Sunday, April 18, 2010

CS3216 - Conclusion

I apologize for using such a bland title, but I guess nothing else is quite as direct.

let go over this in chronological order.

First, managing people is the most important thing in a team. In my facebook app assignment, I was (unfortunately) the person with the most software engineering experience, and that wasn't a lot. Grouped with angad, yinchao and liuliu, this turned out to be quite the disaster because we decided to scale back the amount of technologies needed to just sql/javascript/html/fbml. The problem here was that it became too easy, and there isn't enough for people to do. I realized that early, but did little to stop it(partly because i had no idea how to) and the other quickly became dissented, eventually, they dropped.

The next lesson, is not to let self-doubt get you. I am a fairly confident person, and I know my capabilities very well. Never throughout the assignment did I feel that Angand and I were incapable of meeting our targets, but sometimes, just sometimes, there will be these little bit of yourself that asks, "is this really going to work?". The key here is not to just shove these self-dobuts right back to where they came from, that just means they will come back much more strong re the next time. But to answer these doubts with action. If you feel like you may not reach a target in time, you jolly well do something to make sure that doesn't happen. Self-doubt is the worse thing that can happen, since it destroys your morale and self-esteem.

Lesson three, ask questions, stupid or not. If you feel something isn't right, raise the issue until he gets it or you get it. Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions, "if you ask a stupid question, you look stupid for a day. If you don't ask a stupid question, you stay stupid for life." I know a lot of people are still uncomfortable with asking questions, it is obvious that most questions during talks are asked by laurence, tom, john loh, john lewd and adhiraj.

Lesson four, grades don't matter, nobody looks at what grades Mark Zuckerburg got. It really is about ideas and execution. Grades may be a metric used for hiring, but our goal in life isn't to work right?(pls. read Adrian Tan's speech if you have no idea what I'm talking about)

Lesson five is on success, this is actually something I already knew, just reinforced in this module. Success is defined differently by different people, and there are seriously no sure path to success. Some people are satisfied money, others by spiritual enlightenment, even more prefer to pursue interests and be good at it. The key here is to be yourself and not be influenced by other people's success. Look at the entrepreneurs that came to talk to us, everyone of them have a different success story, sometimes even conflicting ones, put them in each others shoes and maybe they will flop and fail miserably. Listen to your heart and be yourself, theres a good chance that you will fail on the first, second, third try, but then again if you try enough times you chance of success will tend to 1.

The most important lesson though, is to not try too hard, which was what prof ben told me after 2 of my teammates dropped. Pushing too hard leaves no room for anything else. There was this concept brought forward by honking writer 黄易, called 遁去的一, basically if you have 50 slots for chairs. If you fill all 50 slots with chairs you lose the ability to change anything, your pattern is stuck. However, if you had 49 chairs in 50 slots, you will have 48! patterns(I hope I remembered by circular permutation formula correctly). Its just like playing poker, obviously there are maximum returns if you go all-in. But you're out of the game totally if you lose, however, just keeping 1 chip alive gives you a(very long) shot at getting back into the game. Something like that. Thats actually reinforced by Randy Paush's speech, you don't really need to go all out to make your dreams, but if you lead your life correctly, you'll find that everything comes together for yourself.

It has been a blast taking CS3216, thanks to all my wonderful classmates, TAs and 1 particularly evil professor. I theresay nothing I do in NUS will come as close as this. I hope all of you guys keep your passion for whatever you are doing, and in the immortal words of a certain prefoessor "do the right thing".



Ben Leong said...

john lewd?

hahahahahha. :-) Sorry, couldn't help myself. Funniest typo I've seen in a long time. :-P

Lesson four, grades don't matter.

Actually, they do, to a certain point and under certain circumstances. For detailed explain when and why, see Hong Jun's post.

The most important lesson though, is to not try too hard

I don't think you're saying this quite right. If you want to succeed, you gotten try damn hard.

Actually "Do or Do Not, There is NO TRY".

This point here to be "mentally agile and flexible". If you're going to double down, you just better know what the heck you're doing.

While the general wisdom about investment is that people should diversify to reduce their risks, Warren Buffett says "diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing" and that if you dunno what you're doing to begin with, diversification will just make sure that you dun lose money all in the same place. :-P

Angad Singh said...

HAHHAH! @ "John Lewd" :P

Well Orry I remember during the facebook assignment it was really tough for us. Not in terms of coding but in terms of dividing stuff and keeping the team intact. It was the first time I was coding a big project and yeah I had those pangs of self-doubt. We had simple stuff to do but still it was not organised properly. [*points* to the 600 lines of code in a single PHP file].
But nevertheless - all those happenings really taught something - simple stuff - team management. [and always modularize your code!]

Li Yen said...

Actually a lot more typo errors like "Angand", "john loh", "john lewd"... hor, u don't remember ur classmates names!

Success is defined differently by different people, and there are seriously no sure path to success.
Follow ur heart.

joshuatj said...

oh my GGness John Lewd!