Category Archives: Uncategorized

Three simple steps to troubleshooting.

Whether it’s fixing that elusive bug or resolving a customer’s complaint, at some part of our career, we would have lost some hairs in troubleshooting an issue.

Sometimes we had it easy and the solution just appear. Sometimes we knocked on many doors and still there were no solutions, just workarounds.

Over time, when we face a new issue, we struggle to recap how we manage to solve the previous issue. 

In short, is our troubleshooting methodology repeatable?

I think so. And here’re the steps that I find myself to use over time.

  1. Develop a hypothesis
  2. Work towards proving or disproving the hypothesis 
  3. Repeat until solved

The bulk of the work is at Step 2 and that is issue specific, and warrants a separate thorough discussion at another time.


Cross selling, under-promise & over-deliver where you least expect it.

You’ve probably encountered the MacDonald’s crew who tried to up sell and cross sell to you, but have you ever encountered it at your local coffee-shop?

Well, we did recently. Here’s what happened.

We wanted to order kaya toast from the kopi-kia and he responded that it’s gonna be a long wait for toast and asked if we wanted to get some kuehs instead. if you’d never eaten kaya toast before, here’s how it looks like:

Embed from Getty Images

And this is how kueh looks like.

Embed from Getty Images

We were told that the wait could be 10 minutes or more. We decided to go for it. Shortly after, he came back with our kaya toasts and commented that it didn’t take 10 minutes after all.

While eating, it started to sink in that the kopi-kia had just attempted a cross selling on us, and when it failed, he under-promise with the wait time and over-deliver by getting back to us in about 50% lesser time!

Good customer service for $1.20 spent on kaya toast, I would say.

Try an apparel at home without wearing it

I’m not quite sure how the customer is suppose to do this, but apparently, a retailer think this is possible.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t think of a way how this could be done. I mean there’s a reason for fitting rooms.

Sony Mobile still missing the point in selling


While BlackBerry seems to have gotten it in their recent product launch. Sony seems to struggle with it.

Looking at this front page ad, seriously they’re still in the era of selling specifications instead of benefits that consumers care.

“The highest level of water resistance in a smartphone”
Why should I care? What does this means to me? Tell me that I can bring to take beautiful photos on my next snorkeling trip. Or tell me it will survive my washing machine trip. That’s something that will make me feel connected.

If they continue to miss the boat, I wonder how much longer can they stay in the race for the market pie.

Unique constraint violated

Recently I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out why I kept encountering the unique constraint violation during unit testing.

The column in question wasn’t a primary key. Neither was there a table constraint for it’s uniqueness.

I was puzzled. Until finally when I took a look at it’s Hibernate mapping. That column had the tag, natural-id.

That explains everything.

— Post From My iPhone

Character escaping with Hibernate ORM

Last week, a friend told me his developer shared that explicit character escaping is needed with Hibernate.

I doubted. Unless of course he was constructing his own SQL, which he wasn’t.

To prove, I did a simple insert into a VCHAR column of the Oracle table and found that the so called special characters of single quote and ampersand got persisted as it is. And no escaping was needed on my part.

— Post From My iPhone

Apple iPhoto – Facial Recognition

It’s interesting to read that iPhoto actually allows tagging of face in photos which can then be searched via spotlight.

Not sure if you’ve to tag all photos or just one and have spotlight find all photos for you.

Gonna try it out when I have the time!

— Post From My iPhone