On The Road With Steve Barriault: The Asian Team - The IMF

Steve Barriault

December 07, 2016

The Vector Software APAC division finally reaching the shores of Thailand after a long journey

Anna, our Director of Marketing, wanted me to write one of my opuses for the last show we had in Japan. It was indeed very successful. We did it Japanese-style too - waves after waves of presentations to hundreds of information-hungry engineers that came to hear the Gospel of Change-Based Testing by our Japanese team. Missed it? No worries, we can give you a presentation at your office anywhere in Japan, and yes, that part is free.

Staging multiple presentations in a cozy booth to deliver the news of VectorCAST testing to the masses!

But then, let us be frank here - booth images only attract so many eyeballs, and I felt duty-bound to create content that would help increase our readership from 5 to 10 loyal supporters. I asked my Asian IMF (which stands, of course, for the International Manage Force) to assemble in Thailand. Their mission, which they gleefully accepted, was to brave the rainy season and learn about all the exciting new capabilities of VectorCAST to help hundreds of new companies.

Besides Takahiro Takahashi (from our Japanese office), we were also lucky to have been joined by MDS Technology (our exclusive distributor in Korea) and Trinity Technologies (from China), who took time off their busy schedule and joined us for training sessions on the many exciting new features we added to the tool suite in the past few months.

And then there was the delegation from India. After a long swim from Chennai to Phuket with a technical stop somewhere in the Nicobar Islands, we landed on Freedom Beach, a secluded haven free of street vendors. The trip was not without its fair share of risks - many did not know how to swim, one of them (Joydeep Chowdhury, sales) complained about not advancing while paddling madly, while Sunil Yadav (engineering) had real issues with buoyancy and nearly visited the bottom of the ocean a few times, but by the end they all put Michael Phelps to shame with a show of endurance and determination.

Freedom Beach, where we finally touched ground

 We were not at the end of our adventure, however. After seeing a few people in distress trying to see if they could negotiate the steep descent to the beach (Sunil sunnily yelled that "it is OK, Vector Software is here!") and going through an impenetrable jungle, we came face to face with a monkey that fancied himself as a (cute) IRS agent, going straight for travelers' money. We defended our budget valiantly.

Hands off our money!!!

Several presentations and slides later, we of course needed to replenish our bodies with excellent (and cheap!) Thailand food. Srinivas Ravipati (engineering) and I made it clear we would accept nothing less than Thai levels of spiciness, or as Srinivas put it "on a scale of 1 to 10, make it 20!". To make it all the more convincing, I told the nice lady taking our order that despite appearances I really came from China (Xinjiang province) and had a strong dietary requirement for spices. That made her laugh, not sure why.

Of course, we went for an East Asian style banquet, where all meals are shared. During that time, we officially inducted our newest team member (Hareesh Padaki) into our team. A few tests and secret handshakes later (which exact nature we will of course keep a top secret, since not everyone can qualify for team membership), we reluctantly agreed to stop calling him a script kiddie and recognized him as a pair shell coder instead. Way to go Hareesh!


Our banquet for Hareesh, before actual food was delivered (only liquid bread present)

On a more serious note... I personally feel proud to be leading this team. They are dedicated professionals that I personally saw going above - and sometimes way above - the call of duty to delight customers. It is not always easy to do our jobs - despite the high quality of the tools, the complexity of our clients' environments means someone needs to back them up with excellent services. That is sometimes stressful - you need to figure out things quickly, and then you have the additional challenge of huge time zone differences. But then, my guys and our premier distributors deliver.

Alright, well we are already at the end of our first (and hopefully not last) VectorCAST APAC conference. This is Steve Barriault, signing off and heading for a balmy clime of -15 C° somewhere on this beautiful planet of ours.

P.S. I am planning a Christmas special for these folks who asked for me to publish a bit more often. I promise a treat. Watch for it!l