hello, world

every software engineers’ first lines of code in a new language

“Hello, world” is a declaration; not just to one self, but to everyone else.

  • hello, I’m here. And I’m aware I’m not alone.
  • hello, my actions are not gibberish. I want to be seen and understood.
  • hello, I want to stop obsessing about what to say and start the conversation.
  • hello, I’m trying something new that’s outside my comfort zone.

I don’t know how many times I’ve written “hello world” in this blog just to delete the post a little while later. I get busy or lazy or tired or worried; the CSS on this site has stopped me from starting far too many times. But let’s stop with the excuses. It’s time for a beginning. And it starts with this.

hello, world – I’m here.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.Bob Parsons

I made it to the Henninger Flats.

  • Granted, it’s not the hardest of hikes.
  • Granted, we started from the bridge and it’s only 3 miles.
  • Granted, I’ve done it before.

but… I made it.

  • I made it without my normal huffing and puffing.
  • I made it without feeling I’d exhausted every ounce of energy in my body.
  • I made it without contemplating if I’d be happier if I just threw myself off the side of the mountain.

Today, in a moment of spontaneity, I asked Jess if she wanted to hike Henninger. And within an hour, we had started our trek up the mountain, water bottles and Whole Foods sandwiches on our back.

Almost exactly a month ago today, I did a similar hike, Linda Falls in Angwin, CA and the outcome was much different. The group I was with looked back at me, concerned if they had to carry dead weight up the mountain.

One of the many things I learned from my previous job, from my scrummaster, Greg, was the concept of Kaizen. I mentioned this in my last post.

Kaizen can mean a lot of things for different people, companies, but to me, the meaning boils down to what Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy, essentially said in the above quote, “continuous improvement“.

Jess and I decided to make a concerted effort to exercise every day. It’s been hard; I don’t think a day goes by without some part of my body being sore. And to add insult to injury, although I’ve even cut excess calories from my diet, I’ve managed to gain 4 pounds in the process.

But there I was,

  • today, on the top of the mountain, halfway thinking I could hike another couple miles.
  • I was running around the bases in a softball tournament on Sunday without gasping for air.
  • I was winning the home run derby.

A lot of times, it’s tough to improve because it seems like there’s not enough time. Maybe it seems daunting because it seems mountains are too big to hike.

But it’s about taking the first steps, starting, slowly filling the bucket of improvement. And before any one realizes, mountains are scaled.

The other day I heard an interview on ESPN of a former athlete (for the life of me, i can’t remember who it was). After his playing days were over, he became something like a physicist or something (gotta love my attention to detail). The interviewer asked him how he had the time to learn so much. He said,

I spend less time doing nothing.
Some Smart Guy on ESPN

Simple advice, but difficult to follow. Simple advice, but difficult to follow.

I’ve taken this advice and Kaizen to heart and I realized it’s working.

  • I may not be seeing improvements on a day to day, but when I look back, like on the hike on Henninger, I can see I’ve gone a long way
  • I’ve rekindled my passion for learning because I can see my improvements.

Lastly, as a programmer, I’ve obviously applied this new look on life to my coding. I’ve made an effort to push at least one thing a day to git. I currently have a streak of about a month. I’ll admit, not every day has been an earth-shattering change to the project I’ve committed to, but here’s a few things I’ve learned.

  • the basics of iOS programming (Swift); implemented a clicker and a sound recorder
  • JSON web tokens and why they’re important; implemented into my side project
  • Cleaning data for data science


I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

When eating elephant, take one bite at a time.
Creighton Abrams

I’m going to start writing again.

This site started to be my mental outlet. It was a platform for me to process and organize my thoughts. My digital diary.

To be honest, I don’t know who reads thisI think I stopped writing because I came to the realization that I didn’t know who was reading the blog. At one time, I had 100s of people hitting this site every day and I was writing some really personal things. Keep in mind that I started this before facebook and instagram, before oversharing was commonplace. Then came the pressure of writing something readable… I started writing for other people, and it stopped being my outlet.

Later, this site became less of a blog, and more of a place where I could test some things I learned. For example, since my last post I’ve played with –

  • Simple stuff like embedding video with html5 video tag (mouseover the second picture in the sidebar).
  • CSS transitions (mousing over the post box will extend a shadow).
  • Connections with other services (when visiting this site, a red light blinks on my desktop blink(1) git)

That’s why you might have notices changes on this site but my kindle was perpetually on fire.

Welcome to my digital playgroundBut now, I think is as good of time as any to start writing again. I just left my first real 9-5 (actually 10-8) tech job and I think it’ll be interesting to figure out where I end up next. I’ve always wanted to write about my growth as a cs student/worker because I think it’s a vastly uncertain time for a lot of computer science people.

So from here on, here’s the site’s creed.

  • I’ll be writing about little things I just learned. I’m a firm believer of Kaizen. Learning new things can be daunting. Kaizen is about always learning. One liter of water = 4,000 drips from the faucet
  • What I write about may not be interesting. Because I won’t focus on anything in particular, this blog will probably go all over the place. But the main topics may involve software engineering, programming, smart phones, android, baseball and tech.

A little about me

  • By trade, I’m a software engineer.
    • I prefer the backend because it lets me say that I like backend, but I’m comfortable making a mess of the front-end if need be.
    • Java is probably my language of choice. I love it for the beauty that can come from clean, well-designed, object-oriented, strongly-typed, works-everywhere code. I hate it for the verbosity and the pain it sometimes takes to get running.
    • I’m liking node.js for being everything java is not, but disliking it for everything that’s not like java.
  • In my free time, you’ll find me catching a baseball game or really any sport, coding, playing my guitar, at church, eating good food or driving in my car.

If you’re looking for more personal things about me, become my friend on facebook, twitter, check out my resume or visit the tumblr run by Jess.

If you’d like to contact me, it’s probably best to do it through email. I get email @ gmail.com.

I'm Tim Myung! Every day, I learn something about software engineering, maybe some of that might be useful for you.