VIP

On Sunday I bought tickets to go see TesseracT, The Contortionist, ERRA, and Skyharbor play in San Francisco. I found out about the VIP upgrade tickets for the concert last night and bought them a few minutes ago.

This is probably the concert I’m most looking forward to right now. Getting a chance to see some of your favorite bands all play at the same concert is not something that happens everyday.

TesseracT introduced me to the sub-genre of modern progressive metal most commonly known as djent, and over time it has become my favorite kind of music.

I first listened to Altered State, TesseracT’s second album. It was quite literally like nothing I’d ever heard before; heavy, yet full of melody. My appreciation for the band and the music they played grew with each listen of the album. I then listened to One, and I was blown away by how incredible that album was as well. The singles from their new album Polaris sound amazing and I can’t wait to listen to the album when it comes out.

Challenge

Shannon, Sam, and I have agreed to write one post a day on our blogs throughout September. Given my usual posting pattern of 3-4 posts a month this should be quite challenging. I’m looking forward to this.

I finally bought weightlifting shoes for myself. Ryan Ata had recommended the Adidas Powerlift 2.0 shoes to me and I ordered them this morning. When I started lifting I just wore my running shoes since the weights were not too heavy. A couple of months ago I started working out barefoot and noticed a significant improvement in my overall stability while lifting. I’ve heard people say nothing but good things about weightlifting shoes so I’m pretty excited to try the Powerlift 2.0s on and hopefully achieve my goal of a 3 plate squat by the end of the year (I’m currently squatting 250 lb, just over 2 plates). Yes, I know these shoes are not going to make me magically stronger (unfortunately) but I hope to leverage the added stability and support to work my way up to a 310 lb squat.

Goal Tracking: August Edition

At the beginning of the year I published a post outlining what some of my goals for the year were. In the spirit of being transparent, here is the progress I made on them over the course of August —

  1. 0 hours of volunteering. This is extremely disappointing.
  2. No shyness at all.
  3. No real progress made on either the Rust or Erlang front. With 4 months left in 2015 I have a long way to go.
  4. 2 books read — The Bone Clocks (took me a bit of time to get into the story, but I was soon hooked. A lovely book) and The Joker (as crazy and dark as one would expect)
  5. Two papers read.
  6. 3 posts in August.
  7. 6 consecutive muscle ups. This was also the month where I was injured the most — I somehow managed to injure both my wrists, the left side of my chest, my right knee, and my right toe.
    On the plus side I discovered I love bouldering. More on this later.

Deux

A few weeks ago I hit my two year mark of working at LinkedIn. Just as I wrote about my first year at LinkedIn I thought it would be interesting to capture my feelings and thoughts at the end of two years and briefly chronicle what has happened since that post.

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The biggest change that has happened in the past year is that I’ve moved to a different team. I started working at LinkedIn on the Service Infrastructure team where I worked primarily on Rest.li. Working on Rest.li was fun, and I learned a lot. I got to contribute to an open source project early on in my career which was incredible. I even got the opportunity to work on a Rest.li protocol upgrade for all our services, which was a non-trivial problem to solve. TL;DR — working on Rest.li was great. However, I wanted to learn what it was like to work on a lower layer of our technology stack. I’d heard very good things about LinkedIn’s distributed graph team and I knew they were working on solving interesting problems. I joined the distributed graph team in 2015 and I’m extremely happy with the decision that I made.

I had the opportunity to speak at a tech conference! Steven Ihde and I spoke at QCon 2014 on the evolution of LinkedIn’s service architecture. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be speaking at a conference so early on in my career. It was an honor and a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to do it again.

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I mentored two interns (one in 2014 and the other in 2015) as part of LinkedIn’s summer internship program. Mentoring is a rewarding and challenging experience. I would recommend everyone try it at least once in their careers.

While this might be hard to quantify exactly, I feel that I’ve become a better software engineer. I’m more confident about the code that I write and the technical decisions that I make. Part of this confidence can definitely be attributed to the great people that I work with who have helped me grow and learn.

Oh and I got promoted. That was very awesome. :D

I can’t wait to see what my future at LinkedIn holds.

Goal Tracking: July Edition

At the beginning of the year I published a post outlining what some of my goals for the year were. In the spirit of being transparent, here is the progress I made on them over the course of July –

  1. 0 hours of volunteering.
  2. A tiny bit of shyness. I think.
  3. Finished the third chapter of the Rust book.
  4. 3 books read — Galapagos (loved it), Breakfast of Champions (my least favorite Vonnegut book so far), and Batman: Arkham Asylum – A Serious House on Serious Earth (dark and disturbing. The art work is breathtaking).
  5. One paper read (I failed at my goal to get this number up)
  6. 3 posts in July.
  7. 5 consecutive muscle ups! I was quite surprised by this number. And when I say “consecutive” what I really mean is “do one, then take a break for 45 seconds”.

SF

I live in San Francisco now. When I moved out to the Bay Area ~2 years ago I never imagined myself writing that.

Don’t get me wrong; I love SF. But the whole idea of commuting two hours to work 5 days of the week (I work in the Mountain View LinkedIn office) didn’t really appeal to me. “I’ll just go to SF on the weekends! And when I need to be in SF during the week I can just Caltrain or drive. Why live there?”

But then two of my friends moved up from South Bay to the city. And visiting them on the weekends I started realizing what I was missing out on. While it was nice to have a place to stay at over the weekend my friends’ place only seemed like a home, not my home. I started entertaining the idea more and more of living in SF. Coordinating concert departure times with the Caltrain only made the idea grow stronger.

Yet I stood firm. The longer commute times seemed to be winning over everything else.

And then life pretty much made me live in SF — almost all my friends decided to move. I was, for lack of a better term, peer pressured into moving North. I’m so happy that I did.

Living in SF is fantastic. Yes, the rent is more. But my house and the people I live with are wonderful. Yes, my commute is longer. But LinkedIn has a shuttle to and from work. And the days I drive I get to listen to music and work on improving my abysmal karaoke skills.

I think I’m happier here. There are so many good restaurants and bars here it is ridiculous. The city is, in my opinion, extremely beautiful. There is always something happening and something to do (though I’m yet to take full advantage of this). If I go out I know I have my home to go back to. I don’t have to worry about missing the last bit of a concert in order to get on the last Caltrain back to South Bay.

One of my friends once said that he is happier in SF and I didn’t understand what he meant, until now.

Here’s to many more years in San Francisco.

This post wouldn't be complete without a (quite terrible) picture of Golden Gate Bridge.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a (quite terrible) picture of Golden Gate Bridge.

Goal Tracking: June Edition

At the beginning of the year I published a post outlining what some of my goals for the year were. In the spirit of being transparent, here is the progress I made on them over the course of June –

  1. 0 hours of volunteering.
  2. No shyness.
  3. Installed Rust and read the first two chapters of the Rust book (I seemed to have not tracked this for the past two months)
  4. 3 books read – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (crazy and delightful), The Metamorphosis (first Kafka story I’ve ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed it), and The Sirens of Titan (favorite Vonnegut book so far; it is EXCELLENT).
  5. One paper read (this number has to go up)
  6. 5 posts in June.
  7. Two muscle ups! :D