This YouTube video really cracked me up. An immigrant kid from Hong Kong, born in Shanghai, immigrated to L.A, went to UC San Diego, majored in economics, told his parents he would rather disappoint them for a few years than disappoint himself for life, did standup, drove for Uber, auditioned 100+ times for small parts […]Read more
So Far I’ve deleted all my infinite scrolling apps (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter). I’ve stopped reading online news and only read a printed Sunday paper. I’ve paid for products to remove ads (Cruncy Roll, YouTube, Pandora). Call To Action To Take Back Attention & Time Today, I listened to the founder of Center For Humane […]Read more
Dear future self: Today, you were frustrated at your teenage daughter that she was 10 minutes later in leaving the house for high school. Even though she is the only one affected, you felt that it reflected on your personal value to be early or on time. You expressed to your daughter that you were […]Read more
Who Is On Your Team? Taking a journey alone is not only difficult, lonely but also not sustainable. Starting with simple personal goals such as exercising. If I am only accountable to myself, I can skip a day, skip a week, skip a month, I only have to answer to my nagging self. If I […]Read more
I have recently started a media detox program of not reading online news, online blogs, social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, Instagram). Instead I am focusing on listening to interview based podcasts and reading physical books. During this journey of reassessing how I spend my attention and time, I also started powering off my cell phone […]Read more
Seth Godin writes with the smallest number of words to convey the clearest of messages. Here he explains GDPR and the market’s dilemma “Talk to people who want to be talked to. Market to people who want to be marketed to. Because anticipated, personal and relevant messages will always outperform spam. And spam is in […]Read more
The myth of ‘good timing’ from Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/04/the-moment-of-maximum-leverage.htmlRead more
Systemic problems in our society, by definition, seem impossible to fix. Part of the reason is that systemic problems are rooted in how our lives are structured and it’s not under the control of one person, one organization or sometimes even one government. When I was doing a bit or searching around Google, there was […]Read more
In June, the two engineers will formally accept a Turing Award, the computer science equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in recognition of their work. Hennessy later became president of Stanford University and is now the chair of Alphabet; Patterson is a professor emeritus at U.C. Berkeley and a distinguished engineer at Google Listen to the […]Read more
I learned something new today. From page 160 of the book “Everybody Lies”. A great reminder to “Never compare your insides to everyone else’s outsides” You can read more here from author Seth Stephens – Davidowtiz (bio) and the op-ed pieces he wrote for NYTimes Don’t Let Facebook Make You MiserableRead more
@Tony Tam That’s right! It gives you more control and racket speed if you relax the fingers before you hit, but for power, you still need to figure out how to do the weights transfer! Weight transfer has something to do with the body, shoulder, forearm, and wrist rotation. You used to have problem with the […]Read more
Recently I’m experimenting with starting up bookclubs at work in order to meet new people and helping to instill the habit of book reading into my own life. Here is what I’m doing Create a #bookclub channel on Slack Create a document with a list of books that anyone can propose Once there are 5 […]Read more
Give this a read, virtues of print news instead of online and breaking news. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/technology/two-months-news-newspapers.html?Read more
I’m celebrating a milestone for a personal 10 year project and I’m seeking your time and attention. Impactful Engineer shares the stories and journeys of women and men who are making significant impact in the software industry. The purpose of Impactful Engineer is to inspire young software engineers to see that are many paths they can take to […]Read more
Taking Back Control Of My Privacy Goodbye Infinite Scroll Media : LinkedIn App Goodbye Twitter @ tonytam Friends Don’t Let Friends’ Data Be Stolen #deleteAllFacebook (Instagram,WhatsApp) Life Strategy #1: Why I Am Only Reading Long Articles and Books Google Activities This is the hardest one yet. I love the convenience of Google maps, suggestion browsing […]Read more
There is a Chinese proverb 難得糊塗 that my dad put up on the wall of our home which he wrote the calligraphy with Chinese ink and paper. Every day at home, I would see it. When I was younger, my dad was very angry and frustrated with life. And I like to be believe that he stared […]Read more
Recently I have made choices on how I spend my time and this has helped me decide what I say YES to and more importantly what I say NO to Optimize for time over money If I had to choose between taking muni or Lyft to work, I choose Lyft. Muni takes 45 minutes for […]Read more
My daughter loves watching anime (Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice), she adores owning physical books, she loves drawing anime characters. She is sometimes quiet about other things, but never about these unmistakable passions in her life. She is unwavering, unapologetic and ever in love with these passions in her life. It is infectious, because of her, […]Read more
I loved this book (Tell Me More, by Kelly Corrigan). Once started, I couldn’t put it down. It is a book about the author’s journey to learn to do and say the hardest things in life. To learn to listen to her daughter and her dying father. I will just quote from her website instead. […]Read more
Taking Back Attention I’m going on a detox program with media Goodbye Infinite Scroll Media : LinkedIn App Goodbye Twitter @ tonytam Friends Don’t Let Friends’ Data Be Stolen #deleteAllFacebook (Instagram,WhatsApp) Thank you brain trust member : Seth Godin After I have done my detox, I find this gem in my email Your kitchen table […]Read more
I have removed Facebook I have removed Twitter Feb 8th, 2018 – Today I have removed the LinkedIn app from my phone. It was a difficult decision because I have been using the LinkedIn app to catch up posting from my professional connections as well as messaging people on LinkedIn. Why? I’m trying to read […]Read more
On Saturday April 8th, 2018 12:15am I decided to make my twitter.com account @tonytam protected. It is one of the many steps of media detoxification. Once in a while, I do get exposed to something of value from the 250+ people I follow on Twitter. But the price of admission for these nuggets of information […]Read more
This podcast episode from one of My ‘Virtual Brain Trust’, Seth Godin, has given me a framework to talk about how I’ve structured my life around longer term vision leading to the right short term actions. Seth Godin’s Akimbo Podcast Finite and Infinite Games The idea is that there are finite games and infinite games. […]Read more
This post is not meant for you, it’s meant for me; So no need to read. Start With “What” People ask for advice. “What should I do, I’m running into this situation where I don’t know whether I should choose A or B?” Rather than telling them what they should do, I have been realizing […]Read more
On March 27th, 2018, I’ve decided to remove all my accounts on the following Facebook-owned apps: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook.com – This is easy because I only have 1 connection. Instagram – This is a little harder because I use the message feature to talk to 2 people on iOS devices. So now we […]Read more
Recently there has been news reporting about #deleteFacebook, #metoo, #marchforourlives and #nevergain. You can track the interest over time at Google Trends For me, I wanted to know the relative traction each of these movements are actually making. Looks like #deleteFacebook is gaining traction, check back in 7 days to see if the internet meme […]Read more
Life Strategy #1 I optimize for time, attention and deep thought (see How I Optimize). This is part of what I will say YES to and will guide me in what I will say NO to on requests for my time. Starting in March 2018, I have disconnected from reading news as a daily habbit. […]Read more
http://calnewport.com/blog/2018/02/09/facebooks-desperate-smoke-screen/ The Smoke Screen In my opinion, the first problem — the engineered addiction — is the more pressing issue surrounding social media. These services relentlessly sap time and attention from peoples’ personal and professional lives that could be directed toward more meaningful and productive pursuits, and instead package it for resale to advertisers so […]Read more
Welcome To My Introvert World I used to be ashamed to be an introvert. I thought I was weird for not enjoying cocktail parties. Everyone else seem to be having a grand old time, small talking about the weather, what they did for a living, leaving a conversation after 5 minutes so they can mingle […]Read more
From Raji Rajagopalan – Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-happiness-list-raji-rajagopalan/Read more
Thank you Justin Baldoni, because of your speech I *know* I need to dedicate 10 years of my life to mentoring women engineers!Read more
(The photo is my sfbadminton.org group playing a badminton tournament at Stanford) Why Do I Blog Publicly? Before I answer that question. I will tell you who is the audience for my blog at tonytam.org. Audience I write the blog with me as the primary target audience. The reason I write is to clarify and […]Read more
My mom’s 2 sisters, 1 brother and god sister.Read more
Learn something, learn anything. Learn a new sport, learn to be better at a sport you are good at. Learn a new skill, learn to use part of your brain you seldom use. Learn to be empathetic, learn to listen to others. Learn how to love yourself more than you do at this moment. Learn […]Read more
Read about happiness here http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/everything-you-should-know-about-happiness-in-one-infographicRead more
I Have A Point .. Bare With Me :D There are great companies in the eyes of the public. These could be Fortune’s 100 best places to work US Stock Market top 10 companies by market cap Companies with most number of eye balls <insert> however you want to define great companies Now let’s say […]Read more
Presentations!! I don’t like giving presentations, even though my job and my passion with Impactful Engineer requires me to. Why Don’t I like Presentations? I don’t like my voice in front of a big audience I don’t speak clearly enough and I sometimes mumble I don’t enunciate words clearly (I learned English when I was […]Read more
Imagine this … Someone invites you to a 1/2 hour meeting on a topic you are familiar with and an agenda that is clear …… You spend 2 hours researching, writing down your thoughts ahead of time with 3 possible solutions and with pros and cons ……. You go into the meeting, you ask the […]Read more
Here are my current tools to getting things done in 2018. I optimize for capturing 100% of my brain on paper or electronic. I do not optimize for having only a single place for a task or idea. Things that are time sensitive or urgent I use Google Reminders with time due dates I also […]Read more
(This is the first blog post of Impactful Engineer, make sure to sign up for our monthly interviews with software engineering leaders) You are someone who would like to mentor someone else in their professional career to help them grow their influence and impact. More Comprehensive Reference Material Mentor’s Guide – Anita Borg Institute for […]Read more
ImpactfulEngineer.org Mission The mission of Impactful Engineer is to empower software engineers to build a meaningful and impactful lifelong career through interviews with leaders in the industry.Read more
Hedonic Treadmill I’ve noticed that when I received really good news such as a pay raise, a promotion, really great results from a test (in college). My happiness level rises up for a very short time (less than 1 hour), then my emotion tapers off back to what it was before. So let’s say my […]Read more
How to collaborate with remote workers who are in another office or working from home. https://blog.trello.com/6-mistakes-when-you-work-in-office-but-have-remote-team-membersRead more
Very inspiring from Edmond Lau of The Effective Engineer http://www.effectiveengineer.com/blog/the-most-intense-year-of-growthRead more
Someone I admire said “Nothing Good Comes Easy”. Apparently that is not a new saying. Anything worthwhile takes hard work. Ask any athlete who is on top of their game how much training and preparation they have to do to get ready.Read more
Mentors can listen, give advice, but sponsors can speak up, create opportunities and provide real time feedback. For under represented workers, having a mentor is great, but having a sponsor makes a world of difference!Read more
Platforms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube are persuasion architectures that even the engineers who created them do not know how the machine algorithms ultimately target audiences with content. These platforms show us content in our private screens targeted specially for us as individuals. They know what our weaknesses are and move us in subtle […]Read more
Well, I have some time on my hands so I decided to create a sleeve for my badminton birdie tubes. Right now it’s paper, but I am hoping to print them on elastic fabric so they can be reused. 2nd iteration with color!Read more
Yelp is a marketplace connecting small business owners with their customers. New customers want to find small businesses (restaurants, plumbers, dentists) who are near them, with high trustworthy user reviews and matches their needs. For restaurants, it might be the type of cuisine, a particular food item, atmosphere. For a dentist, it might be a […]Read more
The psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that a person’s level of stick-to-itiveness is directly related to their level of success. No big surprise there. But grit, she says, isn’t something you’re born with — it can be learned. Here’s how. Her TED talk Duration: 44:54, Played: 42:27 Published: 5/4/16 8:00:00 PM Episode Download Link (31 MB): […]Read more
I had seen a wonderful life coach, Amy K and she worked with me to help me understand what I believe are life values. From those conversations, she had told me that our life is like a wheel. There are 4 sections to that wheel. Health, Family, Work, Money. All of these 4 sections of […]Read more
Linux Mag asked Bill Joy (creator of VI): “So you didn’t really write vi in one weekend like everybody says?” No. It took a long time. It was really hard to do because you’ve got to remember that I was trying to make it usable over a 300 baud modem. That’s also the reason you have […]Read more
My annual check up showed a great 52 beats per minute heart rate but a very high cholesterol. I am switching to a low cholesterol diet and continue my 10 hours of badminton. Checking back in 3 months.Read more
Those who have ever talked with me know I am not a fan of the iPhone. I have never owned an iPhone, but my family does. I do have the Mac laptops and I have owned the first generation iPad. When the iPhone first came out, I chose other phones because of the lack of […]Read more
On Oct 5th, my co-worker Ollie R. and I were chatting during breakfast and he was showing me his Android Wear watch. When he told me that developing for wearable devices is pretty new and something worth getting into, I went to Amazon the next day and bought a refurbished 2014 Moto 360 for $112 […]Read more
When my daughter goes off to college, I will be so happy for her. She will be growing into the wonderful woman I know she will become.Read more
The Future of European Transit: Driverless and Utilitarian https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/28/technology/the-future-of-european-transit-driverless-and-utilitarian.htmlRead more
A contrast to what people ( myself included) Post publicly vs privately searching on Google. Just a great reminder to look at social media posts with the awareness that it is partial truth On social media, the top descriptors to complete the phrase “My husband is …” are “the best,” “my best friend,” “amazing,” “the […]Read more
New York Times technology reporter Mike Isaac talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode about the controversies that have plagued Uber for the past two months. In a new profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Isaac reported that the company ran afoul of Apple’s rules by keeping track of the iPhones on […]Read more
After turning 46 year old last year, I was talking with my wife about how I feel differently compared with when I was 39 years old. I tried to recall how I thought when I graduated at 22, when I was working hard at 29, when my daughter was borned at 31, I was divorced […]Read more
In this blog post, Tim Ottinger shares his thoughts on what we should measure in the software industry and more importantly on what not to measure. https://www.industriallogic.com/blog/what-should-we-measure/Read more
When social media sites like Facebook requires businesses to pay to show content to their own followers, it is time to rethink how businesses engage with their customers. Facebook puts a limit that only 2% of followers will see shared content if a business does not pay. Give this article a read: Social Media is […]Read more
When I was running a scrum team at Splunk focusing on engineering productivity Quarterly goals on top Swim lanes for Ready, in progress, verify and doneRead more
Almond milk with enough fat to generate micro foam, the cup with the right shape for the milk to move during the pouring and lots of practice.Read more
While reading Amazon Video Goes Global… It is fun to make predictions now and see in 4 years how they turn out. My prediction: in 4 years Netflix runs out of money to buy and produce their own shows. Netflix’s current offering for movies and TV shows will be squeezed to be a much smaller library […]Read more
This week I learned something new about myself. I learned that what I’m thinking in my head, when not explicitly told to those I love, is not necessarily known to those love ones. This seems like a very obviously point, but I often make this mistake. I think this could be that I […]Read more
All of us have a key that enters our front door. We believe that no one else can get in without a key and we entrust this front door key only to people we absolutely trust. The security of your front door is an illusion. The door can be easily broken […]Read more
Source: Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus expected to come with 256GB of storage – Business Insider After reading this headline, I ask myself why we need 256 GB of storage? Most phones I’ve looked at from my family has these top 3 types of data that consumes the storage on their phones Apps Photos Videos If […]Read more
Dear LinkedIn, You are the only service out there to discover data about companies both private and public, what type of employees work there, which universities the employees graduated from and lots of other useful data about the professional lives of the workers. LinkedIn is a fantastic service for professionals. There have been many articles in recent years […]Read more
This morning I was lucky to have some homemade almond milk left over and decided pull a shot of espresso and foam some milk. Usually almond milk doesn’t foam up enough micro foam to allow my amateur skills to be able to do any sort of latter art. This morning, I was able to finally […]Read more
Just putting a theory out there that Pokémon will not last as the top game longer than Sept 1st 2016. Most adults will get tire of the game since they never grew up with it. Once you have tried to walk most of the city you are living and working in, there is no more […]Read more
This is worth listening to learn about how Facebook thinks about software and expecially how they are trying to push software developer forward for the entire industry. React and React Native are being called out as very successful open source projects from Facebook. Cassandra has also been a huge winner. The interesting take […]Read more
Join me at Splunk I’m hiring for a Senior Software Engineering – Engineering Productivity here http://app.jobvite.com/m?3dh6Tjwh and get in touch with me at email@example.com. Mission I like the simple and clear mission: We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone The product is loved by our users People who use Splunk love our product. This is important to me personally and […]Read more
I understand the free services like LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google, Facebook are supported by ads. But the ads are not well targeted or creepy and repetitive, too much in your face (2nd post on LinkedIn, every 5-7 posts on Yahoo.com) and ultimately waste a lot of my time scrolling pass them in order to see relevant content. […]Read more
Sign of the times, no more freebies. I am not sure how this will convince me to stay using Evernote or pay for it. It only makes me want to export my notes out to Google docs or One Note. “At Evernote, we are committed not only to making you as productive as you can […]Read more
Marking my 2nd month at Splunk. I really love the culture of being data driven at everything we do. Being here at Splunk already opened up my mind as to how I can grow and learn as an engineer because of the people and the relentless focus on execution and innovation.Read more
This week I really enjoyed and learned from the following links and podcast. Inspiration Graduating and Looking for Your Passion? Just Be Patient … advice to young graduates is not to “follow your passion” but rather, to “foster your passion.” – link Podcast: Advice for the Aging: Learn Something ‘Different and Hard’ – When journalist Gerald Marzorati faced retirement, he […]Read more
Some of the material from the web I loved reading on the web and used for my work at Splunk. Apps: Water Drink Reminder: Android and Android Wear app to help remind me to drink 72 oz of water for my weight. Love: NYTimes: Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person – an interesting take on […]Read more
It’s not incompetence, but competence, that causes companies to be disrupted. That applies to big companies and small, as well as people too. Or so argue Clayton Christensen and Marc Andreessen in this podcast, based on a conversation at Startup Grind (moderated by Derek Anderson) between the a16z co-founder and Harvard Business School professor Christensen […]Read more
My daughter is taking up writing and publishing her stories publicly on WattPad. Her current series is based on the seven sins and she is trying to take on seven different writing styles. Give it a try and support her efforts in putting her writing out there :) You will have to sign up for […]Read more
From Edmond Lau’s The Effective Engineer blog 1. Optimize for iteration speed. Quick iteration speed increases work motivation and excitement. Infrastructural and bureaucratic barriers to deploying code and launching features are some of the most common and frustrating reasons that engineers cite during interviews for why they’re leaving their current companies. Read the rest of […]Read more
(The photo is from a customer of my restaurant I Privé) We all love to take advantage of user contributed reviews such as Yelp, Amazon, Airbnb. They give us another trustworthy dimension to decide whether we want to go to a particular restaurant, buy that bluetooth headphone or rent that vacation apartment. Based on owning […]Read more
(The photo is of my sister and I in China 1975) I was listening to Leo Laporte’s Tech Guy podcast and he was commenting on the FBI vs Apple case about unlocking an iPhone used by the the shooters. He was pointing out the following misconceptions in the popular press. Inspired by his comments about […]Read more
I have partnered with my best friend from middle school Stanley Chan (bio) to open up a modern sushi restaurant, I Privé, in downtown Burlingame in 2014. We have been in business for little over 14 months now. The restaurant serves innovative Japanese food that combines flavor, texture and sauces to bring “not just another […]Read more
I’m using one of his tips, which is to create a high priority email address for everyone important in your life and a 2nd email for everything else.
The neuroscientist that brought us bestsellers “This is Your Brain on Music” and “The World in Six Songs” has turned his attention to the problem of organization. Dr. Daniel Levitin’s new nonfiction book, “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload,” combines scholarly research and interviews with people like Michael Bloomberg, George Shultz and Sting with practical tips on how to organize our homes, social lives, time and more.
1. Take breaks.
2. Set up different computer monitors for different activities.
3. Embrace a (modified) paper to-do list.
4. File correspondence in multiple ways.
5. Purge, when needed.
6. Designate time for short tasks and longer projects.
7. Don’t spend more time on a decision than it’s worth.
8. Sleep, and nap on the job.
9. Don’t over-organize.
10. Leave work at work.