Remembering the Guru

Today morning, looking at the calendar my daughter asked me what’s this day Guru Purnima? Thinking what should I explain this 6 year old. So I spontaneously said guru is someone who teaches us. She was immediate to react oh its teacher’s day!!!. I was not in position to say clear Yes Or No. Somehow in the school time rush she forgot confirming but that kept playing in my mind.

While I was in that thinking mode I got a call from Ulhas Jogale. He wished me Happy Guru Purnima. It’s not the first time that he had called me. For last 12 years he calls me on this day without fail. I am really touched with his gesture. His tenacity to remember & call me every year even when my numbers were changed, struck me. I do have gurus but I was never so punctual in calling and thanking them. I just kept my feeling inside me about them. Ulhas’s call helped me find answer and made sure I don’t waste any opportunity now to thank my gurus.

Teachers do great job not questions about it. Teachers day is apt to say “Thank You” for their contribution.

So here is my realization, “Every teacher can’t be Guru but every Guru is definitely a teacher.” I am not claiming only I discovered this, I am just saying I realized it now in my life. I can’t explain this to my daughter at her age, hope she will discovers as she grows.

I did commerce graduation from Mumbai university. During 2001 to 2005 I worked for a company called Synergetics. My first job started here. I met some of the brilliant teachers (for me the best teachers) in Indian Software Industry. After a year of work as technical coordinator I was given more challenging responsibilities of managing IT system of the company. Of course for on the job learner it was definitely a lot of work. That’s when I got introduced to Ulhas Jogale. He used to work as office assistant for operations and finance teams. He didn’t have strong financial or educational background but he was very sincere with his work. In his spare time he used to stop by me for quick chats on latest news on politics, fun events & being Sachin Tendulkar fan we used to chat on cricket a lot. After sometime he started helping me in moving systems, providing helping hand in network setup etc. Sometime it was instructional from his managers and sometime he will voluntarily come forward. That’s when I realized he wants to learn about computers more. He knew basics or connecting, starting computer but not much beyond that. So while getting helping hand from him I started teaching him small things about operating computer and using MS Office applications. Later he started exploring on his own and used to get his understanding corrected from me. This went for months and he became more confident on basic operations. This had given him good name in the company as people started appreciating his work beyond his routine stuff. Then came a time he was getting work to burn the course content CDs for training programs. I am not very sure if he was getting paid for that extra work as well. More important for me was that his value to the company had increased and so does his confidence. Since then every Guru Purnima he started wishing me. I still don’t know what he exactly feels but hearing Thank You from him make me happy.

I realized why I can’t Thank my gurus who has changed my life over these years. Parents are first gurus, so how much ever I thank will be less.

For the others I immediately messaged Sanjay Vyas, Amol Vaidya & Anurag Dwivedi.

Why Sanjay Vyas – After my B.com graduation I was little frustrated as I was not getting a good job. I had done software diploma but still I was not lucky. I had decided to leave Mumbai if i don’t get job by December 31, 2000. Only my family knows about this. My father & elder brother convinced me not to. Somehow I agreed to try once more in next few months. Come January 2001 I saw ad in Times of India which I still have laminated with me as cherisable career moment. Synergetics have given job for me but Sanjay Sir was the one who really saw true potential me. My job was to process training feedback in excel files and prepare reports. Sanjay sir made me learn programming, computer hardware and so many new things about technology. In the initial year I would have hated him like anything but I never kept anger inside me. I kept doing what he wanted me to. His guidance and support on exploring technologies changed my way of thinking. It was those 4.5 years with him set me for big challenges and helped me work for the world’s best software company (Microsoft) in past few decades. On my resume 10 years at Microsoft is more visible but at my technical soul it’s those 4.5 years with Sanjay sir are more valuable as they give me confidence.

Why Amol Vaidya – Sanjay Sir taught me how to explore and learn new technologies. It was Amol who helped me keep that learning simple & meaningful. His guidance over the years has helped me untangle the confusions and make every learning effort meaningful. Without his guidance I would have never thought of delivering trainings.

Why Anurag Dwivedi – Back in 2007 when I was transitioning from phases in personal & professional life, he came into picture. After spending 2 years in Microsoft I was looking for next growth chapter. I knew I was not perfect in few areas. Two such was Reading Business and Leading People to grow. He became my manager and guided me like Guru . During 2008 to 2011 was by far the best time I had in Microsoft. I learnt many new things, contributed effectively to the business. I will always consider Anurag the guru who ignited my leadership skill and helped me understand management skills.

So you see none of them are my teachers but they turned out gurus who changed my professional life.

Someone may ask how can you have more than one gurus. I feel what if all them help me discover myself, my potentials and achieve positive things in life, the number doesn’t matter.

To close this post, I wish all my gurus Happy Guru Purnima & pray god to bless them with happiness & prosperity in their lives.

SharePoint Revision Follow up

A month ago I wrote about My SharePoint Revision. Later I continued my learning on latest version. As I was learning new things I thought of updating the table created earlier. You can find them highlighted below. Out of all the new things I like following 5 the most,

    1. App Authentication (find more at Plan authentication in SharePoint 2013)
    2. Cross Site Publishing (find more at Overview of cross-site publishing in SharePoint Server 2013)
    3. OAuth and OData ( find more at About OAuth, OAuth 2.0 Tutorial)
    4. Faceted Navigation (find more at Configure refiners and faceted navigation in SharePoint Server 2013)
    5. Workflow Manager (find more at Install and configure workflow for SharePoint Server 2013)

Letter

Component / Concepts / Dependencies / Terms.

A

ASP.NET, Authentication, Authorization, Apps, App Parts, App Development, API, AJAX, Application Server, Active Directory, Analytics, Access, Architecture, ADFS, Application Pools, App Authentication, AppFabric, Alternate Access Mapping

B

Blog, BLOB, Breadcrumb, Business Intelligence, Business Data Connectivity, Backup, Big Data, Browser Support, Branding

C

Cloud, Content Database, CAML, Content Types, Content Management, Crawl, Columns, Calculated Formula, Content Editor Web Part, Community Sites, Community Portals, Cross-site Publishing, Category Pages, Content Search Web Part, Continuous Crawl

D

Databases, Document Sets, Document Library, Deployment, Device Channels, Decoupled Pivot Charts & PivotTable Reports, Distributed Cache

E

Event Handlers, Enterprise Search, Excel Services, Excel With Power Pivot, Event Viewer, External List, eDiscovery

F

Foundation Services, Farms, Features, Forms, Forms Authentication, Federation, Friendly URLs, Faceted Navigation,

G

Global Deployment, Groups, GAC, Gatherer, Geolocation Field Type

H

HTTP, HTTPS, Homogenous & Heterogeneous Farms, Help, Health Analyzer Rules

I

IIS, InfoPath, Index Server Role, Indexer, Internet Of Things, Integration, In-Memory BI Engine (aka Vertipaq), Image Rendition

J

Jscript, JSON

K

Knowledge Management, Keywords,

L

List, Library, LDAP, Locations

M

Metadata, Master Page, Meeting Workspaces, Mobile, Managed Navigation

N

Network, Navigation

O

On Premise, Office 365, Optimized Mobile Browser Experience, OAuth, OData, OpenSearch

P

Portal, Permissions, Project Management, Project Server, Performance Point Services, Protocol, Push Notifications, Power View Add-in For Excel, PerformancePoint Services Dashboard Migration, Promoted Results (formerly called as Best Bets),

Q

Queries, Quick Launch

R

Restore, Recovery, Records Management, Rights Management Protections, Refiners

S

Security, Search, Site Collection, Site, Social, SQL Server, SQL Reporting Services, SharePoint Designer, Solutions, Search Result Preview

T

Team Site, Topology, Tools, Timer Jobs, Troubleshooting, TCP/IP

U

Users, User Profiles, Upgrade Paths, UDP

V

Views, Visual Studio, Visio Graphic Services, Variations

W

Windows Server, Web Server Role,Web Gardens, Web Page, Web Part, Web Service, Workflow, Workflow Manager, WebDAV,

X

XML, XSLT

Y

Yammer

Z

Zones

PMP in First Attempt: Lessons Learnt

On Sept 25th 2014 I cleared my PMP certification. I was happy at the biggest & valuable education milestone for me since I completed my graduation in 2000.

The first time I thought about getting certified was in Nov 2010 when I enrolled myself to get 35 PDU from the PMBOK 4th Edition preparation workshop. It took 4 years & self-study on PMBOK 5th edition for me to achieve the milestone.

In terms of timelines I was disappointed however after closely evaluating lessons learnt I am happy. During these 4 years,

Worked on multiple customer projects

Fundamental requirement to apply & be eligible for the PMP certification

Worked as Process Lead

Enhanced my planning skills, stakeholder management skills, team management skills and performance evaluation and reporting skills

Worked as full time pre-sales SME

Improved my understanding on estimation & importance of having right assumptions and estimates in place. PMP exam do check understanding on estimation and tool & techniques for estimation.

Volunteered as Project Manager for Community Project

Project didn’t succeed as expected however I had hands on experience in driving Idea to Reality and understood my areas for improvement. Also helped me understand how project management fundamentals could have increased the success of the project.

All the experiences helped me understand PMBOK 5th Edition concepts well enough to clear the exam.

My initial scope/target was to get the certification as soon as possible. However in those 4 years, in kind of rolling wave learning (like rolling wave planning) the certification became only the milestone.

Knowing & Mastering Project Management become the target by understanding PMBOK.

Here is my attempt to share the lessons learnt. I tried putting in 9Ws to understand easily,

Why

Do you need certification

Is it Certification Or do you want to enhance your knowledge supported by certification. The choice is personal and I don’t want to make any recommendations. Whatever is applicable in your case try be clear. Seek mentor if you are unsure.

What

Drives your decision to take PMP exam.

A mandate from work policies, A personal goal for career enhancement, and Its company sponsored certifications etc. This will help you stay motivated when stuck with obstacles during preparation.

When

Do you want to complete it?

In my case it was June to Sept 2014.Target will help focus your energies to prepare well. At high level you need to target following targets,

  • Taking PMI Membership
  • Gathering Data Point for Application
  • Submitting Application
  • Scheduling Exam
  • Preparing for exam
  • Testing with Mock Exams
  • Attempting Actual Exam

Which

Areas of project management interests you.

All the areas are important however knowing your own strength will help you accelerate learning in some of the knowledge areas. Remember your school days, you would have tried to score the most in favorite subject right.

Where

You can find help

If you have taken PMI membership required help is already available for members. Also a lot of help is available on internet however knowing your sources of help will reduce time in struggling to find right help when you are stuck with understanding particular knowledge area, tools & techniques. Find a mentor if available, If you have buddy utilize it as collaborative learning can give mutual benefits.

What

Book to refer

I referred only following books,

PMBOK 5th Edition.

http://www.pmi.org/

PMI Members get to download soft copy as part of membership. Make sure you read it at least once very thoroughly. I was told by people to read at least twice. Honestly I could not complete second round for all topics. I read topics which were not clear to me like Time, Risk & Procurement Management.

 

PMP® Exam Prep Products – Eighth Edition Published by RMC Publications, Inc.

http://www.rmcproject.com/certifications/PMP_HowToStudy.aspx

Personal opinion this book has more than sufficient knowledge about project management. I personally felt overdose in the first reading. Don’t lose patience while reading long chapters else there is danger to get defocused/interested. Based on your convenience read it with decent breaks to ensure you remain interested. This book can be your ultimate source to get clarity on most critical concepts for the exam preparation.

 

The PMP® Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
Published by VELOCITEACH, INC.

http://www.velociteach.com/resources-2/the-pmp-exam-how-to-pass-on-your-first-try/

Personally I loved this book. While walking through the office library I came across this one. Found very interesting for the cover page. I was able to finish this book in close to 2 week. Completing this book was the turning point to my preparation. Easy and small chapters helped me understand required content well. The tests after the chapters helped gauge my strengths and weaknesses. After completing this book I read the above to resources to work on weak knowledge areas. It helped me immensely to grasp the content.

What

Tests to try

Work Out

Timelines

Plan daily, weekly & weekend study hours according to your workload and work-life balance. For 2 months, I studied at least 3-4 hours a day 8 hours on weekend. Of course I had to stretch to meet work-life however it was worth by planning time well.

What Next

After you are certified

Have a plan to retain the PMP credentials. You will find guidance on how to retain it by submitting required PDUs in 3 year cycle.

Most importantly, BE COOL, CALM & COMPOSED. There are so many things we can’t control.

I was struck with severe backache. I was forced by doctor to take complete rest over the only weekend just before my exam. For a moment I was panic. Doctor helped with medicines & my lovely wife helped me defocused from stress and worries about the preparation time lost.

Please drop your comments if you find this post helpful to begin your exam preparation. If it works I will be glad to know about it.

All the best.