Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator - Ravi Sagar

So yesterday I cleared the JIRA Administration Certification. Honestly I feel good about it but I don’t think we need a piece of paper to prove that you have expertise on a particular tool. JIRA is just a tool and I have been working on it for several years, implementing it for companies of different sizes. Having this certification might help in getting more business but I know that clients usually look for your experience in similar deployment. They will feel convinced if you have done something like that in a different company of similar domain. It makes them feel good and comfortable in hiring you. Atlassian started this certification because there was a request from the market and there is no harm in that.

Clearing Atlassian Certified JIRA Admininstration exam is not easy. I think only those people who have been working 100% on JIRA as part of their job for the last 2-3 years can clear it, of course there are exceptions but this is just my feeling. So if you are totally new to JIRA and just started learning it, so don’t bother about this certification. You won’t be able to clear it easily and waster money, it is a costly certificaiton. There are exceptions but still it is quite difficult. This test is meant to test your experience and how you would handle a situation in the best possible way. There could be more than one correct answer to some question but you need to select the one which is most efficient and requires least amount of configuration. There are questions on almost every aspect related to JIRA Administration and you can start reading the official documentation to get started or you can also read my boo - Mastering JIRA 7 (self promotion)

Lot of people contact me for trainings and they just want to clear the test. Well first of all they should not bother about the test but if you are confident that you have enough JIRA knowledge and you really want to get certified then I will start a separate blog post on that sharing the tips and topics that will help you for the test. I just cleared the test yesterday and I was anyways never planning to do it but since I have done it now so now I don’t mind sharing my experience. In fact for someone who is already working on JIRA for couple of years, it should be just 2 days of additional effort going through the exam topics and reading the official Atlassian JIRA documentation.

Atlassian Certified JIRA Administrator

This is my official badge with a link to my certificate.

What else, well lot of work these days, I don't like it really. Sometimes I like doing nothing for many days in a row. I miss those days when I did nothing for many weeks. It is good to just relax sometimes. Not sure when will I be able to do that again. I haven't cycle at all recently. I haven't ran at all and I have not worked out as well. Winters are almost over now. It is officially spring time and sun has been really considerate for the past two days.

Sunshine after many many days
Sunshine in London

I hope it stays sunny and clear like.

Holi 2017 - Lancaster University, JIRA Admin Certification (London) and Birmingham (ITSM, ITIL)

I like when things are busy, at least it is better than staying idle. Weekends are really not very fun unless you have a car here in UK and I miss my dear Swift which is probably missing me as well. I am looking to purchase a good car here but could not find a good one yet. I am kind of worried today as there is lot of work and travel coming up in the next few days, it is my nature to get worried when something needs to be done. I do make it a point to enjoy afterwords but I think it is not good way to live your life. After completing one task other tasks will come and it is same story again. Some people can really enjoy their life no matter what. People who know my really well know that I am really a lazy person. I don't like to work a lot as well. I don't like to work late. I prefer finishing my work on or before time and then enjoy rest of the time. Of course I like doing work with utmost quality but I could never spend long hours working. Not everything we do as part of your work is fun. You can not always love your work. Sometimes you just need to do work without thinking about enjoying it. I admit that out of 10 things I do. I probably enjoy doing 2 or 3. Rest is either mundane activities which are not fun but still when talking about work we have to measure it based on the value they bring not fun. There are certain tasks which are very boring and you hardly enjoy them but those tasks could be very important for your clients.

Next week I am travelling to Lancaster University in north for work, it will be good to travel to different place. It is good to get out of London sometimes. Looking forward to visit a campus after a long time. It is different feeling when you enter a university. Feeling of freshness. As part of my life plan, at one time I thought I will do PhD and become professor in university doing research and changing the world in real way.

The week following next week I will appear for JIRA Admin certification test. I hate such tests. They are useless and never judge person's intelligence and honestly I am scared that I might fail. If I pass it will be good to add in the profile :) but I am quite honest about it. You don't really need a piece of paper to prove that you are an expert. Lot of people ask me if I am Scrum certified, I am not and don't plan to do it as well.

In the last week of March I will be going to Birmingham to participate in SDI Conference: http://servicedeskinstitute.com/events/sdi17/ It will be good for me to attend such event and hopefully it will bring in more business. We would mainly talking about our company's competencies on JIRA Service Desk and how it can be used to implement ITSM and ITIL processes in JIRA. There will be JIRA Training sessions as well and it is great place to get more leads.

Holi will be played tomorrow in India. As a kid I always wanted to play it with friends. People used to play lot of Holi where we used to live but unfortunately during this time of the year in March it was always our final term exams and as a kid in school I hardly played Holi. I used to promise myself that after my school get over I will start playing it, but when you grow up, you tend to forget about your dreams and get busy in other stuff and start chasing things like others. After school I did not play Holi till I get married. After marriage as per Indian customs I went to my in laws first year to play it and after that I have been going there almost every year. It is fun. I am missing it really today because I am not in Delhi. I actually wanted to visit during this time but due to projects I could not but I am going next month.

Holi 2015

This is me in 2015 playing Holi.

I really like the month of March and April. Not because of the spring. Weather wise it is worst time of the year when it starts getting hotter and it is sad to let go your winter wear and you know there is another 9 months of cruel heat in front of you. As a kid post final term exams March is the only time of the year when you have nothing to do in those 10-15 days. At the start of every new session in April we used to get new books, new clothes and I used to promise myself that that year I will study properly, that never happened of course but I realised much later in life that making solid plans is enough to make you feel good. The month of April used to bring lot of hope and it was more than enough. That feeling of hope, optimism is something embedded in my mind and I always relate the month of March and April with similar feeling. In fact I picture the whole year as a calendar in my mind with a grid like the one below.

Jan, Feb, March: Tough days, study, exams, pressure

April, May June: Good days, new session, fun days

July, Aug, Sep: Okish days, exam starts but no pressure

Oct, Nov, Dec: Good days, festivals, better weather

I don't know why I picture the whole year as a group of three months. This is since my childhood and hard coded in my mind. Now I am not in school, it has been almost 20 years now but the feeling associated with each month is still the same in my brain.

I wish all my friends to have fun this Holi. Drink a lot and enjoy. See you soon.

Back to posting picture on flickr

Many many years ago I used to post pictures on flickr which was also linked to this blog and all the pictures were posted as a blog. It worked fine until I stopped doing it. Many years passed and it doesn't work anymore and honestly I don't want to do it now. I used to post stupid pictures of cats and dogs and it was really meaningless. Now I am a matured person and will act like one as well (or pretend).

London Paddington

This is London Paddington station, one of the biggest train station I have seen in my life. It has 14 platforms. It connects not just the national railways (GWR) but also the airport line and the infamous London Tube also know as underground.

Holborn

This is Holborn, heart of London and this building is a masterpiece. It looks really nice in sunshine, which is quite rare in London. This building reminds me of CST, Mumbai.

My flickr photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ravisagar

What else, not much. Life is same as earlier. Mid life crisis I guess but yeah lot of travel and interesting projects to work on. Things are on the right track or seems like they are. I got sick last week after a long time. Bad cough, can't even speak properly. Little fever is also giving me trouble. Whenever I get sick, it reminds me of all the days when I got sick. As a kid I used to get sick a lot. May be my immunity was not that great. After growing my immunity suddenly got a boost and I now don't get sick that often. Just once a year but I don't like it at all. I used to scared as a kid of getting sick. It meant taking those bitter medicines and probably an injection which I am still terrified of. Anyways, I hope I will be fine in few days.

Lot of things have changed in the past few months. I no longer do Drupal project. Not really I don't love it anymore but mainly there is no good money in Drupal or in creating web applications. I might do it again provided it is good project and money of course. Now I am completely focussed on Atlassian tools and that is where the money is. When I started working on Drupal long long back I never really though that I will ever do something else. I was so much into Drupal. In fact I was able to start my business because of Drupal. That really gave me the push and the technical knowledge I built upon Drupal was the main reason that I was able to sustain that business for so long. When we started doing Atlassian consultation mainly on JIRA and Confluence we already had a running business and processes. It was not difficult for me. Had I started Atlassian consultation company from scratch, it would have been extremely difficult. So my only suggestion to anyone starting a new company. Be open to change and divert your path. Keep your options open.

Currently it is Atlassian consultation for me but who know what is next!

Need to catch a train now. Bye!

Kapil's little accident and Batman (1989 movie)

In the year 1990 when I was in 3rd standard my father took me to Chanakya cinema to watch the Batman movie (We used to watch movies a lot together. We watched several Chunky Pandey and Neelam films in later 80s). I loved that movie a lot. May be that is the reason that I like Batman a lot. I used to watch Batman and Robin old series that was aired on television too and I used to drew batman cartoons. I think Batman is still my favorite super hero. I was of course excited to watch that movie, back then watching movies on theater was a big thing, at least for me. We didn't have color television by that time, cable tv had just arrived in India. Doordarshan was the old source of entertainment for us. Watching DD was boring back then, but now we reminisce Doordarshan a lot. I announced in school a week before about this movie watching event. Little kids get excited about these things easily, I was too. Most importantly I was excited to watch an English movie in hall and wanted act cool among my friends that I have seen an English movie in English. Chankya was the only hall in Delhi that used to show international movies.

My father and I went to the cinema in south Delhi on scooter, we had LML vespa. We reached Chankya puri, which is a posh south Delhi area where all the embassies are located. This area is better maintained and general clean as compared to other colonies in Delhi. It was amazing ride from home till there. I still remember watching that movie. The batman movie back then was more fun than dark and that movie was quite funny. The batmobile used to fly in that movie and I still remember the climax scene where batman follows the joker on a tall building. That memory is still clear in my mind. After the movie all I was thinking is to go back home and tell someone about my experience. I wanted to share what all things I saw in the movie. I wanted to tell my friends that I went to this really cool and big cinema hall in south Delhi, but destiny had different things planned for me.

In the evening when I came back home it was not dark yet so I decided to go to Kapil's house who used to live just across the park. We went outside and decided to play something. We had our own games. I wanted to tell him about my experience but he wanted to play first. In that games I was just supposed to catch him and he would run first. So he started running on the streets and I ran after him. He was quite ahead of him when I noticed that he crossed the road and stood on the other side near the petrol pump in A-1 block. He just stood there and prompted me to follow him. I was just standing on the other side and asked him to come back but he did not. Actually I was not allowed to cross the road. I was scared too. So I decided to make him think that I am going back home and thought I will catch him when he come back to my side of the road. So I turned and started going back home. He saw me and attempted to cross the road. He crossed half the road and when he almost crossed the other half I decided to turn back quickly and catch him. When he saw me coming back, instead of crossing the remaining second half of the road, he started running and then suddenly out of no where one ambassador car came and hit him. The car driver already pushed the brakes but could not stop completely. He was hit and he fell on the road in front of the ambassador. He was little unconscious and started crying. The driver of the car came out, picked him and took him to the Bedi's doctor's clinic which was exactly opposite our house. I was witnessing all this and followed the driver from distance. Kapil was crying "Mummy, mummy" and was not in full senses. I was hoping that he is not hurt and frankly I was more scared of what will happen if my parent find out about this incident.

After following the car driver, I just entered my house and tried to listen to his cries. I heard him shouting only "Mummy, mummy" and I was hoping for the best. After sometime the noises stopped coming and I assumed that everything is alright. All this made me forgot about the Batman movie completely and I was sad that I had no one to share. Later that day my cousin brother Pappu bhayia came to our house and I told him about the movie. He is around 16 years elder than me and probably didn't take lot of interest in what I was saying but anyways listened to me.

I did not tell anyone in the family about Kapil's accident. My mother came to know that Kapil is not well and went to his house to check him and there Kapil told my mother that "Ravi was running with me", that was his statement. Later that day I received lot of beating from both my mother and father. Nobody believed me that I was innocent and it was not my fault. I was not running on the road!, I shouted to everyone but all in vain. Kapil and I are still friends and but I still have not forgiven him for that. I received lot of rant from family, friends, tution aunty and my teachers for that lie. Everyone scolded me that I was responsible for Kapil's accident, I was frowned upon by society, but that was long time ago and I got over it. He was intelligent, used to get good marks and everyone liked him and believed him.

We all have certain important events in our life that kind of change the course of your life journey. These two incidents Batman movie and Kapil's accident both happened on the same day and I learned something very important that day. The lesson was that there will be times when people will not believe in you but should not feel bad and always believe that you are the best in the world. I became little more stronger when I came out of this and by that time the next Batman movie was already out and it was not that great ;)

I am writing about my memories from my childhood and early life. I am doing it because I want to. You can follow this page to find links to the new blogs that I will write about my life. Click here to find previous blogs related to my life memories.

Do we really need to work 15 hours a day to achieve success?

I don't remember the last time I worked late nights or even more than 10 hours. My window of productive working hours is from 4 AM till 5 PM in the evening. I work usually 6-8 hours when I have the peak workload and frankly I work 4-5 hours most of the time. Am I working too less? May be. Is it bad thing? May be. Will I be able to achieve a lot more if I put in more hours? I don't think so. I am happy with whatever I doing and that is more important. I look at people these days, mostly working professionals or startup guys and sometimes I feel guilty of not working like them. I want to confess that although I am good in what I do but I don't like working for long hours. I prefer finishing my work as soon as possible and have fun for the remaining day. Now you must be familiar with the non sense logic of love what you do and you will not feel like working. That is stupid. There are trillions of things to do in life and work, you can't possibly love each and every single thing. Things that give you most value or reward may not be interesting, it may be boring also but you still have to do it.

There is nothing wrong in doing things that you don't like. I say start doing those boring things and you would start liking them. Generate interest. I do feel guilty sometimes of not working enough. There are days in the week when I just don't do anything at all and few days I work religiously from 4 AM to 5 PM, but I never really work more than 8 hours.

I like planning things and believe in doing things efficiently. Even if I have to do something beyond my work, like a side project or learning a new skill, I plan it and do it but I never stretch. Everyone works differently and people have differently level of intelligence. I know few people who don't rest until they have a task to do, same is the case with me. When I have a delivery to make, I give my 101% and even more. I think about that task all the time, but I hardly work for long hours. It is not like I can't, I can certainly work without sleep for 3 days, I have done that in the past but when you plan your work really work, you would hardly need to do that.

When I was struggling in my early days of career, I used to freelance in my free time and then after few years I started my company and I struggled a lot, but even in those days I never worked long hours. I planned my week and what work I would do everyday in advance. I tried several tools but keeping a notepad is the best. For instance after company back from job I used to spend at least 2 hours everyday on other projects and on weekends I used to give additional 8 hours. I used to take office cab and I tried my best to utilize my time reading books. Even in the office I didn't make lot of friends. Eating lunch with people, meeting over tea is all great but kills not only time but your energy and most importantly your mind has limited energy every day. If you fill your mind with unnecessary information then you will not feel like working after coming back from office. Try to isolate yourself when you have to achieve something.

These days I am more on a free mode where I don't plan much and I work as things come. I enjoy it. I do work at my own sweet pace but I have earned it by working consistently over the past 15 years. I do give myself few light months of no-plan mode every now and then. It relaxes me. I work on plan-mode from March till August this year and from September onwards I am working quite comfortably. Ask yourself what will you achieve by working 15 hours every day? Unless you are sure that your 15 hours per day will give you lot of money or satisfaction, don't do it. It is not worth it. Instead do other activities like exercises or play some sports. Join some meetup club and go there once a week. Meet regularly with your friends and give time to your family. There is nothing wrong in enjoying life. Work not hard but consistently, that is my rule.

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