There’s a price for everything

Dear D and H,

There’s a price for everything, and that cost is always related to time. Time is the only thing that no one can get more of and everything that is worth pursuing takes time.

When you’re young, you have a lot of time. And time is really “cheap”. You don’t really have anything you have responsibilities to tend to except maybe work. You have the energy to stay up all night. There’s even a saying – ‘Time is wasted on the youth’. Don’t waste the time! This is really the best time to focus on what your passion and purpose is and to spend that time working on it.

As you get older, your time becomes more expensive and spending that time becomes harder. Your biological clock is ticking. Your job pays you more money to stay focused. Your gf/wife/kids want to see you more. Your parents are older and need more help. If you’re well known, people want to interview you, talk to you, have coffee with you. Everyone is trying to take some time away from you and it’s harder to guard your time.

So my advice to you kiddos, is to guard your time and use it wisely when you’re young. Have fun, but find a purpose that you love that you happily spend your time on when you’re young, because when you’re older, that time is much more expensive.



Dear D and H,

Hopefully when you guys are older, you’ll read these letters to you and you’ll gleam some insight into why I may or may not have done certain things for/to you. Why was daddy so strict? Why did he want me to learn Chinese? Taekwondo, brazillian jiujitsu, again? Why no TV, why no iPad? Why did he say “practice, practice, practice” all the time?

Parenting has been one of the toughest challenges in my life. Read some psychology books and pretty much everyone says your experiences in childhood are the foundation to how you act as an adult. That’s a huge burden for a parent! It’s extremely scary! I was just trying not to mess you guys up!

I know that I saw Ye-ye as infallible when I was younger, but as I grew older, I realized he was just human. I didn’t get the chance to really understand the way he approached life and why he did certain things, so I hope that these blog posts will give you some insight into the what I was thinking at certain ages in your life (and mine!).

One day you’ll realize that yup, Daddy is human and I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing – that I was just learning about life just like you, and making it up as I went along!

You guys really are my inspiration for everything I do.


Web Developers Roadmap

On /r/learnprogramming, I see a lot of frustration on what to do after a basic language tutorial.  There’s a lot of information on the web, but it’s still hard to know what to do next for a beginner.  I’ve found that there’s not really an example of how to bridge the gap between knowing the basics and actually building something – there’s no good overview of what you should be trying to learn and why.   So here’s my attempt at trying to fill in some of the gaps and developing a good roadmap for a web developer in any language.

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10 Steps to get Unstuck While Programming

As a beginner there will come a time when you will write something that either has a bug, doesn’t work properly, or just won’t run/compile. It will seem no matter how hard you try, you just can’t figure it out and you’ll feel absolutely stuck. So what do you do when you’re stuck? I’ve seen this many times while mentoring beginners software developers who have just started programming. Here’s my list of 10 things to do, when that moment comes.
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How does a new software engineer get a job?

Finished a boot camp or online course and feeling discouraged?  Looking around at job requirements and thinking about learning another language?  Feeling like you worked really hard for nothing?  It’s tough getting started as a software developer, so let me give you the step-by-step route that I took to getting hired as a beginner.

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Common Fears of Programming, and How to Overcome Your Fears.

Learning how to program can seem like a daunting activity, but it’s really just like learning anything new – it takes time and practice.  Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re not progressing fast enough and not learning anything, but I can assure you that by pushing through those thoughts and feelings, you’ll come out the other end as a programmer! Continue reading Common Fears of Programming, and How to Overcome Your Fears.

What Programming Language Should I Learn First?

As a beginner, ever wonder what programming language you should learn first?  I’ll review the common industries and common problems that people solve with different languages to help you figure out which is the right language for you.  I’ll also review the average salaries, and which language to choose for the highest paying salary.

Continue reading What Programming Language Should I Learn First?