on “Distributed development using RAD”… he sounded confident… obviously; in spite of that Shivanj and I had a few leg pulling comments for him. He knew that we’d never be generous to him. Jayateerth had somehow flicked the coupons from me in the session… I had misplaced it, but he scared the hell out of me before handing them over. I was surprised on the crowd that had come to attend his session… it was the highest I’d seen in all the sessions. Moreover the doubts that were asked were addressed to the point with enough clarification. I say this because even I understood. Hehehehe… I always believed, Libin is the best teacher.
We were joined by Mukesh Rao later in the day… he was pleased that I cleared the certification. Being my ex boss in Tools Group, he had always suggested me to undergo some certification on Tools – “It’ll add value to your profile”. It did add.
Once all the sessions ended… we all gathered for the closing speech. We were told that the highest number of certifications was cleared in this RSDC. The Q&A session round was followed by lucky gifts distribution. Neither me, nor anyone I knew were lucky enough.
Before the closing session, I saw a banner of “Kamasutra Girls” performing live… hold on… its music that we’re talking about… though the name provokes otherwise. Leave apart the live show; I’d never heard the name. Anyways, they came, they sang and I left… they were still singing. But not before having a handful of roasted mumfali with a coke drink.
That’s all about the Rational Software Development Conference. All that I took home from the session was information about RUP, the certification and of course the backpack. This session, the certification rather, had marked a new beginning of a teaser that Shivanj and I unleashed on Libin and his team…. “We don’t talk to uncertified people.. huh”… boy.. so many times… this statement had saved our skin… and well.. it still does… hehehehehe…