Resilience – 10 Days

Day1- Growth Mindset:

Acknowledgement source by : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL1m5nM6JnU

Find someone who is in a situation where they doubt being successful. Now you write a letter to them telling how you know they can be successful and give them conviction with an evidence you have seen in them in their past.

Letter to Ashok anna:

Dear Ashok Anna,

I know you have lot of financial troubles now with no family member supporting you. I have seen you in the past working hard to get up 5:30 am in the morning and making idly in Bangalore’s small hotel nearby our Basavaraj home. Doing odd jobs in Big Bazaar, trying to making a living in Bangalore. Although you have failed in them, but you have accepted your capabilities and moved to BDVT to develop our father’s Lands. I see that having spent so many years trying to understand how our land’s arcanut trees turn in yellow can be made green, when land trenches are made distributing water moisture content in land helping the trees being avoided to turn into yellow. Hence with experience you have learnt, taking advice from farmer community and friends in Masarahalli how this problem can be solved. Today due to this the farm land is giving better yields.

Therefore, I am sure the financial situation you are in now will also pass and you will gain new perspectives to become a better farmer. I would suggest to walk everyday for about 45 mins and doing Kapala Bhatti, AnulomVilom , Bhastrika pranayam each from 2mins to 5 mins gradually increasing the time for each practice. This will not only reduce the anxiety you are having at the moment but it will give you more awareness of the situation and new perspectives to overcome them.

Your loving brother,

Harsha

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP YOURSELF NOW WRITING A LETTER TO OVERCOME YOUR PROBLEMS and say good things TO YOURSELF. One cannot build resilience by running away from problems but by facing them and overcome them with acceptance and telling yourself, what you can do about them in the future by learning what went wrong and why so? You cannot change the past but you can certainly change the future.

Day 2 – Reflection

Acknowledgement source by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZFkHXqkgtM [Gemma Leigh Roberts – Psychologist]

When one is faced with a big challenge like a difficult situation, how do you feel about it? Today’s aim is to accept this situation and reflect upon it on what went wrong and what was in your control or otherwise. Trying to understand your perspectives in the process during that time and think about how differently you could have handled it. It is okay to be retrospective about that situation and accept them. Now think about what tough situations you are in and plan for actions to be taken rather than to just straight away jump to finish them.

Algorithm:

Big challenge –> Situation –> Accept –>Don’t Jump to solve it –> Rather Reflect –> what went wrong and right –> what was in control and Not –> think of perspectives of handling them in reflection –> register that in mind –> Plan the action items with different perspectives for the next big challenge.

My personal experience on this front :

Big Challenge:

I was successful in my previous job having received rewards for the development support work with my stakeholders in US and even got promoted in the process on the research, analysis and inferences i made w.r.t new JVM tunings, evaluation of energy management algorithms for different server hardware configurations, which made an energy management algorithm change it’s defaults in the company server class firmware, and an opportunity patent (memory workloads were not sensitive to DVFS from my data analysis. This was used to introduce a new hardware counter to monitor memory bandwidth and alter DVFS to lower power modes since performance was not impacted) huge savings in terms of optimization in Energy costs . All my leads and mentors helped me in the process.

Hence i was offered to take up Big Data project (back in 2013-2014) on demand that i want something challenging. I am glad to this day i went out of the comfort zone then, but i faced tough challenges on delivering the results in the initial 3-6 months of the project. My status update was almost same during this juncture as i was not a developer and i was put into do that in no time. I had to understand maven, jenkins, java JVM internals (proprietary to the company – known variable) and how big data workloads are designed, stressed. How, what experiments i need to do to find bottlenecks in our hardware platforms to optimize when faced with customer deployments. I wasn’t completely an expert on hardware platform knowledge on architecture, compute topology and network topology. How i can create hadoop, spark cluster on ambari and global team to work with across Japan, china , US and brazil. How i can use micro benchmarks to macro benchmark data analysis to make an impact on the software/hardware stack. Therefore too many unknown variables and less known variables to derive useful information from the unknown to take up the Big challenge inorder to deliver the project.

Reflection: what went wrong and What i felt at that moment ?

I was struggling to learn maven and understand java code but my senior in US was busy to reach out for a helping hand. I was alone in the project to discuss about the same with anyone on the jvm or java code as rest of the team was dealing with some other projects related to either C/C++. I was struggling with maven and java code with lack of jvm internals knowledge with hardware knobs which were affected by this. My seniors who had java background had left the company and were busy to be approachable, although to this day i am in touch with them. I felt like why i chose this path, very much stressed with sleepless nights with my stake holders sitting on top for delivery asap. On few days i was feeling as to give up and say to my manager i want to quit from this project.

Reflection : what was in my control?

i could have mastered few bit of the project like learning java in say 2 weeks and understand jvm internals quickly in next 2 weeks (some what known variables) – reach out to mentors and get help at the pain points. Also jenkins was an easier piece to pick up and that i did. I had to also multitask between two projects (Big data and energy efficiency)

Reflection : what was not in my control?

Time, skills, knowledge, help from others, the vision of the project and end goals. The big picture.

Reflection : Perspectives to handle in retrospect?

I think an extra help from any senior from across globe would have helped me a lot. Extra effort from my side to fill the skills along with mentoring to check if i am on the right track. Better time management lessons from my manager. Better communication with stake holders and being honest on what i have and how much i can deliver. Not gaining these skills from my previous job experiences – which i had quit having faced with these situations.

Reflection: what went right?

During this time it was my manager who was of tremendous support and managed the stakeholders, so that i should not be kicked out of the project. Maybe he liked my determination to not quit no matter how much failures i see. My motivation levels were high as this was the Big data project and everyone else in the team wanted to be in this, but i got it due my previous success.

My US Lead was furious on this situation but i started communicating with US manager and Lead on my capabilities and what i can deliver. I was taken off the developer role and again put into installation, configuration, tuning and deployment work. In the process i understood the software, hardware stack in depth and did again did my JVM analysis with profiling the benchmarks at disk , memory , cpu and network level. The impact was i could improve the performance of one of the key Big data benchmark by 2x compared to Intel platform as my lead and my curiosity helped to identify bottlenecks at the hardware level. Partitioning of the data, tuning the jvm for GC, using optimized non-java libraries and identifying disk IO was the bottleneck with better utilization of logical cores (in all – data parallelism – for a machine learning workload / application) helped me achieve this.

I presented my work in seville spain, Linux foundation for the first time with help of my US Lead – a solution architect from US joined me to help organize the situation at the event as it is a key marketing event from the point of selling the platform to the other vendors in the industrial event. I successfully delivered the talk which put me in stardom among my peers and the larger US team. I started collaborating with Brazil and japan team for optimizing the stream benchmarks related to big data on spark. Also jenkins automation was handed over to me to lead and auomate the process of benchmark version regression for different JEMT systems we used to get to certify for performance. After attending the event i realized the Big picture of the work i was doing – i.e. to provide Big Data collateral to the company helping to sell the servers , either per core / per thread level density.

In the hindsight i should have continued to build my skills in developing some projects of interest in Big data, outside of work and gained more networking in the process.

I did plan that and executed to be a “Data scientist” – did dataquest certifications, learnt python and today i am glad i spent so much time distributing over long term. But did not do anything outside or work nor developed any network with other interested people. But i did dared to understand spark in depth and did coursera courses, looked out for MOOC material, learnt R studio and machine learning concepts with practical implementations in my next job – – which getting to be helping me now!

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