Minesh & Rikta
Minesh & Rikta

Minesh Shah was born in Bhavnagar city, the first child of his parents. Soon he was joined by 2 more brothers and 1 sister. His father was a civil servant and his mother a housewife. Minesh is married to Rikta.

Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar

Bhavnagar is a coastal city in the eastern Saurashtra region of the Gujarat state of India. The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important regional towns. It remained a major port for almost two centuries, trading with Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf.

Between 1807 and 1948 Bhavnagar was a British protectorate. Until the independence of India in 1947, Bhavnagar was an independent state ruled by the royal family. The last Maharaja of Bhavnagar handed over the administration to the Union of India in 1948.

Bhavnagar in India - courtesy of Google Maps
Bhavnagar in India – courtesy of Google Maps

Minesh has lots to share with us about his home

After finishing my Masters I moved to Ahmedabad which is three and half hours drive from my native Bhavnagar. Ahmedabad has many historical sites such as Gandhi Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s home.

Our winters are mild, pleasant, and dry with 100 percent sunny days and clear nights. The summers are extremely hot and dry for us with temperatures up to 49 °C! Relief comes when the monsoon season starts usually around mid-June. Most of the rainfall occurs in this season, but it can cause severe flooding.

We have many species of wildlife protected in our National Parks eg . herds of antelope (blackbuck), lions (Gir NP), the one of the largest wetland bird sanctuaries, home to pelicans, flamingos, herons and other species. There are large lakes which also provide sanctuary for migrating birds as well as recreation grounds for the people. Well, we have thousands of places to visit within Gujarat state and all are unique, including many historical sites and buildings.

As for myself, I like music and dancing. My hobbies include playing Cricket, Chess, Movies, Meditation and visiting new places with family and friends.

What were you doing in Ahmedabad?

Minesh in Cyprus
Minesh in Cyprus

I was working with one of the IT companies based there, creating websites especially with PHP MVC frameworks. I was looking for something new, a new role, so I was searching on the internet, came across OTGS and applied.

After being interviewed by Sarah I thought that this support role might just be the challenge I was looking for. I joined OTGS in May 2014.

What is involved in your work here?

At first, I was involved with WPML support but after one-year, the management decided to move me to Toolset support. I’ve mainly two roles in Toolset – 1st Tier support work and giving training on Toolset plugins to various OTGS team members. Recently I’ve also been given a Toolset translation role.

What are some of the challenges you face and what do you like the most ?

Toolset is very interesting and it has really attracted my focus and interest. When I started to work with Toolset, it was bit difficult for me as I was not a WordPress guy.

I treat Toolset support work as my interest rather than as a challenge and that interest keeps me going and going. For me, I personally like to resolve a Toolset ticket on the first page before it becomes a 5 page story!

A couple of months after joining Toolset support, I started mentoring and giving training on Toolset plugins. Later I discovered that mentoring is not the easy task I thought. It is very important to keep the balance for trainees having a technical or a non-technical background, but I have learnt lot of things which include:

  • How to remain calm and cool and keep the communication and relationship smooth
  • How to keep things simple and easy and to be alert to share knowledge
  • How to motivate people, focus on positives and motivate them to take challenges
  • Helping and guiding trainees to achieve their goals and even grading exams!

This has helped me immensely to improve my support work.

Toolset queue down to zero!
Toolset queue down to zero!

I would like to mention here the members of our Toolset Team – we appreciate sharing knowledge, the dedication, and hard work and we enjoy each other’s success. I feel really fortunate that I’m part of this great Toolset team which includes Mohammed, Adriano, Beda, Luo, Shane, Nigel and Tia.

Special thanks to:

  • Adriano – Mohammed – who helped me a lot to improve my knowledge of Toolset and debugging
  • Beda – from whom I learn how to improve the SPEED and speed-up the things, process and what not :)
  • Toolset Dev Team and Support Managers and Management

What a great team spirit! How does a normal day go for you?

I wake up by 7 AM, get fresh and workout for 10-15 mins. After taking a bath, the first thing I do is head towards the temple inside my house and worship the almighty for 20-25 minutes. Next, I read the newspaper to keep myself up to date with the latest news, then breakfast. I start my work at 10:00am and finish by 7:30pm.

First,I login to the forum account to check my e-mails, handle priority tickets or provide quick solutions to clients needing help. Then I turn my attention to the existing queue – usually it’s loaded. About the training I provide, it depends on my colleagues’ time schedules. It takes about 3 weeks. In the first week, they receive the basic demo to study and, following the training material, they are able to practice on their own. At the end of the week they take an exam.

During the second week, as their mentor, I assign trainees the easy tickets from the queue. They prepare their answer on Google docs so I can review them and if the answer is good I give them the green light to post it.

Finally, trainees take tickets on their own and, if I am needed, I am available 24/7.

And what about the future…?

I want to always be on a learning curve, to take on new challenges and make them my interest. Regarding life, there is a famous piece of dialogue from a Hindi movie “Zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahi” which translated means “Life should be Great not Long”.

My only concern is that there aren’t 48 hours in a day!