Category Archives: Life

My First 2012

Inspired by @bearwithclaws‘ and @cheeaun‘s own posts, I thought I should sit down and reflect on 2012.

This year has seen a number of firsts for me:

  • Quit my job and founded a company!
  • Pair programmed with @kamal, @bearwithclaws, and very briefly @sengming — a tremendous learning experience for me in Rails, JavaScript, and CSS. Between them, they’ve helped redefine how I think as a developer.
  • Learnt Ruby, and Ruby on Rails.
  • Attended Red Dot Ruby Conf for the first time. This was really fun thanks to the guys at SAYS, Aaron Chipper, and of course, the regular crew from Fluent Space and WCKL :)
  • Vacationed overseas for the first time (despite having travelled internationally dozens of times for work) at Sri Panwa in Thailand.

It’s been a good year, all things considered. I think a lot of it had to do with my actively spending time slowing life down, stopping to smell the metaphorical roses if you will.

Here’s to 2013, and new beginnings.

P.S.: @kamal I still remember the way you used to grip that glass of water oh so firmly during those first few days when I stumbling around in Ruby :)

He’s Definitely Not Getting a Zonda

“I want a 350Z”, Sanjev said to me. “Well, I want a Zonda“. We were discussing dreams for one reason or another while waiting for the phone-shop dude to finish sticking on a screen protector for me. It took him about fifteen minutes from start to end, which really built up my expectations. From the care he showed in positioning it (3 retries!) I thought to myself, “this is going to be the best screen protector ever!”.

I was wrong. He positioned it too far right, and somewhere along the way managed to leave a mark on the top left edge.

As we walked away, I was ranting about how badly done it was, and Sanjev turned and said sardonically, “Well he’s definitely not getting a Zonda”. I have to agree.

A Case of Mistaken Identity; The Use of Corporate Email for Personal Messages

I’d been receiving what seemed like spam from the worlds most intelligent spam bot ever — I was getting invitations to baby showers, house warmings, company events and meetings. I started to feel like the bot was stalking me, like it was getting in my head.

Then someone named Karen Francis sent me this:


My boss has mistakenly been sending you emails that are meant to be delivered to me, if you still have any of those emails could you please forward them to me. I would appreciate that so much. They would be messages from name removed

Thanks, Karen Francis

Yes — another kfrancis. This was in August 2008, a full 6 months after the first mails started coming in. There’s more though.

I’m still getting her emails today…

Personal Email from Work Addresses

The most amazing thing is the fact that nearly 100% of the personal emails that have been mistakenly sent my way are from work accounts. I find this disturbing. Don’t people know better?!

P.S.: Her sister has a $53 credit on her card (whatever that means). She wants her mum to use her card when she next buys a flight ticket.

“Wherever I go, I hear the same tired Middle East comparisons”

My favourite moment came when I pointed out that journalists should be on the side of those who suffer. If we were reporting the 18th-century slave trade, I said, we wouldn’t give equal time to the slave ship captain in our dispatches. If we were reporting the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp, we wouldn’t give equal time to the SS spokesman. At which point a journalist from the Jewish Telegraph in Prague responded that “the IDF are not Hitler”. Of course not. But who said they were?

Wherever I go, I hear the same tired Middle East comparisons by Robert Fisk

Passed the Undang-Undang (Highway Code) Test

I’ve been saying for years that I was going to get my drivers license. Well, I took the first step today and passed the highway code test (46/50, 1 point lost to colour-blindness section…) and what should happen the night before? Petrol prices increase from RM1.92 straight to RM2.70. In August we’ll see that increase again to market rates — about RM 3.50-4.

Oh well, at least I won’t be able to think back about the good old days of cheap petrol…

Year of Change

I was going to write an eloquent entry about how my life has changed in the past year, but after considering the changes I’ve been through, I can’t find the words. One thing is for sure though — change has been good to me.

RE: A Lack of Programmers

I sent an email to the Malaysian Open Source mailing list about how I couldn’t seem to find any PHP programmers worth hiring and it generated quite a bit of buzz.

This morning though, something struck me. Despite this seeming desperation, you’ll not find programming jobs paying above average salaries. Interesting isn’t it? Perhaps there are programmers for hire, but they simply find it more lucrative to take jobs in other sectors? Combine that with the fact that not many would want a job that made thinking mandatory and it certainly seems to be a problem…