Dublin, Ireland

Things have turned around lately. Early in the year, I was with the functional safety team getting the a product to comply with a product development lifecycle that enable the product to be compliant to a safety standard for either automotive or industrial use. The software director (which was my previous boss before joining the functional safety team) came down to Penang. I had set up a meeting with him to talk through some of the systematic process that we need the software team to comply. He had let me talked through the list of issues and complains, then he sprung a surprise. We had a program manager in his team who is running 2 programs in parallel and overwhelmed. He asked if I would like to take up program management for one of the project, so happen to be follow up project from the one that I left off before joining functional safety. I didn’t have to wait before he leaves Penang to accept the offer and the transition was pretty quick after that.

This new project is great, it’s the next generation AI/Deep Learning chip that we will collaborate with a new team that came on board as an acquisition based in Ireland. Another great aspect of this assignment is that I get to start from the project execution phase. The planning has been done, I get to execute this from the current program manager who planned for it. It is pretty normal for a project manager to be involved in the whole planning phase and then handing it to another person for execution. Typically the planning phase involved a small team of experienced lead and the execution phase involves the whole army.

The final step in the planning phase is to have it ratified, which means the program is committed and funded. It was decided that we have a final face to face meeting with the new team in Ireland to ratify the plan (on the software level), before flying off to US the following week for the overall program face to face.

I took the change to tag along the team going to Ireland to have the face to face meeting, followed by the trip to us to ratify the program. This is also a symbolic handoff of the program to me to manage for the execution phase.

Never thought of going to Ireland ever, so don’t know what to expect. Stayed at a pretty decent hotel that turned out to be a place that the local tour agencies put up for the night. So we get a lot of tourist (mainly Chinese) during breakfast. Talk about breakfast, it’s mostly the “fry ups” (or the Irish breakfast) that I enjoyed during my earlier trips to UK.

The hotel was beside a mall (a 20 mins walk away under the cold and wet weather). I had one weekend alone before the gang arrives, so I decided to take a bus to Dublin, to take their hop-on-hop-off tour bus. Sat on both their routes and listening to the commentary from the tour guide, gives a good idea what I am looking at and the history behind it. When I go to a place, I prefer to see the historical and cultural side of things rather than the regular tourist spots.

Contrary to normal tourist itinerary, I did not go into the Guinness Brewery, I did hit the national gallery and saw a Caravaggio painting. That to me is the highlight of the trip. I did walk around a the city to hit the normal places like Temple Bar.

It is a beautiful city, much slower city similar to London. I did have a shock in Dublin. Coming down from the Bus late morning early on a Sunday, I was not sure where I was in Dublin and had walked along a large main road. There was a couple, in their 20’s, just woke up in their sleeping bag. They had been sleeping in one of the nooks that leads to an office emergency door. They had syringes stuck to their legs. Basically stumbled into a young drug junkie. That was a shock to my system to see something like this in a prime location.

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