thoughts on 2018

2018 has been an exciting year with many firsts for me. First trips to US and Europe, working on cool stuff plus learning about entrepreneurship through my capstone project, and of course graduating and working and earning my own money!

Uni now feels so long ago hahaha and it feels strange being the first to graduate among my non-SUTD friends. I kind of miss uni life where company is just a “dinner tonight?” message away rather than having to plan and coordinate in advance like now. On hindsight I think I made the right choice in going to SUTD because I learnt a lot from all the projects I’ve done. Was helping Benji with his resume for applying for internships and I was pretty shocked when he said he didn’t have any projects from any mods to include, after 3 semesters doing computing.

Adulting has been interesting LOL there’s so much personal finance stuff to know that nobody really teaches you. Like the 1039842 different credit cards and savings accounts and types of insurance you should have. And how to invest your money. The whole concept of credit cards is quite weird to me… people who really need credit cards to pay for things they don’t have cash for shouldn’t be using them because the interest rate is 25% per month which is crazy high. And so people who are able to pay their bills on time and get cashback/miles seem to be benefitting at the expense of those people? Cos the banks can’t earn money from giving everyone 5% cashback when their transaction fee is only 2% right o__o Anyway I’ve done the research and DBS multiplier account is the simplest and best for fresh grads so just get that hahaha. And I’m still mostly using my DBS Visa debit card though I have the Live Fresh credit card too.

Umm what else. Work has been good, I don’t know how I was so lucky to get a job that pretty much ticks all of my ‘ideal job’ checklist that I came up with when I was researching jobs to apply for:

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so close yet so far

Haven’t posted in months lol. But I think I’ve been posting at least once every term and this term is ending soon so gotta keep up the streak xD

2 more weeks to term break!!

This term started out well (taking computer vision, graphics and visualisation, making maps, and capstone), with finally more interesting content. But omg I’m v sian now because each mod has a project and with each project comes a report + presentation in addition to developing the actual product. And all of the presentations are next week but our actual work isn’t even completed yet… so not looking forward to chionging everything next week :'( but I can’t wait for it to be over ahaha

In better news, I’m going to California during the 2 week break!! Super excited cos I’ve never travelled so far before, and it’s with joe and we’re going for google i/o (google’ s developer conference at their office in SF)! It honestly feels quite random- this trip is only happening because I took part in a Google codejam for women (an online programming competition) for fun, and turns out I scored in the top 150 so I won a free ticket to Google i/o plus 500usd travel reimbursement. And it was just nice during my holiday, so why not right? And joe managed to get a student ticket to the conference too! We’re going LA and SF mainly, and sequoia national park which has humongous trees that look really cool. Anyone got any tips/recommendations for things to do around there pls tell me :D

I can walk again!

This post is about a week overdue cos I actually started walking without crutches last weekend but yeah, just wanted to record down what happened in the past few weeks.

Basically I injured my left knee from playing for a frisbee comp (likely because I didn’t train enough previously then suddenly went to play & run intensely for a while day), then it was getting better already but on deepavali (~2 weeks after the comp) I was bending down to sit on the floor at benny’s house and my injured knee was suddenly super painful. After that I couldn’t straighten or put weight on it :( I went to see a GP first, who said it looks like a meniscus tear but have to go see an ortho specialist and do MRI to see how bad it is.

My dad booked an appointment at Mt Alvernia cos it was the earliest slot, for public hospitals need to wait like a few weeks x__x so yeah the doctor referred me to go for MRI scan. The scan was v boring, half an hour of lying there doing nothing and consciously trying not to move (which doesn’t really work LOL). Anyway here are some photos of my scans:

mri5mri4

The meniscus is the black parts around the middle of each image. Each knee has one lateral (outer) and one medial (inner) meniscus, each one is c-shaped and they’re basically shock absorbers. The left/top one shows my lateral meniscus, which is ok cos the 2 triangle-ish shapes are completely dark. The second one is my medial meniscus, which has faint white lines in both triangles – those are the tears :x

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burden knee is burden

The past week has been very eventful lol. I re-injured my knee from doing nothing T__T Immediately after that I tried to walk a bit but it was superr bad, my vision went white from the pain (at that time I didn’t know it was because of the pain so I was quite freaked out). Thanks benny and the rest of the guys for helping me get back home!! Anyway it’s a meniscus tear and I can’t straighten + put weight on my left leg now so I’ve been moving around with crutches the past few days. Going to see ortho doctor tmr though it’s getting better by itself too!

I just came back from a ideasinc startathon, it’s 2-day hackathon and we stayed there overnight to work on our prototype and pitch. It’s a damn good deal hahaha $10 for tshirt, access to tools and 4 very good meals (there was smoked salmon for dinner!!! but sadly no icecream like last time). Being baika was annoying cos everyone had to keep holding things for me D: but overall it was fun and I’m honestly quite proud of our prototype! Lazy to type out more details here but I think I’ll write a post on my new personal website soon.

Had a bunch of good conversations recently too, from skyping and talking nonsense with sean benny fan stanley benji to some HTHTs :’) Met tiff and dawn for supper at eusoff too! I bought wooden phone covers from taobao and laser engraved them, imo they turned out rly well yay!!

dawntiff

In other news, it’s been a month! Thanks joe for taking care of me esp with my burden injuries heh :))

#ml#db#opti

[mostly written last sun 15 oct but I was lazy to finish up and post]

Wow time flies man it’s going to be recess week soon! This term has been great so far, we finally got to choose our mods and I think I made the right decision to drop networks (how the Internet works, IP addresses TCP UDP blah blah) and take optimization (esd mod, lots of math but with very relevant and interesting applications).

For opti we’ve had guest lectures by redmart reps and also a prof who’s worked with grab and didi (china version of grab) and who does research on optimization in transport problems. It’s really very cool imo to see how the stuff we’re learning is used in businesses, and the complexity of optimization problems in the real world is really mind-blowing. Before this I didn’t know opti is so directly relevant hahaha I mostly wanted to take it cos it involves more math x) but yep data analytics is now something I’m considering going into too!

Also the opti prof is v amusing, one lesson he was like: “ok now let me tell you about the midterm. there will be 6 questions”
Everyone: *starts to pay attention*
Prof: “The first question will be to convert min |x-y| to standard form. Yall should all know how to do this right, if not please go and revise”
Prof: “Ok then the rest of the questions are easy also except q6. Do you want me to give a hint for q6?”
Everyone: …?!
Prof: “Ok let me give you a hint”

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mission-reactjs

Recently realized that after all this time, I still haven’t posted anything about my internship! It doesn’t feel like 2.5 months since I stepped into the office on the first day, but strangely it feels like forever since I last went to school (lol doesn’t make sense, I know).

Anyway, I’m interning at a startup called gametize. Every time I tell someone that, the next question is “oh cool, do you make games?” but no! It’s a tech and gamification consulting(?) company which basically has a mobile+web platform for creating and playing games; each game is made of individual tasks which are called ‘challenges’, like mcq quizzes and fixed-answer questions and upload-a-photo tasks. Most games on the ^ website are free but the company earns money through licensing the platform to other companies and customizing stuff for them.

My main internship project (with Vivek) is developing a web app to replace the current gametize.com website, cos it’s built with Java currently and is very complicated and slower. The new web app is also supposed to be more streamlined with the mobile apps in terms of both UI and how it gets data- through API calls like the mobile apps, instead of accessing the database and processing the data directly (which is why it’s complicated and slow).

We were deciding between react (js library) and angular (js framework) initially, and decided to go with react. Vivek and I used ionic for our sutd app previously, which uses angular, so it was interesting to see the differences between the 2. Angular, being a framework, is much more prescriptive and rigid, but using react means we have to make more decisions on how to do stuff. One article I read summed it up as “angular = putting js into html, while react = putting html into js” which is really apt haha.

When we started on the web app in week 2 we thought we could get it done in like 3 weeks, but we were so wrong LOL. We got most of the main functionality up within the first few weeks but there’s forever still lots of “small stuff” remaining. So we’re still working on it now, and somehow as we code we keep finding even more small stuff so our “to-do” board on trello is never empty D: sigh

Summary of the main things we’ve been doing:

  • (first 2 weeks) familiarize ourselves with the main gametize codebase, research on react, decide on using react
  • decide on file organization and app routing
  • make all the pages
  • styling + making the pages responsive
  • writing tests (mostly done by vivek while I was on holiday heh)
  • implement redux
  • navigation (sidebar + topbar)

We wanted to keep the app components as simple as possible so we wrote our own router instead of using react-router and refused to use bootstrap hahaha. I think it’s good cos we get to learn how things work rather than just plug in unnecessarily big modules!

The best part of internship is that my official working hours is 11am-7pm!! And actually nobody cares so if I wake up late I just go and leave later, or if I’m going out for dinner I start work earlier. This makes a lot of sense cos I don’t think I’ll be productive if I have to start work at like 9am, and the flexibility is v nice! The office is tiny (smaller than my house) and feels kinda cramped sometimes but overall it’s still great cos 1. we take off our shoes outside (also, work attire is tshirt and jeans) 2. there’s a pantry+snacks shelf and we get to go company-sponsored grocery shopping once in a while, and 3. there’s a “play room” with beanbags where we can chill anytime and play mario kart/ limpeh says/ other random games :D

5 more weeks of internship to go!

[28.5.17] I survived 21km!!!

Randomly woke up early today so I’m writing this in the morning before work!

Anyway as I said in my last post, I signed up for 21km for the The Performance Series Race 1 and woke up at 3am(!!) yesterday for the run. My parents sent me there and took photos/videos of me crossing the start line, then went home to continue sleeping hahahah. Met up with joe who was there super early, deposited my bag and queued for the toilet…. then it was time to start! Ok not really, the run officially started at 5am but we were in the third and last wave so we had to wait in the pen for quite a while. We finally started at 5am!

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 7.55.08 AM.png
this is the race route

Joe and I had run most of the route last weekend (but starting from gardens, then run to ECP and back, without the stadium part; also cycled this stretch for night bike before too) so it was mostly a familiar route. The first 2km at tanjong rhu was quite bad though, cos the path was like a normal pavement kind of width so it was very narrow and you were basically stuck following the very slow pace unless you run on the grass beside it to over take people. I took it as a slow warm-up so it wasn’t too bad for me, but joe couldn’t take it and went ahead on the grass after the first 1km.

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