Thanksgiving

Who do you thank?

Thanksgiving is hardly, if not never, celebrated in Singapore, but it should be.
When you sit down, and spend time thinking of whom to thank, or what to thank,
it makes you feel so much more, happy. You feel more appreciative, of all the
experiences you have been through, all the people around you, all the things that you
have.

Thank you dear family

To the closest people in my life, thank you. To my parents for raising me, for
providing for me, for teaching me, nurturing me. There are just so many
things to thank you for. For supporting me, no matter my decisions. To my sister,
for your words of encouragement, for your questions about math and science and
wireless, because you make me feel privileged that I have someone to teach and guide.

Thank you darling

To the girl I love, thank you.
For showing me how to love, for loving me, for letting
me love you. For the good and bad times we share. For the many wonderful memories,
some of which I have forgotten, just because there were so many. For your constant
motivation, for your care, for being there.

Thank you friends

To the people surrounding me, thank you. For the times we worked hard together,
for the times we enjoyed our success, and failures. To MAD,
thank you for the nights
of practice. Being able to work hard with a group of people sharing a common goal
was really a joy. To the BBoys especially,
for showing me what true friends are like.
For sticking up for one another, for entertaining one another, for wingman-ing one
another. Cheers to everlasting brotherhood. To the people in NUS,
I have not known you for long, but thank you for the study sessions, for the
lunch breaks together. If not for all of you, school will really be lonely.

What I am thankful for

I’m thankful for being a person of good health. For being a person who is able to
pursue his interests. To not be constrained by lack of finances. To be brought
up in a non-discriminatory environment. To be surrounded by people whom I enjoy
being with, and hopefully they enjoy being around me too. I’m thankful for
being able to write and read, and surf the net. And I thank you
for reading this.

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Bus Factor

Thanks to NUS Hackers’ Friday Hacks, I was able to learn some practices that will help me become a better programmer.

In short,

1) We need to care, care about the team, care about yourself, care about users, care about the product, and care about the code.

2) Humility, there’s always more to learn, so don’t stop learning

3) Communication, no one will know what you are doing if you don’t tell anyone clearly

4) Simplicity, don’t over-complicate things!

5) Flexibility over rigidity

6) Pragmatism over perfection, better make something imperfect that exists rather than and imaginary perfect item.

How to Go On in Life

I wanted to title this post
“How to be successful in life”, but I realized I wasn’t in a position
to give such advice. I am barely successful (compared to the
many stories I have heard). But I guess I can at least go on in life.

I suck.

I read this post recently, saying that sometimes you have
to tell yourself its okay that you suck. That really brought
some perspectives to me.
For me? I suck at a lot of things.
I thought I was good at math, until I went to University and realized,
damn, math is freaking hard, and I’m getting owned by the other students.
I thought I was decent at basketball, because I played a lot when I was younger;
but oh man I played yesterday and I was BEAT after half an hour.
I thought I was a good runner, trained pretty hard and completed 2 marathons
thus far; but I dropped out halfway through my last marathon.
I thought I could dance not bad; but I lost passion halfway, didn’t practice
anymore, and I’m just whack now.
And I’m going to stop here in case my ego collapse on itself.

Think about someone who is the best at something. Maybe the fastest
man on Earth under 100m: Usain Bolt? There has to be something he isn’t good at.
Maybe dancing? Maybe not? How about Lance Armstrong? He was the best. Until
they found out he took drugs. That sucked. The point is, everyone has
to suck at SOMETHING.

I guess admitting that you suck at something is important. Yet at the same
time it’s trivial. What is more important is what happens after you
admit that you suck. What are you going to do about it?
Two ways to go about:

1) Continue sucking
2) Suck less

Life is short. There’s only so many things that we can do
in this few decades. That’s why for some things, we can only continue
to suck at, but for others, we can try to suck less.

For things that we would like to continue to suck at, we should just
not do anything about it. It will be a waste of our effort if we tried.
For me, I am willing to suck at running, with the knowledge that I have
had some achievements in that activity. I’m happy I have completed
marathons before, and just tell myself that I will be satisfied
not breaking that 5-hr mark.

But for things that we would like to suck less in, work needs to be done.
How do you get yourself to suck less?
Do it one. Step. At. A. Time.

Here’s my plan. I want to suck less at two things: Dancing, and Programming.
For Dance, the first step is to, well, dance! The great thing is that
I have friends who are still dancing. I can just easily hop on and join
them. I believe I will have a fantastic time.
For Programming, I’ll need to hack something up. I really like reading
about programming, but all reading and no hands-on makes me a dull boy.
No wait I mean… The main point is that I should work on something.

Those two sentences don’t exactly sound like small steps. Those are really
goals; it is me beginning with an end in mind. Somewhere on some piece of paper
or post-it, I will have to sketch out my steps again. Sketch out steps that I will take
one. Step. At. A. Time.

And maybe it will look something like this.
Dance:
Buy shoes. (Not going to break in my Tigers)
Train some six-steps. (Because foundation is important as hell)
Get my swipes back. (‘Cos those things were what I did best)
Halo. (Old vid but great vid)
Get a beanie because Halo’s causing me to bald. (And to look cool)
More halos. (Rinse)
More swipes. (Repeat)
Find more moves. (Keep learning)
Learn the moves. (Keep improving)
Invent moves. (Be original)
Talk to my bros. (They are my inspiration)

Hack:
Code a reverse polish calculator.
Code an infix calculator.
Hack together something that talks to GDrive. (That’s my project in mind)

G+ post here.