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Handling Disagreements and Conflicts at Work

Have you ever experienced the embarrassment of feeling so certain about your opinion and then later being proved wrong? Well, this has happened many times in my career. Feelings related to this kind of events stay fresh for a long time. The more certain I was in the beginning, the more embarrassed I felt when I realized I wasn’t totally right. It’s common to have disagreements among engineers. Disagreements present great opportunities to learn from each other and innovate better approaches. Being wrong is nothing to be embarrassed about. What embarrassed me was my arrogance and stubbornness that made me… Continue reading

Stressed out by work responsibilities? Focus on creating impact instead.

In this post, I share: My old attitudes towards responsibilities at work; Two main ways my attitudes disserved me; Two approaches for coping with the pressure from having too many responsibilities.   We all crave for a feeling of importance. Dale Carnegie claims “the desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals” and it’s “almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep”. This is also true for work — we want to be the M.V.P. (Most Valuable Player) of our team. The sense of importance… Continue reading

Not Working Overtime, but Working Flexibly

I avoid working overtime as much as possible. Working overtime can make our work less enjoyable, cause more errors, and lead to burnouts. The need for working overtime often is a symptom of deeper issues, such as immature planning. I prefer investigating and fixing root causes over using working overtime as bandages. But sometimes working overtime is inevitable. Things change fast. Although many deadlines are artificial, there are hard deadlines with direct impacts on the business and the team that might worth working overtime for. I faced this dilemma last week. The resourcing of my project changed, and I needed… Continue reading

Weekly Learning

Weekly Learnings My journey of becoming a tech lead. Week #20: A wrong way to build for the long-term: committing to premature designs Week #19: What Matters to Me At Work? Week #18: An Attempt to Stop Thinking About Work Outside of Work Week #17: Seeking Approvals at Work Exhausts Me Week #16: Three Lessons from A Frustrating Meeting Week #15: Project Planning: A Spike with First Principles Thinking Week #14: Fear No Awkwardness — Chatting is Good Week #13: The Power of One-on-One Meetings and Personal Connections Week #12: How to communicate effectively for bigger impacts Week #11: Communication:… 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