Remnants of ideas put together.

Not just another CS3216 blog by a student, a blog of endless possibilities.

Last lecture, last post, last thoughts, start of new journey..

Can I just say that so far I only blog for the sake of blogging for this module. πŸ˜› haha, just being honest here. Ok but not this last post. In fact this last post of mine will be something that is deep from my heart. Something I have been thinking, going through and realising for quite a while.

*** Btw this will the longest post I’ve done so far, don say i never warn you ***

Dr Ben keeps mentioning about “What doesnt kill you, makes you strong”. With that I totally agree, just to share with you a personal story of mine. When I was in the army, I had a very horrible boss. Yuming can vouch for that. So horrible that my whole unit actually detest him. He was my S3, 2nd highest in command in the unit. Even my CO who was higher than him, didnt like him. He came in to the unit shortly after I joined the unit. I was still relatively new then. The first few weeks with him were totally hell. One of the worst times of my life, he’s like Dr Ben (Wahahhah!) minus the friendly smiles and add a lot of shouting and discouragement. I remembered I almost wanted to break down the first few weeks, I would work until like 8-9pm in the Ops room (my office). The tasks he brought it down on me were something that I never learned and heard before (haha familiar? :P) In fact, the tasks were so new and remote that even my experienced superiors did even know what he was talking about. Often than not when he handed me those tasks,Β  I kept deliberated between whether to clarify with him what the hell he wanted AND just do it based on own interpretation and knowledge. But you see, either way, I’ll get screwed upside down. 😦

He often gave harsh remarks likeΒ  “JIAYANG, YOU SLOW OR WHAT? CAN YOU F**KING WAKE UP YOUR IDEA?” or “THATS NOT WHAT I WANT! ARE YOU ABIT DUMB OR SOMETHING!?” His remarks were downright cruel, they just eat your heart out. I vividly remembered few months after I was in the unit, my grandfather passed away. So I had few days of compassionate leave. When I came back, work was piling up of course. Doing what he did best, he callously asked why I left all my work undone. So I explained my situation to him. And you know what? At this point of time you can call him the most evil or apathetic person on earth, he actually replied “SO? MOVE ON LAH!” I tell you at that moment, I was thinking if I’m working in a corporate world where I had my choice to leave, I’ll just freaking threw my work out and quit. But being the army (because we have no choice where to go and leave), so we had to leave by this “motivation – LL which stands for “Lan Lan”. It roughly translates to “No choice, have to do it”. In this “LL” mindset, I’ve no choice but to perserve. I gritted my teeth and moved on, what to do? So I learned. What my boss wanted? I gave him more work. What he wanted me to learn? I learn more.

Eventually I became very proficient with that knolwedge.Β  I became the only person in my unit to have that knowledge. Not only that I became quite good terms with that boss of mine after a while. He was less harsh on me although there were times he were still quite rough. But you know having to goΒ  through the first few weeks of hell with him, was nothing compared to some occasional rants. Eventually, you can literally say I became his aide. Everytime he wanted something from someone, he would ask me to get it for him. My rank is small lah btw, so everytime I had to get stuff from people (who are much higher ranking than me), they’ll give it to me because this boss is higher than them. His power was kind of bestowed upon me. (evil laugh πŸ˜‰ ) Later part of my army life, I could easily get things I wanted even from senior officers. Things that even my boss didnt ask me to. πŸ˜› Combine all that with the knowledge I have, I felt that I gained quite a little respect from the seniors in the unit. I got quite along well with many of them. Of course it was paid off by having to go to a live firing exercise in Australia (although I was not needed and it was not possible for my army vocation :P) and having awarded the best serviceman.

Ok my point here is not saying we all should work under a horrible boss to make us learn. I come to realise that because of people like him that made my life miserable, I got to learn a lot, really a lot. Not just knowledge, I became a much better person. At this point I would say, without him, I wouldnt be what I am today. At some point of life, we all need a little push. Dr Ben, you are right about Singaporeans like to be comfortable. Its really very true, most of my uni friends wants to continue studying. Why? Because they think the economy is bad, hard to get a job, so staying in school will the safest option so they can further upgrade themselves. Is it really? I say their reason is that they are just plain scared. Scared to go out and meet reality. Sorry i’m offending anyone at this point of time. But look into your heart and ask if you really want to study, or you are just scared to graduate.Β  But know that eventually you have to graduate and come to realise that you will not be spoonfeeded anymore. You have to come to terms that you are going to step out of this comfort zone you have been for the past 20 years.

So is it good that you should choose what you like to do most and do it? I tend to disagree on this. Because I think if you can do something you dont like to do and do it better, you can do everything you like at your best. Ya la its true that Singaporeans like to torture themselves, but then its through the pain that we get to learn mah. Someone once told me that its not the passion that gets you to be successful. Its the perserverence and faith that gets you through. If you get a job you like today, along the way you were tasked with things that you really dont like at all, are you not going to do it just because its not what you like to do? No pain no gain right?

You see the funny thing about pain is that once you are having it, you wish it will go away. But once it’s gone, you will miss it. Thats how I feel actually, funny how I’m actually missing the times when my boss used to screw me upside down. πŸ˜›Β  I say that once you go through pain, it becomes an experience. This experience will bring about a change in you. I say most of the times, its a good change. The army was a good change for me, nothing physcial. All pure mental and self awareness. I remember one of the post by Kevin talked about his peer reviews and Dr Ben commented that self awarenss is important.Β  Self awarness is no doubt 1 of the most important attribute we all must have. Once you have the self awareness, when you know your weakness and strength, evitably you will always try to change your weakness and leverage your strengths. Nobody likes toΒ  stay weak right? Like I mention in my last post, a person who thinks highly of himself will never go far. Change is the only constant. What you have done today doesnt necessarily reflect the person you are tomorrow. I guess it always good to do some constant self reflection to who you are. Already I feel that I’m a different person 13 weeks ago, a better different.

I’ve learned that not everyone thinks like you. Either you change them or they change you. πŸ™‚ I know most of you are already falling asleep here, but I havent even started talking about the course yet! πŸ˜› whahaha. Ok la here goes.. I remember the first lesson of cs3216 where we had to do a little show and tell. I kind of screw up because obviously I wasnt prepared. Call that a complacent act. While I was standing looking at each and everyone promoting their interest, it just dawned on me I’m not really good at anything or any interest I’m doing. There was nothing for me to show off about myself. Its quite sad actually I thought. But now I feel it doesnt matter as long I’m willing to learn now and be good at something that I want to be. Maybe next time I can do a much better job at future show and tells.

Moving on, I got to start off on our first assignement with Yuming, Dhiviya and Archana. Our first Mishmash! I tell you, it was a crazy experience. Working on the assignment during CNY, that point of time I was thinking how “great” this module was. But now I realised, its nothing la. Chinese New year only, we get it every year anyway. So the first mishmash didnt turn out what we wanted to be. I remember when we told Dr Ben we wanted to continue working on this assignment for our final project, he replied “Really ah!?” HOW DISCOURAGING CAN!? But never mind, we wanted to prove him wrong hehehehe.. πŸ˜›

2nd assignment was with Duc, Yiming and Yuhan. A presentation seminar. Haha it was aΒ  good experience though. I’m glad our whole group got the chance to present individually even some of you may think we didnt really do well. It doesnt matter, whats most important for us is that we all individually got to learn from this presentation. Thats what I like about presentations, i think its the best learning experience. Do you know that more people actually fear public speaking than death? haha thats just funny. Imagine people would rather jump off and die than speaking in front of public. ButΒ  I think public speaking is a very important skill. Breaking that barrier will certainly boost your confidence, the confidence that get you anything you want.

3rd assignment. The 1 that most of us literally booed over. πŸ˜› THE WPF ASSIGNMENT. I did it with Yuhan, Archana, Zhao Cong and Jimmy. Gotta admit I didnt really contribute much to the group 😦 The programmers worked really hard here, I kind of felt guilty here. Nevertheless, I hope that it was good learning experience for them, picking up skills on C# and WPF. Nothing much to iterate here because I’m quite adverse to MS stuff (funny I’m still using windows because I have no choice, some softwares I need must run on windows). I guess being adverse to something will be my downfall 1 day, so I will try to overcome this. Haha, not by trying to use MS stuff, because I’m already grew tired of their buggy and performance eating softwares. But rather try to face something that I thought I’m adverse to.

Final Project. Back to Mishmash! You know how good it felt when Dr Ben actually commented on our project? It felt so good man. It felt like my ex army boss commenting on my work, you see the link here? whahah! But anyway, our team put in heart and soul into this project. Taking in consideration every aspect of the app such as user experience and performance. But of course there will always be improvements. However, I’m glad it kind of work out as an app. Does this app sell so far? I wont say its very successful yet, well its now really up to us to sell the app to other people. Remember what I said earlier? Either change people or they change you.

Ok I haven been the smartest or knowledgeable person in the class. In fact I’m quite mediocre (Ok I know Dr Ben doesnt like this word..hahah) amongst everyone of you in the class. But here’s the thing, at least it make a little difference to my life. That is all that matters. I’ve learn some technical skills like:

  • Improving on my HTML skills (haha dont laugh!)
  • Simple Flash (ahh, a breakthrough for me!)

life knowledge like:

  • Sales is more important than anything
  • Find people to work with that compliments you (i.e cover your weakness and leverage your strengths)
  • many moree, this module is more like a life course la. hahah

I’m graduating in 1/2 years’ time but I’m already working as a financial planner. Ahh I can see a lot of “eeees” and “blehsss” from you all, haha doesnt matter. Remember about how Dr Ben were saying about Singaporeans being too comfortable? Yes damn right, I’m not really comfortable taking on this job. This industry has a very negative face to it but nevertheless financial planning is important! Haha just look at how Dr Ben can get away with a “free” HDB flat. Its all about the financial education man. Can this job make me rich? Yes it definitely can. Is it easy? Hell no, one of the toughest 1 out there. Do I believe in what I’m doing? Yes, I truly do. Nothing flatters me more when my client compliments me not for helping him, but rather making him understand how important financial planning is. I’m starting this blog: Its still rough and infant, but hopefully the little info in there can help anyone of you out there.

On this note, okok coming to an end already.. I’ll like to thank Dr Ben, for being the 2nd boss that is so “evil” Necessary evil I would say. Thank Kok Wee for doing all the back end job, I can tell its not easy when you have the evil boss whahhaha jk! πŸ˜› Thanks all the tutors – Chris, Kent, Su Yuen, and Yuen Hoe (Sorry if i missed out anyone else) for all the technical knowledge you have to impart to us although I never make much use of it. Bleh 😦 But hopefully its a learning experience for all of you too! πŸ˜› Each and everyone of the classmates too! From the programming knowledge my group members have taught me to some impressive presentations by some of you to even blowing a tune out of the bottle. Every action has a consequence, be it small or big. It makes a little difference who we are today. πŸ™‚

Thank you.


April 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thanks for the sharing.

    Glad to have made the impact as the second most evil person you’ve met in your life. πŸ™‚

    Personally, I think you will do well as a financial planner. Come over to my place and chat with my wife over the summer if you have time. She’s been in the line 10+ years already. πŸ˜›

    Comment by Ben Leong | April 17, 2009

  2. Excellent post, Jiayang.

    Comment by huytoanpc | April 17, 2009

  3. Never knew the S3 made such a great impact in your life. Maybe I should write about my experience with CWO haha. During ICT, maybe u can volunteer to be S3 kakia again.

    Comment by yu ming | April 17, 2009

  4. YM: hahah yea, remember first weeks of unit? I felt damn sian n depressed, slept in the bunk early. Haha you should! CWO was a more horrible person I think.

    Dr Ben: Thanks for the invite! I want to learn something from her, probably do it during the hols

    Toan: Haha, thanks man! πŸ™‚

    Comment by jblanque | April 17, 2009

  5. I remember when we told Dr Ben we wanted to continue working on this assignment for our final project, he replied β€œReally ah!?”

    Haha.. it turn out well in the end πŸ™‚
    Most importantly we gotta do what we believe in. Nice post!

    Comment by kok wee | April 17, 2009

  6. i can vividly remember those people…sometimes to think about it…life then is quite mindless…apart from learning the ropes thereafter is chicken feet and downright mindless…no wonder so many of “them” can sit at masses for kopi breaks. *mumble* wasting of taxpayer’s money…

    Comment by Herbal Tea | April 18, 2009

  7. heyy man! thanks for sharing, and for your encouragement on my blog πŸ™‚ strangely enough, i’m kinda sad that CS3216 (as a class) is coming to an end! it was really good meeting super super talented people like u and the rest, and gosh, i wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything, not even better grades at my other papers! πŸ˜›

    Hopefully hopefully, our paths will cross again someday. CS3216 has been a wonderful journey, albeit torturous and painful at (most) times πŸ˜›

    Comment by huihui | April 21, 2009

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