Saturday, August 22, 2009


Some of you might have noticed that my posts are dwindling lately. That’s because my job occupies most of my time. Our company, who handled this particular branch of the government for the past 18 years, will end its contract on January next year. We have no idea if we’ll win another extension.

What I mean is they have an unconventional way of awarding contracts. A candidate company’s resume, even if it contains long years of experience, expertise, capable staff or even the lowest bidding price, does not guarantee ink on paper. The final nod is reserved by the head honcho at the Ministry. If the man doesn’t like your CEO’s face, even if you’re qualified, fulfilled all requirements and won the preliminary bidding, there is no assurance you’ll get the contract.

I remember a few years back. After the Gulf War, there was a multi billion dollar communication upgrade contract up for grabs. A consortium composed of big European communication companies (including mine), headed by Siemens, placed a bid and won. A few weeks later, US’s Secretary of State visited the kingdom. After several more weeks, guess what? The contract was awarded to AT&T. I’m not “sour-graping” here, but rumors have it that Bush’s emissary reminded the government on US’s role in liberating its neighbor from Saddam. If there’s any grain of truth in that gossip, then the Americans have a phrase for it – “its payback time”!

I’m going astray here. Let’s get back to my main issue. One of our systems resides in old computers and runs on DOS environment. Since manufacturers no longer make hardware that support 16 bit platform and we’re running out of spare parts, our “policy makers” decided to buy the latest computers and upgrade the system to run in Windows. That is what I’m doing right now; modifying old DOS programs to run in Windows. And I got till December to finish the job. A Quixotic task if you ask me, since I’m a one-man-team assigned to this. That’s because it seems “C” programmers are a rare breed. Am I a dying specie or what? I knew a lot of guys in cyber space who are experts in C and C++. Yet our human resources have a difficult time finding programmers who can read “C” source code and convert it to Visual C++.

A sample of what I’m deciphering is a program similar to this:
and converting it to run in Windows, like this one:
It’s a sub-program that automatically connects receivers to measuring instruments and antennas with just a click of a button. It looks simple. But behind this minimalist facade are relatively complex programming calisthenics, to make life easy for an operator.

I don’t know yet what destiny has in store for me next year. I might be joining the number of jobless workers and be part of the growing unemployment statistic. But I don’t see things that way, at least not yet. I’m preparing myself for any eventualities that might occur.

So if your company needs a System Analyst/Programmer, I’m available next year. Just think of me as an elephant (“I work for peanuts”), a matriarch African elephant. : )


  1. medyo mahirap nga yan pards, at pagdating sa ganyang system, talagang ikaw lang ang makakagawa nyan, kaya sa iyo ibinigay ang task.pero sa tingin ko yakang yaka mo...:)

  2. College days nung gamit ko ung C,pinagkakitaan pa namin ng wife ko yan, pero ngayon wala na akong alam, "C" na lang alam ko lolzz...nakalimutan ko talaga programming ng C eh.

    Nga pala pag nakahanap ka ng work, at dalawa ang kelangan,isama mo ako ah :D

  3. ever, 'alang hiya, pards. Ang laki talaga ng tiwala mo sa aking matatapos ko ito. Kahit hindi mo pa nakikita kung papano ako magtrabaho. : )

    CM, ang kagandahan at lakas ng C ay nasa "pointers". Yan din ang backbone at concept sa pag gawa ng Windows OS. Ano ba ang Windows? Hindi ba't mga "messages" lang yan. Ang trick ay papano mo hulihin at gamitin ang mga messages na yan.

  4. Usapang mga programming ito ah...Souvenir program at awarding program ng PEBA lang ang alam ko. di ko alam ang C minus-minus. hehehe

    With your caliber, other companies will 'make habol habol' sau, Blogusvox.

    Now were beginning to know you! hehehe

  5. weh! di ako nakarelate!

    don't worry Kuya... He has a better plan.. malay mo, your company will win again the government account... or could be, may naghihintay ng company sayo next year. no one knows.

    pero ganito lang un kuya, if you are good as well as your intention, hindi ka pababayaan ni Bro.. kasama na dun ang hindi Nya pagpapabaya sa pamilya mo.

    anuman yang C++ na yan... sana maging "double positive J" yan!

  6. Kenjie, mag dilang angel ka sana. Hindi pa kasi ako handa. Wala pa akong maisip na negosyo sa Pinas.

    Azel, akala ko ba hindi ka maka-relate. 'Bat alam mo ang J++? Java language yan using OOPs (object oriented programming). Salamat sa encouragement. Magpapalakas na ako sayo mula ngayon. Mukhang mas malapit ka kasi kay Bro kesa sa akin.

  7. hello! taga saang planeta po kayo? he he. ang hirap naman ng trabaho mo, at least sa paningin ko. sa yo, siguradong sisiw. good luck!

  8. Chickenfeed yan sa iyo, hehehe, alam ko lang! I know you're busy, it's obvious, hehe.

  9. R-yo, taga earth. Yung 3rd rock from the Sun. Nano, nano! : )

    sheng, hayy, thank you sa pampalakas ng loob. Ang dami ko talagang iniisip ngayon.

  10. Wow, you should be working with us. We are facing the same problems in our Ministry office, our system is running in 16-Bit and on obsolete machines.

    Our computer programmers is facing difficulties converting the system into a friendly user program that will run on Windows. We got a dozen people claiming to be software engineers and Microsoft Licensed professionals that for the last 4 years was unable to produce a single module that can replicate our system in Windows environment.

    It seems that my Department is sucked into the Dark Ages wherein laptops are of no use. Sayang kung nandito ka lang sana, you'll be our Superman.

  11. ano daw?? hehehehe sensha di rin ako maka relate ehehehehe....

    pakitai eang baea sanda!!.

  12. hindi po kinaya ng naka-rush hour na utak ko...
    hindi rin ako makarelate...
    i missed reading your posts kuya Ed!
    at least even if youre busy, u still find time to blog.. :D
    something were(your readers) are grateful for..

  13. Computer programming was one of the more difficult subjects in college and I don't want to recall our lessons on C language. Hehe.

    If ever your company will close shop, with your caliber I'm sure you'll find yourself a new and probably better job. But I hope your company will get an extension so you don't need to go through stressful changes.

    Good luck, bro!

  14. ha ha ha,ganun talaga pards pag pareho tayong gwapo..he he he.

    basta, gaya ng sinabi ko.yakang yaka mo yan.:)

  15. Pope, susulat ako sayo ha?

    magic, kasayud man sanda ku ang kapabilidad!

    YanaH, thank you, eneng and welcome back!

    Abaniko, thanks bro, mag dilang angel ka sana.

    ever, hehehe, salamat pards. Hindi sa aking kakayahan, kung hindi sa napabilang na gwapo! : D

  16. Huh? Nagkakamot ako ng ulo dahil I'm entirely clueless about anything that has to do with programming!

    True, Ed. Dito sa Saudi, napansin ko laging private ang pagbubukas ng mga bids. Balita ko sa Pinas, laging may mga present na representatives from bidders, tama ba?

    Hula ko lang (agawin ko kay Sardonyx ang panghuhula), The Pope will be of help to you.

    "Just think of me as an elephant" (coz I work for peanuts!). E ung peanuts naman nakalata tapos iba't ibang klase: peeled, roasted, salted, flavored, colored, de-oiled, etc.

    Tyagaan lang, Ed, at alam ko namang 'peanuts' sau yan.

  17. Nebz, true. Hindi transparent ang bidding procedure dito. Sa atin naman, when I was still working in a DPWH project, merong representative ang bawat bidder. Kaso formality nalang lahat yun dahil they all knew who already won. : D

  18. Rare breed nga iyang ganyan. Kaya I am sure, hindi ka mawawalan ng work. There are plenty out there. Good luck!

    Salamat sa comment sa Palipasan ni the Pope. Mabuhay ka!

  19. wow! busy indeed and looks like you have a really hectic time for that. but just take your time. i too had less time bloghopping lately.

  20. galing mo naman blogusvox, marami kang mahahanap na work wag kang mag-alala at malamang di ka naman nila tatanggalin no....nahuhulaan ko yan hehehe.....html programming na lang ang nalalaman ko pero nangangalawang na rin ni java nga di ako marunong hehehe, java chocolate chips ng star bucks lang alam ko hehehe, naiba ako ng linya eh napunta ako ng manufacturing at quality kaya di na alam ang C++ hehehe...goodluck alam kong di ka mawawalan ng trabaho sa galing mo

  21. Mike Avenue, Uy, napadalaw ka! Balik ka ha!

    donG, pasensya na, hindi na rin ako napapadalaw sa blog mo. Daming trabaho eh.

    Sardz, marami rin sa atin na hindi na practice ang profession no? Ang na tira e yung pagiging "objective" at "logical" na lang ng mga enhenyero.

  22. Best of luck Pards with your project's contract renewal. I've been quite busy with work too and thus a significant backlog has developed with my blogging and bloghopping.

    Take care.

  23. Kayang kaya mo yan. We have faith in you. And I can sense, too, na pag aagawan ka ng mga companies.

  24. Panaderos, oo nga pards, napaghahalata ring busy ka! : )

    Ms.Jo, thanks for your encourangment. Sabi nga sa isang commercial, "I needed that"! : )

  25. ayokong intindihin iyong diagram. nagsa-shutdown ang brain cells ko.

    pero ang alam ko, you will be fine. and i'm not just saying that. you have skills that remain needed.

  26. so i'm a rare breed na rin pala...haha... but havent programmed in C for years now. :) good luck with the proj and next year..

  27. marhaba ayayay astig talaga pala ng work mo mr henyo.....kaya mo yan pagsubok lang yan sisiw lang yan sayo......oi andito na ako sa jeddah sayang d man lang tayo nagkita sa riyadh lol ayaw ko na doon daming mga kalaban at mga epal lol malapit kasi sa head office namin lol......

  28. the Saudis are notorious when it comes to awarding contracts. There is always a hidden agenda when big contracts such as you mentioned are awarded.

    If you have knowledge with C, C++ and Java you should be able to get a job. The recession is almost over and within a year, the job markets will start hiring. The best bet is to use a headhunter to scout something for you.

  29. i am highly confident that your worst fears will never happen.

  30. Atticus, salamat sa encouragement.

    7thstranger, uy, C programmer ka rin pala.

    dacz, oo nga no. Wala kasing oras para ma EB. Good luck dyan sa Jeddah.

    bw, true, if you think there is plenty of "hanky panky" in the Philippines. It's still modest compared to what I heard here.

    Ms.Loida, thank you. How's everything in Canada?

  31. ganda dito madaming jobs and better opportunities, lipat ka na dito pls..