Are Trinidad workers all about the money?

Are Trinidad workers all about the money when it comes to picking their jobs?
If not all about the money, how much should it be about the money?
Is being “all about the money” in Trinidad the strong indicator it is believed to be of the worker’s work ethic or level of loyalty to a company they sign on to?

In the first years of my working life, I shared the opinion that salary was all that mattered when it came to considering competing jobs. This is not uncommon thinking in Trinidad. Among my peers, when you first mention a job opportunity, the majority promptly ask “How much does it pay?”

This brings me to Seth Godin’s blog, one of the blogs of which I read frequently.

His recent post is one statement:
“Maybe the reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is…

... that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”

This somehow jumped at me.
“Salary as the number one priority in considering a job” may not be as strong an indicator into one’s core values as I previously thought.
Maybe local employers are contributing to the reason that the salary question is the first one raised and usually the only one considered by candidate employees.
Employers in Trinidad haven’t given their candidate workforce anything else to care about. They’ve been bad salesmen.

I have worked at Medullan for a year now. It will become my longest job with a single employer very soon.
The salary isn’t the most I’ve ever made. It is actually the second lowest level of income I’ve been at in my career. I made, and continue to make, personal and financial sacrifices to work with them.
One may ask then, “Why am I here still then?”

I’m here, I now realise, because the leadership team were excellent salesmen. Maybe I’m also here partly because I am a very bad salary negotiator. However, I digress.
The Medullan leadership did give me the “something” besides the salary to care about that continue to make my working with them worth it. This also had the side effect that it kept my consideration of alternate employment in Trinidad with higher salaries that were made over the past year minimal and my loyalty to Medullan high.

I’ll try my best to quantify what the “something”, or rather the “somethings” I care about are.

I care to be challenged everyday to grow, to learn, to think.

I care about my personal and professional success.
Working in the Medullan culture has opened my appetite to succeed and fed my desire to be the best.

I care about my own career growth.
Medullan has nurtured that growth. They also opened my mind to discovering and understanding new ideas, new markets and a fundamentally new dimension of doing business to what I knew previously.

I care about building Redditech, or some other business venture, someday.
In all humility, I have assisted significantly with the growing of Medullan so far.
I continue to assist, and through this effort I build and hone the skills and experience needed to make any future venture a successful one the day I undertake it.

Finally, I care to work with people who share these same things I care about.
No job before has offered me all of the above. No job that was offered to me since starting at Medullan looked like they were going to offer this.

How many other Trinidad employers can you say give you anything else to care about other than the paycheck at the end of the month?

Still, the salary issue should not be thrown to the wind. It remains as a very real issue. We all have bills to pay, personal dreams to see realised, various things we work and save towards doing or achieving.

How much then does salary matter?
That is the question that challenges me today.

While job satisfaction is great to have, something beyond pocket change is desirable as well. Living “hand to mouth” just doesn’t seem worth the knocks taken getting a degree and working to build a marketable skill set and professional reputation over the years.

The sacrifice of time and effort given to Medullan has reaped me the benefits of my increased business acumen and my growing ability to see a big picture yet still design and execute to detail smaller plans to get there. My code design and writing skills are also much improved to the point where I can now mentor others in good design technique and coding style.

On the dark side of this though, it has also shown itself through my increased weight, the manifestation of several health issues, my reduced time at home with those I love, and my reduced network of friends with whom I have time to keep in touch.
My inability to move out of my parent’s home or to take on the purchase payments of my vehicle without my father’s assistance also remain major issues for me.

These are all constant reminders of just how much maintaining my position at Medullan takes from my previously enjoyed independent lifestyle despite what it gives to me otherwise.

The model used by Medullan Inc started with two guys from the US and a dream. It is now a near twenty person organisation distributed between Boston and Trinidad. Most of that growth happened forward from the date I signed up. I am very eager and excited to see where it leads to in the next year.

But I wonder daily if I can afford to.

What’s going on with Wordpress 2.2?

So I think I may have found a bug in Wordpress 2.2, which powers my blog. For some reason while posting and updating an article entitled “Maximising Google Reader” my homepage will display the article twice. A look at the database level though indicates only one posting stored for the article. I’m hoping this is a one time event, and that future posted articles do not have a similar rendering on the main page.
Now I need to play around to see if I can duplicate the bug and submit it to the good folks at Wordpress for a patch/workaround.
Ah, the joys of being the early adopter :) —Update—So as soon as I posted the article, the duplication disappeared. Then I edited the “Maximising Google Reader” article to add a mood (provided by the plugin Moody). After this, the duplication came back. I added a “mood” to this article as well, to see if this is the cause of the error.
This apparently wasn’t the problem either, as the duplication disappeared (again!). And now it’s appearing with this article!! This is really quirky. I can’t be sure when I post whether this article is going to be published one or several times anymore…arggh!

Maximising Google Reader

One of the major problems I have using the Internet these days is the managing the sheer volume of content I am exposed to and absorbing it intelligently enough to use it. Along came RSS, Really Simple Syndication and with it RSS Aggregators, programs that would automatically organise your RSS feeds in an easily browsable format.
I never really took to any aggregator software, other than ITunes, and that was limited to aggregating my regularly listened to podcast content. Then about 2-3 weeks ago I started using Google Reader. I must say, this application is quite well done, and follows my experience using other Google Applications in providing a rich user experience inside a very usable interface. Its features continue to show the great potential available inside a well designed web application.
The “wow” feature for me with this application was the provision of JavaScript which, when embedded inside my blog’s sidebar widget, allows me to produce a list of links to the articles I have marked as “shared” inside Google Reader under my blog’s aptly titled “What I’m reading” header.

This has now freed me from needing time to write what I consider honestly the most boring of blog posts, a linking post, in order to share what I honestly consider useful web content for both personal and professional growth.
My focus can now be set on writing more introspective articles with what I hope to be better original content. I hope to focus these articles on how I’ve applied the lessons taught to me by my mentors at Medullan and those that I’ve also taught myself. Real world experiences working on successful project delivery and what I’ve learnt in my own personal and professional experiences as I continue to grow in the leadership roles there will definitely be my mantra when writing these articles.
I’d also hope to write some more articles focusing on books I’ve been reading and the content of these and my own personal lessons learnt from these. Thanks to Google Reader, I think I can now utilise the limited time I have for blogging on writing these types of articles now.

DZone – the Digg for developers

I stumbled upon DZone quite by accident but already I like its concept. Hardcore, tech knowledge for active programmers, peer reviewed and approved in the same spirit of Digg articles.
There’s an RSS feed as well so you can manage the information flow with your favourite aggregator.

Wordpress 2.2 screwed up my CSS

Forgive the look of the site for the time.
I did 2 upgrades, first to mySQL 5.0 from mySQL 4.0, then from Wordpress 2.1.x (can’t remember what version i was on) to Wordpress 2.2.

Main issues:

1. My Sidebar widget doesn’t load. Apparently this is a “feature” of Wordpress 2.2, but I haven’t figured out where it’s activated yet.

2. My CSS is screwed up. So my navigation right menu is now somewhere at the bottom of all my posts…it’s kind of late, so hopefully I can figure out the issue tomorrow.

I’ll probably revert to 2.1.x if I can’t figure out the issue by Monday and wait for a successful Google Groups search to reveal the answer to my dilemma before attempting another upgrade.

Update: Thanks to a last minute change of theme to “Water 1.1” all the CSS issues seem to have been fixed. The Sidebar widget will be missed, but I figure it’ll take me all of a minute to adjust to the Wordpress integrated Sidebar. Yay! Upgrade successful!

Notes on SCRUM

I was watching a video on YouTube on SCRUM, and made a few notes. Thought I’d post them here for reflection/discussion


-Made for small teams

-Helps develop consensus

-Allows a flexible schedule and flexible deliveries

-Frequent reviews


Book recommended:(Agile Project Management Using SCRUM)


Software Development – Part I – The Ground Rules

I am currently reading “The World Is Flat” v2.0 by Thomas L. Friedman and there was this short but powerful statement in it that totally summed up software development in today’s world in a way I knew but never quite quantified before.

“Every new product – from software to widgets – goes through a cycle that begins with basic research, then applied research, then incubation, then development, then testing, then manufacturing, then deployment, then support, then continuation engineering in order to add improvements.”

Further articles in this topic will explore each of these aspects in a small, but hopefully quite usable, post that will help guide future software developers (such as myself) into a successful path for product implementation.