Dapeng Li

Hungry, foolish and passionate – yet another software developer.

Archive for February, 2012

Groundhog Day resolutions for 2012

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It’s a cold winter morning in early February, about 7:30 AM. I got off a bus I took on every workday, went across the street, walked towards the office building. The walk wasn’t long, it usually lasts 5 minutes, the office isn’t far away. However, that sidewalk is my favorite path, I often spent those several minutes thinking, well, about my work, my life.

February is the time of year for review and new year resolution, I did one last year. On that day on my way to work, I started thinking about what I had achieved in the past year, it actually took less than 5 minutes.

I found there isn’t much I did in 2011 I’m proud enough to put in my resume as a software developer, that scares me.

What had I done in 2011?

I had been using OhLife to keep a simple journal in 2011. If “OhLife” is new to you, it’s a service you register and then receive regular emails asking you to write something. I reply the email OhLife sends to me everyday, so after a year, I got 365 entries.

I reviewed my entries of last year.

It turns out, overall, it was not that bad as I initially thought; but I’m an underachiever in technical field in 2011. For a software developer, that’s not good.

Anyway, I break down my list of “achievements” of 2011 into four categories below according to a book I read last year.


  • Started Running, finished C25K.


  • Read the book on full engagement
  • Discovered a board game named Bang! and had great times with friends playing it.



What about 2012?

Here is the plan so far:

  • More running, preferably a race.
  • More side projects, don’t have specific goals yet. Maybe Rails, maybe iOS, maybe others.
  • More technology I feared about before – the ones I felt important but didn’t spend much time on thus were incompetent: JavaScript, CSS, SQL, Regular Expressions.
  • More books, read more than 12 books in 2012.

Enough said, let’s get it started.

Written by Dapeng

February 13th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Productivity

Tagged with

Happy birthday my friend, although I screwed up your birthday party…


“Can you please stay and have dinner with these friends? It’s my birthday!”
“Sorry, but I have to leave, …” I said.
You looked at me in anger, “F**k you!”, that’s what you said.

Calm down…

Obviously you were drunk, and we had been friends long enough to not be offended by the F word.

It was your birthday party, you gathered a bunch of old friends, in a KTV suite. You want your friends be entertained, as well as you, so there’s a lot of alcohol involved, a LOT.

I was the last one to arrive, and when I stepped into that room, someone (a friend of you whom I had never met before) was trying to get me drink three glasses of red wine straight, obviously that person was trying to get my gears up and melt into the atmosphere of the room. I refused, politely.

So when people were leaving the suite for the restaurant, I said I had to leave, then the conversation at the beginning happened.

I left not because I was not entertained – although that’s true, I didn’t enjoy any minute in that room – I left because I was disappointed.

We know each other from high school, that’s 14 years ago. We graduate together, grow together; we share happiness, share sorrow. We learned different stuff in college, we work for different kinds of employers, and we value different things. However, for some reason, we are still best friends, that’s the most important.

As in the same “ship” of being friends for 14 years, here are some advice I want to say but haven’t got a chance to for a long time. As much as I respect your every choice in life, I do hope you at least give them some thought.

Don’t get drunk. One of the price you pay for being “high” is being totally irresponsible. Take care of the ones you care, that’s what a gentleman should do. Drinking is OK, but don’t get drunk.

Quit smoking. We played soccer as teammates in high school, and as opponents now. If the drastic decline of your stamina doesn’t ring any bells to you, consider your family, again the people you should take care of. Seth Godin says smoker is on the curve of “the cliff”, which means you get addicted and “benefit” from cigarettes, more and more, until you arrive at the cliff, then fall. Think about it, there really is no point being a smoker.

Read more. You mentioned you enjoyed several novels and would like to re-read them again soon. Consider reading some non-fictions instead? We can be entertained from reading, and we can learn something. Put learning first, you will get much more than entertained.

Be serious in relationship. You said you want to get married, have a kid and family life. Commitments take courage, but facing it seriously is the first step. Spend more quality time with your girlfriend, find more adventures you can make through together, great happiness is waiting for you not far away.

Don’t waste your talent. You are smart, you are charismatic, you play guitar and had a wonderful voice, those are the things I envy you! Had you considered doing something you really like and talented with? If I were you, I would try to find the opportunity to play in a band when I got time, just for fun. You financial status is in a good shape, ever thought about being an entrepreneur, instead of working for others? Financial freedom is not just a buzz word, I believe it’s not a myth either, but takes a lot of courage and education.

I guess if there’s one thing I want to say to you, it’s “I want you to be happy”; if I could finish that sentence, I would say “…don’t waste your life, when you can achieve much more”.

Sorry about screwing up your party, I do wish you a happy birthday.

Written by Dapeng

February 11th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Life

Tagged with