A nerd pretending to be a software engineer.

2014 - Thoughts

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It’s rather late for a new year posting, considering we are almost entering the second month 2014 by now, but well, what can I say, I haven’t got much time to write the past few months, and now I am only writing because I’m stuck waiting for the next ferry back to my hometown that isn’t coming for 2 hours.

2014 is pretty special for myself. New years are usually a chance to start something for most people, a fresh start, where any unpleasant things that has happened happened “last year”. That said, for most people, these words are simply figurative speech. While the calendar has indeed changed, most people’s live didn’t, and life still goes on as usual. I myself have never really celebrated new year as anything other than a chance to get together with friends and do some catching up.

2014 is different. Quite a lot has changed in my life in the past few months. I recently graduated from university, with that, I also started a new job as a software engineer.

That’s pretty much it. And wow, it’s sounds pretty trivial now that I think about it. But still, a new year usually calls us to reflect about past events. I have been thinking about what kind of person I’ve been, what kind of person I want to be, what I want to do in my life, pretty much my life direction in general.

Thinking back about myself, there are many things that I wish I’d done differently. Especially during my university years. I was too much of a coward to take more risk in pretty much everything. People who I didn’t take the chance to know more about, trips to places I didn’t travel to, skills I didn’t spend more time learning, and many others. I wasted too much time doing things that I didn’t really care about just because they are things I’m comfortable with.

On the risk of sounding like a humblebrag, but I was one of those guys who didn’t study much, yet still managed to get high scores in class. I honestly didn’t find the works for my bachelor degree to be too difficult, and I find as long as I pay attention during classes, the only time I would need to study outside of classes would be a day or two before an exam. Because of this I ended up with a lot of free time. But I stupidly spent all these free time doing things like watching movies, surfing the web aimlessly, and other time wasting activities in general. I regretted not using those free times that I had to socialize more, join a student organization or two, learn how to play one or two instruments, and so on. I used to see my friends who seemed to barely have any free time and think what is it about this cozy university life that takes up so much of his time. Well, the answer is simply he made the most of his time in university. I used to think that university life is way too easy and boring. Well, how can it be not easy and boring, I did it wrong.

Now that I am no longer a student, I am consciously trying to be more active and socialize more. It’s not easy though, I am your average geek and an through and though introvert, and meeting new people isn’t my forte, but I am trying, and hopefully this will help me find what I want to do in life.

Another thing I would like to change is my health. I have been obese as far as I can remember, and now that I have a full time job as a programmer, I can’t think of any reason that would somehow magically change. I need to start taking responsibility of my health, and not make excuses for me failing to lose weight. I am going to buy a bicycle when I get back from my leave (yes, typical. Always start someday in the future. Seriously though, I’ll stick to this plan), and I’ll start commuting to work with my bike. Hopefully this would push me to exercise more.

In work, while I do love what I do, and the work environment is awesome, it’s not all rainbow and unicorns either. In my first project, I had to work with an existing system that well, let’s just say it’s difficult to work with. I myself also committed a big mistake in another project, I chosen a technology stack that no one else seemed to be interested in learning. I personally do love and believe in this stack (and I do think that the way we have been programming needs some serious improvement), which is why I chose it, but I came to learn that in a collaboration project I need to consider more than just the technical merit. I need to consider the people I’ll be working with, and how comfortable they are in learning these things. The project ended up behind schedule, mostly because other in my team aren’t comfortable with the new (not that new though) technology yet, and me being too much of an OCD, spent way too much time than I should have cleaning up codes that other people just wrote. Lesson learned. Shipping should comes first before technical aesthetic. Save the beautiful code (not that I am really capable of writing code that good anyway :P) for personal projects.

To be honest, when I was applying for jobs several months ago, I had several offers that comes with higher salary than the one that I accepted (my current job). The reason I took on this job is because I felt that I can learn the most about tech with this environment, and since this is my first job anyway, I didn’t really think of looking for a position with the highest salary so that I can stay for years earning more money. The opportunity to learn. That was what I thought I should be looking for in my first job. But now, I am worried that I maybe forming a bubble around myself to get comfortable and not challenging myself. So that’s another thing that I should work on.

In life, well, I am still looking for what I want to do in life, but well, for starter, I would love to be able to travel more, get to know more people, hopefully I am able to find people dear to me. While I am an introvert, I do have several close friends that I value very much, but to be honest, the people that really matters to me are my family. For some reason I feel like it’s not supposed to be this way, and I should have more people that I care about. I don’t know, I guess this is just one of those things that I would know when the time comes.

On traveling, well, I have been wanting to travel for several years, but for the past few years, as a poor student living on a scholarship, it’s not really financially feasible. Not to mention the traveling cost, event the some of visa application fee would’ve cost me a month’s living cost. Now that I am working and earning a salary, I hope to be able to save up some money and travel somewhere. Even though visiting the old European cities have been on my mind for quite a while now, I don’t really have a place that I want to visit yet. It doesn’t matter where, I am still looking for a place that would pull me there.

As for the life goal, well, I thought about it a lot, but I still can’t find an answer that I am satisfied with. I guess this is just one those things that you can’t rush. Well, there is no need to rush it anyway. Some people spend their whole life looking for a destination without finding one, maybe there isn’t one.

Well, that’s goes for my 2014 reflection. I don’t really want to make another new year’s resolution as my 2012 and 2013 resolution aren’t completely crossed out yet, so here is my 2014 “goal guidelines”:

  • Exercise more, start commuting to work with the bike, lose at least 15KGs.
  • Be more active, socialize more, don’t get trapped in the comfort zone.
  • Start a new project, stick to it, and make it something that counts.
  • Stop taking life so seriously. It’s just life.

That’s it, I guess. Ah, of course, I didn’t really include any geek topic so far, so I guess I should mention some. Well, I plan to do another re-design for this site, make new Pelican theme. Let’s see how that goes. I also plan to rewrite the Mog WordPress theme, clean up the codes, and maybe build it on top of one of the popular CSS framework so that it’s more maintainable.

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