Rackspace Rookie-O (in Hong Kong!)

I’d meant to finish writing this way back in July… but I failed at that. Now is a good time to talk about Rookie-O as my again new colleague Andrew Hutchings (Buy his and Sergei’s book on MySQL 5.1 Plugin Development!) just went through the same thing (but in London instead of Hong Kong) given by the same trainer (Hi Eddie!).

Rackspace is the second employer I’ve had that has some kind of new hire training (the first being Sun). I am, of course, not quite counting Salmiakki as new-hire training for MySQL (although I probably should). To quote from the Wikipedia article: “Although the rumor of the heart attack was a hoax, the drink may still cause harm. The strong flavor almost completely masks the presence of ethanol, and the drinker may not realize he is consuming a drink almost 40% alcohol by volume (80-proof), leading to possible alcohol poisoning.” A promising introduction to the company.

Monty, MÃ¥rten and Kaj with Salmiakki singing Helan GÃ¥r at the MySQL User Conference Japan in 2007

Monty, MÃ¥rten and Kaj with Salmiakki singing Helan GÃ¥r at the MySQL User Conference Japan in 2007

I could possibly say something about the Sun New-Hire training… but I’m just trying to find something positive to say – and I can’t. I got a bit of hacking done? Seriously.

Actually coordinating a time to attend a Rookie-O (Rookie Orientation, the Rackspace name for new hire training) was rather tricky. There was one right before the MySQL User Conference back in April (not the best of timing), one during an upcoming team meeting (again, not ideal) and one that got organised in the middle of everything for the office in Hong Kong. So, I headed to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong streetlife

The Hong Kong office is relatively new (late 2008) and there were people there who hadn’t gone through the standard Rackspace Rookie-O (Orientation).

Rackers walking Hong Kong at Night

It was rather cool to hang out with other people who worked for the company – and in totally different areas than I do. I did get a better understanding for how the rest of the company operates and the people involved. The training itself was useful and substantially less geared towards not-my-job than Sun’s was.

The good news is that Andrew thought it was useful too. Pretty impressed so far.

7 thoughts on “Rackspace Rookie-O (in Hong Kong!)

  1. Heh. Btw, as developers, what did you have to learn in Sun’s training?

    I remember in sales Sun force-fed us a weeks worth of slides and questionnaires. They thought the stuff was really important, and if you didn’t do the course by the deadline (don’t ask me how I know this:-), you would get a phone call from your VP-level bosses, bosses, boss.

    Apart from the fact that it was a waste of time, the main problem with the course material was that, it was just a rehash of Sun marketing material. They thought it was important everyone in sales knows about all other Sun products too. But from the MySQL material you could easily see that it was 50% not true (Sun servers are the best choice to run MySQL, and all that…) so probably the other topics were complete BS too. So for a Sales Engineer, I sat through the material and then did my best to immediately forget it, as it would have been suicide to actually use any of that “knowledge” with customer situations.

    One of those times when something Sun did wasn’t just a waste of time, but actively harmful.

  2. Export controls, harrassment laws, legal issues, management values, marketing, and lots of what is and isn’t appropriate to offer government officials during sales meetings. All stuff which of course is fundamental to an engineer’s daily routine.

    All of which was repeated for Oracle, including the strict OS/browser requirements to run them (and a bug which prevented one of the courses from being completed, required if you didn’t want to get told off, unless you hit some magic ctrl-key combination).

  3. Only some of them… including the information security one that had a lovely bit that left you open to a man-in-the-middle attack.

  4. Ah, I forgot about the course on bribing techniques. That was useful as I also had Russia in my territory. In the excercise related to that module, I chose as most likely/realistic alternativy “You are too busy to handle the issue for now, so you postpone it until later” and immediately ended up in jail :-)

  5. Pingback: Rackspace Rookie Orientation « LinuxJedi's /dev/null

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