Dapeng Li

Hungry, foolish and passionate – yet another software developer.

Archive for the ‘Gibraltar’ tag

One year away from home – reviewing my 2014 and looking forward to 2015

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In 2014 I have lived, worked and traveled in places and with people totally new to me, I’m very happy with the past year and would like more of it in 2015.

About 2014

I can think of three words for my 2014 – independence, immersion and curiosity.


In 2014 I lived by myself, for the first time in my life I didn’t depent on my parents. YES!

I think I probably should be embarrased rather than proud to say so – at my age – still, I’m happy I did it. I also think that’s one important step to becoming mature and responsible: you must be able to take care of yourself before taking care of others.



Most of my programming work in 2014 was with AngularJS and CoffeeScript, I also had the chance to learn Git and sometimes wrote Ruby and Rails. It was great! Although I didn’t use Ruby and Rails as much as I wished, I am very happy with my work and what I have learned in programming.


I want to know more about Spain, its people and culture, considering the affinity of Gibraltar to Spain and the potential opportunity of me working in Spain. I had been learning Spanish for about 10 months in 2014, and I think I’m starting to ‘get it’. Vamos, amigos.

Wonderful people

I’m very grateful that I have been surrounded by wonderful people in 2014, I enjoyed very much being with roommates, colleagues, friends old and new and most strangers. I think one of the reasons I didn’t suffer from “culture shock” was because of them.


I had traveled a lot in 2014, more times than in any previous year and probably longer than I have ever did in my life; because I wanted to, I had the chance, and the necesity for applying Schegen visas in Gibraltar (you have to book flights, so use or waste). Traveling makes me curious.

I have finished a Coursera course on Programming Languages, that was 10 weekends of intense study, I learned and enjoyed a lot.

Actually everyday experience of me in 2014 had some elements of surprise and amazement, I guess maybe not because environment had radically changed (although it did to some extent) but because of the change of perspective on life.

I love one quote from Rick Steves on traveling (from his Europe Through the Back Door book) – which I believe can be equally applied to everyday life.

Travel more like Gandhi – with simple clothes, open eyes, and an uncluttered mind.

Some reflections

I hope you would agree that each item above and its sub-items need motivation, in the book Drive Dan Pink argues (and I agree) that things that motivates people have three characteristics: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Every one of my items needs them.

However, when I step back, I see a bigger picture of motivation. Independence is all about autonomy, immersion is all about mastery, curiosity is all about purpose. The ‘thing’ they motivate is life.

About 2015

I want to understand, experience and enjoy more in 2015.

On independence

About food… Not only feed myself, I want to be able to serve myself. I wish I can learn to cook more. I was reluctant to do so in 2014 and maybe also in 2015 is that, it takes time to cook and cleanup; I would like to spend the time on other stuff, like learning and reading. Well, that’s some BS, isn’t it? The truth is: I’m lazy. I will need a stronger motivation, and then balance cooking with my other activities well.

On immersion


I wish I can have more chance working on Ruby and Rails, although they don’t seem that ‘magical’ to me now, I am still distance away from elequency. And in general, more open source, please.


I will continue my learning of Spanish, both in class and with self study. I’m planning to take the A2 level of DELE exam on Spanish in 2015.

Wonderful people

I would like to keep engaged with my wonderful friends and colleagues, share and learn more with them.

On curiosity

I want to keep on traveling, but I need to educate myself so I have the knowledge to appreciate.

I also would like to read and learn more in 2015, not only about programming, For example, maybe this introduction course to finance.

Some more reflections

I believe people learn and grow the most when they are out of their comfort zone, when they are challenged and stretched (but not overwhelmed).

That’s why I enjoyed 2014 so much.

The external environment might be less new to me than in 2014, but I think I will be equally amazed. Remember what Steve Jobs said: 

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Hope you had a wonderful 2014, and 2015 is going to be even more awesome.

Written by Dapeng

February 2nd, 2015 at 5:03 am

Posted in Life

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Three things learned in the last three months

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It’s been three months since I came to Gibraltar. Risking generalize prematurely, I wrote a note about three things I’ve learned so far.

Self-fulfilling can be tiring, but tremendously rewarding

The last three months is the first period that I’ve truly lived by myself.

Going to supermarket gradually becomes a weekly routine; the frustration of lack of idea on what to eat has been replaced by the fun of making food plans for the upcoming week; I’ve started learning to cook. Indeed, it’s very time consuming for cooking for myself, however, the feeling of that I can feed myself, even after a meal eaten at 10 PM can be very satisfying. Yes, that’s only one the basic needs one has to fulfill, but a very important one.

I had missed that for so many years, what a shame.

Build your foundation skills, when you don’t need it that much

I believe there are many skills that are fundamental to whatever you do in work and life.

Besides living skills, getting to know another language can be so helpful, it leads you to understand other groups of people, other ways of living, and perspectives about the world. To me, English can be the foundation to other languages, say, Spanish. Although I don’t believe one has to learn English to learn Spanish, but it does make it much easier than otherwise, at least for me.

What you want, what you need, what are essential

Gibraltar is a very small place, 6.8 square kilometers (with the famous Rock occupying more than half the space).

You probably will not find what you exactly want here, but you will almost always find what you need.

It forced to me think what are essential and absolutely needed in my life, I’m glad I did.

Written by Dapeng

May 11th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Life

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