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Weekly Learning

Weekly Learnings My weekly learnings on the journey of becoming a tech lead. Week #8: Senior Engineers, Stop Doing Everything 7 min read Week #7: The other side of technical skill: Domain Knowledge and Long-term Vision 8 min read Week #6: Handling Disagreements and Conflicts at Work 11 min read Week #5: Stressed out by work responsibilities? Focus on creating impact instead. 9 min read Week #4: Not Working Overtime, but Working Flexibly 6 min read Week #3: Refactoring Legacy Code V.S. Staying Focused On The Current Project 7 min read Week #2: Never feel overwhelmed at work again- the… Continue reading

Refactoring Legacy Code V.S. Staying Focused On The Current Project

When I work on projects, I often run into legacy code that can be improved — to be more readable, more testable, or more comply with the current coding style. My urge to refactor the code is especially strong after spending a good amount of time trying to understand a piece of obscure code. That code hurts my brain, and I don’t want the same thing happens to other developers. There is the famous Boy Scout Rule: Leave Code Better than You Found It. But at the same time, I also want to stay focused and make progress on my current project…. Continue reading

Never feel overwhelmed at work again- the M.I.T. technique

Have you ever felt exhausted after a day at work? At the end of a busy day, you couldn’t remember how you spent your time. All you knew was that there was more to be done tomorrow. You were tired, overwhelmed, and even a bit frustrated — the to-do list always out-ran you. You might have wanted to review your day and see how to be more productive. But the pain you had in your head from a long day was so strong that all you could do was to drag yourself home and collapse on a couch until it’s time for… Continue reading

The Fastest Way to Get Promoted as an Engineer

We all want to live up to our potential, grow in our career, and do the best work of our lives. Getting promoted at work not only proves that we have advanced our skills but also shows that the hard work we put in is being recognized and appreciated. As I was going through my bi-annual performance review with my manager, I learned that I missed that one thing that could have helped me grow faster and led to a promotion. The fastest way to get promoted at work — act as if you have already been promoted. If you… Continue reading

Knowing what needs to be done

This post is part of the Two Years at Gusto: Everything But Code series. The remaining parts are: Goal-driven is a losing mindset. Everything is an evolving process. Dealing with unknowns and humans in the software world When you are most helpless, you are most empowered As I get older I'm learning it's less about "work for someone" vs "work for yourself" And more about "waiting to be told what to do" vs "knowing what needs to be done" And, weirdly, that you can end up either way regardless of whether you work for someone or work for yourself — aj… Continue reading

Goal-driven is a losing mindset. Everything is an evolving process.

This post is part of the Two Years at Gusto: Everything But Code series. The remaining parts are: Dealing with unknowns and humans in the software world Knowing what needs to be done When you are most helpless, you are most empowered Goal-driven is a losing mindset. I’m goal-driven. I tend to laser focus on a single goal and relentlessly go after it. This strategy served me well in school. I got everything I wanted. But it didn’t work so well outside of school. The longer I worked, the more I realized being goal-driven is a losing mindset. School is different from the… Continue reading

Two Years at Gusto: Everything But Code

Hard to believe it has been two years since I joined Gusto. At the same time, given how much has happened and how much I have learned, it’s also hard to believe it has only been two years. In this post, I want to share four most valuable lessons I learned in the past six months since my last bi-annually retrospect. (Past bi-annually retrospects: 6-month, one-year, and 18-month) Goal-driven is a losing mindset. It’s better to think of everything as an evolving process. Dealing with unknowns and humans in the software world. Knowing what needs to be done. When you are… Continue reading