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Open by Andre Agassi

Overall Thoughts: For the first half of the book, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It seemed to go into too much details. But as I got to know Andre better, I wanted to just follow along his journey. It’s almost like following a TV show. The near the last quarter of the book, where he and Brooke broke up and he got back to the game, was the turning point for me. The book became really interesting from there. I throughly enjoyed the last quarter of the book. I was quite touched by Andre’s formation. I felt… Continue reading

Where is your flashlight pointing at?

When you point a flashlight towards something, the center of the beam is the brightest. The further away from the center, the dimmer it becomes. This is similar to where we put the focus of our lives. The thing we pay the most attention to becomes what matters the most for us at the moment. Sometimes we point the flashlight of our lives at things. For example, our careers or our relationships. Sometimes we point it at a specific person: someone you care a lot, maybe a bit too much, about. Whenever we point our flashlight at something or someone… Continue reading

A wrong way to build for the long-term: committing to premature designs

I used to love system designs. I thought great engineers designed systems for the long-term, and I was eager to do that. However, I neglected the importance of patience and timing. Besides being able to design beautiful systems, great engineers also know when it is too early to commit to a design. In this post, I will discuss: My definition of premature designs Symptoms of premature designs Dangers of committing to premature designs My proposed way of thinking 1. My definition of premature designs Premature designs are untested designs. They are designs based on unverified assumptions. Coming up with a… Continue reading

What Matters to Me At Work?

Three years ago, when I was deciding among six job offers, I asked myself what my top three priorities were. Three years later, I decided to revisit what matters to me at work now. I will share both my original list and my new list in this post. My Original List 1. Product & Mission. I wanted to work on a product that I believe in. I wanted to work at a company whose mission I agreed with. Ultimately, I wanted to contribute to society through work. 2. People & Team. I wanted to surround myself with people I could… Continue reading

Why I Chose Gusto over Facebook and Airbnb

Over three years ago, I received job offers from multiple tech companies. I filtered the list down to Gusto, Facebook, and Airbnb. After a painful amount of researching and thinking, I chose Gusto. I will share my reasons in this post. Maybe it can be useful to others in similar positions. =] Two Things After much thinking, I was ultimately deciding between Facebook and Gusto. Two main factors pushed me towards Gusto. 1. “What’s after Facebook?” Facebook was attractive for many reasons: its reputations, the strong engineering culture, a flat organizational hierarchy, engineering autonomy, challenging problems… But I knew wouldn’t… Continue reading

An Attempt to Stop Thinking About Work Outside of Work

From having the best work-life balance to thinking about work 24/7, things got out of control before I noticed. At its peak, I worked from 5 am till 7 pm and continued to think about work after that. It’s interesting how my work-life balance went off rails and then got back on track. In this post, I want to briefly document this experience in the following order: Going off rails: from calm to racing thoughts Getting intense: unstoppable trains of thoughts Cooling down: forcing a stop Reflection & Learnings Going off rails: from calm to racing thoughts Before it all… Continue reading

Seeking Approvals at Work Exhausts Me

I hate to admit this, but recently I have been finding myself caring more and more how people think of me at work. It’s natural for humans to seek others’ approvals. But the level to which I seek approvals has increased so much that it becomes counter-productive and bothers me. Leading a big project contributes to this change. To lead the project effectively, I need to pay close attention to how each stakeholder of the project feels about the project — not only the team working on the project but also other people invested in the project in one way… Continue reading