A Hard Goodbye


Facebook used to be my goto place for friend updates and news updates from home, kind of like a pseudo-CNN. It was also the place where I found out about the gruesome and shocking flight MH17 tragedy; Just barely 4 months after the missing MH370 flight incident.

The story of flight MH17 is traumatizing. It’s heart wrenching when you hear about friends and families of all 298 passengers aboard said flight crying their heart out, praying that it was just a dream. But when someone you know, someone close to you contributes to that statistic, it begins to be more than just sadness. You start to feel denial, anger, remorse; Pretty much what psychologists call the 5 stages of grief.

Lately I couldn’t bare to go on Facebook anymore due to the excessive sharing of news about the accident, because a very dear friend of mine, Elaine, was on that flight. A friend that I was going to visit in September, a friend that, just a few weeks ago, I was talking to and discussing about how we were still in contact after so many years of not seeing each other, to which we agreed on “Because we are both awesomely beautiful people”.

Ever since I knew her, I’ve always called her “mata” (meaning ‘eye’ in Bahasa Malaysia) because her eyes were the first thing I noticed when I first saw her, and the name just stuck. She was always smiling, even when she called me one day to ask me what to do about her phone because she accidentally dropped it in the toilet bowl. I laughed pretty hard, told her it was most likely a lost cause, but she could try the rice trick and hope for the best.

During one of my trips back home, I was scheduled for a 12-hour layover in Melbourne, so I asked if she would be free to meet up and she said she might be working late, but would definitely try to make it. She called me around dinner time and asked where I was so she could come meet me. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting her to leave work early; She went out of her way to accompany me for dinner and insisted on paying as well. That was the last dinner we had together. There is still so much more that I could say about Elaine, but words will never suffice in describing how beautiful and awesome she is.

I’m sorry that we couldn’t meet up more often, and I’m sorry that, at least for now, I won’t be able to buy you those dinners and drinks we talked about.

But not to worry, because when we meet again, I’ll throw in breakfast as well. Stay happy and never stop smiling, mata!


My Memory Library

Imagine if I was given one moment,
just a single slice of my past.
I could hold it close forever,
and that moment would always last.

I’d put the moment in a safe,
within my heart’s abode.
I could open it when I wanted,
and only I would know the code.

I could choose a time of laughing,
a time of happiness and fun.
I could choose a time that tried me,
through everything I’ve done.

I sat and thought about what moment,
would always make me smile.
One that would always push me,
to walk that extra mile.

If I’m feeling sad and low,
if I’m struggling with what to do.
I can go and open my little safe,
and watch my moment through.

There are moments I can think of,
that would lift my spirits every time.
The moments when you picked me up,
when the road was hard to climb.

For me to only pick one moment,
to cherish, save and keep,
Is proving really difficult,
as I’ve gathered up a heap!

I’ve dug deep inside my heart,
found the safe and looked inside,
there was room for lots of moments,
in fact hundreds if I tried.

I’m building my own little library,
embedded in my heart,
for all the moments spent with you,
before you had to part.

I can open it up whenever I like,
pick a moment and watch it through,
My little library acts as a promise,
I’ll never ever forget you


No Open Browsers?


Whenever I’m working on a project, the 3 4 sites that you will always see up on my browser are Google, iOS Developer Library [1], Spotify [2], and StackOverflow. But from time to time, I notice that I have no open browsers while working.

Among the 4, StackOverflow has to be a programmer’s go-to when stumped with something crazy. The amount of support one can get from that site is massive. If I had to guess, the average turnaround time for an answer to a question is less than 15 minutes. It feels like people just sit in front of their screen spamming the refresh button, waiting to answer questions. (I am guilty of that too, sometimes)

But more often than not, you see people asking questions that clearly show that no prior effort has been put into trying to solve it themselves first, and then I stumbled upon this post on Meta StackOverflow that I thought was worth sharing.

How much research effort is expected of Stack Overflow users?

A lot. An absurd amount. More than you think you are capable of. In fact, asking a question on Stack Overflow is the absolute last thing you ever want to do. You want to avoid it at all costs. You want to think of it as a horrible shame [3] that will forever haunt you and pass down from you to your descendants. You want very much to find your answer some other way.

You want to

  • Search. Like mad.
  • Test your code.
  • Troubleshoot.
  • Read blogs.
  • Find books.
  • Follow tutorials.
  • Anything to avoid adding another question to Stack Overflow.

You never want to hit that “ask question” button and absolutely never do you want to click the “post your question” button.

After you have reached the end of your rope and the pain of not having the answer exceeds the vast amount of shame received by posting your question, that’s when you can go ahead and ask. Because at that point, you will have done whatever research necessary to make it a good question worth asking. Because so help me, if your question gets an answer within 30 seconds that has 10 upvotes within 3 minutes, you did not do enough research.


1. Documentation dependent on current written language.

2. I know Spotify has a desktop app, but the company I work for finds immense pleasure in controlling/restricting internet access, POP3 & IMAP included.

3. The terms “shame” and “never” are a tad bit hyperbolic, but the important point remains that we absolutely want you to do your homework. Understand that our time is not free, though we do not charge for it. Answering low quality, poorly researched, or duplicated questions become tiresome.



Feel the Pain


A few days ago my boss conducted a one on one would-be crash course for a colleague on working (tweaking/modifying) with Wordpress.

From what I have gathered, said colleague had no prior knowledge to any scripting or programming language. Not long after, one part of the conversation caught my attention.

B: You’ll need FTP access to easily work with files on the server
C: What is FTP access?

That is when I felt a little bad for my boss, but not bad enough to save him from the cliff he’s heading towards. I turned to him, we made eye contact, and acknowledged that he was in deep shit.


Codility


I have always loved simplifying code and speeding things up, because like most people, I hate to wait, especially when it comes to data retrieval. If it takes too long to retrieve data, I lose interest, hence the obsessive simplifying behavior.

Not too long ago I have been introduced to an awesome site that allows you to practice writing fast code. Codility is a site where recruiters utilize when trying to filter out candidates, which I think is a good and bad thing.

The Good

  • It filters out candidates who can’t write code, or those who are really bad at it.
  • It makes candidates think hard about every possible scenario when writing their code.

The Bad

  • The time limit can be daunting at times. (A test time limit is different than a project time limit)
  • You get 1 chance, if you miss something, you’re done for.

So for those who, weirdly, love writing loops, and logic thinking, you can take their demo tests here. Your code is graded by running a set of test cases and time complexity. Yes, the The Big O Notation from your college algorithms class.


Winter



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