Friday, April 20, 2007

Word from the China Front

I had the good fortune to make my second trip to visit my client in Beijing, China. My trip was extended twice and I wound up staying three and a half weeks.

  • The reason my trip got extended was that one of my team's biggest recommendations related to eCommerce was rejected by the client as too expensive and taking too long. Heavy sigh. A worthy competitor has been introduced into the overall solution as a result.
  • I got to observe an interesting phenomenon. When an army of English speaking people fly to China to conduct meetings in English with Chinese I/T staff, the English speakers tend to dominate the discussion while everyone is in the room. The Chinese are generally soft-spoken and before they can mentally translate from English to Chinese, the English speakers move on to the next point. The Chinese are too polite to interrupt and say "you're going too fast." Therefore, the English speakers think there is a consensus only to discover objections later that never got expressed during the meeting.
  • I joined the team tasked with creating an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for the client. This ESB must span from North America to China. I think it qualifies as the "Brokered ESB Deployment Pattern" as described in my earlier post ESB Patterns that "Click".
  • I've been learning more about SAP and integrating SAP to other systems.
  • On a personal level unrelated to I/T Architecture, I got to have dinner with a member of Communist Party, to be amazed yet again at the incredible changes taking place in Chinese society, to visit the Summer Palace, to visit the Lama Temple, and take a bicycle rickshaw ride thru an old Beijing hutong. I got really tired of Kung Pao Chicken too.

Me at the Summer Palace in March 2007.

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