The rains returned to Bangalore on Thursday, but not enough to disrupt things seriously. (Chennai looks like it’s in a worse position.) I had five things on the agenda:
A series of meetings about global engineering issues and mentoring. These went well, although one meeting was postponed to Friday, giving me a welcome break to grab lunch and finish a few introductory slides for later.
An interview with the IEC Newsletter team. They like to profile the senior staff that visit Bangalore; I used the opportunity to encourage them to talk to the people at our new sites in Pune and Hyderabad. I hope that they can immediately start to cover these sites and what they’re doing, solicit contributions from Pune and Hyderabad staff, and make sure that the newsletter is distributed there. They gave me a copy of the last issue: it’s an absolutely first-rate piece of work. Sun colleagues should check out the online edition.
I’d been asked to give a tech talk… or a town-hall meeting. I’m not quite sure which, but it didn’t matter: I addressed a large group of IEC staff on what I’m up to, and where I need their help; I then reprised my “Future of Distributed Computing” talk. There were some good questions, but I couldn’t take too long over Q&A because the next agenda item was…
This seemed to start out as a fairly conventional all-hands, with various recognition awards and announcements. Then we got the results of a competition for the best traditional dress (see above). After that, I completely lost track of what was going on – poetry, competitions of various kind, chocolate breaks, singing (as seen in this 12MB Quicktime clip), and eventually food. I missed the end, because I was invited to an impromptu presentation on some new distributed Java application test tools.
Finally I returned to the Park Hotel for a dinner with some of the Bangalore participants in the SEED Mentoring program. I was warned that one of the traditional dishes in the dinner buffet would be extraordinarily hot, but it wasn’t. (So far I haven’t encountered any food which either disrupted my gut or blew my head off. This is good.) We ended the evening with a discussion of languages in India: by my reckoning, none of the 9 people at the dinner (including me) speak the same language at home. Amazing.
I’m completing this blog entry on Friday morning in the lobby of the hotel. In a few minutes I’ll get breakfast, check out, and head in to the Sun offices. From there I’ll be going to the StorageTek facilities in Bangalore (in another part of the city), and then to the airport to fly to Mumbai and then to London. I’m not sure when I’ll next be able to blog, except perhaps through my Treo.