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Warren Shea

Archive for September, 2012

The Mistake

Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I’m watching House S02E08 – The Mistake.

It’s an episode that describes Chase screwing up and the events leading to it and why it occurred. At the end of the episode, it’s revealed that his father passed away and he was too emotionally rattled to properly do his job.

The reason I’m watching it was that I had a similar, less dramatic issue today (no death involved).

To sum it up. I screwed up.
I didn’t call the correct Production Support group to fix something when I should have.
I went home early rather than stay late, after hours, and stay until a production issue was fixed.

I did it because I let my guard down for 1 afternoon, 1 moment, 1 day.
Because I wasn’t getting sick. I was exhausted, at work, mentally and physically weak. About to go home. When this production issue happened. And I wasn’t as diligent as I generally would have been. I was careless.

A couple weeks later and this whole issue turned pretty bad. I didn’t really get in trouble…but personally, I feel that…I didn’t perform to my best abilities. Because I was sick.

I just kept thinking about 2 things today:
1. The Mistake, which I’m watching right now because the situations are somewhat similar.
2. “Yudan sezu ni ikō”. Tezuka Kunimistsu’s favorite phrase. It translates to Don’t be careless or Don’t let down your guard.

I appreciate the quote much more as I understand/feel that eternal vigilance can be incredibly difficult at all times. That’s it’s actually very hard to never be careless…sometimes outside or internal factors have their way with you, regardless of how careful you are.

I also appreciate the role of a doctor/surgeon/any job that requires you to be in a strong mental and emotional state. You can’t do your job if you’re not feeling well. If your judgement is clouded for whatever reason. Sometimes the slightest of mistakes, the moments of carelessness, can have serious repercussions. A crane operator, a crossing guard, even a person simply driving a car…you take it all for granted but a momentary lapse in judgement, the wrong gesture or an unexpected feeling of exhaustion…any type of carelessness, could cause serious damage. It only takes a moment.

I would consider myself a very careful person. I plan and backup plan. But I feel a renewed resolve to be more careful in the future.

Yudan sezu ni ikō

Vacation starts tomorrow…

Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 1:10 am

and I’m not really ready…to do nothing.

I only have some things I’m going to do planned right now.
2. Shows: Watch House S9, The Office S8, The Wire and/or Doctor Who
3. Anime: Watch Steins;Gate + at least 2 other animes: Magical Girl Madoka Magica + Ano Hana(maybe)
4. Movies: Looper, Anchorman, Drive, Indie Game The Movie, The Butterfly Effect, The Goonies, The Illusionist, Idiocracy. I know a lot of these are old, they’re all the ones that have been on my TO DO list for a while.
5. Capture and convert VHS tapes
6. Take pictures of statues on nice days.
7. Play Persona 4, Super Mario Bros 2
8. Organize some documents
9. Go to MasterSteaks, a wedding, stay at a Hotel for a night, Thanksgiving dinner, cook dinner for Z 2 nights this week….

I know I know, it sounds like a really lame vacation (even tho this is pretty much how I spend all my vacations).

I found that I was getting a little too burnt out at work. Too many people asking me questions. I just needed to get away from it all. Have some alone time. Feel like I accomplished some ME stuff.

The development aspect of work doesn’t bother me. It’s the meetings and the answering questions and the production issues and the leading. People look to me to solve and fix everything and it’s damned annoying. By being very reliable, I somehow became everyone’s go to person. And it’s hard. Because the team is so big now, I just can’t get anything done. And that stresses me out. So these guys can fend for themselves for a bit. /rant mode off

Anyways, I can’t wait to go home tomorrow and shut myself off from the world :) That’s how I recover best (mentally and emotionally….tho it’s probably detrimental to my social aspect).

Soon, my precious…

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 at 1:04 am

Soon, I will be on vacation!

I finished one big project on Sunday night and plan to finish another project early tomorrow.

I’ve been playing quite a bit of DOTA lately whilst watching Glee Season 3. I’m about 12 episodes in after only 2 days. That’s a lot of Glee.
They’ve grown from a small group of misfits to a rather large group of…well, talented misfits! Seriously, there’s so much talent in the Glee group now!


I’m reading a book:
Clean Code: A handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

I really like it, it really speaks to me. I think I’ll continue to read that and work on my Secret Project KB during my vacation.
I plan to rewatch Steins;Gate and maybe another anime or 2. As well as watch either The Wire or Doctor Who while I develop.

That’s it. Will write more when it’s not so late :)

Accomplishments – September.7 2012 Edition

Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 1:09 am

Shows / Movies
Wicked [Rewatch] – Done
Zelda Symphony – Done
Tekkaman Blade II E1-E6 – Done
Steins;Gate E01-E25 – Done
Gilmore Girls [Rewatch] – S4-S7 – Done
Currently watching: Nothing

Books & Manga & Comics / / – Catwoman Rotator – Liara T’Soni Rotator – Supergirl Rotator (this one looks really nice!) – Evil Supergirl Rotator

The New Super Mario Bros 2 [3DS] – In Progress

Web Development and Design
Facebook API – JavaScript SDK/PHP SDK learning – Done
Facebook App Creation, Like Gate, Share Dialog – Done
Twitter Share Dialog – Done

Converted 12 Camcorder Tapes to Digital – Done
Converted 2 VHS Tapes to Digital – In Progress
Installed Ubuntu (Linux) on an old Laptop. It runs pretty fast now :) What to use it for, that’s the question.

I spent the beginning of this month watching a lot of anime and the mid of this month deving.
I think I’ll spend a good portion of next week deving…

Hi. It’s been a while…

Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 12:00 am

I’m so behind on my posts this month.

I’ve been working like crazy the last fews days…despite a mild fever. I’ve been pulling 12 hour~ days.
I’m trying to finish two projects by this Friday so I’m working really hard to meet those timelines (though one of them could be late).

My weekend was pretty busy and relaxing…but my Monday was rough.

See, every once in a while (I’m talking 2-3 times a year), I get this feeling of depression. I don’t know what it is, I wake up and I’m just not seeing things positively. It’s a temporary phase though, I know that I’ll feel like this for x amount of time and once this has passed, I know I won’t even be able to feel like this again, even if I were to try.

Anyways, Monday was rough. I knew I wasn’t feeling great so I decided to get myself a coffee (I don’t usually drink coffee anymore). Caffeine wakes me up and also generally turns my grumpy demeanour into a more pleasant façade. Usually. But again, sometimes coffee has an alternate effect. Sometimes it makes me jittery and anxious. Well, guess what it did to me on Monday. The jitteryness and anxiety, coupled with a full day of production issues, one after another, and not being able to work on my projects (that have impending deadlines), and a developing fever….and it was like a perfect storm of sh!ttyness.

I could feel the caffeine in me, the jitteryness, all day and night Monday. I could feel it on Tuesday. I only got rid of that jittery feeling Wednesday. Not sure if it was the caffeine but I also had a bit of stress/work filled insomnia the last couple nights. I slept early on Tuesday but woke up wired, stressed, and worried in the middle of the night. I ended up deving for 2.5 hours from 2am-4:30am, trying to use my insomnia-tic time effectively. Because I know that the more productive I am, the easier it will be to fall asleep (because I feel like I’ve accomplished something), and the less stressed I’ll be the next day or so.

I’m in a decent place right now work wise. My deadlines seem reachable. My fever is pretty much gone and I don’t feel the caffeine anymore, nor the stress/anxiety/insomnia or depression.

Even as I write this, it’s difficult trying to describe, or feel my depression. Had I written this on the day I was actually depressed, the words would have come much easier.


One of the things that really depressed me, which is still somewhat lingering in my mind is: is my future in (web/application) development?

I’ve tried so hard to believe it is. I’ve spent so much time the last 3 years focusing on development in my future. But I know…I’m not a natural developer. I don’t have a born gift with it, it’s not something that comes as naturally to me as it does for others. And I use my uni comp sci friends as a comparison. Some of them were excellent programmers. A born talent I couldn’t hope to achieve. Even now, with all my learning, my understanding is below theirs. It’s…depressing. Many of them don’t even develop anymore. And some of them, of whom I felt superior to back in those days have since surpassed me.

I’m not using my time effectively.

But the thing is…in my own way, I am. Compared to my co-worker peers (who walk the same path as I), I develop far more than any of them. And, compared to my co-workers, it shows as I’ve risen to the top. I’m ahead of a dozen of other developers. But I still feel inferior. If I were to go to any other more technical company, I would be junior/intermediate…I believe. And I know that staying here stunts my growth…but I’m also terrified to see what else is out there. Because I’m comfortable here, I matter, I’m important. But out there…I’m just a dime a dozen.

I think the only way to get over my fear, while still staying at this company, is to improve on my free time. Which is what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve been trying to learn this and that, the things I don’t learn at work. Development is an interesting thing: you can get better at it on your own time. I would say that in most jobs, you can only improve while you’re at work. Development is not so. I feel lucky this way because I generally have more “free” time than the average person due to my antisocialness. But I can’t forget many other developers with similar personalities also have this “advantage”.

So in all this time I’ve had, why have I progressed so little. Is it that I try to surpass genius with hard work? But I’m finding that no amount of hard work can surpass natural talent (totally thinking of Rock Lee VS Neji here). Am I not challenging myself? Am I not reading enough? I spend much of my time developing…developing, secretproject kb…but none of that is really challenging. I spend so much time but I’m not learning enough. I’m still staying in my comfort zone.

I enjoy development but I want to be great at it. Not just good. I want more for myself. But I don’t feel confident that I have the skill to back that up now. And if not now, then when? I feel that I’ve already past my…age when something great should have happened.

I wonder…if this isn’t my natural skill…then what is?

People think I’m a great artist.
People think I’m the anime king.
People think I’m the cartoon god.
People think I’m the computer whiz.
People think I’m the hardcore gamer.
People think I’m smart.

But as good as any of my skills are, I’m not that good at any of these things. I don’t have an exceptional talent at any of these things. I personally know people who are better/more into any of these things. I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.

So where is my genius? Where is my natural talent? What is that one thing that I’m exceptional at and why haven’t I found it yet? Or will I live my life never knowing what that skill could be.
(I wrote this in a prev blog post but it’s relevant now) – I look at those rock balancers at the CNE. They’re exceptionally skilled at what they do. But how would one discover such a skill? How many people go through life never knowing what their exceptional talent is? Am I one of them?

I’m been contemplating if development is the right path for me. I’ve been so sure for years now. I love it. Honestly, there is almost nothing that can pull me away from a good developer groove. I thrive on those rare moments. I’m not working 12 hours a day lately and hating it. I’m working 12 hours a day and going to sleep, excited for what I’m going to do tomorrow. The only reason I sleep is necessity. So if I love it so much…why am I still not as strong as I’d like to be.

I had a job interview a few months back. It was for a job that I wasn’t qualified for. But I wanted to be qualified for it. I’m a senior front-end developer. But I also do PHP and ASP.NET…so my resume lists me as a senior web developer. So the job I was applying for was for that. But that’s not me.

And even in the interview, they said that I had progressed quite far and quite fast given my experience. Even at my current job, I feel that way. 6 years ago I was just entering the work force but I’m at the head of department on a technical level. BUT I STILL FEEL SO BEHIND.

It’s stupid. I want to get a job I’m somewhat unqualified for. One where I get the time and environment to catch up. But no one wants to hire an unqualified person. I keep having headhunters call me because of my awesome website and the fact that I’m listed as a senior web developer. But when we discuss, on a technical level, what is required for the prospective job, I always come up short. Because…I’m not qualified to be the senior web developer, despite my current title/role.

I think I’m going to change my resume to Senior Front End Web Developer…but then I’ll only get contacted for people looking to do Senior Front End Web Development. But I want more, I want PHP and ASP.NET………sigh, such a stupid situation I’m in. I could purposely sell myself short and say I’m an Intermediate Web Developer…but that’s not really true to me either. I’m senior now and I’ve earned it. (any advice would be helpful please)


So this has been what’s been on my mind this week. This, and that I’ve been developing ridiculous hours all week…a difficult project too so I’m having a lot of fun, and thus have no desire to blog.


Usually I feel so together. I’ve spent a lot of thinking figuring out where I want to be. But right now, I feel unsettled. Unsatisfactory. I don’t feel I’m living up to my potential. I want to be great. Some people are born with greatness, some people have greatness thrust upon them. So if neither of those are/will be true for me, how can I become great. Will I be swept up in fate or will I create my own destiny? Can I still be great? I don’t think it’s too late. But what can I do to get me there?