Kids, Life, Work

What is Life?; Part-time work

I and my colleague at work have this running joke between us that one way to know if you’re so stressed and exhausted with work is if you reach a point where you get to ask yourself “what is life?” Followed by the question, “why did I become a programmer/software developer?”

It has been a really exhausting 2018 so far that resigning from work has crossed my mind although it’s never going to be an option, at least not yet.

I realized that even though solving problems is hard, being a dev team lead is more stressful. It’s even more stressful when I need to do some small coding work on the side because I can’t really focus on coding when I still have to think about other dev admin work like merging code of my teammates to a release/hotfix branch. After which, I have to test them and to report bugs.

And too many times this year beyond my fingers can count have I found myself asking what life is all about. It pops out more frequently when I have headaches. Not sure what that really means but I know it means I already need to stop working and have a break. The problem is that I’m having a hard time sleeping lately, thus the running joke I told my wife that “Sagittarians would sleep when they’re dead.” LOL

So back to the question, what is life? There are two ways to answer this question. One is to answer it by being really specific to your personal experience. Second is by giving a general answer that applies to everyone, like saying “life is what you make it.”

I prefer a general answer to questions like these. Personal experiences are well and good, but I think a general answer is harder to find, thus, it allows one to think really deep.

What is life? Life is about living. It is moving. Naturally, it can have different phases that can differ from one person to another. How people react to what happens in their lives also differ. It’s easier to deal with things that people have planned or started. However, how people choose to face things beyond their control is another significant part of life. More often than not, one’s life is shaped by how a person reacts to these situations.

It’s easy to point out how one should really react, but it’s part of human nature that emotions would dictate how one reacts. Some people easily react, but others have an internal struggle on how to react. One special group of people though can easily adjust their reaction. They only think about on how they can properly and rightly deal with the situation, no matter how difficult it is.

After realizing how extra income really comes in handy, I’ve started doing part-time work again since June. It’s also beneficial as I can code again even for a few hours each day.

So with more than 12 hours of work I’m doing each weekday, weekends seem like long weekends to me. I always try to find time to play PS4 with my kids and I really prefer going out at least once with my family, which I rarely wanted to do before.

After all, life isn’t just about work, it’s about living with my loved ones.





Losing the Fire

After having been a dev team lead for the past 9 months, I’ve started to feel that I’m losing interest in the work that I do. I would like to attribute it to fatigue but I know stress is just a consequence. I believe that all kinds of work can be tiring but it’s only by loving what you do that you ease, if not lose, all the stress because of working too hard.

I think the only thought that keeps me going is my family. The job pays well enough so I can’t just decide to quit on a whim. Having a new job entails another period of adjustment and I’m not even sure if the working hours will be as flexible as my current one.

I think I can make it through this small hump on the road. It’s not like I’ll be like this forever. I guess achieving small wins in one or two of our projects will be enough to keep me motivated.

Livelihood, Work

Exploring Other Options

Since having a sideline that is still related to software or web development is taking a toll on my brain, I’m trying to think of alternative sources of income. I’ve decided to only focus with my full-time job (whichever it is that I will choose in the next 2 months) starting January 2017.

Some options that I can think of:

  • Blogging
    • PC games
    • An on-going story sort of like a web comic (with no illustration as I don’t know how to draw) released weekly
  • Mobile game
    • Learn how to develop games using the Unity platform
  • Affiliate marketing
    • I have no idea what I want to market though

Other than these I can’t think of anything else.


Independence Day

Free. I’m finally free from all the monitoring and activity tracking from the system I had to use for work. I thought it’s going to be fine, but I didn’t last for a year. Optimism can only do so much I guess.

I’m looking forward to a new challenging job on Monday. Not that my previous work was less challenging, but I have a feeling the new job is higher by a few notches. I already found out one pain point but I think it’s more manageable than having your work micro-managed.

What I like more is that I can bring my wife and kids to school and attend their school’s flag ceremony once again. =) And I can go out to do some errands anytime that I need to. Plus the paid leaves, 13th month and hopefully the HMO on the 3rd month. Woohoo!

Games, Life, Work

Break, Time Travel and Gaming

I have ended work earlier tonight than usual. My head’s about to burst from exhaustion so I got no choice but to stop coding. It’s been a while since I had breaks like these even with a headache such as this one. Often times I’ll just ignore it and continue with my task, but just for tonight I felt like breaking the pattern.

I finished Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time last Sunday while I was on my way here in Davao. There were two topics that really piqued my interest: time travel and the unified theory of physics. It’s impossible not to be interested with the idea of traveling to the past and future time. As Stephen says, mathematically-speaking, traveling towards the future time seems more possible than traveling back in the past. Personally, I still don’t get how traveling in the past can be possible even at the speed of light. I have no doubts with the future time traveling because it’s already been proven that time runs slower when traveling at the speed of light.

The holy grail right now of physicists, or theoretical physicists to be precised, is achieving the unified theory of physics or more popularly known as the theory of everything (or as Hawking names it the quantum theory of gravity). Based from what Hawking said though, it seems to me that it’s a more difficult task than achieving time travel even though there are already a lot of theories that led to the current state of this quest. What’s so interesting about it? For me, it’s more of the physicists’ quest than the goal because even if the theory gets to be formulated, it wouldn’t really make such a big impact in our lives. There are still uncertainties out there that prevents us from predicting future events with 100% accuracy.

Last week, I started a break from most of the games I’ve been playing for the past month and only played NBA 2K14. Sniper Elite III and Watchdogs needs to be on hold because things are getting busier now with the part-time work. The new laptop has held its ground really well with these games and except for that Win 8 blue screen last Monday, I haven’t experienced any other hiccups with this beast. =)

Life, Work

Back to Normal Working Hours

After 5 years, I’m finally back to working 8 hours a day. However, it may only be for a couple of days or weeks. I decided to leave the  company here in Davao before its closing date on Aug. 15. I don’t know the exact reason why I wanted to leave early. Maybe because I feel so bad about the company’s decision to close our office that I don’t want to be there on its last day.

I still have the other job (home-based) that I am involved with so nothing really much to fret about. I am currently looking for a new job but so far I only have 2-3 that are most likely to give me an offer. I was able to pass one company’s application process (and was about to be given an offer) a couple of weeks back, but it turns out that they cannot hire me in the next 2 months as their .Net resources are already full.

As I wait for the new job, I’ll spend this time learning the following things:

  • ASP.Net MVC 5
  • Web API
  • jQuery
  • Design Patterns
  • Ninject
  • NUnit
  • ASP.Net Identity
  • Odata in ASP.Net

I’m not sure how much of these will be completed but hopefully I can get a good grasp of knowledge in each of them.

Best of all these, I get to sleep at least 7 hours a day again (for now). ^_^

Myles, Work

New Responsibility

It’s going to be a nerve-wracking yet exciting April. First of all, my son’s turning 7. My ultimate badminton and frisbee playmate is big enough to give me small challenges both in sports and fatherhood. I only wish the best for him and I hope we can get along more often, not just in games. =)

I’ll be taking on a new role at work starting next month. I never thought I’d still be getting it but everything has already been laid down and transition has already started. It’s definitely a big step towards something that I really didn’t envision before due to my technical/technological interests. I don’t know how much preparation I can make but no matter what happens, I’ll just be mentally ready.


Balancing Act

It’s been 5 years since I started having a sideline work. Here’s a quick run down of what I did since then.

2009 Feb (1 month only) – Freelance writer at Writing 5 x 500 or 10 x 250 word articles per assignment. Takeaway: researching skill was improved. Vocabulary usage improved at that time.

2009 Mar – 2009 Dec – Virtual assistant for a woman in the US who was into IT marketing. Creating and managing her WordPress sites. It was my first time to use WordPress, cpanel and other web admin tools. It was also cool to create a site from scratch, from setting up the the site in cpanel to the actual development of the website in WordPress. It was also my first dive into SEO. Takeaway: Learning so many different tools can be helpful not just in sideline work.

2010 Jan – Mar 2013 – Virtual assistant for a small team/company. Still using WordPress. First time to use WHM and create domains with it. Takeaway: improved time management as there are a lot of things to do. I never liked some of the tasks because I think it is almost a scam (yikes!). That’s why it was a big relief to have left this work.

March 2013 – Present – Software developer (.Net) for an NZ website and software development company. Takeaway: there are just so many things that I learned  and still learning here. Learned how to use cursors in SQL, charting/graphing in Windows Forms, reporting using ActiveReports and a lot of other things that I have used/learned for the first time.

The advantage of having the non-development or non-.Net jobs was that the tasks are not that really challenging although tedious at times. Being away from C# programming allows my neurons to rest for some reason. On the other hand, the current sideline helps me become knowledgeable in other parts of .Net development that I don’t get to experience in my full-time work. However, it also means that my head needs to be working hard for at least 15 hours a day, 4 days a week. Regardless of the type of job, balancing sideline work and full-time office work is really tough. I think the best way to do it is to make sure that your priority during the day is your office work and only do your sideline work when you get home. You also need to make sure that your weekends are free from any work, though I still do work sometimes but only to cover up for some lost time during the week.