Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

We engineers have an affliction. It’s called “wanting to use the latest tech because it sounds cool, even though it’s technically more difficult.” Got that from the doctor’s office, it’s 100% legit. The diagnosis was written on my prescription for an over-the-counter monolith handbook. From 2004. Seriously though, we do this all the time. Every time something cool happens, we flock to it like moths to a campfire. And more often than not, we get burned.

I thought I was immune to this. I thought I knew better. So I thought that when I became interested in microservices, I was…


CODEX

Hey Siri, what’s next?

More popular touchpoints, such as wearables, might be a more attractive touchpoint. Source: Apple.

Medium is dominated by white people from North America. As an Asian guy from Malaysia, it’s super obvious. Because North America and Malaysia are worlds apart. The politics. The culture. The way we say things, even in the same language. And last but not least, the tech.

I was born in the year 2000. So it’s not like I grew up in the Dark Ages, before the internet was a thing. And yet I didn’t start going online actively until 2012. That’s strange. Because plenty of things happened on the internet after the dot com bubble. Web 2.0. Facebook. Google…


It’s not that deep.

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An engineer working in a startup walks into a bar. The bartender doesn’t respond. Because the engineer never walked in at all. He was busy debugging a race condition that cropped up on production. While redesigning the landing page. And setting up a Redis cluster in some EC2 VMs.

Developing on a small team can get tricky. Always too much to do, in too little time, with too little manpower. I’ve grappled with this problem for a while, having never worked on a team larger than 10. Ever. And after many late night crunches and Sunday morning extensions, I managed…


Sincerely, a former jealous partner.

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Relationships. Part and parcel of life, for most of us. And yet clear cut for none of us. All kinds of problems crop up when you’re in a relationship. At first, love feels invincible. But time and tide spare no bonds. Things happen that jeopardize the connection. People change. Feelings change. Feelings about people change. And one of the trickiest problems I’ve encountered is jealousy.

I used to be the most jealous partner ever. I guess I felt insufficient to start with, and every action on her part just rubbed it in. Wasn’t pretty, I know. But I’m a new…


And it’s not diversity.

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My business partner and I were once talking about the future. Which is a doomed conversation from the get go. After all, I’m a spontaneous improviser who never thinks about the future. Meanwhile, he’s habitually anxious. So he thinks of every possible future, all the time.

“Where do you think we’ll be in a few months with this project?” he’ll say.

“I don’t know, we’ll figure it out when we get there,” is my standard response.

And that’s it. That’s usually the end of the future talk. But there was one time when we were talking about success in general…


It’s simple, but it’s not what you think.

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

People talk about what women want all the time. We men need all the help we can get. Because I don’t know about you, but I’ve taken a good, long look at myself in the mirror. Several times. And every time, I think, “Man, I need some help.” But you know, I’ve been talking to some women lately. And I get the sense that they need help, too. What do men want? Ladies, I got you. It’s pretty simple — but it’s not what you think.

As a straight man, I feel qualified to comment on this. I know men…


And it’s not talent.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Writing. Why is it so hard for so many of us? Is it the vocabulary? Or the intimidation of an empty page? Or the mortifying thought of facing your own thoughts? Whatever it is, people are afraid. Which is a shame, since writing is a useful skill to have. Copywriting is all the rage, isn’t it? But the spotlight casts shadows on some important aspects of the craft. Such as what it takes to be a successful writer.

Listen, I’m not going to sit here and call myself one of those. But I’ve been writing for seven years — super…


Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash

Every now and then, you hear something for which you don’t have a default response. Something so out there, you’re speechless. Had a moment like that while talking entrepreneurship with some young guy on LinkedIn, the other day. He was one of those progressive, liberal types — I’m always walking on thin ice with that bunch. So the words that came out of his mouth shouldn’t have surprised me.

“My biggest problem,” he began, “is that I can’t always figure out how to enjoy the day-to-day of running my business, you know?” He went on for a while. But at…


And it’s not diversity.

Photo by Matt Chesin on Unsplash

Your responsibilities as a founder or co-founder vary greatly. Pitching VCs is pretty common. Scrolling Twitter to find growth hacks — crucial. Maybe some cold emailing, if you’ve got your sales act together. And occasionally, you might even be in charge of some actual innovation. Imagine that. But there are also other duties. Duties that make you question whether or not you should’ve just accepted that job offer with healthcare that you got in your senior year of college. You know, duties like relinquishing your social life. General suffering. Taking out the trash. Insulting the intelligence of your teammates.

Wait…


The frightening path to lasting joy.

Photo by Erica Magugliani on Unsplash

Do you ever get the feeling that something’s wrong? Like you know something’s not right, but you can’t put your finger on what? I’m talking immense panic. Profound awareness that something isn’t right about the universe. I’ve been hit with this after studying especially horrific pieces of history. The book “Ordinary Men” shook me to the bone. And even reading the Wikipedia synopsis of “The Gulag Archipelago” took me out for days. But I got the same feeling the other day, without warning. And it taught me something important about my happiness.

It all started when I woke up early…

Mika Yeap

Writing code that burns cash (trading bots). <mika@myika.co>

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