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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Teaming with Passion

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I attended a company sponsored training called “Teaming with Passion”. It was a course aimed at our front-liners, who deal with interesting customers everyday. Being a pre-sales technical consultant, I too attended the course and here I’d like to write a brief summary of what I had learnt.

Up until very recently, I had been chiding the concept of positive attitude, power words, inner strength etc. I thought I did not need them, and all of them are common sense, and discoverable upon needs. How wrong I was !

The exact reason I did not need any emotional help or encouragement before was because I did not push myself enough that time. Now with bigger responsibility, with performance being measured in sales figure, I am getting more and more serious at work. Stress level is high, and I cant sleep easily.

What I found most helpful from the course was about positive thinking. Heck, positive thinking is so obvious that I feel ashamed that I care about it too much here. But, during the course, we had to keep shouting “I am mental warrior”, “You are your energy”, “Today is a grrreat day” and so on. We (the front-liners) also sang unity-themed songs together, keep shouting the support each other, look at the eyes of our learning partner while talking to him/her. I suppose this kind of training system is what Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is all about, although I know too little about it to write here factually.

People cried tears of joy. Connections renewed among colleagues, and created among strangers.

When the course started, I mumbled to myself, “Am I going to be brainwashed here?” I’ve been to quite a number of sales-themed training/seminar, although being more technically inclined by profession and interest. LOL, my worry was unwarranted. I am now “brainwashed” and see nothing wrong with that.

Well, too busy to continue blogging, but if you were also like me before, dismissing self-help, motivation and encouragement as common sense or unimportant, you may want to check whether you have pushed yourself enough.

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Efficient.

There is no way I can afford to be less than that. I need to submit two assignments on global issue, the first about China’s rise as superpower, and the second about effectiveness of G8. After submitting the two assignments, I will only have a month left to finish my Project 2 : Securing Internet Voting System with Trusted Computing Technology. That’s actually not my project title, I’ve forgotten the actual title after a month of not touching project. I’ve been touching something else.

Funnily, I still procrastinate and write this blog post. 🙂

Regarding Go, I completed the second league but the result is not yet published on MWA website. Also, from 23rd September to 30th September, I will probably be representing Malaysia in Nanning, China for Nanning International Weiqi Tournament. I will also probably be representing Malaysia in Korea Prime Minister Cup in Jeonju, Korea from 22th October to 27th October. Both “probablies” were there because I am not sure whether my employer will grant me unrecorded leave or not. They suddenly make fuss about the invitation letters not having letterhead.

I might as well fit in a little update about my work here. I have finally completed the VBA Excel programming to track our team performance although from time to time, there will be new feature request from my superior which requires me to continually do the development. Honestly, I feel like a real programmer now 🙂 , although in reality I really should be doing sales consultancy and familiarise myself with various telecommunication products.

Okay, time to start writing about China rise to superpower. The superpower term is wide-ranging, and may cover economic, political, military and technological prowess. Anyone who has any idea that they want to share regarding this is most welcome.

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It has been for a while since I wanted to be a more serious blogger. While telling about my life, opinion and feeling on this blog serves my emotional and psychological needs pretty well, I always had hoped to have a higher purpose of existence on the Internet.

Techpiece is my attempt to realise that. It’s a platform for collaborative blogging for me and a friend, Soha who is doing PhD in the UK in power engineering. I’ll try to write articles more closely related to Malaysia, in particular about telecommunication, security and software.

I’ve written about cryptography in general that is unrelated to Malaysia. Actually I only reused an old article from here, because Soha pushed me to post according to schedule. LOL.

Next in my plan is to write about Streamyx and Home Surveillance in Malaysia. If you have any technological questions that you hope to be answered, just ask me anytime. I’ll answer or research the answers.

techpiece

Seems like a tough project, but hopefully I will persevere.

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Specialist vs Generalist

… and you, Marcus, you have given me many things; now I shall give you this good advice. Be many people. Give up the game of being always Marcus Cocoza. You have worried too much about Marcus Cocoza, so that you have been really his slave and prisoner. You have not done anything without first considering how it would affect Marcus Cocoza’s happiness and prestige. You were always much afraid that Marcus might do a stupid thing, or be bored. What would it really have mattered? All over the world people are doing stupid things … I should like you to be easy, your little heart to be light again. You must from now, be more than one, many people, as many as you can think of … ”

Karen Blixen (” The Dreamers” from “Seven Gothic Tales”)

I had a talk with a friend before, about being Jack of all trades, master of none. I guess, my blogging here is just an extension to the discussion, that I simply had to forgo during my talk with him. Our talk started after I question him on his motive to study math. No, not as in taking up math course in university. But, as an adult, who wanted to study math purely for self-interest among many other things i.e. politics, technology, religion, science, history etc. He claimed to be Jack of all trades, master of none, unlike me who chose to specialise in technology and software engineering. At the end of the talk, we both concluded that each person chooses whatever that suits him most.

Note : It was a friendly chat. We were not arguing, were not even debating anything.

Actually I had been a ‘generalist’ before (cant afford to write JOATMON all the time). During the earlier years of my secondary school era, I played a lot of sports, but did not make into any team because I didn’t want to commit to any training schedule. I had also probably attended the first session of most health/martial art practices including silat, taekwondo, kickboxing, boxing, kendo, yoga etc. I had also made trivial programming in numerous number of programming languages i.e. Pascal, Delphi, C, C++, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Java and assemblies. And let’s not forget human languages, I had also been in formal classes for Malay, English, Chinese and Arabic , and also had pathetic attempts at Japanese, Korean and French. Strategic board games? I play them all except backgammon.

Okay, I risk being called show off. Actually it’s just a little retaliation. I felt that being called a specialist had invalidated my life and every kind of person I was before.

However at the moment, I am not so much a generalist. It is too hard to derive tangible benefits from being one. Despite the above may sound impressive, I was a nobody in MCKK among my friends who were school representatives for football, rugby, basketball or hockey. I failed job interview at ARM Limited, Cambridge because I couldn’t exhibit mastery of ARM architecture and the assembly instructions. And I did not know how to swap values of two variables in C without a temporary storage ( I still don’t know how ). Keeping up with new technologies had costed me a lot of time and money, but until now I still have no confidence to take up freelance job. And all those extra languages I learned? .. it’s as if I had never !!

Having said that, there are advantages of being a generalist. In a large corporation, a generalist is more likely to be promoted to higher management level instead of their specialist counterparts. That is similar for politics too, I would think. Being a generalist helps to draft vision and gameplan, especially with the supports from the specialists. I have heard advice to switch job every 2 years from someone within our organization. Well, that depends on what you want to achieve. In terms of improving skills, that is ridiculous, but in terms of knowing as many people as you can, that is excellent. And the latter is usually what helps you to climb the corporate ladder, sadly. 😦

Should I be a generalist or a specialist? The question is not really critical to be answered now, although in the limited career-wise context it may be. I however prefer to heed the quote at the top, to be more than one, many people, as many as I can think of.

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Do you eat alone?

I do, and I do it often. It breeds negative impression among friends and colleagues. It will not expedite my ascend to the top of corporate ladder, in fact it will most likely hamper any remaining potential of career growth. I know, but I still eat alone. There are just too many questions in my head, from how to salvage my Go hobby from time-hungry career, how to still achieve my dream to be a programmer to the smaller questions i.e. what to blog about, what should I read etc etc.

Today’s lunch, I ate alone again. I brought along a vocabulary book, and chose to sit at a table across a lady who was alone as well. I like being alone, but not alone alone. Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, she was cracking head doing Sudoku, while enjoying a green-ish drink. A girl doing Sudoku alone at lunch? Fewww.. I was relieved to know that my type of girl does exist. 🙂 I then rightaway drew my book closer within reading range and adjusted my focus accordingly, and she began to fade to the perimeter of my vision.

I do not suffer from jealousy of that guy, who generates laughter from waist-round buddies, or that guy who everyone knows and wants to be with. I do not covet them. I really don’t, so please do not project that I-commiserate-with-your-plight expression when you see me eating alone in a big corporation cafeteria.

That’s not to say I dislike being in company of others. I simply like to have social flexibility, to have a total control and freedom of myself and my activities. Prejudice may be piling against me, and in corporate world, this could be lethal. I dont care, I die a martyr for this nonsensical “personal social freedom” cause if I have to.

Note: Hahaha… seems like a rather extreme post. It is the little voice inside me though. Anyway, as I said, I read a vocabulary book during lunch. Can you guess what words I had learnt?

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Writing seriously?

 

Found the pictures above somewhere online. That’s the picture of me playing on KGS server during the tournament, picture of all participants of 29th World Amateur Go Championship and picture of the Japanese girl who caused me to lose concentration throughout the tournament 🙂 .

Anyway, I am currently undertaking a project, purely stemmed from self-interest, to write up an article, or perhaps even a book on history and development of Weiqi in Malaysia. Do you know why it’s called Weiqi, not Go in Malaysia? Haha, there’s a whole political story behind that too, but sadly it’s not gonna be in my book 🙂

Luckily for me, all top officials of Malaysia Weiqi Association and most veteran players were in Japan Club today. I had the chance to interview, or more like friendly chat with all of them, to uncover the origin of Go in Malaysia. They told me stories of the past, which dated back to the time Go was founded in Malaysia. Sadly, the founder had already passed away, and I am contemplating whether I should interview the wife. Haha, I easily got over-spirited when doing something new, in this case, writing 🙂 

I’m loving writing more and more ! And it couples well with my other interest, desktop publishing. I tried Scribus software but didnt like it very much. I wonder if I could use Latex to produce magazine-like layouts?

Please advise.

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