Just a Blog by Just Rhianna

Archive for the ‘Daily Grind’ Category

Philosophy inspired by Modest Mouse

I am on a plane to Huntsville via DC and I decided to listen to the songs I downloaded to my iPhone 5 from my husband’s iTunes account. This is important to differentiate because I wasn’t sure what he had purchased in his account but I had nothing on the iPhone since my alienware media server is currently collecting dust waiting to be installed in its new home.

Hey don’t judge! This Geeky Mom of three, who travels usually a few times a week, has not had time for much of anything lately.

*Note to self: Get the drill out of the shed this weekend, so you can cut the proper holes in the Ikea furniture you fell in love with that would work perfectly with a little good ole modding and get the alienware running again.

Where was I? Oh yes I am listening to my husband’s music. Missed the boat by Modest Mouse just came on and it got me thinking.

Here are the lyrics in case you don’t know the words:

While we’re on the subject
Could we change the subject now?
I was knocking on your ear’s door, but you were always out
Looking towards the future
We were begging for the past
Well, we knew we had the good things
But those never seemed to last
Oh, please just last

Everyone’s unhappy
Everyone’s ashamed
Well, we all just got caught looking
At somebody else’s page
Well, nothing ever went
Quite exactly as we planned
Our ideas held no water
But we used them like a damn

Oh, and we carried it all so well
As if we got a new position
Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell
Saying, ‘yes, this is a fine promotion.’
Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell

Of course everyone goes crazy
Over such and such and such
We made ourselves a pillar
We just used it as a crutch
We were certainly uncertain
At least, I’m pretty sure I am
Well, we didn’t need the water
But we just built that, go God damn

Oh, and I know this of myself
I assume as much for other people
Oh, and I know this of myself
We’ve listened more to life’s end-gong
Than the sound of life’s sweet bells

Was it ever worth it?
Was there all that much to gain?
Well, we knew we missed the boat
And we’d already missed the plane
We didn’t read the invite
We just dance at our wake
All our favorites were playing
So we could shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

Tiny curtain’s open, and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
A tiny man would tell a little joke, and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
Sitting, drifting around in bubbles, and thinking it was us that carried them
When we finally got it figured out, that we had truly missed the boat

Oh, and we carried it all so well
As if we got a new position
Oh, and we owned all the tools ourselves
But not the skills to make a shelf with
Oh, what useless tools ourselves

//

Feel free to comment or critique this bit of philosophy but I think you can never miss the boat if you believe that there is a purpose to these crazy things that happen to all of us. There are always other boats and sometimes the one that seams perfect (like the too good to be true job I was tortured in for over a year) might just crash and sink in the Mediterranean like Carnival’s recent problems.

There is a great section in the book Philosophy In the Flesh by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson on page 63. I admittedly have not read the entire book but it is on my shelf and I have thumbed through it quite a few times.

complex metaphor

For example a good friend of mine who I call a brother thought he missed the boat called Love and Marriage.

When I was at my last job I grew to despise it and I thought I missed the boat that is my career. I felt stuck in dingy in the middle of a stagnant pond without a motor or paddles.

The only thing that kept me going was the wonderful people that I met through the job.

One day in October I read this quote by Steve Jobs:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

That is when I decided Fuck this! I got up, stripped myself down looked at my distorted reflection in that stagnant pond and dove in. I began swimming, hoping I would reach the next boat and in January I did.

What does this have to do with my friend? I am almost there I promise.

In October I went to the office of the soul sucking job and stayed with a friend who I met through the job. By chance I was showing her pictures of my family on Facebook and when we came to a picture of my single, never married friend/brother she gasped.

She had to know more. It took a little while but on New Year’s Day I dragged my two friends with me towards that new boat.

I am happy to say they hit it off famously. My friends are like new people and despite other crappiness that goes on in their lives they have each other. Looks like my pain and suffering was for a reason. I have a fantastic job now where I am empowered to be innovative and two people connected as result too.

The Cloud

My seven year old overheard me explaining cloud computing to a friend and he started laughing. When I asked him what was so funny he said everyone know computers can’t be in clouds.

So it inspired me to doodle on my iPhone 5 while watching nothing in particular on TV and listening to online training for some Oracle software.

20130205-215218.jpg

Where did two weeks go?

Before I begin I want to say thank you to all my new twitter followers. Please keep spreading the word I am up to 228 I know its a modest number but hey you have to start somewhere right? If you would like to follow me please do so @just_rhianna.

I cannot believe it has been almost two weeks. I have been super busy with the new job blogging, getting the hang of policies and procedures, forming a strategy for the next year etc.

Today is the super bowl and I did a fair bit of domestic goddess stuff like cooking appetizers and entress for the big game. The I answered a few emails, sent my weekly report and was about to do some online learning but to my dismay my account needs to be updated for the new year and won’t be completed until our adminstrator can do it tomorrow.

So instead of work, laundry or dishes I decided to take a few minutes to visit you all.

I know I mentioned the new blog in another post but I want to make sure you get to read it if you find it interesting.

The articles are all under the category of CX (cusotmer experience to those of you unfamiliar with the term) and can be access at: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=56

I fully intended to add a fourth article to the series last week but things at work got kicked up a bit with one trip to NYC and one to New Jersey and several additional unexpected confernece calls. So My goal this week is to add two articles to the series but that also partially is dependant on whether I can get the Fusion/RightNow integration demo to work. I had a few set backs like getting access to the demo environment, getting the documentation and then finding the time to work through the documentation. I promise I will keep you updated on my progress.

Taking the online course on Oracle Fusion has been interesitng and I plan on taking the Pre-Sale and Sales consultant Assessments over the next couple of weeks to add the certificates to my OPN (Oracle Partner) profile. I love learning new technologies and more certificates never hurt anyone. Especially ones that are relevant in your line of work. A certificate in say Basket weaving might not be so impressive to most of my techie friends.

So the next big event I am really looking forward to is Oracle Cloud World in NY. Just waiitng for the registration to open up and then I am definately attenidng. If anyone out there on the internets is going please drop me a line.

While hanging with the boys today Lucian found the face paint we didn’t get to use at halloween because of Hurricane Sandy and asked if I could transform him into a clown. He stayed quite still for his three year old self. Here is the end result.

lucian clown

Insomnia and a bit of inspiration

So much on my mind that I just can’t sleep. It is 2:30 in the morning and all I can think about are strategies for my new role, ideas for this and my work blog, and other things not yet fully formed as thoughts or inventions. So I leave you with a quite to ponder.

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything. – Nikola Tesla

http://mobile.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/nikolatesl127569.html

New Job, Work Blog and Low Carb

New Job

Started a new gig with a Platinum Oracle Partner who has been implementing other Oracle CRM (Customer Relationship Management) flavors like Siebel, CRM on Demand and Fusion. We also specialize in MDM (Master Data Management),  BI (Buisiness Intelligence), ERP (Enterprise Resouce Planning), EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) and more.

I am super excited to join their RightNow CX practice as a Director, Solutions Consulting. They have even put a lovely press release out:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130115005362/en

eVerge Group Hires Rhianna Albert to Join RightNow Consulting Practice

PLANO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–eVerge Group is pleased to announce the addition of Rhianna Albert to its RightNow consulting practice. Ms. Albert brings over 18 years of IT experience and an extensive background in customer support systems and processes. Over the last five years, Ms. Albert has focused on implementing and integrating RightNow solutions, with three years at a major consumer electronics manufacturer and another two years as the technology director for a consulting company specializing in the implementation of RightNow solutions. Ms. Albert has also been very involved in RightNow User and Developer communities, hosting the New York regional user group, speaking at several events including the CX Summit and presenting alongside RightNow product managers on numerous webcasts.

“We recognize the value of these emerging technologies in developing strategic customer experience solutions for our clients”

eVerge Group’s RightNow consulting practice is part of its comprehensive customer experience offerings, which include Siebel CRM, Fusion CRM, ATG, Endeca, Inquira and Oracle CRM On Demand. “We recognize the value of these emerging technologies in developing strategic customer experience solutions for our clients,” said eVerge Group president, Esteban Neely. “We are excited to have Rhianna join our team, as she brings a wealth of experience and expertise in this area, both from a client and an integrator perspective.”

(more…)

SDKs, @DevExpress and Nostalgia

I was on the hunt today in full research mode. There are few things that please me more than solving problems. I live for this my geekiness gravitates towards unsolvable problems that others would run from, whether that be in my personal life or work life the harder to solve the more blissful.

My mentor and dear friend Edward J. Bleser at Brookhaven Laboratory when I was a mere geek in teen clothing enlightened me on this. I am sure I have mentioned it before on this blog but it has held true for me since that first summer as a high school student doing a research internship. Ed said to me, “Now Rhianna, you see we don’t know the answer. This world wide web is new and like everything scientific we just need to keep searching for answers….(or something to that effect it was almost 20 years ago now that he said this to me.) ..you are here so that we can put you in a round, dark room without any windows, doors or tools except your mind to find your way out!”

As you might imagine this both frightened and intrigued me a 16 year old girl being given the knowledge that it didn’t matter how I solved problems they gave me as long as I made it work. And so this is what I have been doing in my career and life in general since.

Back to today, a colleague of mine a senior developer on my team was desperate to find a solution to a request a client made. He found a fantastic solution indeed a set of controls to use in C# that would grant any GUI (graphical user interface) wishes the client could ever have, drag and drop, inline editing, .docx formatting and much more. Unfortunately the dream controls came with a hefty price tag that just could not be justified considering our current need though I must say I will be keeping that URL in my favorites filed under DREAM TOOLS. I guess I will share it with you since I really do plan on researching into this product much more thoroughly when I have the time: http://www.devexpress.com/Subscriptions/DXperience/WhatsNew2012v1/index.xml?page=38 you can also find them on twitter: @DevExpress http://twitter.com/devexpress

If only they would sell me the one control instead of the whole package I would be a very happy geek.

The FREE solution I found that will require lots of coding for my cronie but will help us meet the client requirements in the end is the Open XML SDK 2.0 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/hh181052 you can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5124

It’s been a long day of conference calls, mentoring, coding, and bruised knees. Time to unwind to some tunes on Pandora, make macaroni and cheese for the kids, have a Guinness, do some laundry and maybe play a little World of Warcraft.

OK I forgive you IE temporarily even though I was only using you because I was testing to see how something looked to make sure my firefox/chrome optimized page for work didn’t get broken by your poor CSS choices and it was really word press that I have to thank for saving my precious post as a draft!

Post Summit Madness

Where to Begin?

I think the best way to start is to overload you with lots of youtube videos and links to breakout sessions!

Day 1 (Look for Stuart and I running the SCBS booth at about 3 minutes 12 seconds):

Day 2

The future of CX – featuring Tomas the coolest Brand VP I have ever met (Ok so maybe he is the only one I ever met but it doesn’t change my opinion of him) We had some good chats at the EMEA Summit.

The RightNow PGX APP– Very cool App had some bugs involving issues with connecting via twitter and people checking in at trees but by the time I got to the EMEA Summit I was ready to shake off my 7th place finish in the US and take Wales on! A little birdy told me over drinks that my scores were so much higher than everyone elses in EMEA that they were actually validated to make sure I wasn’t cheating. In the end the irony of it all was not only did they give away a much cooler gift in EMEA than they did in US but I won it and it was a D3100 DSLR kit with two lenses compliments of Nikon my old pals!

SCBS had a great presence at both summits and Stuart spoke during the keynote in the US, at two breakouts and our Mobile Apps were featured in a third breakout as well as shown in the RightNow booth at the partner pavilion.

Watch the Keynote featuring Stuart speaking about SCBS’s work with Compassion UK: http://www.rightnow.com/resource-video-ceo-address-summit-2011.php

Break out slides on Innovation: CX Innovation Story: Learn How a Leader Is Innovating on RightNow CX

Break out slides on Unified Desktop: Unified Agent Desktop: Good Customer Experiences Require Optimal Agent Experiences

Break out slides on Mobile Apps: CX Mobility: Learn How to Develop Consumer Experiences in a Mobile Generation

All in all a very successful couple of weeks!