Friday, December 29, 2006

Last day at UBS

Yes, I complete my 6-month stint at UBS today. I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity that UBS provided me to move to Zurich, Switzerland and to work in the HR GCB department. I have learnt a lot. In particular, I have come across some of the core challenges being experienced by the IT departments of large organisations, such as:
  • engendering a particular culture
  • incorporating design, development, and architectural standards
  • maintaining (and enhancing) legacy applications
  • onshore / offshore consulting
  • organisation hierarchies
A very rewarding experience, hopefully I will stay in contact with some of the fellow work mates I have met at UBS (and the progress they make!!).

PS: I must admit though, I will look forward to using a US keyboard again; the non-alphabetic characters, at times, are difficult to find on the ol' Swiss keyboard :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

World Cup close out

Triggered by an article in the SMH today, it lists two of Australia's World Cup games as the greatest (Australian) sporting moments of 2006.

So, I just thought I would wrap up my own thoughts of the World Cup that I attended earlier this year. Well, as a 2-week holiday, one couldn't ask for more - travelled very happily with my good mate Simon, I was able to see a lot of Germany (with highlights being Berlin / Leipzig), have never felt so Australian before than when we qualified, and post group games - got to spend 1 week holiday in Switzerland, just sitting around and watching soccer each day with my cousin Marco (bringing back childhood memories of 1982).

In terms of the games - Germany's run was fascinating (how do they do it every World Cup!!?), it was good to see Brazil beaten, and despite the last result, France was the team of the tournament in my eyes (the victory against Spain in particular was probably the best game of the tournament as they came from 1-0 down). Of course, it is history now that Italy won in controversial fashion, but well, the key to soccer as a spectator sport is that it is dramatic!

And just for posterity, the entire 14 day journey is here :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

No longer nerdy?

Yes, today I found out that Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' is all of us (basically anyone who has an Internet profile). A truly interesting article:

Time: Person of the Year

Time: Power to the People

All v.interesting, and now I am off to create a YouTube video :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Working in Switzerland during the Christmas period ...

Well, a definite perk; each day I turn up for work, there is another collection of chocolates at my desk. A great mid-morning snack :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why Apple computers are better ...

This is a great innovative story of a software product for Macbooks:

Internet ~ Big Brother

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Going somewhere? tools for travel research ...

I recently have had some thought into planning my next holiday ... after all it has been 2 months! I was thinking that I may visit India. In doing some research on the Intrepid site (the best travel company in the world and based in Melbourne) I observed that there was a number of trips around India, but which direction to head (assuming only a 2-week hiatus). So interestingly, I asked a number of my work colleagues (who are from India) - straight away there were 2 key words: Rajasthan (the area) and Jaisalmer (the city), but how to find out more?

Well, these immediately were the resources I used:

Intrepid; for trip reviews, trip types, and maps of the general area
FlickR; for photos of the area; what other tourists are seeing; and a general snapshot of the scenery; here are some photos, it looks awesome
Wikipedia; to find out some demographics of the area; climate, economy, etc.

Now I just need to schedule some leave and find a travel buddy ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Corporate blogging

It has been described by a number of analysts that this would happen and this is the first corporate blog that I have come across in Australia - from pureprofile. Pureprofile is an Internet subsidiary of the Australia Post which essentially acts as a distributed market research tool. I enrolled a number of years ago. It works on a model where an individual defines a profile and then companies interested in market research will target questionnaires, web sites, promotional material etc. to the individual. For this, I receive a nominal financial reward. So why am I enrolled in this? well it provides an Internet based sms-based service. In answering a questionnaire every now and then I am able to get free Internet (and therefore I can type) sms'. V.handy from work.

I digress. The pureprofile blog is advertised on its homepage and is quite interesting; somewhat conversational (talking about the book Freakonomics atm), it also has insight into the development and marketing process of the pureprofile product (as it should being representative of the company). While I am probably interested from seeing it as an Internet business-model (I wonder if it will ever split from Australia Post), I must admit I am quite impressed, and from reading it I definitely feel some brand loyalty to the company. And I really like how proud they are of the what they have created. The first corporate blog I have read from Australia and a good one too :)