Tosh Hall: Overcoming Hearing No

About Tosh HallGlobal CCO Close Bio Tosh oversees the creative product for all our offices, including work for AB InBev, Dunkin’ Brands, Target and UNICEF. His work’s been recognized at Cannes and by D&AD, The One Show, Clios, New York Festivals, Tokyo TDC, Graphis, Communication Arts, Print and AIGA—and featured in Forbes, The New York […]

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Lettering and Type

I am often inspired by creative types.  I heard about Jessica Hische when she was interviewed on Design Matters podcast.  I found her Lynda.com show “The Creative Spark: Title Case, Typographic Artisans” I’m inspired by their workspace and how they customized their tables to fit their tools Her beautiful homepage http://jessicahische.is/ Her 2 books “Tomorrow […]

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SF Public Library: Merced Branch

Getting There The Merced Branch of the San Francisco Public Library system is 1/2 block from the 28, K buses.  Right acrossed from the Stonestown mall.  There is plenty of street parking with 2 car parking for 10 minutes. What is different? One standout of this library is the central garden space with maple trees […]

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Spending habits in 2019

In 2019, I wanted try something a bit different than 2018. In 2018, I didn’t buy anything that was not a consumable. In 2019, I wanted to be less extreme and only buy non consumables once every quarter. In Q1 2019 – I have bought 2 pairs of shoes and that is it. Something else […]

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Proposal for technical mentorship (draft 1)

The goal of this proposal is to define how we build a culture of career growth for our technical staff in any individual contributor level. During the career of a software engineers, several key factors contributes to their career growth Innate skills and self motivation The type of projects they are exposed to and have […]

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How much to pay for a muffin and coffee in SF?

Today, I picked up a strawberry muffin and coffee from Bello Coffee and Tea in Glen Park. When I first saw the total bill was $5, I was taken aback. $2.5 for a coffee and $2.5 for a muffin. Was it ringed up incorrectly? It was so much lower than I would expect. My usual […]

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When NPS doesn’t cut it

How do you know when a training is effective? NPS score is a measure of whether the participants would high recommend someone else to take the training. But I wanted to switch up the metrics to measure outcome and confidence. At work, we are delivering a deep dive training to engineers to teach them about […]

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What does Tony do in Engineering Productivity?

My full time job is to work on engineering productivity. Often folks ask me what I do every day / every week? I often tell them what I’m working on this quarter. Quarterly Focus Well, the first quarter in 2019, my focus is on creating coding labs and content for new engineers that join Splunk […]

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Not Proud to be myself?

I was fortunate to attend a talk by BD Wong in San Francisco and the playwright Lauren Yee promoting her play “Great Leap Forward”. BD Wong is an openly gay Asian man. He talked about how as an adult, he finally announcing to the world about being gay and being very proud to be gay […]

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Limited motivation

Recently I have been running dry on my personal motivation on important projects such as transcribing Impactful Engineer. I have not been able to diagnose what the root cause is.  Some possible reasons could be Transcription is not what motivates me and hence I’m putting it off The overall project and goals is not current […]

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Effective Engineering Teams

An effective engineering team is highly collaborative, focused on delivering high quality code with velocity. The team sets the standard for other teams to follow in how they design software, write and test their software and ultimately delivering business value to the customer. The team functions as a coherent group, helping each other succeed, having […]

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Sunset at Newburryport, MA

Thank You For Your Feedback

This week I practiced what Lyn Campbell recommended during our interview on Impactful Engineer (read here).  I asked for feedback from someone I work with.  I asked her how she thinks I can improve in meetings. She generously took the time to give me the following feedback During one of our meetings about a previous […]

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Single Tasking Time & Attention

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 […]

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Take The Journey As a Team

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 […]

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link: Ask First!

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 […]

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The Pop-up Bookclub

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 […]

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ignore

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 […]

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Saying What You Love

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, […]

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Book: Tell Me 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. […]

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Finite and Infinite Games

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.  […]

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Proud Introvert, Yay!

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 […]

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Learn Or Languish

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 […]

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Are We Defined By The Company We Work For?

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 […]

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Hacking Getting Better At Presentations

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 […]

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What If You Out Prepare Everyone?

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 […]

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Getting Things Done 2018 Edition

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 […]

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Launching ImpactfulEngineer.org

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.

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Celebrate The Wins In Your Life

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 […]

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“Nothing Good Comes Easy”

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.

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Badminton Birdie tube sleeve

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!

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podcast: How to Get More Grit in Your Life

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): […]

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vi

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 […]

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Design and building Android wear app with my daughter

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 […]

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Link: NYTimes Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable 

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 […]

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link: Podcast What will it take for Uber to change? #deleteuber

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 […]

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Your Email Communication Is Not Secure

    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 […]

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Dear LinkedIn, Make Diversity Data Transparent For All Companies?

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 […]

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Head of Open Source at Facebook Interviewed on Changelog Podcast

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 […]

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Dear Banner Ads, I’m Sorry To Say Goodbye, Here Is $5

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. […]

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Evernote Basic is changing

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 […]

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Working & Playing @ Splunk

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.

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link: Disruption in Business… and Life

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 […]

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My daughter the writer

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 […]

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link: What makes a good engineering culture? : The Effective Engineer

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 […]

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Be the 1%, contribute instead of just consume

  (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 […]

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link: Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship (Wired UK)

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body responsible for overseeing the internet’s technical standards, has approved HTTP 451, “an HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles”. The new status code will show viewers when a web page is being blocked for legal reasons.Source: Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship (Wired […]

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link: One Founder’s Desperate Battle To Keep Workers Employed

Source: One Founder’s Desperate Battle To Keep Workers Employed | Caroline Fairchild | LinkedIn Stembel can’t afford to hire a number two because she is devoting a significant portion of her revenue to a cost that her competitors eschewed long ago. Namely, she employs all 48 of her workers — her bike couriers, car drivers and […]

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What I Want For Christmas From LinkedIn

What I want for Christmas from LinkedIn Incentivize people to actually update their profiles and update with a real resume Either make resume (in PDF) a first class part of your LinkedIn professional profile. (do not send an update to your network, I don’t mind my boss finds an updated resume, but I don’t want […]

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Digital Entertainment I Am Willing To Pay For

We do not pay for cable, never did and do not have a TV.  We do have a movie projector and a 90″ drop down projection screen. Looking at our digital entertainment obligations: We get the recent DVD ‘s free from the San Francisco public library. We pay for Comcast for 6mbps for faster internet […]

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No more freebies from Evernote

Evernote Basic subscribers can save up to five emails to their Evernote account. To continue using the feature, you must upgrade your Evernote account. Today when I emailed a note to my notebook, I got the above paywall message. I used to love Evernote.  You can create notes very quickly, you can email notes to […]

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link: Seth’s Blog: First, interact

The best way to tell if your speech is going to go well is to give your speech. The best way to find out if your new product has market appeal is to try to sell it. The best way to become a teacher is to teach. There’s a huge need for study, refinement and […]

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Learning Unconditional Love From My Mother

We are celebrating my mom’s 74th birthday today.   She is a medical licensed pediatrician in China.  When my family immigrated to the United States in 1980, her medical degree was not recognized here in the states and she lack the basic English to be medical doctor here.  She took on a job as a seamstress […]

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Performance On The Badminton Court Is 50% Mental Game

  I have played badminton for half my life.  Four years in high school, four years  for the UC Berkeley club, then I picked it up again very seriously trained and competed for 3 years and now I play for fun with my co-worker and near my house. I love playing of course because of […]

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Movie want to see: East Side Sushi

quoted from synopsis East•Side Sushi introduces us to Juana, a working-class Latina single mother who strives to become a sushi chef. Years of working in the food industry have made Juana’s hands fast—very fast. She can slice and dice anything you throw at her with great speed and precision. Forced to give up her fruit-vending […]

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The Delightful Support Experience

(dinner at the restaurant that I own in Burlingame, I Privé ) / stepping up my high horse I would love to see this in the perfect world for a product support experience. 1) Takes me zero effort to report a problem, make this as easy as possible.  Realtime chats, email. 2) I get an […]

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