inspiration, personal growth

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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inspiration

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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feedback, inspiration, personal growth

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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attention, inspiration, time

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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inspiration, life-strategies

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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inspiration, mentor-seth-godin

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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books, inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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books, inspiration

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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inspiration, life-strategies

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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inspiration, introvert

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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inspiration, learning

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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, inspiration

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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inspiration, mentorship

The Non-Definitive Guide To Mentoring Software Engineers

(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 […]

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happiness, inspiration

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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inspiration

“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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inspiration

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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inspiration, Tech

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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attention, inspiration

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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inspiration, security

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration, splunk

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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inspiration

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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inspiration, parenting

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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engineer, inspiration

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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digital, inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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engineer, inspiration

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 movie projector and a 90″ drop down screen. Looking at our digital entertainment obligations: We get recent DVD ‘s free from the San Francisco public library. We pay for Comcast for 6mbps for faster internet than AT&T, this […]

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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

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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inspiration

Living without regrets until our dying days

We will all die one day.  That is the way of life, it’s interesting that even kids realize their parents will die one day and they don’t seem very surprised by that.  It’s an eventual fact all humans accept as part of life. People often say “live life as if it’s your last”.  I interpret […]

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inspiration

money makes more money

(repost from 1/9/2007) I believe I have a healthy relationship with money. I know how to invest my money, I know how to earn money, and most importantly I know how to spend money on the people in my life. I usually don’t make such bold statements since I’m usually a humble person. Money in […]

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inspiration

Don’t be that person…

Don’t be that person who does not respond to emails who does not respond to feedback who is late to meetings who says he will do something but doesn’t after repeatedly reminded who speaks at a level of detail that is too little or too much in an executive meeting who gets too emotional in […]

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inspiration

Life Is.. Work And Love?

(Repost from 2006) So this film producer and I were chatting on the train back from Copenhagen and we got on the subject of working for Yahoo! and I was telling him about how I got a very unique perspective about the major news events the last 7 years. Almost 100% of the people out there […]

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engineer, inspiration

Corporate Efficiency : “Humans Are The Problem”

I sometimes say in jest that in the corporate world the “humans are the problem”. Communication, expectation and difference in perspectives are some of what causes executions of projects to not work. This is a response to frustrations expressed by people on my team that “other” people are doing things the “wrong” way. I find […]

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family, inspiration

Family Portrait From 1975 in Hunan, China

I grew up in communist China from 1970 to 1979 before coming to the United States. This photo is a rare photo of our family together.  This is the time when China just opened their immigration policy to allow people to leave China. My mom was a pediatrician, my dad was an architect. I have […]

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inspiration, travel

Visit With Passionate People

I was visiting this jewelry store in Rome by a very famous jewelry maker Diego Percossi Papi (exibition). The shop is tiny and I was a bit intimidated since the jewelry were all well over $1,000. I looked into the shop for a good 5 minutes until the owner/designer buzzed me in and told me […]

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inspiration

Listening to: Public Shaming in the Age of Social Media

In 2013, public relations executive Justine Sacco tweeted an offensive AIDS joke before boarding a flight to South Africa. By the time she landed, she had been denounced around the world, and lost her job soon after. Did Sacco deserve her public humiliation? Or was she yet another victim of social media shaming and a […]

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