Something I learn from a boring talk

Attended an information sharing session this morning.

One problem stood up. The person conducting the session is a bad presenter, not very fluent in English, and speaks with very heavy accent. Most of us are at a lost on what he tries to convey. Twenty minutes into his talk, half of the audiences already give up on trying to understand at all. Some play with their phone, some doodling on a paper, some just fall asleep.

The usual lessons learn here is presentation skill is really important. The thing strike me today is, how easily we give up even when those information is for our good. “They should present it better”, or “They should find someone with better English”, we often complain. It is not our fault that we don’t understand what he said, and we are fully entitled to turn off our attention. At the end we are the one wasting time pretending we are listening, but gain nothing at all at the end of the session.

Just as my mind about to wander around, I decided to stop it, and try, really try to figure out what he is trying to say. Looking at his slides, try to pick up the words he say, try to really pay attention. Then almost magically his words become slightly clearer, his talk becomes slightly more interesting, and instead of wasting two hours being mindless, I actually learn something from it.

If you decide to make the best out of a situation, then you can learn something from almost everyone. My thought.


A marathon, not short sprint

A marathon, not short sprint
A marathon, not short sprint.
Image from stock.xchng, author

I wish by now I have something positive to write as a fitting part 2 to the post wrote last year, you know, happy ending or something like that. The sad fact is, after numerous try, despite seemingly getting closer each time; I am still here one year later, still looking every possible ways to work with rails or web development work, full-time, oh, actually even part-time (So ping me if you have any web development works, especially ruby or ruby on rails stuff)

I have Interviewed for 4-5 opportunities, learned a lot, and got to meet some local startup people, developers, etc *but* none of that lead to anything, so far.

My first ever rails freelance gig was developing a simple web apps for a client. It was cancelled like 3 weeks into development. The client decided to look for a local developer instead. He said it is not my problem just that he preferred to work with a developer from local. One year down the road, the site is still not up. I guess the client decided not to pursue with his idea anymore.

Then another freelance gig come knocking, I was required to sign a NDA even. I was so thrilled with the opportunity, their idea is cool, it is like another facebook in the making. The core teams were working on the main features, and I was told that I would involve real soon. Now it is almost a year later, nothing happen still, haven’t heard any news from the team, their site haven’t changed for months. Not sure if they still working on the project.

Finally a local startup opening for Rails, not freelance gig but a chance of full-time employment, wow! So off I go for interview, we overcome the usual stumbling block by cutting down my salary (of course, not before serious discussion with the stakeholder – my wife, always grateful for her understanding), I offer to work with them for a few weekends in advance, so both sides can see if we are a fit. Think you can guess the outcome by now. 2 weekends down, and I got a sorry message, it is not something to do with me, but their internal decision. That is what I’ve been told at least. They did offer to pay up for my time, though I rejected.

There are one or two more freelance opportunities in between, that didn’t materialized. The common theme here is, “It is not your problem really”. The project just got cancelled, or stagnant, or fading out, or because of some internal decision I was not hired. But I refuse to buy the “It is not your problem” statement. There is no benefit in believing it is just plain bad luck, there is no benefit in believing it is just some internal decision to not hire. That is like admit defeat and say, okay, there is nothing I can do with it now. I can only work on things that I can control, which is *me*. I haven’t made myself so good, that there is no excuse at all not to hire me, of course that is my problem.

Stay positive, working on my own projects, writing even more codes, reading even more codes. Keep doing all that. This is a marathon, not short sprint. Even if no one take a chance on me, the effort I put in will lead me to somewhere.

I have to believe in that, cause there aren’t any other options anyway. Ha.