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Warren Shea

Archive for September, 2010


Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Ambition is the desire for personal achievement. It provides the motivation and determination necessary to help give direction to life. Ambitious people seek to be the best at what they choose to do for attainment, power, or superiority. Ambition can also be defined as the object of this desire. –

I guess it was always there. From my perspective, I see ambitious people as those who want to get power or superiority. In the work force, it’s those who want to quickly climb the ranks and rise to the top. You can see them. You know who wants the job of the one they’re under. “Gekokujou” (下克上) meaning “to defeat the greater and take his place” – Wakashi Hiyoshi, Hyōtei Gakuen

Why I wouldn’t call myself ambitious is because I didn’t see myself as fitting that description. I don’t want to manage people which tend to be something people often do when they rise up. I was perfectly happy doing my daily work/routine. When I didn’t get promoted, it originally didn’t bother me. I was okay with it for a few days. I didn’t really think about it even. And then, a few days later, a conversation came up where the topic of what would be done in the future was covered. It was at that point that it hit me, and hit me hard. There were all these really interesting projects planned. And as we were going through them, my initial reaction of “oh, this sounds exciting….maybe I can work on this, maybe I can work on that…” turned into “I’m not going to be working on any of this”. Because the new projects were for senior developers, And I wasn’t going to be one.

It was at that point I realized: I did not want to do what I’d been doing for the last 2-3 years any longer. I wanted to be part of all the bigger projects. I felt I was ready. Which led to this post:

So my ambition is a bit different than what I saw ambition to be, power and superiority. Though the titles and pay are nicer the higher you go, that’s not what drives me. I’m ambitious in terms of knowledge attainment. It seems more passive…which I don’t see ambition as. But I’m driven by learning and working on interesting things. Again, it all comes from what you want…and everyone’s different. I don’t want to be bored in life. And by bored, I don’t mean I want/need to travel, don’t need to see this or go to that. I don’t want to be bored in the things I think about or the things I work on. I’m really driven by doing interesting work. I would much rather code than go have a beer or go clubbing. I’d rather sit and talk to someone about philosophy, sociology, psychology, the WHYs of the world than talk about the WHATs or the WHOs. It’s not normal but that’s who I am.

This post didn’t come out nearly at all how I envisioned. It was originally about being ambitious because I’m highly competitive and motivated by competition. But I didn’t discuss that at all in the above. As I started to write, what I wrote above made more sense than what I originally wanted to write about. I learned something about myself in this post, I like how blogging and writing can do that sometimes. The written work just takes a life of its own and you do something that, despite coming from your own thoughts, surprises you.

Brains and Frames! and more…

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 12:40 am

Plants VS Zombies

Z purchased a collector’s/limited edition PvZ game because it came with this ultra kool toy. He stands at 3 inches. Very awesome. I wish it were mine. Someday soon, it will be *mischievous grin*


Last Friday, I saw a promotion for (some glasses place?). The promotion was that you can get “Free” glasses, limited to 3 days or 5000 vouchers. The promotion was actually a reduction of $38.00 from the cost, they also modified some of their prices so that glasses were exactly $38.00, effectively making the glasses “free” if you bought glasses $38.00 or cheaper.

While it would be too expensive to get glasses with my almost legally blind prescription, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get frames. See, because of my terribad eye sight, I don’t like to wear my glasses in public too often (also, they distort my vision on the sides and I get disoriented). But while they look okay, the lens really distort what’s being seen through them. I’m a bit too vain to walk around like that….vain or self conscious, either works :P I also don’t really like getting pictures taken with my glasses….however, I do like the look glasses have on me. I had glasses throughout grades 4 (or 6) to 10, getting contacts in grade 10. I’m very used to seeing myself in the mirror with them, probably seeing myself with glasses more often than without (as I would wear them most of the weekend, rarely putting my contacts on, unless I were to go out). So anyways…I basically purchased these 38.00 glasses, sans prescription….so that I could wear my contacts but still wear prescriptionless frames. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people. Well, I wasn’t until this promotion in which I thought I’d entertain the idea. The glasses cost $12 to ship…so it was getting new frames/glasses for $12. Not bad.


Anyways, I feel I can finally take a picture with my glasses on….though this one’s not great. Also, the hair, despite looking pretty nice, is a result of a 3 hour nap…so it’s flat on the other side and also why you’re not seeing the top.

Death Note

Got my Death Note manga yesterday. I realize that with my additional Scott Pilgrim and Street Fighter graphic novels from FanExpo, I have no room on my shelf for this. I found out yesterday that the artist of Death Note…is actually the same artist from another favorite manga of mine, Hikaru no Go! What a pleasant surprise. I was so glad to open this Death Note manga (I’ve never read the manga before, despite watching the anime a couple of times) and notice it wasn’t terrible. That’s Shonen Jump for you. Doing manga right. Very glad Prince of Tennis, Naruto, Bleach even, Death Note are all SJ. Despite Initial D fan translated manga being a favorite of mine, Tokyo Pop royally destroyed the translation to the point that it’s unreadable for me. It makes me cringe. Of all the anime/mangas to butcher, Tokyo Pop really screwed the american audience with Initial D. It could have/would have been bigger than Naruto (well, maybe not…).

Anyways…while SJ does an admirable job translating, I’m afraid I’ve watched the anime too many times and the translation isn’t quite the same. The manga also changed my view of Light quite a bit, he’s less sure of himself and what he’s doing in the manga, at least from the first 1/2 of the volume I’ve read. Disappointing. My image of him, shattered.
In the anime, at the end of episode 2, which is up there on my favorite moments…where L determines Kira can kill w/o touching, determines he’s in Kanto, Japan, etc…til the end of the episode where they both declare they are “Justice”, that’s one of my favorite moments. Two intelligent people, both believing what they’re doing is right. LOVE IT.
And then I read the manga and then both declare that they are…wait for it….RIGHTEOUS. “I’m RIGHTEOUS!”?!?!! W.T.F. that sounds terrible. I’ll read the rest but I may not like it! *pout*

Dark Angel

I’ve been a big fan of the Dark Angel series. I watched it on Fox and totally fell in love with Jessica Alba (this is where Z throws a bag of bricks at my face). Okay, I thought Jessica Alba’s CHARACTER here was awesome. I was a fan of the series, purchasing the DVDs and rewatching episodes quite a bit. Anyways, it ended abruptly and poorly after 2 seasons. I never knew there was more….despite wanting to know the rest of the story. I found out just a few weeks ago that there were some novels written to close everything. So despite not being one to read often, I did purchase these books and do intend to blow through them quickly. They’re small and they look child-like so my tenth grade level reading should suffice.

Also, look at Chandler photo-bombing that picture! Kawaii!

When the bag is THIS greasy, its GOTTA BE GOOD.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

chippys bag

Groupon recently had a groupon for Chippy’s, this fish and chips place down the road. It was $15 for $30 worth of food. Awesome deal! Awesome food (no pics, forgot!). I just wanted to show what the bag looked like. You can like, see through it….it’s like that episode when Homer’s getting fat and Bart wipes a burger on the wall, and turns it transparent :D

You may have noticed a bunch of posts firing one after another recently……I’m trying to get my # of posts up before this month ends o_o. But you couldn’t notice the lack of quality in the recent ones cuz they’re all terrible!! mwhahahah

/runs off

“Å“Yes” Man

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

A co-worker called me a “Yes Man” today.

The term yes man is typically used for an employee who agrees with every statement of his or her employer.[1] Some synonyms of yes man are flunky, stooge, suck-up, kiss-ass, and sycophant; all of which have pejorative connotations.[2] Such a person may also be referred to as a lapdog.[3] – from

I didn’t disagree with him but it got me thinking…I DO do things that help my team/department at the cost of my personal time or needs. I don’t volunteer to stay late but will if they ask. Today, I didn’t go for lunch, even though I was starving, because someone asked me to jump in an impromptu meeting. This person even asked if he should reschedule, feeling bad to dump the task and responsibility on me but I said it was okay, even when it really wasn’t (I was really hungry!).

Throughout my professional life, I have been called a kiss ass. In my third work term, my co-worker (another UWaterloo co-op) called me a “brown nose”. I took quite a bit of offense…but you know, it’s true.

I realize that professionally, I’m very selfless. I often stay late, finishing up other people’s work because I can do it faster (and better) than they can – it makes sense on an efficiency and personal pride level. I’d rather do something myself and do it right than have to explain it. I’m extremely reliable (yes, you read that right, extremely reliable) and often called “the one who catches others when they fall”. It’s all part of my professional self, “Work Warren”. Work Warren is organized, courteous, hard working, considerate, reliable. Though he gets distracted easily…cuz some things I can’t change.

Part of this high standard of professional work is actually an individual trait: personal pride and individual ego. Pride in the work I do, pride in doing this well and/or better than others.

What’s interesting is that individually, and outside of work, I’m very selfish. I rarely do things I don’t want to do. “F*ck everyone else, I’m looking out for me. Everyone else can take care of themselves.” I will avoid doing “nice gestures”, driving people around, offering rides, etc. if there’s no benefit to me or if it takes me out of my way. I will donate to a charity not because it’s the right thing to do or because I believe in any cause, but because I don’t want to look like the selfish person I am – in that sense, everyone wins :D I’ve said it before but if I really lived my selfish life the way I want, I would lose almost everything. I would much rather sacrifice a bit of selfishness and be a little selfless to overall live a better life. Just the same, I would rather sacrifice part of my life working to overall live a better life. Doing everything you want in life will result in failure. You have to do stuff you don’t want to do to achieve long term happiness.


“Very selfless professionally. Very selfish individually.”

While thinking of this post, I kept repeating those words in my head. It actually works out pretty well for me. Except that I stay late which interferes with personal time. In that sense, I (surprisingly) put professional career above personal life. Which all leads to my realization that I’m ambitious and want to be successful in my professional career, even at the cost of myself.

I don’t know if others see me as professionally ambitious but I’m really surprised to realize that I am. I would say I’m not, probably even think it…..but subconsciously, I really am.

My professional career: Past, Recent, Present, and Future

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I (re)joined the corporation that I’m currently employed at in Feb 2007, after about a years worth of intermittent co-op terms with this corporation. From these terms, I was able to (and this is what I believe to be the point of co-op) determine what profession/career I want by determining what profession/career I don’t want.

In my first job, I learned that I wanted to pursue web. In my second job, I confirmed that the web was the right career. In my third job, I learned that I didn’t want a slow job. That term, I had a project that needed to finish within the 4 months I was employed there. I finished it in 2 weeks. And then I was bored. Out of my mind. Note: I had 6 work terms at 3 different places.

I worked as a web designer for about a year and a half with my old team and then my current team. I had been developing with JavaScript and ASP VB Classic, even as a designer. I remember I didn’t think I had the skill to be a developer. That the members of my new team would dwarf my skill because I was coming into a world of developers, as a designer. The opposite occurred. From that point on, I decided to be a developer.

I should note that this was around 2007/2008. I was very much into World of Warcraft at the time. I continued to gradually improve my developer web skills…it was difficult though. I wasn’t learning on my own time (because of WoW) and I wasn’t really learning much at work. I had done more complicated work when I was still a designer, with my old team! I was still fairly shy, I didn’t have the confidence or experience to voice my opinions, good ideas, or concerns.

A couple years went by, basically bringing us to this year. I had continued to improve as a developer as well as socially, in the workplace. When I was younger, I didn’t think I would need soft skills much, as long as I was a strong developer (that was my mindset at the time). I realize now that it’s VERY difficult to get anywhere professionally without soft skills.

Having done the job as a web developer for a couple of years, I began to wonder what else there was for me. Through a difficult time, I learned a very important lesson about myself. I’m ambitious. My attitude towards things is generally laid back. I’m organized and the things I do are usually below my skill level…so I don’t tend to freak out often. I generally have a “come what may” attitude. But when opportunities appeared that I didn’t get, despite feeling they were deserved…well, I realized what was important to me, what my goals were and what I would have to do to achieve them.

The recent section above was about 3-4 months ago. I don’t imagine I’ve changed much within the last few months but the opportunities I didn’t have back then are starting to appear. Unofficially. It’s not as related to development as I’d prefer but it’s related to all the aspects of web. I will be learning a lot, that’s a given. Learning in uncharted territory, possibly building tools and solutions to new concepts and ideas.

I’m not sure if the opportunities that have presented themselves are right for me. Like a child, I was upset when I didn’t have what I wanted and once I got it, I sort of want to toss it away. While I imagine it’s interesting, I don’t know if it’s where I want to be. I still really want to develop, not be a consultant or technical specialist. And the longer I’m in a place where I professionally don’t develop all the time, the longer I am away from UWaterloo and the things I’ve learned, the worse I’ll become as a developer. It’s disappointing and a bit pathetic to say, but that’s what, my side project, and my epic site are for. To do what I want. But is well below my skill level at this point. I still have things to learn in terms of XHTML, CSS2 but the way is currently set up, I’m not learning enough. Even my side project won’t be enough.

I guess that’s what the epic site is all about. A chance to put practical, .NET 3.5/4, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery to use. But if I don’t do this stuff professionally much, it means spending a lot of personal time to learn this stuff. It would be much easier to “kill to birds with one stone”, by that I mean, learn/use this stuff professionally so that my time is used effectively. I’m not saying I won’t touch the above in my job. Out of any role in my department, hell, my entire corporation, the job I’m at now would be the place to use these skills. But I’m not sure if it will be enough as someone who uses this stuff all the time.

I spent so long as a designer, so long playing World of Warcraft. It’s only this year that I feel I’ve really been living up to my potential. And even then, I’m falling short of where I really want to be.

I don’t want to learn .NET 2.0 and 3.5, I don’t want to learn CSS2 better, I don’t want to learn PHP and jQuery. I want to know them already. I want to learn .NET 4.0 and what’s improved over 3.5. I want to learn CSS3 and HTML5. I mean, I can start now but I’m already behind. That’s not an excuse, I’ll continue to learn but I don’t think I’ll ever catch up to where I want to be. I want to be a certified .NET developer. I want to be able to compare to the professional developers I’ve worked with in my career. A couple of them have been simply exceptional and I wonder if it’s possible for me to catch up. I get distracted easily, I lose focus, I’m intelligent but I’ve met smarter, quicker people. I’m distracted with shows, anime, the computer. I can’t seem to work without my computer but I get distracted when I have my computer.

I tend to do average, well, excellent, or exceptional in the professional aspects of my life. Occasionally I screw up but I’d say I’m a strong, above average performer. But the opportunities that have presented themselves scare me. I’m going to be playing the role of technical consultant, project leader, manager. I’ll be attending meetings, learning new technologies, I’ll have to be proactive and study new technologies to stay a step ahead of everyone else. People will be going to me for answers when, in this new role, I don’t know if I’ll have. Now, again, I don’t imagine I’ll do poorly…hopefully I rise up to the challenges and tasks. But I am worried I won’t be able to, especially if my heart isn’t in it. And I’m not sure that it is.

I’m an extremely firm believer that you should enjoy what you’re doing professionally. And I did in the past. But will I in the future? If my heart is really directed towards projects like my EPIC SITE, shouldn’t I be professionally pursuing that as well? I don’t even know. I know I will see where this new path takes me…it’s too early to answer the questions I’m asking. I just know there’s a feeling of uncertainty in front of me and it scares me. Which is a perfectly normal thing.