Do things that make you happy

I envy our youngsters for having access to wealth of knowledge in just a few taps of the fingertips.

When I was a kid, around 10-11 years old, learning a new software (Photoshop 4.0/4.5 in this case, circa 1997-1999) means I had to open up a ~200 pages thick guide book, flip the pages and try to make sense of the written instructions. So much harder considering my command of English vocabulary was near non-existent back then. Naturally I also had a thick Oxford dictionary to help me out.

My vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds. Lasso, marquee, smudge, dodge, gradients… these words were foreign just a few months prior.

Just now I had trouble understanding commands on Figma (a vector-based collaborative design tool used by product managers & designers). A quick Google and verbatim use of the keywords, viola! – Got my answer in the first result, presented visually in an embedded Youtube video.

I envy you, youngsters.

Time flies, use your youthful energy to learn and explore things.

Take advantage of the easy access to knowledge.

Try everything that makes you happy.

Do some things that push you beyond your comfort.

Dont be scared to take some risk.

And lastly, be happy, for this is the only life we have.

Conviction to chart your own path in life.

Last week, I received a resume from a young man. Born in 2002, which means he has only recently exited high school. Kids his age will then enter colleges or universities.

He decided to go against the flow.

Instead of enrolling in universities to further his studies, he told me that gaining industry experience is better.

“Ive done my research. My role models adviced those keen on software engineering to soak up experience by joining a tech company. When it comes to software engineering, what universities teach is only 10-15% relevant.”

He then listed the names of star software engineers that my old brain has now forgotten.

He dressed impeccably for the first job interview in his life. Good manner, answers with clarity and was frank that our technology stack might be alien to him.

“Give me 3-4 days, I will learn this on YouTube.”

Simple answer that tells me a lot about a person.

In Katsana Holdings, we are used to having young talents joining us right after high school. They mostly help us with non-critical operations and will stick for a few months waiting for their college offers.

This young man is different. He is brave. He has conviction. He wants to play an integral part of our development team.

Young man, we shall grant you your wish.

Mobility and how it affects Social Mobility

I am disappointed to have read this news. You see, I’m a Kelantanese and have owed a great deal to public transportation when I was a kid. Amid news of nCov virus that blighted our stream in the past few weeks, it is easy for us to read this article and discard it for irrelevancy to our daily lives.

Well for a segment of people in Kelantan that needed public transportation the most, I assure you that this is worse than nCov.

Mobility is the ability for people to move about (example Pasir Mas to Kota Bharu), and Social Mobility is the ability for people to move up in the social strata (example from Poor to Middle-class).

These two terms while distinct from each other, are tightly intertwined.

Ability for people to be mobile, easily & cheaply move from one place to another is one of key components to help them be self-reliant. A dependable public transportation system allows people at the far corner of the state to wake up every morning, pay a few ringgit and go to earning a living in urban areas. At the end of day, take the bus ride and be back home.

Public transportation connects two places with vastly different wealth opportunity. It closes the opportunity gap, enabling poorer people access to opportunities to create wealth.

Lack of public transportation impacts poor people tremendously. Their ability to work in urban centers & earn a living is immediately cut off. In Kelantan, that means this segment of population can no longer earn RM20-30 per day. That may not sound much to you, but this meagre salary gets their kids fed.

That meagre salary also helps put their kids to school. For maybe one day, one of the kids maybe end up becoming a teacher, or an engineer, or a doctor. This lone successful kid will pull up their entire family to better living.

Just like how I owed myself to my mom and my selfless Aunt.