Archive for March, 2006

On Focus

I am a fan of self-development both in and outside of my profession. I find that focusing only on your work and neglecting other areas of your field is just as foolish as not paying attention to all the other knowledge that’s out there.
Are you a software engineer? Then pick up a book about history. Are you a marketer? Maybe it’s time to study some graph theory.
There is one thing that seems to matter from a practical standpoint, though and that’s focus. I find it easy to pick up a book, blog or a website about a topic, but not quite so easy to keep at it. After a tiring day at work, it’s all so easy to scour a few articles for ten minutes and then wander off doing something else. Of course, studying for ten minutes doesn’t give you ANY benefits. In my experience, the least amount of time that makes any difference is to keep doing the same thing for 30 minutes.
Think about it: Thirty minutes seems to be a short enough time that you can squeeze in doing something meaningful on a tuesday night between nine and ten, but it’s long enough to get you in the zone, to give you some returns on your time. Isn’t it more worth of putting in thirty minutes every other day and learn something than wasting fifteen minutes a day?

1 comment March 27th, 2006

Letter of reference

I’ve received my letter of reference from my previous employer, SAP. I wrote my thesis at the optimization department of the supply chain planning division in Walldorf, Germany, the SAP headquarters. German law requires your employer to give you a letter of reference after you’re no longer affiliated with the company. In this case, it took them about six-seven months and a couple of email exchanges to get the thing done, but as I got a good review from my supervisors, I was determined to get it in writing as well.

Indeed, the letter seems to imply good to very good performance on my part – again, German law prohibits that anything negative be said about an employee in a letter of reference, therefore HR developed a code-language (that’s constantly evolving) for signaling good or bad performance. For example, if it says “Mr. Applicant always strives to be on time”, that means you’ve never been able to make it to the office on time. Fortunately, mine is only saying positive things 🙂

Add comment March 25th, 2006

Long weekend ahead

Getting back to Frankfurt took about thirty minutes longer than usually; and that because of the huge snowfall that started in the morning. By noon, they started cancelling flights and I started worrying how long the 60-mile drive would take. I didn’t want to be late, because I had an appointment at my bank – apparently, they started noticing that money was starting to pile up on my account (har-har) and wanted to convince me to do something with it. Well, I was late from the meeting about half an hour, but they did not care very much (I guess it would’ve been different if I wanted to take a credit from them); I let the CSR give me a crash course on investing, so by the time I got out of the bank, it was half past five and everybody but me and the clerk I was talking to went home. It was kind of weird, being the only person in the bank 🙂

On a side note I haven’t been going out for something like two days now; I just had to go through some todo-items that I had on my list because it was getting in the way of doing work…

The weekend will probably not be very exciting, as I’m still behind with some reading for the project, so I’ll catch up on that.

Concerning the remark from the previous post, the Bangalore pictures are up:

Add comment March 3rd, 2006


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