One of my new year's resolution is to start writing more as a way to help me articulate my thoughts better. Aside from that, there's a very special person who happens to be an excellent writer and I aspire to be like her 🌸 (check out her blog!). So how this challenge works is that I will write a short post everyday for 30 days. All of these short posts will be compiled under this page. They can be about anything, but I will try to make them as interesting as possible. So without further ado, let's get started!
Time check: 2 Jan 2023, 9:37 PM
The last week of 2022 has been a real rollercoaster for me. It was filled with various emotions, starting from excitement, to anxiety and confusion, to sadness and regret, to epiphany and clarity, and finally to hope and optimism. I would like to share some thoughts about this past week, and specifically my view on forgiveness. We humans are prone to make mistakes. But what makes us special is that we are given the ability to think, reflect and learn from our mistakes. This is the basic premise of why we should forgive ourselves and more importantly, others. We are all human, and we all make mistakes.
There are however, some mistakes that may be harder to forgive than others and some even may fall within the category of unforgivable. These can be actions that transgress society's standards of acceptable, honest and moral behaviour. Any mistakes that does not correspond to those, in my honest opinion, should be forgiven without hesitation. There is no point in holding grudges against someone who has wronged you. Our stay in this world is limited. Ultimately, we will all die. So why waste time over a trifle? It is not worth it.
Time check: 4 Jan 2023, 12:30 AM
My parents always decides what's best for me, and I have to do what they say.
I don't have a say in anything.
I have to go, my parents are calling me.
I can't do anything without my parents' permission.
How are you able to do all these things? Did your parents allow you to?
These are some of the things I hear from my friends, and my response is always the same — you need to speak up for yourself. You need to stand up for yourself. You need to be your own advocate. You need to prove to your parents that you are independent and capable of making your own decisions. This way they will trust you more and give you more freedom.
This is the part that most of my friends don't understand. They think that to do so, they need to be rebellious and go against their parents' wishes. Do things quietly and secretly. But that's not the case. Share your plans with your parents. If they disagree with parts of it, explain to them why you think it's a good idea. If they still disagree, then you have to make a decision. Either you go with their plan, or you go with yours. This is the part where you are truly tested. Whether your decision is based on logical reasoning or emotional reasoning. If you are able to make a decision based on logic, then you are truly independent.
What happens after you make a decision? This is the turning point. You start to execute your plan, and what comes out of it will either help increase your parents' trust in you, or it will decrease it. Remember that even with a bad outcome of your plan, that doesn't necessarily mean that your parents will lose trust in you. It's all about how you handle the situation. Acknowledge your mistakes, and learn from them. Communicate with your parents on what went wrong. If you are able to do that, then you will be able to gain their trust and respect.
Time check: 5 Jan 2023, 9:22 PM
What do people seek when they are looking for a job?
The first thing might be a decent salary. This is a valid point as money is needed for us to achieve a basic standard of living. How much is enough then? That answer differs from individual to individual. As they earn more, their lifestyle may change and so will their spending habits which then leads to increasing expenses. This is what's known as lifestyle inflation. Another reason one would desire for a higher paycheck could be due to more financial responsibilities like marriage, raising a child or supporting their parents.
Another factor that would influence people's decision would be the work life balance. For some, as long as the pay is good, they are able to disregard the long working hours. For others, salary and work life balance aren't mutually exclusive. They want to be able to earn a decent living without sacrificing quality time with their loves ones.
The last factor could be freedom and flexibility. This could mean many things. It could be having the ability to work from home either partially or completely. It could also mean having the flexibility to take breaks to do things like religious obligations; of course ensuring that the work is still completed on time. It could also mean being able to work at different locations and not being glued to a desk.
These are just some of the factors that people consider when looking for a job. What about you? What do you look for in a job?
Time check: 7 Jan 2023, 11:15 PM
I used to be terrible at football. I wasn't able to do at least five keepy-uppies with composure. But hold on. How is that a sign that you're bad at the sport? Who would want to perform a keep-uppy in the middle of a football match? It doesn't seem so useful.
All great footballers are experts at juggling; it shows their excellent coordination, balance and ball control. Juggling enhances skills that will be useful in a game. You can control long passes easier as you know how to adjust your foot at an angle when receiving the ball to absorb the impact so it won't fly away from you. You can take small touches and dribble around defenders whilst keeping the ball close to your feet.
But practicing juggling alone might not be enough to make you perform better at the game. You have to explore other training exercises like doing simple ball manipulations in a tight space. In fact, you may find that by constantly doing these drills, you will also get better at juggling. This shows that working on a skill in one area will improve the skills in other areas.
So after all that explaining, I'm glad to say I have gotten better at the sport. I like using the quality of my juggling as a benchmark to see how far I've progressed. With that said, I can now confidently juggle the ball with my thighs and feet with at least 20 repetitions. It's far from perfect as I still juggle with a backspin and can't use other body parts like my head, chest or shoulders. But I have reached a point where I'm satisfied as I'm able to play at a decent level.
Similar to other activities in life — like learning a new language, picking up programming or mastering cooking — there must be a set of fundamental skills that everyone needs to have that will make them more proficient. It may take hours of practice everyday before they start seeing results. The takeaway is that once you can identify those areas you have to work on to reach your desired level of competence, work on them consistently and you will eventually get there.
Just an FYI, there's a very insighful article on the benefits of juggling which I highly recommend you to read. After reading it, I decided to try it out and have ordered a set of juggling balls. The article has got me excited to start practicing and I can't wait to see what benefits I can get from it.
Time check: 8 Jan 2023, 10:38 PM
There's a lot of discussions going around on remote working ever since the pandemic started. But what is talked about less is the topic of remote learning. I have recently started my first year of university and am studying part-time. All of the lectures and tutorials are conducted in person. Attendance is mandatory, and there are no online alternatives. I would like to share about how it's been so far and what I think about it — both the good and the bad points of not having remote learning options.
In this day and age, it's important to have flexibility and options for how we access our education. Not everyone is able to attend classes in person. Some may have to work to support themselves and their families. Some may have to take care of their children. Some may have to travel long distances to get to the university. Even if they could make it for the lectures, they may be too tired to focus and be able to absorb the information or they might become completely drained at the end of the day. We should offer more flexibility to our students so that they can learn in a way that suits them best and also takes care of their well-being. Technology has made it possible for us to learn from anywhere, and not being able to take advantage of that is a waste. We have done it during the pandemic, so why not do it all the time?
With that said, I am enjoying my university experience so far. I am able to meet new people and make new friends. In my first week, I met a classmate who is also a fellow software engineer working full-time. We spent hours talking about our experiences and life in general. This kinds of interactions are not possible if we were to learn remotely. I would imagine that with full remote learning, we would be more isolated and as time passes, we might lose the ability to socialise. We humans are social creatures and we need to interact with each other to be happy and healthy. We need to be able to connect with others and share our experiences. This is what makes in person learning so valuable.
On the whole, I think that by having a mix of in person and remote learning, or the option to calibrate between the two, we can provide a better learning experience for students.
Time check: 22 Jan 2023, 8:33 PM
You might have noticed there's a 2 week gap between the last entry and this one. I was busy with school, work and other things. I'm back now and will try to be more consistent. So, today I will talk about OKRs and what goals I have set for myself for the year.
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It's a framework that helps you set goals and track your progress. I first came across it when I was working at my previous company. At the time, OKRs was something that was set by the leadership team and as individual contributors, we were not as involved in the process. Later on, when I joined my new company, was the practice of setting individual OKRs introduced. This made me realize that I could take it a step further and apply OKRs to my personal life. And that's what I'll be doing.
I have set 2 OKRs for myself for the year.
Objective: Launch a fully-functional iOS app on the app store. The app will be free and open source. One of the goals is to have fun while doing it.
- Key Result 1: Complete the iOS App Dev training tutorial to learn about SwiftUI and UIKit essentials.
- Key Result 2: Come up with an idea for an app, research and design a user-friendly interface for the app, then build it. The app must also contain a widget for the home screen.
- Key Result 3: Publish the app on the app store and receive at least 5 reviews.
Objective: Acquire the skills and knowledge to design, develop, and manage scalable and efficient infrastructure on Google Cloud.
- Key Result 1: Complete the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect exam.
- Key Result 2: Utilize the knowledge gained from the exam to design and implement a scalable and efficient infrastructure for a web application.
- Key Result 3: Publish a blog post about the infrastructure design and implementation.