Jack of All Trades… Master of Nothing

Last week, I took a course on Application Development on SharePoint. We got into an off-topic conversation about ERP solutions, comparing SAP to Oracle’s and Microsoft ERPs. The instructor said something that really inspired me. He said that as much as he’d like to learn all of these, it’s just not feasible. He does not want to be a “jack of all trades, master of nothing.”

It really got me thinking about myself. I’ve always wanted to learn all kinds of things and I pursued all of these things. I’d like to think I’m mediocre at MANY things, but don’t particularly excel tremendously in any field. I’ve had too many fascinations that I followed. When it comes to computers, I’ve pursued video editing, programming, web developing, graphics, etc. When it comes to sports, I’ve taken lessons or been in teams for multiple martial arts, wakeboarding, squash, marathon, track & field, tennis, basket ball and soccer.

I’ve got nothing I specialize in. I’m only just starting to realize what I’d like to specialize in, but it’s still a long list! In short, I’d like to specialize in:

Mobile Apps Development:
Windows Phone 7: programming in C# and Silverlight
Android: still debating between Mono for Android (C#) and Java (need to try them both out thoroughly to decide)

Web Development:
Personal: PHP, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
Work: .NET (ASP.NET, VB.NET, C#)

Key word of the month is SPECIALIZE!
So remember: specialize, specialize, specialize!


The Magical Little Details

This morning on my way to work, there was a red GMC in front of me. Suddenly, it looked like a bubble came out of the muffler of the car. I was shocked! Next, I noticed there were 2 little girls fighting in the back seat of the car. Then, a world of bubble blows out the left window of the car! I felt I was caught in a dream. I looked into the car and it seemed the 2 girls were giggling uncontrollably and then a lot more bubbles from the right window.

It’s these little things in life that matter the most. It’s mainly in these little details do we truly find utmost beauty. If you can’t appreciate these little things, then what can you appreciate? Life is all about these little pointless details that just put the cream on top and somehow really do wonders.

These little things are among the most important things for me in everything, including my programming. When you fine tune your product to be so perfect with these little surprises, the customers will be much happier with what they are getting their hands on to. A wonderful example I came across with Windows Phone 7, any long list, like your list of apps or your contacts, there is a box with the letter the next few apps/contacts are going to start with. If you click that box, it gives you a list of all the letters to jump to another spot in your apps/contacts.

Apps List Letters List

I try my best to make sure everything I do has these wonderful little details. And these are the kind of details you can’t let the customer know about! These are the beautiful little things you need to see if it’s done intuitive enough that the user just naturally thinks of and they are welcomed by that warm feeling of understanding the developer’s thoughts.

Nokia’s latest ad campaign, “The Amazing Everyday,” has been a huge inspiration to me. I really like it and appreciate the message it’s delivering, even if it doesn’t seem to advertise Nokia so explicitly.

The Little Amazing Show ep 1
The Little Amazing Show ep 2
The Little Amazing Show ep 3
The Little Amazing Show ep 4
The Little Amazing Show ep 5
The Little Amazing Show ep 6

So remember, focus on the details. Deliver polished products. It’s as important for something to be beautiful and intuitive as it is for it to have features that work. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but if you deliver a product that extraordinary, you’ll have a huge following! Most importantly: open your eyes and absorb all the beauty in life and everything you see because it’s everywhere and absolutely magical!

New Year’s Resolutions

I think new year’s resolutions are very helpful. Many people disagree and they probably aren’t helpful for these people. People are such simple creatures. Many people can be motivated by simple things that it’s sometimes shocking!¬†How many times have you heard someone say “Alright, I’m starting my diet next week!” or “at the beginning of next month!”? People see the start of a new period of time (ex. day, week, month, year, etc.) as an excellent motivation. I personally only find the start of a new year to be particularly special, as a result that is the only time a resolution of sorts works.

Since it’s not that frequent the I get the chance to use a new time period as my motivation, I decided to give myself multiple resolutions this year. And this year, I’m serious about my resolutions. Some of the details are relatively private, however the general concept can be public. Here’s my list of resolutions to accomplish by the end of 2012. I’ll come back to this post and edit with my progress along with dates throughout the year.

  • Start facing problems head-on, instead of ignoring and hiding from them.
  • Start a tech-based blog and give it a serious shot, though no commitment is required. It’s more of an experiment really.
  • Work on a couple of WP7 apps to fill the void of what I find missing on the marketplace… More of a selfish task as I’m doing this for myself, but also publishing on the marketplace for all others to take advantage of as well.
  • START SAVING MONEY! I’ve been working for a year and I have nothing to show for it according to my bank account. I’ve been wasting huge amounts on such trivial things and think I could save a big chunk if I tried. I have a goal to save by the end of the year, but I’d like to see more remain.