JeannelMah.Rocks

JeannelMah.Rocks

A blog about the adventures of Jeannel Mah

Working with a Global Team

An edited version of this appears on my LinkedIn. I wrote this while still in Capgemini for their Gradathon event. This is the unedited version of my write-up. 

Hello! My name is Jeannel. I just graduated from the Capgemini graduate programme in May. I’ve been working with Capgemini since May 2016.

My very first project with Capgemini was doing a Business Process Reengineering and Functional Requirements Study with a Government Ministry. On the project, I got to work with a very global team. We had industry experts come in from America, New Zealand and Germany who had experience in different areas of the project. These areas were the technology we were proposing to the client, the sector we were working on, and the methods of going about the project.

In addition to all the people we brought in, even within the local team we had diversity. Apart from the Singaporean locals and Malaysians, we also had teammates from India, Indonesia and Estonia.

Each project member brought a different identity into the project, not just from their industry knowledge, but the different characters and cultural differences made the project extremely interesting to work on. There was also a large range in terms of age, so that added in even more flavour.

There were definitely many different working styles in the team, and occasionally there were issues because of this, so at many points there needed to be constant mediation between the smaller working teams. As a graduate we didn’t really have the power to contribute in the mediation, but observing them and getting to know the different sides adds to our own personal database on “How To Handle Different People And Situations”

Outside the project, I spent a lot of time with members of the team. The American lady who became my mentor and close personal friend, the Turkish-Korean German with whom hanging out with was always fun, the Indonesian-German who gave me great working advice, the extremely multilingual German who was so open to trying our food and culture, the hard-working and quiet Estonian with whom many a late-night was shared, the ever supportive and caring Indian teammate who is quiet at first, but becomes extremely sassy when you get to know him better, and of course, the awesomely sporting fellow Singaporeans who helped me recommend and bring them around to try different aspects of our culture.

Some notable activities I recall from spending after-work time with them. Well, there was having meals al-fresco in the hot Singaporean weather which the non-Singaporeans loved, and which they loved to make fun of us Singaporeans for complaining about the heat. Bringing them to sing karaoke at Teo Heng and seeing their surprised looks that we had a personal room and no alcohol there. Almost weekly drinks and dance at a Mexican bar that had Salsa classes every Wednesday. Supper time at the extremely local, late-night dim sum place, Swee Choon, after having the Singapore Sling at the extremely posh, extremely touristy Raffles Hotel. Bringing them for a Hot-Pot lunch and seeing their amusement at how Singaporeans can scoff down a meaty buffet. Watching the hilarity of them getting into funny positions (think Asian-Squat) to take the best pictures on the River Bum Boat ride.

They were here for ranges of 3-8 months, so it would be impossible to capture everything that happened in that time into one blog post. But what I can definitely say is that it was a pleasure to meet and work with every single one of them. They taught me not only things that will advance my career in this increasingly global economy, but also fun and friendship across country and cultural boundaries.

Sudden Beauty

Have you ever had an instance, where you looked at a person that you see really often, maybe every day, and in a single instance they just look more beautiful than normal? But it lasts only for a split second. But you don’t know, maybe the light catches them in a certain way or you’re looking at them in a good angle or something, but they are just gorgeous in that moment.

CSS

Today, I’ve been playing around with CSS. And if you’ve used Bootstrap, you might be confused on how it works. Heck, I’m confused too. About how it overlaps and stuff. So following the blog post that I talked about recently I attempted to edit the CSS for my site.

And it wasn’t working.

In the <head> of my template I imported two css files (this is on top of the default bootstrap.css which is imported elsewhere)

<link href=”css/bootstrap.min.css” rel=”stylesheet”>
<link href=”css/custom.css” rel=”stylesheet”>

I used this exactly as how the blog post told me to. Attempted to edit custom.css but none of the changes were being carried. Debugging it, I found that it imports if I removed bootstrap.min.css. custom.css doesn’t override the first file. Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to make my additions to bootstrap.min.css (according to Google, this is the “mini” version of bootstrap.css without comments and everything.

The nice thing about CSS is that it follows the naming of items in your html quite accurately, so you can restyle specific elements of your html. My file looks something like this:

Where p is the style of all the portions which have the tag <p> in my code, .navbar-nac li a is the style of all <li><a> tags in specifically the navigation bar, and so on.

Additionally, I’ve done a fun little thing where my images become dynamic and are contained within the columns, so no more awkward pictures spilling to the sidebar no matter what size it is.

I mean look at it, its hideous.

So looking through the web I found all sorts of plugins (which don’t work) that claim to solve this issue. In the end, I managed to find a CSS solution.

I’m not sure how much of this is needed, but these were the codes I added to the various theme files (if you followed the tutorial I linked previously, you should have these files too:

Into content.php, add the tags that will make images responsive/fluid when defining the class:

<div class=”img-responsive img-fluid blog-post”>

In addition adding to the css:

Into bootstrap.min.css, define the maximum size that the image can be, because I want the height to maintain its aspect ratio when the width moves, I use auto. Max-width is at 100% to follow the size of the class:

.blog-post img {
max-width: 100%;
height: auto;
}

So now, if you shrink your browser (or use your phone), the images should be nicely scaled according to the browser size.

HTTPS

So today I was showing Yao Jun something on my website, And he came back to complain about the lack of https.

Which is so him, trying to make me the best of myself and stuff when it comes to things that is under his area of expertise.

So what is HTTPS? Well HTTP means “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol”. This is basically the method of how data is transferred over a network from a website to your browser. (I learnt this in a Networks class back in University, it goes pretty deep, has many levels which describes how data is packaged and everything which you can probably go and google if you’re interested in.) The “S” basically just means “secure”. What this means is that the data that is sent between the website and your browser are encrypted and thus secure. This is good practice to ensure your information is safe from hackers (because how a network works is basically data is jumping from place to place, router to router to get to you, and we don’t want anyone coming in between that right?).

So why doesn’t every website have it? Well to get your website secure, you need to get a certificate form a certificate authority. And usually you have to pay for this. But poor people like me don’t have the funds to pay for one. Which is why Lets Encrypt is great.

From their website:

“We give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way we can. We do this because we want to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.”

Basically, its free and easy to install. You just need to go to the “Get Started Guide” on their page and it basically walks you through all the steps to get your website secure.

For me, I have shell access, I made this website from scratch, so installing it wasn’t much of a hassle. You may have different issues if you don’t have shell access. However, when doing the installation I did come across a little hiccup..

So I had wanted to get all of my domains secure (jeannelmah.com, www.jeannelmah.com, jeannelmah.rocks, www.jeannelmah.rocks), but turns out, I hadn’t properly set up my Domain Name Service (DNS) for www.jeannelmah.rocks.

(There are technical differences between www websites and non www websites, but I’m not the best person to ask about the topic, I’ll probably go read it up at some point.)

So, continuing on with my story, because of this hiccup, I have to go and configure my domain. So I had to login to Namecheap (where I bought my domain name) to get DNS set up properly. Screenshots of the process are below:

After all that’s said and done, just continue on with the installation and viola, my website is now secure.

Now that I’ve got that settled, I’m gonna need to change any instances in my website codes (templates, settings etc) which mentions “http://” to “https://”, its probably gonna take me a while since I don’t have every instance of this mapped out at the top of my head, so some things may break in the coming weeks, but well, you don’t get progress if you don’t go through some pain.

Singaporean things to bring foreign friends to

So in my current job, I have to work with a lot of people coming in from various countries (America, Germany, Estonia, India, Hong Kong..). Very often Singaporeans are pretty stumped at to what we can suggest our foreign friends do/visit/eat while they are here. My local colleagues and I have been trying out various things with my more adventurous colleagues recently since a few of them are headed home soon. Here is a list of some of the things we did which can be used in the future. I’ll be adding onto this list as I think/ do more things.

Visit 

Sure, there are the usual tourist traps of Sentosa, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By the Bay. But Singapore has more to offer than that, and often they are less crowded, and even free.

  • Chinese Gardens

Address:  1 Chinese Garden Rd, Singapore 619795
Open: 5:30AM–11PM
Cost: Free

I’ve personally not been here in person and have only passed the place while on the train. But I’ve heard this place is gorgeous.

  • Haw Par Villa

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628
Open: 9AM-7PM
Cost: Free

I’ve been here pretty often for Orientation Camp activities since its quite near NUS. Its usually not crowded since it is relatively unknown and also quite out of the way. Its super accessible now though since the Circle Line stops right outside the park. Open in the 1930s by the family that made Tiger Balm, the park basically shows you what happens when you go to Chinese Hell, what happens at the different levels and because of what crimes. May not be good for young children, but honestly its not much worse than what you see on regular television nowadays.

  • Gotham Building

Address: Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188778
Open: I believe the building is open 24 hours, but I’m not sure.
Cost: Its free to enter the building

Its not actually called the Gotham Building, that’s just a nickname that locals gave it because it looks like something that would come out of the Batman comics since its so pretty. I believe it was build by a Tycoon from Hong Kong, though I’m not certain. The building and its courtyard is gorgeous. Its usually not too crowded since it just looks like a regular city building (its an office building). Recently the renovated the bar in the building, and the bar itself is also gorgeous (and pricey).

Activities 

  • Karaoke

Probably one of most Singaporean’s favourite past times is going to “Sing K”. I don’t know many Singaporeans who haven’t gone to Teo Heng or KBox before. I just brought a few colleagues to Teo Heng last night for karaoke, and they were actually quite amused by how we get our own private room to sing here, since in most countries karaoke is usually done in more of a bar setting where *shudders* other people watch you sing.

  • Supper

I guess this also falls under the “Eat” category. But I’m putting it on its own category cause well, Singapore’s supper culture is actually a thing. Whether or not you’re in University doing work late at night, or can only find a common time to meet with your friends past midnight, or are just hungry at 2a.m, I’m pretty sure every Singaporean has gone out past midnight for supper.

Eat 
The usual fare that most foreigners probably will know about before coming here are Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice, Satay. While I do admit many of us eat Chicken Rice pretty often, honestly how often to most Singaporeans get to eat Chilli Crab? (Other than my boyfriend’s family who seem to eat it at every other family gathering..) Here’s a list of some things we tend to eat on a more regular basis which usually don’t pop up in tourist guides.

  • Hotpot

Hotpot is delicious. You generally get to pick what you want to eat (at least, if you go for the buffet option), and it sums up the Asian “community” eating pretty well. But for this to go well, you’ll have to be going with people who are okay with sharing food. I know many people from America at least can’t stand the thought of sharing a common pot with other people.

 

  • McSpicy

Singaporeans love the McSpicy. Its probably the most ordered thing at the local McDonalds. Yes, our foreign friends may make turn up their nose at the thought of eating McDonalds while they are here, but it really is something that they should eat if they want the true Singaporean experience. Its delicious. Though fair warning, it may give you the runs, depending on how strong your stomach is. (Personally I’ve never had this issue, but it is a known issue. Not sure if its the oil or the spice, or a combination of both, but McSpicy doesn’t sit well in the stomachs of lots of people.)

  • Laksa Yong Tao Fu

  • Popiah

  • Traditional Chinese Desserts
  • Tutu Kueh (Kueh Tutu)
  • Nasi Padang