Just Another Tech Journal



Passion Drives You To Do Crazy Things

22 DECEMBER 2013

Many of you would know, I left Pivotal Labs/Neo Innovations in October to join a startup, and now, I'll be leaving the startup too.


Since the day I learned about Ruby, I know it's going to change my life.

Since the day I learned about Agile practices, I know it's going to change many people's lives.

I might have exaggerated a little, but right now these are the two things I am passionate about.

I believe that the World (or Singapore for a start) can do with more Ruby engineers, and companies can benefit from Agile practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration, Retrospectives etc.

Having worked with,, many other startups and even Government agencies while I was with Pivotal Labs, I am confident of the value that Ruby and/or Agile can bring to a company.

With that in mind, I have decided to step out to pursue my ambition of helping companies in Singapore grow through the sharing of my knowledge in these areas.

Being employed with a startup unfortunately doesn't afford me the convenience to help others or startups and although I have been doing this in my spare time (e.g. Rails InstallFest), I realized that I really want to do this on a fulltime basis.

It's crazy, but the calling is strong and this could be my version of self-actualization.


In the last year, I have met lots of people in the startup industry when I was running monthy Ruby meetups and organizing RedDotRubyConf 2013.

I realised that despite the availability of funding for these startups in Singapore, a lot of them do not have access to a ready pool of engineering talents or knowledge of how to manage an engineering team effectively.

This means that the startups have to first solve the problems of engineering shortage and engineering management before they can tackle the problem that the startup was originally formed to solve.

Hence I see an opportunity for me to try and help solve these problems with my experience in Ruby and in Agile practices.

As an experiment, I worked with a friend, who runs a company doing Joomla, for two weeks and shared with him Ruby on Rails and Agile practices.

We did pair programming and he's now a convert to Ruby on Rails, and exploring the possibility of using Ruby more for their projects. The Agile practices have also helped improved the processes in his company, and in his words "made my engineers very happy".

To hear that really touched me and further reaffirmed my decision to step out.

I have the ability to help make engineers happy and I should continue to do it!


So what am I going to do?

I have several ideas right now on what I can do, but nothing concrete yet. I'll be working for the startup until January to help ease the transition, though my notice period is just one week. After that, I'll take some time off for a few weeks to distill my thoughts and to firm up my action plans.

I could be doing Ruby on Rails courses, Agile consultation, Pair Programming etc. But whichever it is, my guiding principle is clear - I want to share my knowledge and do more for the local startup community.

Meanwhile, if you would just like to chat or you have advice for me, feel free to reach out!

Anyway, fail also ok. At least I tried! It's going to be an exciting 2014 ahead.

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