San Francisco, February 2019

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about myself. I’ve been busy with things. I’m currently doing my 5th co-op/internship at Salesforce in San Francisco, working on network security stuff and having fun with GCP and Spinnaker. I will be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a fan of this city, but hearing my friends’ struggles with freezing rain and ice storms in Waterloo (it was, at one point in early February, colder than the North Pole and South Pole) makes me very thankful for the heavenly 10-15C weather here. What’s more, it’s been raining a lot and I absolutely adore the petrichor near where I live. San Francisco in the winter is every pluviophile’s wet dream.

Rainy San Francisco View of rainy San Francisco from the 61st floor of Salesforce Tower.

I guess my room could be better, but you get what you pay for - a $1,000 bedroom is virtually unheard of. There is a shopping mall not too far from where I live, and there are some surprisingly decent foodplaces in that area. I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for the extra sugar and grease of American Chinese food, and I will proudly admit that I’ve been filling out Panda Express’s online surveys religiously to get my extra entree.

I will be going to a hackathon at Caltech in Pasadena in March. I’ve never really been a big fan of hackathons (mostly because of the terrible lifestyle they encourage), but since I’m graduating soon and will most likely never (be able to) attend a university hackathon again, might as well. Speaking of graduating, I have been contemplating moving my graduation date from April next year to this August. I took extra courses in first and second year so I’m ahead by almost a term’s worth of credits. If everything goes well, meaning I pass the online Political Ideologies course I’m taking right now and also the 6 courses and a lab in my last semester, I will be getting my BCS from Waterloo this year.

I’m also working towards a Google Professional Cloud Architect certification in my spare time by watching Linux Academy videos and doing the exercises, and my exam is in early March. I don’t think it will be easy, but I really like the fact that it’s a hands-on exam, meaning not a whole lot of rote memorization. RSA Conference, a massive international security conference, is happening soon, and luckily enough it’s going to be in San Francisco and Salesforce has sponsored me a spot. This will be my second time attending an international convention/conference (first time being KubeCon Copenhagen 2018), I am very excited for a week of learning!

Outside of school and work, I have a long list of books (which I will probably post on this site sometime) I aspire to trudge through eventually. I have yet to read all of Murakami’s works (enjoying Killing Commendatore this month) and I aim to achieve that feat by the end of my internship. I’ve also begun playing Go on a regular basis, this time on PandaNet (username: dzklavier), which I really like because it works on Ubuntu! Trying to figure out how to display .sgf files on a web viewer at the moment. There are several open-source libraries I found on GitHub. Oh and I am proud to say that I’ve become a fan of the football Manchester United is playing again! OGS and Mike Phelan you two are wizards.

I will end this update with a quote from the book Killing Commendatore I’ve been reading that has left me pondering.

“There’s a point in everybody’s life where they need a major transformation. And when that time comes you have to grab it by the tail. Grab it hard, and never let go.”

Haruki Murakami

I can’t help but wonder if that point for me is right now, and if I will have the audacity to “grab it by the tail”. My life so far has already been dotted with “major transformations”, but none of them was entirely voluntary. I want to be in charge of my destiny this time around.