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As an IT professional, I am very interested in how IT changes people’s everyday life. As I started to do some research in this topic, I found it’s an interesting multi-discipline field.

I will list the resources I found in this field in this post. It will be a on-going effort and the list will continue to grow over time.


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If you put your heads down working in the enterprise applications for a large organization for many years, you may already missed “what’s hot” in the industry. It’s time to update your knowledge base, and your RESUME with those hot buzz words.

Front End



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Most of the days, we wake up in the morning, brush our teeth, wash face, have a brief breakfast and rush out to work. But, there are some special mornings. When we open our eyes, we start to see the world differently. This morning is one of such for me.

Maybe I have stayed in the development department in a big organization for too long. I was so used to the layback, slow-moving, stable, orderly working style. So, when I had the opportunity to go through a demo session of a competitor’s application yesterday, I was completely shocked, not only by the application, but also by the attitude they treat their work.

We developed our application in a typical “elegant” way of big organization. And they developed their application like a “startup” company.The differences are in sharp contrast. I listed some here:

  • We wait for the requirements being given to us by other departments like Sales or Marketing vs. They go out to talk to frontline Sale people and to customers directly, for example in the trade show, to figure out the requirements firsthand.
  • We are proud of the technologies we used and focus on latest and advanced technologies vs. They are proud of the product itself and focus on how it can satisfy customer needs.
  • We focus on internal architecture design and build for last vs. They focus user interfaces and usability and build to sell.
  • We live with the legacy system and spend a lot of time integrating with it vs. They completely write all the logics in contemporary technologies.
  • We value stability vs. They value innovation
  • We limit our releases per year vs. They release much more frequently
  • We only serve one customer, our business vs. They look for opportunities inside and outside the organization
  • We have never been worried about “selling” our product. We assume the business would take care of it and Sales people will sell it vs. They constantly promot their idea and product to the business. They made the business realize how great their product was by doing the demo, comparing the features and showing the statistics numbers.

It’s a typical example of “fast vs. slow”. In current business environment, the one who can sense the changes ahead of others and quickly adjust itself for the changes will survive.We witness more and more triumphs of the “internal marketing” or “project marketing”. Although we ARE the internal development department, we have to realize the business has choices nowadays. We cannot assume that we are the sole service providers available to the business and they will eat whatever we feed them. Those old golden days for IT are gone!

Business is business. If you would like to survive, you have to go out there and compete. You must build the best product in the market, and constantly market your service to the business leaders. If you don’t do that, the competitors from any corner of the world can come and replace you. So, wake up you old development! Time to act like a young startup now!

I recommend a good book about dealing with the change. You may already read this little interesting book. Only takes 1 hour to finish, “Who Moved My Cheese“.

Here are some of the concepts it talks about:

Three stages of change:

  1. Prepare for change
  2. Gain change skills
  3. Achieve a change

Change Skills:

  1. Anticipate change
  2. Take new actions now
  3. Move beyond fear
  4. Imagine real success

Hope it can help us to survive the constant changes and achieve greater success in our life!

Production Support – The ITIL Way is a presentation I prepared, introducing how to handle Production issues in ITIL way.

There are two ITIL processes related to this topic, Incident Management and Problem Management. This topic covers those two processes in details. In the end,  some suggestions about how to improve the current Production Support processes were introduced.

Production issues are what trouble us most. They seems to consume our time endlessly. How to tame those issues and take the control of our life back is the main focus of this presentation.

My life is fundamentally changed after I read Dr. Stephen Covey’s awesome book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. A lot of positive things happened. I feel happy in life and more important, I feel I am in charge of my own life. Nothing feels better than that!

One of the concept I learned from the book is if one really wants to learn the materials and would like to apply them to achieve good results in life, the best way is to teach the materials to other people. From my past experience, I know that’s absolutely true.

“Knowing, but not doing, is not knowing”. Another concept learned. So, here is my action. I prepared a series presentations to help me teaching other people, “7 Habits”. I will post them here in a series of posts.

Here is the first one in the serie: 7 Habits Session 1: Problem and Solutions

It starts from talking about the problems we are facing and how to solve them by changing the way we see the problems.

I will love to share the experiences of applying 7 habits with any one who is interested in fundamental life changes.

Now, Enjoy!

Recently, the Quality of the IT services were frequently talked about. Users were yelling about how bad the services are. Crisis showed up everyday. People were running around with the same word in their mouth, “Quality”. A magic word. But how to get it? Let’s take a look at the ITIL way.

What’s Quality?

“Quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements”  – From ISO 9000

“Service Quality is about ensuring customers get what they want” – From Managing Service Quality

We tend to think quality is just the number of defects and production issues. That’s a misleading thinking because it didn’t take in consideration the “customer” factor.

Actually, “Quality” is an interactive term. It’s all about satisfying and exceeding Customer Expectations. Customer is in the center of the Quality Universe.

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The original article was published in Chinese on “IT Times”, a famous magazine in IT field in China. I think there are a lot of merits in it and translated the key points into English.

While we are still discussing the success of eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, and Google in the textbooks in our universities, those Internet Giants actually failed badly in China. On the contrary, their Chinese competitors achieved great successes by going the completely opposite way.Those American Internet websites failed mainly because of their ways of thinking. Even if they have the best people, the biggest capital, the most advanced technologies, they will continue to fail if they don’t change their ways of thinking and their ways of doing things in China. What contribute to their failures then?

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ITIL(Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the international standard for IT Service Management.  

ITIL Introduction is a presentation I prepared for the managers of my department after I passed the test for ITIL Foundation Certification. I didn’t cover the details of ITIL. In stead, I would like to point out the concepts, like Service, Quality, Measurement, etc., that are deeply rooted in ITIL materials and things that really impressed me and changed my minds.

It was presented in front of a group of mid-level managers. It generated some interests in ITIL, especially the idea of “measurement”. However, since the presentation was too high level and conceptual, it didn’t eventually take off the wide-spread ITIL implementation in my organization.

The lesson learned, you have to follow through your initiative rentlessly!

I had a Chinese blog, Bigapple’s Sky, in msn, where I purely blog in Chinese. I started that in June, 2007 while I am working and staying in Beijing. It feels great to have a place to write down my thoughts, my feelings, things I learned and especially the unforgettable moments of my life. I absolutely love it. As a Chinese, I always feel that I can best express my thoughts in Chinese.

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January 2008
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