Dapeng Li

Hungry, foolish and passionate – yet another software developer.

Archive for the ‘review’ 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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Review of 2013 in 26 letters


I will review my year of 2013 with letters, last year was with numbers, I’m starting to worry what I to do next year.


Like Kindle, but for audible books. Bought some books, listened to some of them. Though I haven’t found my rhythm using this service in my daily life, it does offer another option accessing books, and will be useful later.

Breaking Bad

One of my favorite TV shows of all time.


A online MOOC provider, finished two courses in 2013, going to enroll in more.


From the book The Dip from Seth Godin: quit or push through the dip, avoid the Cul-de-Sec and cliff.


I spent more time enjoying life in 2013, it’s hard to keep the balance between working hard and stopping to enjoy life, but it’s good to have a taste of the other half.


I failed several times in 2013, from job searching to working tasks. I guess it’s OK, as long as you tried your best, leaving no regrets.


Gaming is the industry my future employer is in, sounds interesting and cool? I think so too.


Actually apartment, I bought a small apartment this year, and yes, now I owe the bank a lot of money.

Inner Peace

Not saying I have achieved that, I’m far from there; but there are moments I’m feeling inner peace, that feels great.

Job Hunting

I’ve rarely had pleasant experience in job hunting, this year as well. “Whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger” might be an exaggerating term, but I definitely learned something.


Talent is overrated, my friend, and deliberate practices are what make people great. As software developers, you are paid to perform, not practice. Practice katas at your own time.


I read and wrote less this year, as I said, it’s hard to strike the balance between working hard and enjoying life. No, actually, I was just being lazy.


Nope, not happening this year.


Northern Lights Technology Development, a company I worked for six and half years and left on Jan 24, 2014.


New offices and more rooms are always nice to have, but upgrading hardware is only half the battle, making good software is what really hard (no pun intended).

Project Management

I spent more time on thinking about project management than writing code in 2013, I guess that’s what a team lead should do when the team had grown to a certain size. Different kind of problems, different challenges and different perspectives. Making software is more than writing code, that was time well spent.


It’s a reserved letter.


I attended RubyConf China 2013 in Beijing, one of the best experience in conferences for me. Love the people and community.


Had a small one.


A software consulting company I respected a lot, prepared for more than a year, but didn’t make through the interview pipeline. The ThoughtWorkers are very nice and I still like them a lot.


Sometimes what your planned doesn’t come as you expected, that’s the unpleasant part of life; sometimes luck strikes if you happen to be ready, that’s what make life so wonderful.


Had a short vacation to the beach with my colleagues, that was very fun.


The air conditions are getting worse in my home town, I’m a little concerned what will happen if things don’t start to get better.


Christmas party with NLTD, instead of being a staff helping the show, I was an audience – sit back, watch, and enjoy.


Such as simple word, don’t abuse it. Say it only when you mean it.


From one of my favorite talks, about Burning Man: everything burns (and ends), that’s why we try our best, enjoy the moment, and move on. Back to zero.

I wish myself in the year of 2014:

  • Read more
  • Write more
  • Exercise more
  • Code more
  • Find more inner peace

Hope you had a good 2013, and achieve more in 2014.

Written by Dapeng

January 30th, 2014 at 11:45 am

Posted in Life

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