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Ericsson from Europe to Africa: Meet Some of our Global Team

One of the greatest things about working at Ericsson is the opportunities you have to work with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, and maybe even travel to work where they are.

One such organisation is the RSSA CHI (which stands for Region Sub Saharan Africa Competence Hub Ireland). This team provides senior competence across the Sub Saharan Africa region. At Ericsson, this means Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Namibia and many more – quite an adventure!

Team members, who are regarded as being the best in their field, will travel on assignment to these countries to assist or manage some of the most complex, challenging, strategically important and rewarding projects in the world.

The team itself is fairly representative of the best of Ericsson: a diverse mix of professionals from all over the world who have each excelled individually and have joined forces to form a unit that has a strong ethos of teamwork (they describe themselves as the “A-team”).

Although they travel significantly thought the year, I was pleased to catch up with Jeffrey Manalaysay and Hamizan Mohamad when they were here in Ireland recently (where, as you can see, we were having a typically fantastic Irish summer).

Hamizan Mohamad
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Hamizan Mohamad is a veteran of telecoms and joined Ericsson in 2007, and Ericsson Ireland in 2011 as a Senior Customer Project Manager, managing multimillion-dollar rollout projects and programs on Ericsson’s behalf. Although I had worked with him since 2011, this was the first time we met face to face. He told me the RSSA region itself gave you a lot of varieties in terms of culture, working environment and customer interactions. You will meet up with new challenges everyday which makes the job even more interesting. This creates diversity in your experience and it makes your job very enticing!

Jeffrey Manalaysay
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Jeffrey Manalaysay has worked with Ericsson for over 10 years now, in the Philippines, Sweden, Brazil, Algeria and now Ireland. He is a Senior Solution Architect, helping bring Ericsson’s customers ambitions to fruition through innovation. Jeffrey told me: “I have travelled to various African countries specifically in the Sub-Saharan region. Since Africa is a continent like none other, it has that which is elegantly vast or awfully little. It goes the same with the projects; it could be a huge turn-key project or a small delivery; very challenging or a “walk in the park.” Either way, there are always lessons to be learned. But the biggest lesson from Africa both in a professional and personal experience was that, our life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things.”

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Hamizan and Jeffrey work on projects in the RSSA Region (illustrated). Having recruited for this division a couple of years ago, I have discovered a couple of interesting facts about Africa that I thought I would share with you:

  1. Sub Saharan Africa has a bigger land area than India and China combined- wow.
  2. The number of languages spoken in Sub Saharan Africa is over a thousand.
  3. More oil is produced in Sub Saharan Africa than in the Middle East- sorry EMEA!
  4. Mobile Data penetration is expected to double by 2017.
  5. The second largest market in the world for Guinness is Nigeria. (Is this why the RSSA CHI is in Ireland?)

So, if you think you are the next Hamizan or Jeffrey, and you’d like to discover RSSA like I have, we would love to hear from you. We’re hiring right now:

Senior Solution Architect – BCSC/CBIO
Senior Solution Architect – RAN
Senior Customer Project Manager – NRO
Senior Customer Project Manager- CSI
CSI Program Director/Manager

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The Joel Test

I’ve recently been made aware of the Joel test. Invented by Joel Spolsky, its a 12 step test to rate the quality of a software team. Seems clever, and I’m wondering if it could be useful as an interview tool. If you have any thoughts, I’d love to her them either below, or you can email me directly at barry@barry.ie

Have you ever been asked this at, or prior to, an interview, and what would you think of the company if you were?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Here is the test in full test: The Joel Test

 

Joel Spolsky, author of the Joel Test (with thanks to the photographer, Katie Chan)

Equality in the Workforce

Plato, possibly the fist campaigner for equal rights, the philosopher was born this day  427 BC. He said:

If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.

Happy birthday Plato!

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, in the Colosseum Museum, Rome.

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, in the Colosseum Museum, Rome.

Some additional configuration of MS Office 2010 and Windows 7

Hi everyone, I got a new machine in work yesterday and found a few of the new features of MS Office 2010 and Windows 7 not to my taste, so I switched them off (and added one to outlook). I thought I would share this with you all, as you may find it useful.

Let me know what you customise any time you get a new machine or do a reinstall of your OS!

1. Spellchecker
I turned on “Always spellcheck before sending” in my Outlook options

2. Outlook Connector
I Installed the outlook connector for linkedin which you can get here: http://www.linkedin.com/outlook.

3. Turn off .docx
As lot of people still cannot (or will not) open the new “docx” format in MS Word, so I set my default in MS word to “.doc”. To do this, in MS Word, go to File – Save As, and then click the Tools option near the Save button, and then select Save Options.In the dialog that appears (screenshot 4) select Word 97-2003 document and click ok

4. Turn Off Transparency
If like me, you don’t like transparency effect of Windows 7 you can turn it off by going to control panel – appearance and personalisation – change windows glass colour and untick Enable transparency.


5. Recent File Lists
I put my recent files back in MS Office. By default, you have to click on Recent in the file menu to see them (red arrow). To cut this step out, click the checkbox beside Quickly access this number of Recent documents and select the number you would like to view (yellow arrow) and it will be like it was before.

Did you find this useful? Let me know what you customise any time you get a new machine or do a reinstall of your OS!

Irish Government Jobs Initiative/Private Pension Levy

The Irish government has announced an initiative to boost the local economy and increase employment by funding a number of programs from a temporary (4 year) levy of 0.6% pension funds and pension plans. The summary of the program is as follows:

  • The Air Travel Tax rate will be reduced to zero
  • Introduction of a temporary second reduced rate of VAT of 9% (tourism)
  • Halving of the lower rate of PRSI until end-2013 on jobs that pay up to €356 per week.
  • The R&D tax credit legislation will be amended to enhance its accounting treatment flexibility
  • 20,900 places will be made available for training, education and up-skilling
    • National Internship Scheme
    • 3rd Level/Springboard
    • Back to Education Initiative
    • Specific skills training (long-term)
    • Specific skills training (short-term)
    • Post Leaving Certificate (PLC)
  • Removal of the numbers ceiling on non-Exchequer funded Higher Education posts.
  • Short-term Visa Waiver Programme
  • Energy Retrofit Programme
  • €30 million Schools Capital programme
  • Investment in Regional and Local Roads
  • Investment in Smarter Travel Projects

The full proposal is here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0510/jobsinitiative.pdf

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts. Is it right to add a levy to pension funds in this manner? Do you think the levy will be extended in 4 years time? Most importantly, do you think it will work and boost employment? Please feel free to have your say below!

Dublin 3.6% better than New York

Another great reason to come and work here! Dublin is the highest ranked Irish city in the Mercer Quality of Living survey 2010, finishing 3.6% above New York, the base line city.  Dublin finished ahead of Honolulu, Adelaide, Paris, San Francisco, New York and London as well as many others. For the full survey results, you can visit the Mercer site here: http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving .

Work Permits in Ireland

Here is an interesting table and graph. It shows the number of work permits issued in Ireland per year over the last 10 years from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

I’m not sure how to interpret the graph in terms of the trends (for example, does the recent drop mean less people are interested in coming here, or does it mean that permits are now harder to obtain?). If you have any insight or thoughts,  I’d be interested in hearing them.