Daily Log #87

At work today, my team lead and I had a chat about the situation on Monday night. He told me it’s expected for us to stay at work until so late when it comes to production environment. Issues can to raise their head during that time. Hmm, I do know that. I’m not that naive or ignorant. However, I for one don’t see the need for it if the preparation work has been done properly with extreme diligence and that there aren’t any last minute addition.

And why I said that?

Well, I went through the need to migrate a production system from one platform to another during my first job. My team lead and I went through days after days of rehearsals. I stress tested the application and migration SQL scripts with cloned production data on various machines for days. I practised executing batch commands several times a day. On the actual day, everything was smooth sailing and fast. We only took ten minutes to migrate the system and went live. Preparation and diligence give us stable production environment. At my current job however, I would say it is one of the messiest I have seen when it comes to production system.

I also raised the point that unlike others, I don’t tolerate working longer than eight hours because of how it affects my physical and mental health. I told him I can probably give them maximum of nine hours before I need to shut down. My body is very sensitive to any imbalance ranging from food to personal life and will react accordingly. After all, it’s not very good if I have to keep calling in sick after every long working day just to recover. That was something he agreed and say will take into account when delegating work.

I will say that it will take sometime before the working dynamic is settled.

And you know what? I actually fell ill, was exhausted and barely able to move in the morning. I had to go on two rounds of painkillers before I feel better. Even so, my mind then wasn’t working very well. It’s so foggy and I am pretty much absent-minded. I still am now.

So you see, I really don’t want to be in that situation. And I’m so angry because the whole situation actually violated my personal values on health and disrupted my routine—a routine that was established to keep me going optimally and sanely. At the end of the day, I will be the one suffering and have to face the consequence if I overwork and don’t rest enough. When I suffer, I have to call in sick and then the company suffers later because tasks are not done.

That’s why, in order for me to help you, you have to help me too.

And I know I promised (as per my employment contract) to give 8.8 hours of my time from Monday to Friday. Thus, I will give you the best work I possibility can during that period. After that, it is really my personal time. If I do choose to give you more of my time, it is usually because I think I can and able. Otherwise, don’t force me to work.

Work stuff aside. Some light-hearted stuff.

After work today, I went a toy and video game store at JEM to search for Halo 5 (disc version) and Halo: Master Chief Collection. I was thinking if the store had those in stock, I would have bought them alongside with a new Xbox One X. Sadly, they don’t have those games in stock. I left, boarded the train and went to Jurong Point. Once there, I tried the few video games store and it turns out they don’t have the games in stock too. That means, I have to put off buying Xbox One X for now.

Of course, I know I can buy it from Microsoft Store but I don’t really want to. I want to use this “lack of stocks” as a barrier and prevent myself from buying a console that I will probably regret later. Two, I was really attempting to force myself to stop spending nearly half of my take home salary every month on stuff that I don’t need. I wanted to see if I can go for months saving the maximum amount of my take home salary, after deducting for bills and giving my parents money.

Daily Log #86

I don’t know what’s it like at other companies, especially those software houses and tech companies. Thus far, in my current job, I keep finding myself in situations where I need to support the demonstrations or presentation of the software and its various features to different stakeholders while still doing various other things like writing codes, testing, going for meetings, and fixing bugs. Making things worse is that we only know about these demonstrations or presentations about one or two days before the actual day and that we had to always work overtime just to implement some odd requests.

That’s what happened yesterday. There was a presentation scheduled for today and yesterday night, my colleague and I were told to go to the datacenter to fix some issues and bugs while also making sure the application runs properly. At first, we thought everything was fine when we finally left the data center at around 5.45pm.

A call came later from our team lead and he asked us to go back there to fix an issue caused by a sub-module not done by us. I had to ride the train back again and that journey took me twenty minutes.

When I finally got there, I had to go through security checks again and got stuck there for a few minutes because the guards wanted to rescan my bag. By then, my anger kind of boil over the edge. In my mind, I went, “Can you fucking get this done faster.” Well, I wasn’t happy being called back to work again after clocking out. So everything else that happened after quite easily became irritants.

The next irritant was the team behind the sub-module wasn’t being responsive enough. It was followed by I am basically wasting time just sitting around and waiting, doing nothing.

The absurdity of the situation made me so mad that I actually said out loud in Mandarin, “Don’t bother to buy dinner for me, I don’t care,” when my team lead asked my colleague over the phone if I wanted anything. In Mandarin, it actually is more insulting.

Oh yeah, I’m pissed. I still am even now.

And I don’t want that dinner for other reasons anyway.

It was around 10.30pm that I get to leave the place. Oh boy, by then I was so pissed that I felt like punching somebody in the face.

Why?

Well, I was hangry from not having dinner and gastric issue. I can’t eat anything else because there is dinner waiting at home that is cold. I hate to waste food and is watching my calorie intake. By the time I get home to eat it, it will be 11.40pm because of the travel time home since I need to spend 45 minutes on train ad another 15 minutes to walk home. And after eating, I need to wait 4 hours before I can safely go to bed without suffering from acid reflux (as I said my gut hasn’t been doing very well these days). My back was and still hurting now. I was tired. Finally, overtime work always send my brain into overdrive and that means I will actually have insomnia.

So… I went through my night with stomach problems, tired but can’t sleep, pain all over with my allergies acting up again. I only managed to fall asleep at about 6am. End up I decided to call in sick. Went to see a doctor, get a bunch of painkillers and medical certificate to state I’m not well, and took naps throughout the day.

I am now asking myself why am I making myself suffer so much? Is this job even worth it? Until now, I still can’t seem to be able to reconcile my highly-sensitive nature, my need for long period of downtime (me time: games, watching videos, and reading), writing my book, precise meal times, and the demands of my work. The balance is so elusive that if I’m not careful, I slip back into depression again and again.

I really wonder is there something less demanding out there with more understanding bosses. Finally, is it so difficult to have a slower pace of life? I really don’t want to have the situation where a job kills me rather than me dying of natural causes.

Anyway, I also used the chance to go out with my mom after my naps. She said that it’s nice to have someone to go out with on a normal day and time flies really fast. Yeah, I agree. Everyday, she’s just alone at home while my dad and me goes to work and my sister goes to school. What she does is just play games on her phone and do really nothing else other than housework. Time flies so slow that it’s boring and numbing. Come to think of it, it’s actually pretty saddening. This is probably why I’m not moving out on my own anytime soon.

I know I can be like very aloof, get pissed off easily, not that professional when it comes to work, but there are times when I’m just a softie inside. I do get upset when I see sad scenes in books or movie or when I see animals being hurt or when the planet is damaged so badly by our activities. It’s just who I am really, have two extreme sides.

While I was out with my mom, there are two things that keep popping up. Two things that I really want: Figurine (to be precise: Play Arts) and Xbox One X Halo 5: Guardians. However, I still couldn’t bring myself to spend up to $800 on a brand new console just to play that one game I love. I don’t see any other games that isn’t already on PC or PS4 that I want to play.

For the Play Art toy, I went to buy Spartan Locke from Halo 5, spending $195 on it and I love it. The following are some unboxing pictures and after I was done setting it up.

Well, I always do have a love for soldiers in science-fiction armors like this. They just look so dashing and cool. This will serve as inspiration for my novels…

Argh… I need more painkillers… It hurts.

Daily Log #84

Work was mostly light today because I made it so. I spend more time chatting than working. One of the reason was because I decided to update the copy of visual studio 2017 that I was using as well as Windows. When I do work, I focus on developing several APIs for the purpose of tracking user activities, ranging from login to every click they do in the system. I also developed a few more APIs for the purpose of fetching who are the users currently online, and the list of users and their last online time.

I also decided to create one JIRA ticket to describe a new idea that I think of to help with a potential problem that I saw. For one, I don’t know if it is part of the user requirement specification but I’m approaching the problem as though I’m the one building the product. After all, that’s just how my brain works. I like creating stuff.

In the afternoon, at around three forty, I received an email from someone asking for my photo because my boss’s boss nominated me to be a member of the Environment, Health and Safety Committee. I was like, what the fuck? I have zero intention of being part of anything other than the project I’m on and I have always preferred to be very very low profile. Because at the end of the day, there are only a few things I care about and don’t want any more stuff. Minimalism at work is what I live by.

However, there are advantages to be part of the committee. For one, I get to meet more people. Number two, I may or may not get inspiration for my writings. To write good, I must experience something in real life. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing fiction or non-fiction. Three, like I mentioned yesterday, I’m a sucker for rules if there is any. If I get to be part of something to enforce rules, I don’t see why not. Just that I have to be very very careful and not let it destroy my mental health or overstimulate me.

I also came to the realization that there are many authors out there who only became successful (by successful, I mean at least have a piece of published work by a major publisher) in their mid-twenties or early thirties. There are some who only became full-time author in their forties because they had other careers or jobs before that. J.K Rowling for one only published the first Harry Potter book when she turned thirty-one and even then, it was a limited release. Subsequently, I came across another article on medium that talked about the importance of persistence. For as long as you don’t give up and just keep doing whatever it is you like, you will ultimately win the game. So that is what I will do.

I know I will probably whine and complain along the way but I mustn’t forget the bigger picture: everything I do should ultimately contribute back to making me a better writer. It could be as simple as writing a report for management, writing codes, be in a meeting for some audit, etc. And if I forget, I hope someone can remind me of that.

And one more thing. After I came back from work, I decided to get a haircut. So I changed into a pair of shorts, put on a pair of flip-flops, off I went to the salon. I had my hair cut to almost crew-cut like except for the top. It still retain a decent mop of hair. Well, I admit that it was getting difficult to manage my hair because of its length. I mean, it’s been five months since I last cut them. Secondly, the weather is rather hot and humid despite the rain.

Hmm… for some reason, my wrist decides to have some kind of intense rash from where both ends of the Apple watch’s straps are bounded together. It’s both painful and itchy. It’s also affecting my typing. Applied some aloe vera and will see if it helps.

Daily Log #83

After work, I met up with a friend for dinner before we went to catch the movie: Ant-man and The Wasp in the cinema. While we were eating, we caught up on some work stuff and how “fuck up” companies we worked at when it came to processes. The management people tell everyone else, probably including themselves, that they are doing agile development and throw in words like SCRUM, etc. to so call “inspire” the troop when it’s obvious they are doing what my friend termed “fake agile”. They hold stand up meetings to sync up what’s everyone is doing yet never put in practice Test-driven development, pair programming, Continuous Integration, etc. They use JIRA to assign task and ask us to update it properly but never really create user stories properly, never define the story points, and have poorly defined EPICS. Hell, the customer and the product owner aren’t even participating.

Put it this way. I’m a sucker for rules or processes when there’s one. I will follow it to the letter as much as I can and I hate it when people start to make it gray instead of black and white. It’s like polluting the purity of the rule. So when people have gone through the trouble of defining what’s Agile Methodology, I kind of expect people to follow it to the letter. And that’s how you can ensure consistency, predictability and quality. If people are changing stuff left and right without care, we will end up with a mess that will take more time to clean up.

And at the same time, I recognize that in business, flexibility is required. If not there’s no way the business can survive. But that doesn’t mean you can or should play fast and loose with the “processes”. Those things are there for a reason to solve problems discovered by other experts.

Of course, complaining doesn’t change the situation. Only action can. I’ve reached a stage of my career that I am letting it go and don’t harp on “why aren’t you doing it the right way?” for the sake of my sanity and mental health.

Talking about that, I also started to apply this “flexibility” in my work. I stop preaching about design patterns, how one should do certain things, etc. I leave it up to my colleagues how they want to implement something. I also don’t really care that much if the codes they write aren’t in the proper folder or package. On the other hand, I follow my own rules and way of doing things, ensuring that it is as consistent throughout as possible. And when I write codes, I can get rather verbose with all the layerings, double dispatch, etc. But I know that if I want to change something, I don’t need to hop from class file to class file and change in multiple places. That’s because I always strive to be as fine-grain as possible in my codes. DRY and SOLID are my best friends in this case.

Other than work, during my free time, I tried to either read the books I bought or continue to write my novel. And yes, I know I promise I will finish the draft by end of May and now it’s July. I’m not as productive as I would like and I’m constantly feeling drained or tired no matter how much I sleep. Then sometimes I will be distracted by my video games, or be annoyed at my parents for talking so loudly when I wanted a quiet house. I really admire the fact that I was able to write 40% of the novel during the long Chinese New Year weekend back in February. And now the process of putting the remaining 60% took me almost four months and still ongoing. I do feel disappointed with myself. I just have to try harder.

I will turn in early tonight and then wake up early tomorrow to see if I can cramp half an hour or an hour of writing. I’m feeling pretty exhausted now.

Daily Log #82

The morning of Thursday was spent in office doing some work, fixing some of the bugs raised by my colleagues. There were a few more that I said I would look at the next day because two of my colleagues and I had to make our way to the ConnecTech Asia at the Marina Bay Sand.

While we were at the exhibition, I couldn’t believe just how underwhelm I was by the things showcased by the various companies there. Everyone was doing similar things when it comes to solutions related to Smart City, Traffic management, and Public Safety. Even I can’t tell the difference between the user interfaces used.

I suppose this is what happens when people relied excessively on frameworks to build User Interfaces and neglected completely on make it showcase the creator’s brand. For example, if it’s Huawei product, I expected it to feature themes of Red and White. And a lot of times, I see shades of black and grey.

For me, as much as I love black and grey, I don’t want to see it everywhere. Even I don’t use Dark Mode that often. I prefer authenticity more. The heavy use of black and grey tell me a lot about the company. It tells me the company lacks care for their product, lazy, and is only around to make money. Nothing else matter.

On Thursday night, I made the jump and bought Halo Wars 2 from the Windows 10 app store for SG$73.50. While it was downloading, I went and play a round of skirmish with AI in Halo Wars. I did find myself struggling with it despite the enemy being on normal. I can only assume it’s because I hadn’t been playing realtime strategy games non-stop since the demise of the Command and Conquer franchise. I have always played first-person shooters (FPS) with a mix of role-playing games. After I won the match, I quit the game and instead focus on reading up stuff in the Halo universe.

When the game download was completed, I went ahead and played two campaign missions and was half way through the third when I decided to call it a night since it was already 11pm

Friday itself was a slightly more productive day for me. I had a quick discussion in the morning with my team lead regarding the existing UI and how to go about fixing some of the glitches. After that, I went back to my seat and work. For lunch, I went to eat at Hot Tomato with another intern who joined the team two months back. Well, I do like a little variety for my lunch and that eating the same type of food everyday bores me out.

Later in the afternoon, I went about fixing more stuff, had some chitchat session with my colleague and took a break. I left for home and spent the rest of the night playing Halo Wars 2.

Throughout Friday, I found myself thinking about getting the Xbox One X so that I can play games like Gears of Wars and Halo. However, the price of the console doesn’t justify. Spending nearly $700 just to play two game franchises don’t seem a good investment. I will adopt a wait and see stance for any new franchises or exclusives announced for the Xbox.

On Saturday, I finished the last few missions of Halo Wars 2 and just feel that I am still missing out on experiencing the story of Halo 5 myself. Reading about it on wiki isn’t good enough because you don’t get to see the visual too.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to go out and buy some more books to read. Specifically, I was looking for Neal Asher’s War Factory and Infinite Engine, sequels to the Dark Intelligence. I also got myself two books from the Halo franchise. It turns out the Kinokuniya store at Orchard Road didn’t really have a lot of stocks. Most of the copies were showing signs of age and fraying of the cover. So I pick up the ones that still looks pretty good on the outside. I also came across The Expanse but the bookstore didn’t have book 5. If they had, I would have bought all seven books and read.

With that in mind, it turns out my brand of minimalism, other than my basic needs, really is about focusing on three or four main things: Video games or toys that I love playing/having, books that I love reading, hardwares that I love using or improve my quality of life, and nice food. Everything else to me is superfluous. I couldn’t care much for big fancy cars, or houses or watches. Of course, over the years, my interest or things that are of value to me may change but so far, I have noticed I keep going back to those four things. Now what I can do is to ensure I don’t keep too many of those things. Just like how I purge my collection of old PC and consoles games that are simply not going to work with new generation of hardware a nearly a year ago. And one last thing, I will proceed to purge more physical stuff later this year because my room will be renovated.

For Sunday, I spent my morning reading two books: Stephen King’s IT and Steve Jobs biography. I managed to cover about twenty to thirty pages for each of the books before I stopped. I hadn’t been able to find a good position to read my books in since my back and neck pain hasn’t really gone away because I slipped up again. I spent too much time in front of the computer over the last few weeks to play games.

I probably will continue to read later. Now I am gonna try and get my hair cut as well as go for a run…pending the weather. It’s been raining the whole day.

Daily Log #81

Work today was pretty alright in terms of amount of things I need to do. Recently, I was told of a new requirement to track user activity in the application and to support various administrative function such as allowing another user (an admin) to kick an existing user out of his/her session.

Since all these are considered under identity management and access management, it falls under my purview. So I spent most of my day implementing stuff on the server side and then moving on to the frontend.

After lunch, one of my colleagues decided to publish a new version of the server side code to IIS. Now, she always have this problem of not getting the latest version of all source code for all modules before hitting that build and publish button. So end up, she didn’t get the latest server side code for the identity access module which contains fixes that I did two days ago. And in case you are wondering, I actually did publish a version containing that fix to the IIS two days ago.

And how I know what’s happening?

Well, later when she left office to join my team lead to go on an exhibition at Marina Bay Sands, another colleague of mine complained about not being able to login to the application and she was seeing the error message of “your account has been disabled.”

Of course, I can’t help but roll my eyes. This again.

As I was still working on my new task, the current version of my code isn’t deployment ready. So I told my colleague to give me a moment while I finish up the stuff on my side. At around 3.45pm, I did and published a new version of the server side application. At the same time, I also checked in the client side code and got my colleagues to get it. By about 4.15pm, everything is up and running. My colleague could continue with her other tasks.

And I get to continue working on my existing task, expanding the code to support other functionalities. I published the server application again and tested the changes I made to the client. All is working.

I call today a rather productive day by what I have accomplished: a new functionality of tracking user’s online status and laying the foundation for the activity tracking function as well as allowing admin to kick pre-existing users out of their session.

Later at night, I spent some time watching Ajin: The Demi-Human on Netflix. After about five episodes, I decided to stop and get down to write my novel. Thus far, I only managed to put in about four new paragraphs before I had to do something else. Then I switched to writing this Daily Log. I will see if I can get back to the novel again. And I found myself writing in the “as a matter of fact” style. There isn’t much description or decent use of adjectives. I feel like I suck as a storyteller. Oh well… more practice.

Daily Log #80

There wasn’t much going on at work today. All I did was to clear off the JIRA issues that were assigned to me and by about 5pm, I was already done with all of them and with that, I spent the remaining time just watching and browsing YouTube on my iPad.

When I got home, I watched an episode of Shooter season 3 on Netflix and then had my dinner.

I did spend some time contemplating what am I doing with my life.

First, I am overweight and have been having a hard time to lose those fats. It’s my fault really for spending so much of my time sitting down either to write code, watch shows, play video games, and writing. I’m not doing enough to move and burn more calories. Right now, I’m laying in my bed writing this journal, using my rather big tummy to prop up the laptop against my thighs. Urgh… I hate this chunk of fat. I need to put in the work to get myself into a habit of going for walks and run on a weekday instead of finding excuses.

Second, my hair so now so long that it is already a mop. It also make me look fatter and uglier…not that I’m that good looking in the first place. Now I just look even worse. So I will schedule for a hair cut this weekend. Enough with the “fuck the world” attitude.

Third, I realized that I’m having a hard time writing my novel now because I’m so focus on trying to do the following:

  1. Show don’t tell
  2. Be concise
  3. Avoid words that end with -ly
  4. Taking care of grammar

It’s no wonder that I couldn’t get into flow because I’m trying to write like the so call “pros” do instead of writing in my own way. I’m editing myself as I write and I lost my voice in a way. So time to put a stop to that. I should just write exactly how I will tell the story and then edit from there. If not, the novel will never finish even when the sun becomes a red giant.

Ok, that’s all for tonight. I will try and put in more words into my novel before turning in for the night. Or… maybe I should just sleep early since it’s known that lack of sleep causes weight gains.

Daily Log #77

I hate many aspects of my job however there is one thing that I enjoy doing was paying attention to the usability and the overall experience of the user interface I’m working on. In fact, I was so focus on that today for most of my morning as I went about tweaking the user interface to support new functionalities while also making sure the previously done parts present correct information to the user.

As it got closer to 12pm, my stomach started growling and I had to take some antacid to reduce the acidity in my stomach. By then, I had already stop doing work and focus on just browsing the web.

After lunch, there was a quick meeting where the team lead, another colleague and I reviewed what needs to be done because on July 1, there is a planned trial run. In another words, UAT. With that in mind, there were also issues raised regarding the performance of one the core functionality. In part, it was reveal by the sheer amount of data that I had provisioned into the database of the identity access module.

So my colleague and I got down to discussing what to fix. Somehow during the process, I got pretty annoyed because of my perfectionism. To me, it was like how come I didn’t foresee this problem. Another reason was because of the potential changes that would have resulted in destroying the so call “expressiveness” of the pre-existing code, make it harder to debug and maintain, which in turn would have violated my personal value on convenience and quality. Normally, I won’t sacrifice those two for the sake of performance.

Of course, I also know that no one wants to use a slow system. Performance is also a key metric and very important to the overall experience. This is why I love Apple over any other brand. They fulfill all three attributes I use to judge.

It took a while before I manage to calm down but in the meantime, I focus on throwing in timing codes to see which section was causing the problem. After throwing a couple of timing codes, I already knew what’s going on and asked me colleague to come over to my desk. The slow part was the code she wrote. However, she kept telling me to add more timing codes everywhere. Naturally, I got annoyed also.

Now, unlike my colleague, I heavily rely on my intuition about how things should be and will be. This is why I am able to draw conclusion early that would subsequently be validated by empirical data. Thus to me, when the conclusion is already there, why add waste more time and energy on something? That’s one pet peeve of mine.

However, since programming and software development is primarily about actual data, numbers and proofs, it’s really on me to learn to go through the process of proving to somebody else that what my gut is telling me is correct. And honestly, it’s something I don’t do consciously because the end result of what I do is proof enough. And I also acknowledge that I’m only human and my intuition could be wrong. So I will just keep that in mind and treat it as a way to update the so-call intuition database that I have. After all, intuition only works best when there is sufficient experience. And experience is gained through trial and error.

Work and life experiences aside, after I got home, I decided to watch Penny Dreadful because there’s nothing else that I find interesting on Netflix. Three episode in of the first season and I got to say I quite enjoy it. And before that I was actually contemplating if I want to play video games tonight.

Daily Log #76

While I was at my desk today, my manager decided to come over and talk to me about the Trump-Kim event that I was involved in. She asked me about the days and talked about stability of the system. Later, she asked me to join her at her desk so that she can talk to me about something else.

So I followed her and sat down at her desk. The conversation started with another update about what’s going on within the department and there is a plan for job rotation. I for one know it’s just management talk and an idealistic one. When it happens, it happens. I’m not particularly looking forward to it.

Then she talked about how one should have a goal in mind to achieve at work. Some examples are wanting to be a manager or be a technical lead. Well, in my mind, I already know what I want next and that’s to transit into a design role and also do technical writing.

Finally, she also told me that the management can see my effort and how good I am at my job. Now of course, that’s the professional side of me I tried to maintain at work. If you have read my blog, you would know how emotional I have been of the last few weeks. It was only just today I managed to feel better and I found some more motivation to do my work.

She also raised the point where I have shown that I have been able to manage my stress well because on my first day I mentioned about how I don’t like stress and don’t tolerate it well. Of course she didn’t know it stemmed from my sensitivities. So I guess I have grown in a way on that front. I am still developing the ability to just switch off work stuff once I reached home most of the time. Then there is my writing that help me to dump out the bad stuff. On the physical front, I do go for runs and take longer lunch breaks by going for walks in the mall. Finally, sleep. I sleep more and don’t rely on stimulants. All of which are my holistic approach to stress reduction.

Finally, my manager talked to me about wanting to nominate me for conversion to a permanent position. I acknowledge it and then I guess we shall see how it goes. After all, she also told me that it’s subjected to senior management’s approval and it might not happen.

Daily Log #75

I tried to find purpose again or at least something that can get me excited again in my work as I didn’t really want to keep going into office, spend eight hours there and feel miserable. However, I still couldn’t find 100% of it. I still feel like whatever I’m doing is pretty much dead end.

And no, I have no intention of climbing up the ladder or expand my job scope because I don’t want to wear myself down any faster. What I’m doing is to try and find it within my existing workload and assigned tasks.

Ok, so it’s not 100% but I did find like maybe 50% of my purpose there. Or in another words, I can draw like 50% happiness from my work.

I can get obsessive compulsive about things like how codes should be self-documenting, functions should be precise yet modular, and the overall style be consistent throughout. So I will spend some time tweaking the existing codes. The end result tend to raise my mood a little. I do the same with new codes that I will be adding in.

The other thing would be analysis of use case and user behavior. I’m interested in how user use a system and how they see a piece of software. I want to understand the psychology behind their actions and choices. Only once I have that, I can build better software. The only problem is, my colleagues are all so disconnected from that and focus only on engineering their way out as and when problems are raised. They don’t ask those question first and discuss it up front. This mean whatever I’m doing is mostly solo work and that can get a little dissatisfactory because I know one person can’t see the full picture. I don’t have the kind of experience needed to make good judgment on a lot of things. What I wanted is a mentor but at my current company, you can only wish they have. It just doesn’t believe in the need for mentoring. To them, you are hired to do your job and they just throw you at your job. I could only wish that they adopt the apprenticeship style of work like those in German companies.

My team lead and I also had a discussion about why the JIRA system isn’t being updated properly by us. It created a situation where he doesn’t know what’s our progress and can’t schedule accordingly. Well, in part it’s my fault because I’m feeling lazy about it. The only excuse is that my development desktop is not connected to the internet due to sensitivities of the work and I have to use a separate laptop to access that system. I for one don’t enjoy switching machine to do different thing because it’s distracting and just plain irritating. It’s the same thing at home. I do almost everything excluding gaming on my MacBook. If the MacBook could allow me to play those really graphically and computationally intensive games, I would have gotten rid of my desktop.

We also had a discussion about what’s our work going to be like going forward. My team lead will try to push away all the unnecessary demonstration of our software because it’s taking up too much of our time. Time that could be spent on development. Another thing is that he want to re-organize the work distribution and allow me focus on the user experience aspect and the design aspect. At the end of it, it’s the one thing that I wanted to do at this stage of my development career.

Hell, there’s a lot of things that I wanted to do for diversity sake but if I am to keep doing programming at least for the next one year without burning out, the user experience is the best one because it allow me to apply several of my strengths to it.

After work, it was mostly just me sitting down in front of the laptop and focus on binge watching The Blacklist on Netflix. That last episode’s reveal of a shocking truth about Raymond Reddington was not what I expected. I have always assumed those bones belong to Elizabeth Keen’s mother and not expecting to be the real Raymond Reddington and her actual father. Now I think about it, I think it’s maybe that I didn’t keep track of all the hints the show have thrown out and I made a wrong assumption based on faulty information. Oh well… Now I can’t wait for Season 6.