Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moving up in the open source world

BitAnarch... WT Toolkit... FCKeditor

I've just been hired as a core developer of the FCKeditor project, currently one of the top 10 projects in It's a very popular piece of software in the Web 2.0 universe.

Alas, very few people in Hong Kong understand what I'm (and have been) doing. The business culture of Hong Kong simply don't appreciate new, cutting edge technology, seeing it as just "toys".

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Amway Pan-PRD project competition - catastrophic failure

I passed the "self-demo" part but screwed up the final presentation part. The HKUST team that went to the final competition in China is the Fung Shui Design System team. The whole failure was very funny, there was no common reason you can apply to that.

First off, I was not stressed at all - the most common reason. When was the last time you saw me being nervous of anything? It's not that I don't care, but I always have the mindset that it's useless to struggle at the last minutes - so why not relax and see how things turn out? I was very tired listening to people talking all day though. To me, talking and listening is much more tiresome than reading and writing, and even thinking.

Then, the presentation was wrong in the beginning (the judges were not looking for demonstrations in the second part), and there's the difficulty of explaining AJAX, the hundreds of current problems with AJAX app development, the toolkit itself, the theories and algorithms inside, and its business value within 10 minutes to a panel who's not been looking at this specific area recently.

So at the end... the judges looked very puzzled. Which was kind of expected seeing that I used 50 minutes in the FYP presentation at HKUST, and even with 50 minutes I was skipping lots of details. Same with that 115-page FYP report, many details missing. Current problems, others' solutions, algorithms, human factors, businesses, ... there were simply too many things to talk about for 10 minutes.

And to add a further insult to the whole screwy presentation, the judges asked me the practical uses of the project - so the whole time they didn't get anything. I happened to answer by giving them a demo of how to program it, but they were expecting me to answer how businesses could use that. EditGrid, PCMS, FCKeditor, Google Maps, Google Office... it's all in my brain. That TnC company even did the web page for iProA and they are living off AJAX technologies. I had all the answers and more, but sorry, time's up. GG.

Permanent fake job adverts, in America

Why are there so many job advertisements requiring you to know everything and 20 years of .NET experience? It's not ignorance in the employer's part... don't be so naive.

Now the exact same thing doesn't happen in Hong Kong. But then I can't help but notice the local college graduates seem to have a "single measure to fitness" mindset to job seeking, as if it's HKCEE or HKALE. The real world doesn't work like that - the "fitness" in the employer's mind can often be completely different to what you have in mind. They could be looking for someone stupid, cheap and doesn't complain.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lunch with Prof. Paul Chu

I, and other CSE Best FYP Award recipients, attended an award ceremony at the President's Lodge on the 8th of June. I was honored to be able to have a lunch with some of the most famous people in HKUST, such as President Chu and Prof. Roland Chin.

I drank a little bit too much wine in the lunch though. You can see my face was slightly red in the photo, and I was feeling somewhat dizzy.