Asterisk, and other worldly endeavours.

A blog by Leif Madsen

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Now working with CoreDial

As of January 3rd, I’m now working with the CoreDial team full time. I’ve worked with them as a consultant on their infrastructure over the last few years but now will be spending significantly more time working with the engineering team 🙂

From the announcement,

CoreDial is pleased to announce the addition of Leif Madsen to the CoreDial team,” said Alan Rihm, CEO at CoreDial. “Leif is a well known Asterisk consultant who specializes in distributed telephony deployments and database integration. In addition, Leif is co-author of several O’Reilly published books on Asterisk, including Asterisk: The Definitive Guide (3rd edition). We’re pleased to be adding Leif to our team, and look forward to the exciting opportunity to work together.

The entire announcement can be found at

I’m really excited to be working with these guys, and to see what we’ll develop over the coming months! I’ll keep you informed here on my blog, and will continue to post Asterisk tidbits and snippets as I go.


Written by Leif Madsen

2012/01/04 at 3:22 pm

Wow, lost ticket recovery for VIA Rail is pretty much garbage

Here is the response I got from VIA Rail for a lost ticket, which was printed off at the time of departure for my return trip. Why they insist on printing the return ticket the time of departure I don’t know, but how ridiculous is this?

VIA Rail will not issue a free ticket against a lost or stolen ticket being reported. Customers are required to purchase a new ticket at the original fare and complete a Lost Ticket Indemnity Bond. Refund of lost or stolen tickets are subject to a processing fee of $40 per person per ticket. The claim for refund of lost tickets must be submitted no later than 30 days after the last scheduled departure date shown on the ticket.
There is a holding period of 60 days from the date of receipt or the last date of travel, whichever is later. Total time for processing the claim is 75-90 days.

Wow, $40 processing fee, purchase of ticket at full price, and a lead time of 3 months for a refund? It should also be noted the entire trip was $141 with taxes return, so the $40 processing fee seems extreme, not to mention the out of pocket expense and 3 month lead time for refund.

If tickets were scanned with a hand scanner when on the train, it would be trivial to cancel one ticket and scan the new ticket in order to avoid people scamming the system. I don’t think VIA Rail could make replacing a lost ticket any more inconvenient.

Written by Leif Madsen

2010/10/29 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Business, Musings

Interesting article about *not* tracking holidays at Netflix

The following is an interesting article about not tracking workers time spent at work, or on vacation, but rather tracking their productivity. As a consultant who doesn’t have a fixed set of hours in the day that I work, I tend to judge my productivity by the number of hours I get to bill each week (i.e. how productive was I working for customers, rather than playing Flight Simulator :)).

I haven’t tracked actual holidays for years now (since I started consulting full time out of school in 2003), and I’m not sure I ever had a job long enough prior to school that I received any sorts of benefits of holidays. Perhaps it’s just natural for me because of that, but this article reminds me of two things:

1) I should actually take some holidays when I need to recharge, and not feel like I *need* to be on-call 24/7/365

2) That other companies are really starting a paradigm shift about how they treat their employees work hours

It seems companies are starting to get it, and not bother with tracking the employees hours at work, which isn’t a very good indication of the amount of work they are getting done. A better method is likely to work in sprints and to allocate a certain number of tasks with priorities and estimated number of hours associated with each of those tasks. At the end of each sprint you determine what was good, what was bad, and what things didn’t get done (certain issues taking longer than expected, other issues going faster than expected, other issues with higher priority coming up, etc).

By tracking the productivity, the company isn’t at risk of everyone taking a salary and then screwing off for several months at a time. The accountability for productivity can keep that in check. The methods used for tracking productivity though are probably the most important part of implementing a non-policy on holidays such as this.

Written by Leif Madsen

2010/08/25 at 3:07 pm