Movement Control Order 3.0x

It’s 1st June, 2021. this is the third time that we have gone into a serious lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All started in Mid March 2020, with the various levels of movement control order, lockdown seems to have been stretching for more than a year already. This story really makes a good post-doomsday biopic, where every day more than one busload of people dies. The prolonged movement control is taking a toll in my mental health, not to mention the physical health too.

I feel like I’ve had it. I think a lot of people feel that way too. In the past year, I have gone to office less than 14 times or less than 2 weeks in total. Work goes on, business as usual, just that my office is also my bedroom. What frustrates me is that for a huge section of society, lockdown means they get to take a break and yet still get paid. Just a day before lockdown, wife wanted to submit her internship paperwork with the education department. She was told that the accounting has closed for the day in preparation for lockdown, which means no approvals are happening during the lockdown.. which then begs the question what are these people doing at home then? Because of that, she is now going to miss her chance at internship and now scrambling to see what she can do to push out the internship when she already took her non-paid leave from work.

I am also working on a research project with a university, where the agreement needs to be signed between 4 parties. I have rushed my side, taking the agreement to Butterworth to be signed and courier it to KL, and subsequently courier back to Penang. The agreement now is in Johor, signed but no one can come into the office to proceed with the next step. So all is on hold because office work stops.

We have sacrificed for the safety and health of people around us. We did not have Chinese New Year, forsaken Cheng Beng and Wesak Day. Now news are saying that some 400,000 people crossed borders during the Raya Holidays and we see COVID-19 spread because of balik kampung. Because of these people, all of us are locked down. So whether we follow the rule or not, we are all in the same hole now, which I strongly feel is unfair where the good citizens are punished together with the violators.


3 Important Steps When Starting As A Leader In Engineering

Made Software Engineering Director in Jan 2020 when my manager left for another organisation, mainly because there’s a huge restructuring in the organisaton involving new leadership and teams coming on board. Prior to this, I was an individual contributor managing the platform software deliverables of Intel’s next generation Vision Processor Unit. Very exciting job that took me to new places, meet new people and create new software solutions.

I took on the director role with eyes wide open. Though I am familar with the team and our technical domain, I seek out help in order for me ramp up on this role where I have to individuals and managers ( in what is called a manager of manager role). As part of the help, I was introduced to a seasoned leader in the larger software organisation who was to be my mentor. At the same time, the department also hired an external professional mentor to help a cohort of managers to develop their careers.

Being new to the job, I am very eager to get things moving with the team. My mentors summarised the 3 things that one needs to deliver as a leaders in an engineering organisation.