HP Upline Still Unavailable!

HP Upline has been down since Wednesday 4/16 for me and its still down. The HP Upline team was nice enough to send me this note:

Dear HP Upline Service subscriber,

On Thursday, April 17th, HP suspended operation of the HP Upline Service. We fully anticipate that suspension of the Upline Service will be temporary and short in duration, and will notify you when the Upline Service is operational again.

Please accept our sincere apology for this unanticipated interruption of your access to the Upline Service. We appreciate your patience as we launch this new service, and are working hard to minimize inconvenience caused by this service interruption.

We truly value your early adoption of the Upline Service and will be providing the following to you: your subscription will remain in effect but we will be refunding your entire subscription fee. We will be refunding this amount to the credit card or other account you used to subscribe to the Upline Service.

Again, thank you for your patience, and we look forward to providing you with the HP Upline Service.


The HP Upline Team

I have to say that this is one major screw up. Someone should get fired for this one. I’m responsible for operations at my current software start-up and if the CEO spends a bunch of money on a release, and the service just falls over and the infrastructure is in such a bad state that I’m forced to provide refunds for everyone, my resignation would be on his desk first thing Monday morning. Com’on! How can Web 2.0 start-up’s do it and one of the biggest software/hardware companies can’t do it. How bad can it be? You would think you could just throw hardware at the problem. They have plenty of that laying around.

Of course, I don’t know the details and I’m not sure what happened but I do know that I’m one unsatisfied paying customer.

HP Upline down for 2 days!

I recently jumped on the online storage band wagon and signed up for HP Upline. My thought process was that “it’s HP, I can trust these guys”. Plus, I could no longer wait for Google to come out with GDrive. Well, I’m 8GB into the 2TB of data and suddenly, the service has been down for the last 2 days. The support person simply said, “Yes, its down and we’re not sure when its coming back up”.

Amazing. 2 days. I know that backup isn’t quite “critical services” but 2 days is ridiculous. Whatever happened to 99.999% uptime?

The service needs to be called HP Downline.

HP stock tanks after I leave …

I can’t help but continue to track the HP stock even though I sold off all my vested options at its peak at the end of 2007. Note, my last day at HP was January 2nd and notice the instantaneous market reaction! Since then, the stock has tried but has not been able to recover.

The downside, I missed out on the ~1.4% yearly pay raise that many HP Software folks received or so I was told when I was inundated with IM’s about it . Please note that the average inflation for 2007 was 2.85%.

The irony is that my old boss called me a few weeks ago about poaching engineers (which by the way I do not do). Are you sure its me? My attitude has always been as an engineering manager is if you build a great place to work, people don’t want to leave.

But, its probably easier to find someone to blame. Touche!


Moving on from HP Software

This month I put in my two weeks notice from Hewlett-Packard. Below is the original blog post when I decided to join Mercury Interactive (at the time). It’s amazing how the time goes by.


Announcement: Sarah and I are excited to announce that we are moving to Bellevue, Washington just outside of Seattle. I have accepted an offer with Mercury Interactive in the J2EE Performance Management R&D product group. The work will directly work on the J2EE Deep Diagnostic tool involving development team management, Java systems programming (BCEL), Java performance tuning (Garbage collector and virtual machine optimization) and J2EE performance tuning. Mercury Interactive is the global leader in Business Technology Optimization (BTO).

Sarah (the most amazing wife ever) is willing to drop everything to support me in my career move and I can’t thank her enough for that. This was a very hard decision for Sarah and myself because of how fond we are of the Bay Area and the proximity of our friends and family. Hopefully, Sarah and I will be back in the bay area when we can actually afford a decent piece of real estate. Get ready to plan those trips up to visit! Meanwhile, let the next chapter of the Mascardo family begin! Stay tuned to Mascardo.com for more information!

As I contemplated this move, a few question came to mind. What have I been doing for the last 4 years?

  • Diagnostics Product Line
    • Relocated my family to Seattle, Washington
    • Went from manging two people to managing all day-to-day operations with the Diagnostics product (15 – 20 team members)
    • Doubled the capacity of the organization during my time with local and offshore resources
    • Managed release of the Mercury Profiler – Mercury’s 1st development focused tool
    • End-to-end responsibility for 8 releases (3 Major) including complete re-write of enterprise grade server
    • Managed re-architecture of Java Probe, .Net Probe, Diagnostics Server, user interface and persistence mechanism
    • Helped to reach Gartner “Magic Quadrant” market leadership for the Diagnostic Product
    • Managed integrations across Business Availability Center, Load Runner and Performance Center
    • Successfully initiated and implemented the Scrum methodology across the product
    • Initiated and managed Mercury relationship with the Java Community Process
  • Project and Portfolio Management Product Line
    • Relocated back to the Bay Area From Seattle by R&D VP to resolve major product and team issues with the Project and Portfolio Management product
    • Built the team from scratch to manage the software platform and operations (20 – 25 team members)
    • Responsible for building a development team in Shanghai, China (5 – 8 Team Members)
    • Worked with Product Management and Customers to define Strategy of PPM Platform
    • Responsible for international product roll out (Support for 8+ languages and language multi-tenancy) growing the international market from 5% to 40%
    • Responsible for cross product initiatives such as business intelligence solution, unified platform and integration infrastructure
    • Helped manage organization through Hewlett-Packard acquisition (formerly Mercury Interactive) and was first product released after acquisition
    • Helped to continue Gartner “Magic Quadrant” market leadership for the Project and Portfolio Management product
  • Highly involved in HP Environmental initiatives including contributing to HP’s involvement on the Green Grid consortium
  • Overall, had the opportunity to work with and manage some of the best in the industry

Why did I want to leave?

  • My HP employee number has the same number of digits than my social security number — HP is a gigantic company and that just doesn’t suit my style right now.
  • HP Software is a nimble organization surrounded by large company process — I spent most of my time at HP working against the processes in place. It will be interesting to see if HP Software can run like a software company and not like a hardware company
  • Lack of top down attention to the people — I had an HP/Mercury debrief session with other director’s and I asked the simple question of “As we acquire all of these software companies, what are doing to ease them into the culture and make sure we keep the best talent.” The response I got was in line with “If you don’t want to work here, then leave.” An unfortunate answer and against my general belief that managers need to fight for “A Players”.
  • Lack of HR support — I was told from my HR representative that her span of control is 1 to 3000.
  • Lack of innovation — I’m partly to blame for this because I was responsible for an engineering section, but I just found it harder to innovate with such a large organization. The environment and culture did not foster the proper elements to create meaningful innovation. Put it this way, its difficult to compare the innovation environment and culture at Google to HP Software.

Don’t get me wrong, HP Software is going like gang busters right now. It’s just not what I want right now.

So, what am I doing next?

I’ll save the answer to this for my next blog entry. It’s a related field but very different.

Will I stop censoring my blog?