What’s a hero?
Beyond myth and fantasy, I believe this label is befitting of an individual who goes above and beyond his or her call of duty, rising to the occasion when needed. Determined and resilient, this person stands for a cause and does not give up midway. He or she presses on to the end.
And Sqkii has some heroes of her own—heroes who were born out of need and distress. Heroes who shone through the darkness, and provided hope.
"A slip-up—a momentary carelessness—resulted in our database being wiped clean just eleven hours before our planned launch."
It all started the night before our planned launch of our new web application. We all had a long day, touching up on the final pre-launch details and ensuring that everything was in order. We were looking forward to head home to grab some sleep, and rejuvenate ourselves for the big day ahead. The technical development team, comprising of co-founder Ele and full-time employee Janan, in particular, were already exhausted from the hours of resolving bugs and ensuring the app functioned properly. Ele had booked out from his reservist training and was preparing to return to camp.
Then, disaster struck. A slip-up—a momentary carelessness—resulted in our database being wiped clean just eleven hours before our planned launch. This means that precious weeks and days involved in putting promotions up for our users, could potentially go down the drain. The hours spent planning for the app launch as well as what comes after could also count for naught. The prospect of working from scratch, once again, loomed before us. And the onus was pretty much on the shoulders of Ele and Janan to get the server up and running, and to migrate whatever data that was previously backed up, over to the app. The objective was to still launch on time, and to do that, Ele and Janan had to work through the night. Ele then promptly appealed for a time-extension from his reservist commanding officer, and his request was thankfully granted.
Taking on sleep deprivation and the mammoth task ahead, Ele and Janan kept their cool and coded for close to 12 hours straight.
I suppose it was a mixture of disbelief, frustration and regret that hit us at that point in time; but we focused on resolving the problem as quickly as possible. Taking on sleep deprivation and the mammoth task ahead, Ele and Janan kept their cool and coded for close to 12 hours straight. They had been effectively awake for 24 hours. What I felt was pure respect for these guys, and a certain sense of honour, in how privileged I am to be able to be working with them. Talk about not giving up? Talk about being resilient? Talk about sheer will? The technical development team, in my opinion, is the living testament to these qualities.
And yes, Ele and Janan managed to save the launch; promptly crashing onto their beds after passing the baton to the other team members.
As such, quite aptly, Janan, our full-time-employee who dug deep and fought hard, was presented the inaugural Sqkii Hero Award. This honours individuals who went above and beyond their call-of-duty for the company—he could have simply left the tasks to co-founder Ele. But it was not the case. Therefore, a unanimous team decision was made—Janan, indeed, is a Sqkii Hero.
Janan (right) receiving the inaugural award from Kenny
When asked about how he felt to receive the inaugural Hero Award, Janan said:
"Woah I feel very glad to receive such a gift. I can see how far Sqkii can go in the future especially with gifting—giving back to even the employees.
I am really happy to work at Sqkii. I love the brand. And I look forward to Sqkii in the future, as well as us as a family and how we can grow together.
Janan (middle) posing for a group photo with the Sqkii team
Just last week, Sqkii launched its new and upgraded application. Beyond the glitz and glamour, the team will always remember the individuals who managed to get us to where we are today; and will always be deeply grateful towards them.
A hero’s spirit lives on forever, and inspires us to greater things ahead.