The reality of the Silicon Valley dream.

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

A business is like a box of chocolates — from the dumpster. Whatever you get will probably be nasty. And even if you get something good, you’re suspicious. Seriously though, it’s not all bad. Sure, you lose out on health insurance. And work life balance. And having a life to balance at all, actually. But at the end of the day, you get to work on something because you care about it, not because someone else is making you do it. And that’s powerful. Not powerful enough to cover rent on time, but still.

For years, I was enamored by…


Trendy code won’t fix all your problems.

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

“When in doubt, use Kubernetes.” That should’ve been a poster on the wall of our office. Because in the beginning, feeling the grind is quintessential for startup morale — until you realize you’ve been grinding on something useless. But until then, the illusion is essential. And one of the easiest ways to feel like you’re doing something hard is to endlessly optimize your tech. There’s always something to fix. Something to clean up. You could run that treadmill forever. And what better way is there than microservices?

At this point, I’m convinced that most of the people using a distributed…


Sincerely, a microservices fanboy.

Actual footage of me building microservices. Source: LinkedIn

A cowboy walks into a bar. “Scotch on the rocks, please,” he says. The bartender doesn’t respond. Because four months prior, he attempted to build a custom debugging solution for his side hustle, the UberEats of liquor. Built with microservices. And he still hasn’t returned. Jokes aside, microservices are hot stuff, aren’t they? Neatly-organized code. Small teams owning their own features. Plus, they give you street cred. What’s not to like? Well, take it from someone who walked this path for the wrong reasons too many times: A monolith is your best friend.

Hard sell, I know. But it’s a…


The idiot-proof method.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The truth is, some things in life are a lot less sexy than they sound. If you had to imagine a professional writer, you’d probably think about a guy in a V-neck sweater with a trimmed beard, sitting by the fire in a stone cottage, inking away on a notebook with a fountain pen. Not some skinny Asian kid bending over a desk in a dark, empty studio, gaunt face illuminated in the white light of a computer screen. Yet here we are. Keith from the cottage is nowhere to be found. …


A “good” strategy isn’t what we thought.

Prototype Chartmaster interface. Source: author.

Dog may be man’s best friend, but a trader’s best friend is data. Not as cute, but almost as useful. After all, data doesn’t just say “what”, but also “why”. The more you have, the better. More data means more connections. It might just be the edge you need to squeeze in some profit. Until the data brings bad news, of course.

Without realizing it, I spent months building a fancy package for bad news. I call it Chartmaster. It’s just a custom tool that allows you to simulate trading strategies over years of data. …


Balancing work, health, and happiness.

The Millennial Triangle. Source: author.

Being an adult sucks, sometimes. Sure, no one tells us when to go to bed. And we can have cereal at midnight. But it also comes with all kinds of problems no one prepared us for. Like the deadly law I call “The Millennial Triangle”. First coined in 2021 by a Zoomer on Medium, this law dictates the great tradeoff we must make as we fend for ourselves in the world for the first time. It’s all about the three pillars of adulthood that constantly need attention.

First, work. You’ve got student loans. Possibly some credit card debt from one…


Source: 9GAG

Rules of thumb are fascinating. Usually history-rich. Comically simple. Kind of catchy. “Happy wife, happy life.” That’s a good one for any man. Or what about, “Buy low, sell high”? Well, that one has some fine print we have to read. Because trading is rarely reducible to such a simple axiom. To make matters worse, the simplicity creates an illusion of ease for many beginners. And it’s easy to take this the wrong way. Here’s why one of the most popular rules of trading is actually wrong.

Everything in trading is about context. Everything about the current scenario matters. It’s…


Pro volume as a pro writer.

Photo by Studio Media on Unsplash

Let’s kick this off with some humility: I write more articles in a week than most people write in a month. Which is a humble statement because I’m not much better off than everyone else, even though I put in so much more effort. If we’re talking about money, my writing does fine. Just fine. If we’re talking about skill, I haven’t got anything outstanding to share. If we’re talking about audience, mine is still tiny. So all in all, it sounds like a bad deal. Sounds like I’m overpaying. Big time.

Still, you might aspire to the same level…


A tragedy in three parts.

Photo by antony on Unsplash

The quickest way to attract criticism online is to write about microservices. Everyone has an opinion. Doesn’t matter if you support it or criticize it. People will find you and tell you you’re wrong. And I quite enjoy this. I’ve had the privilege of writing several popular articles on the subject lately. And the comments are always a perfect blend of comical and intellectual. But they’re particularly useful to alert me of genuine mistakes.

Because let’s face it: Building distributed systems can get complicated. So can building a monolithic one, to be fair. But the difference is most of us…


Here’s what happened to me.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I’d marry a burger if it could bear children. Alas, evolution hasn’t come that far. But I still love burgers for what they are. Toasty, warm buns. Sweet, juicy patties. Sharp, tantalizing cheddar cheese. Beats sex, if you ask me. Timeless. Classic. A masterpiece. And where better to get one than McDonalds.

Now, now, settle down. I’m aware that we all have our burger preferences. Some of you like Wendy’s. Others go for Burger King. And the list goes on. But I’m on a little island in Malaysia. McDonalds is the most popular joint here. Been eating it since I…

Mika Yeap

Trading bot engineer, songwriter, sponsor of artists. <mika@myika.co>

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