Showing posts from June, 2014

Completed Week 9: Pro-Bono Work + Redesign personal webpage

The non-profit group I ended up helping with my pro bono code contributions seem to be happy with the results!! I added some Rails and JavaScript features onto their existing Rails app, and it was both fun and rewarding. It was definitely intimidating at first, and was a bitch to get started (setting up the development environment literally took weeks on windows) but after getting into the groove of the issues, they weren't so bad after all. I guess those weeks of Rails pounding and banging my head against the wall paid off!

I also redesigned my personal portfolio website that I first put up around mid-May. Now, looking back at the code after learning some Bootstrap and jQuery, everything seemed to primitive and amateur!! So I just ripped out everything and basically started from scratch, which made things soooo much more scalable for the future. Although there were definitely brick-walls along the way (Bootstrap suddenly not working, not understanding Sass/Compass, Firefox browser…

Skill Building

It takes 10 years to be a master at anything. And anything worthwhile.
It's going to take 10 years. No shortcuts. That's it. 10 years. Whether it's studying at the library or building your particular skill hands-on, it takes 10 years until you become great at a discipline.

So with that as a solid assumption, let's think about what we ought to do.
How do we start?
How do we choose?
How do we keep going?

Of course, it is best if you can start as young as possible. Your brain is fresh, your myelin is fresh, and your skill-building ability is out through the roof. And we often see this in athletes and musicians who break out in their late teens and twenties. They slaved away in their teenage years not being able to enjoy their youth but instead persisted through years and years of grueling practice and pain. But that's the sacrifice necessary that turned them into gold. That is the exchange they made. Short-term pain in their teens for long-term pleasure that starts i…

Completed Week 8: Finish off Rails Project & Move into Open Source Contributions

My Quotes Rails app can be seen by clicking on the Quotes link right on this blog's nav bar!

I started contributing to a non-profit organization on a pro-bono basis. I feel like I'm definitely making impact right out of the gate so feeling great about that, using JavaScript, Rails and front-end skills I learned over the past few months.

Next step ... internship?

I finally realize that all the learning ... basically ALL the skill-building comes from doing it. All the video lectures and reading books don't do a thing until you can get your hands dirty. That's the only time when your brain actually registers the action process and etches it in memory for future recall.

And it's also a lot more fun. Perhaps it's because I never really "learned" anything in college in terms of a skill, but skill-building, when you are actually getting your hands dirty, is REALLY FUN once you get past the initial learning curve where you don't know what the heck is going on…


Don't you wanna live in a world where people don't hoard knowledge and wisdom for themselves? A place where everybody can easily be enlightened whenever they want?

Older I get, more I realize that "Knowledge' is the most permanent key to freedom, happiness and meaning in your life.

It is only those who cared (Jesus, Buddha, Confucius) who spread wisdom throughout the world. Instead, selfish people hoard knowledge and let others live in the dark. They use "Knowledge" like something they own, a secret weapon up their sleeves whenever they want to "trump" somebody. They prance around thinking "I know something you don't know. I'm better than you".

But they are delusional. All knowledge is just past-knowledge. We live off of past knowledge. Everything I know today, everything that you know today, was given to you, taught to you by somebody else - a book that someone wrote, a teacher, etc. These were gifts, from our ancestors. Science, re…

Completed Week 7: Start Personal Rails Project & Set up Development Environment

Made progress in my personal Rails project. Things definitely are clicking better after 2 weeks of basic Rails review. Back when I first started, I had no idea what those video tutorials were talking about: MVC, actions, databases, models ... now, I'm still not an expert but feel a lot more comfortable. And it got fun after a while. Adding different functionality step-by-step to my web app has been a really fulfilling experience.
I had to work on setting up my development environment for this non-profit organization I'm going to do some volunteer work for. Again, setting up Vagrant VM and a development environment is such a bitch. Maybe it's a Windows thing but it took me solid 3,4 days to get it working. It was driving me crazy, trying to get something working as simple as a development environment, and not being able to figure out how to make it work. It's not fun at all. You have no idea what's going on in the back-end, what the hell are these dependency issues, …


기르던 개에게 다리 물린다 하였으니, 사람은 자기가 도와준 사람으로 부터 도리어 화를 입을 때도 있느니라.

권세나 명리를 가까이 하지 않는 이를 깨끗하다 하고 가까이 하더라도 물들지 않는 이를 더욱 깨끗하다 하며 권모술수를 모르는 이를 높다 하고 알아도 쓰지 않는 이를 더욱 높다 하느니라.

굼벵이는 매우 더럽지만
변하여 매미가 되어 가을바람에 이슬을 마시고
썩은 풀은 빛이 없지만
반딧불이 되어 여름밤에 빛을 낸다.
진실로 깨끗함은 항상 더러움에서 나오고
밝음은 매양 어두움에서 생기는 것임을 알겠다.
노래하는 기생일지라도 만년에 한 남편을 쫓으면
한세상에서 분냄새 풍기던 생활도 거리낌이 없을 것이요
정절을 지키던 부인일지라도 머리털 세어서 정조를 잃으면
반생의 깨끗한 절개가 모두 허사가 되고 만다.
속담에 "사람을 보려면 다만 반후생을 보라"고 하였으니 참으로 명언이다.

길이 멀어야 말의 기운을 알 수 있고, 날이 오래야 사람의 마음을 알 수 있느니라.

글을 읽어도 성현의 뜻을 이해 못하면 책의 종이 되고, 벼슬자리에 있어도 백성을 사랑하지 않으면 의관을 한 도적이 되고, 학문을 강론하여도 실천함을 소홀히 하면 입에서 끝나게 되고, 사업을 하여도 은혜와 덕을 베풀 생각을 아니하면 그것은 눈앞에 피어난 한때의 꽃이 될 것이니라.

높은 가지가 부러지기 쉽다 했으니, 지위가 높을수록 그 자릴 보전하기가 어려우니라.

돈 모아줄 생각말고 자식 글 가르쳐라 하였으니, 자식을 교육시키는 것이 가장 좋은 유산이니라.

팔십 노인도 세살난 아이한테 배울 것이 있다 하였으니, 지혜와 식견은 반드시 나이에 따르는 것이 아니니 손 아래 사람의 말도 귀담아 들어야 하느니라.

눈먼 놈이 앞장선다 하였으니, 못난 사람이 남보다 먼저 나대느니라.

무는 개 짓지 않는다 하였으니, 무서운 사람일수록 말이 없느니라.


STRESS = Piecing together information for self-learning


You would think that with the abundant amount of information available on the internet, "learning" will have become infinitely easier over the years. The thing is, it's still so god damn hard finding WHERE to look, because the knowledge body is so huge and overwhelming.

With something as difficult as Ruby on Rails, trying to find good learning materials on the web is basically like a homeless person rummaging through a trash can trying to find something good to eat. It's not just about "is the information out there?" It's more about "is the information presented concisely, logically and clearly? Is the information valuable to me at my current skill level at my current understanding?"

Some people said to me "yeah, you can teach yourself Rails. Just Google it!". Haha. The point is, a student needs help finding the "right learning material at the right time". Normally, a teacher would be the one pointing you toward th…

Completed Week 6: JavaScript & More Databases

Learning JavaScript was wicked fun. Because I didn't have a good idea of what it was capable of, I kept thinking I had to use a database whenever I dealt with "variables" and "storing data" in any shape or form but I learned this week that JavaScript is basically good for a whole variety of things. It can store variables and just make websites dance. It's a great cross between a front-end web design language and a programming language, and you get that immediate feedback which makes the whole process enjoyable. I ended up making a simple web-app that deals with a couple variables and mathematical calculations.

Another thing I realized again is that "Project-based mindset" is crucial to learning. When you cram lectures or try to just learn from books, it becomes really boring and tiring after awhile. Your own brain disengages, no matter how much motivation and desire you have of learning. To keep myself motivated, I realized, and in order to get int…

Concerned about things

With all the big dreams I have,
more I study, more I realize how deep and vast are the bodies of knowledge out there.
And it's not easy at all to study and gain knowledge.

I guess if it were that easy, everybody would be distinguished professionals in academia and getting PhDs everywhere. What people try to attain through long periods of education are very difficult to push through and therefore, become very valuable. Most people don't get PhDs and don't become doctors because 1) they do not want to try because they think it will be too difficult and out of their grasp, 2) they just don't have the motivation to go through all the pain or 3) they cannot afford grad-level education. And studying can be an absolute pain, even if the topic is something you are interested in. Ineffective teachers, incoherent teaching materials ... etc.

Perhaps I'm stressed out. Trying to cram-learn programming and web development in a matter of weeks has definitely been rigorous. Sometimes,…

Completed Week 5: Ruby + Rails Basics (2 out of 2)

I have to admit, it was a very frustrating week.

Rails just doesn't have that immediate gratification that my previous efforts had (apps, programs, websites, javascript). It's a pretty painful work. It's more about FIXING THINGS THAT HAVE GONE WRONG and NOT WORKING than getting immediate gratification from seeing something that works.

I think especially because I'm on Windows 7, Rails is torturing me with all kinds of errors and brick walls. I think there's a reason why these bootcamps "REQUIRE" their newbie students to BUY THEIR OWN Mac laptops.

Tutorials are everywhere, not coherent, incomplete, and it's not easy once you hit a brick wall.
I'm sure many people have gone through this same experience ... but wow, i'm definitely getting a headache over this stuff.

One REALLY CRUCIAL THING I realized again this week is that we need to employ a "Project-Based Mindset" when we are trying to learn something like this, web development.

Once you …

Helpful Effects of Religion

Cognitive Psychologists, researchers, authors and neuroscientists write about "behavioral techniques" that help improve the brain in many different areas that prevent illness, increase neural health and mental intelligence and fight against things like depression, stress and etc. Some are recent discoveries, some were diverged some time ago.

They include 1) Responsibility Transfer --> Believing that a higher being will take all your burden and letting all your burden onto that entity. Decreases worry, anxiety and brings peace. 
2) Appreciation for little things
3) Compassion for others
4) Quiet meditation
And curiously, these are the qualities that are found in rituals at church. 
When we pray to God, we are basically doing a Responsibility Transfer, asking God to carry our burden. When we pray to God, we are making a conscious effort to appreciate every little thing. When we pray to God, we are often praying for other people, and small group meetings are often about sharing each o…