Friday, October 27, 2006

Seagull Softwares is a scam

Seagull Softwares was a company that was promoting a work at home data entry job system in Sri Lanka. They charged a registration fee upfront which was 1.5 times the monthly pay, which meant you become profitable only after you complete two months with them.

But apparently the work was pretty easy. You could buy work slots and for a computer savvy persona slot was only about 10 minutes of work per day. So this would have become a method of easy money in most people's eyes.

It also offered a convenience like no other earning opportunity. It was flexible and it required not special training. Also, it allowed a lot of those who were unable to work an opportunity to earn. Specially given the fact that part-time work is virtually non-existent in Sri Lanka.
So they had a great demand. I heard that people stood in queues to register themselves in this scheme. There had been people who had bought hundreds of slots and was employing others to do the work.

Guess what, about a three days ago the Police has busted the place. The scammers have jumped the country. Apparently it was a racket which was run by a couple of Indians. The web site is registered under the name of Raj Sekr in Chennai. They have not made payments to people for the last month or so for the work performed. And there and been a lot of people who have registered but who had not completed one months work to become eligible to pay.
Somehow another smart fellow has managed to scam a lot of people and vanish with their money.

Who said there is free lunch? Or rather easy lunch...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Affno Strikes GOLD (twice) at BCS Awards

Last weekend was a great weekend for Affno as we won 2 Gold awards (for the two entries in two categories we participated in), won the Overall Silver Award, across all 13 categories and won a special award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

For this years National Best Quality Software awards, Affno submitted entries for 2 categories. We made an entry into the e-government category with our Town Planning Services Management Solution (TPSMS) as well as the Financial Applications category with Retail Market Booster (RMB) - our online stock trading solution. Out of all 13 categories FA was the most keenly contested category as it had the highest number of entries (11).

After the initial category presentations both our products were called for a second presentation, this time for the overall awards.

TPSMS won the e-government category. RMB won the FA category beating other solutions like online banking solutions. I think it was a well deserved award as RMB has already proven itself in the Sri Lankan market, with 6 of the top stock brokers going online with it! RMB also bagged the overall Silver award as well the Institute of Chartered Accountants award for the best Financial Application.

This makes Affno the most successful products company in Sri Lanka. There was no other company winning two categories and four awards in total. Great show Affno team!

As for my part I am very happy to be a part of this great team and for doing my bit in getting the awards for Affno, because I was a presenter for both presentations for RMB. But I missed the party last Sunday night as I my wifee was not feeling well and instead of going to the party I decided to stay at home with her. But hey, I was there when I was needed most, for both of them, for Affno and for my wife!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Registering for PMP exam

Finally the PMP (Project Management Exam) is going to be held in Colombo. The date has been fixed for 20th of November. To be able to sit for the exam you have to complete the registration by the 20th of October.

Filling up the registration form for the PMP exam is a project by itself. Since I posses an accredited educational qualification I have to show 4500 hours of project management work experience. This gets more complicated when you have to show a breakdown of time spent on each of the process groups; initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & control and closing.

My life was made a bit easier by the fact that the application form is available online and it can be filled and saved to continue later. Also, as you go along filling it, the application itself tells you how much more you need to cover in order to become eligible. This is the most interactive exam application form that I have filled. I have to admit, this is IT used in a practical manner.

I realized that I needed to run through my projects as I needed to first workout the time I have spent on each of the projects that I have managed earlier as well as to gather the time I have spent on each of the tasks so that I can work out the tie spent on each of the process group. Life was made simpler again by a spread sheet that was forwarded in the PMP study group email. This spreadsheet calculates the contact hours when you put in the dates. Good for me!

So now I have raked my brains and have come up with the projects that I have managed along with the time lines. A lot of my former colleagues helped me to find the dates lines of older projects. And having the old emails archived helped to a great deal too. The spreadsheet tells me that i have covered my 4500 contact hours. So now I am off to the online application form to put it all across to PMI.