2015 in Review

See also my 2015 year in blogging generated by WordPress.

31 December 2015

So 2015 has came to an end. Oh man, this will be a really long post.

Like the other years, 2015 (obviously) started with January. Like the year before, I started it with Dharma Camp, this time as a participant-like committee (publicity subcommittee) and it was quite nice and relax during the camp. The semester started but the schedule was quite sparse, hence the skipping class spree will start soon. I found out that the business module that I took (BU8401 Management Decision Tools) was brought by a really interesting instructor (Mr Chin Chee Kai); and CM8003 From Alchemy to Chemistry was quite nice, acting as the lecture for resting as on every lecture, the lecturer told stories after stories on history of chemistry. Besides that, on January I also went to Google Singapore for a career talk, Microsoft Singapore to collect my prize that I won online, and Buddhist Fellowship Youth Saturday Service for a meditation retreat. My URECA poster was due on January too. It was also around this time that I made my “comeback” on Wikipedia by patrolling around and developing Raun. I also applied for Wikimania 2015 “scholarship” (personally I think it is better named as conference travel grant). And January ended with Buddhism Awareness Week 2015 which made me physically exhausted. Besides that, I also submitted “c4 – Connect Four with AI” to Hacker News and was received quite well.

It was February. After BAW, came NTUBS Anniversary night that was (coincidentally) celebrated on Friday the 13th :P CNS recruitment was done around these times too. Besides that, I involved myself more and more in Wikipedia, running bots for 27 hours that generated 50k edits. The best part of February was of course Chinese New Year: I went back to my hometown for 4 days, skipping 3 tutorial & 1 lab sessions. By the way, there were CEC Techfest just before I flew back to my hometown and I won the 4th place in the CP contest. At the end of February, I noticed that my website had a spike on number of visitors and I went to investigate it.

Marching on March, it started with SCE e-learning week in which I returned to Singapore, did lots of catching up, and applied to numerous companies for internship. Healint offered an interview on the next day, subsequently I was accepted here, and I registered this internship as the internship required for my coursework (CZ3026 Industrial Orientation). Recess week started with NTUBS meditation retreat, then more catching up, and ended with a Dharma Talk by Ajahn Sumedho at BF and me visiting SUTD Open House. I also started a part-time web development work for LILY Research Center using Python Django. I skipped classes and attended FOSSASIA 2015, and met some new people there.

April has always been interesting on the beginning with April Fools’ Day (i.e. late new year). But this time round, Mr Lee Kwan Yew died and the whole Singapore mourned. Lots of project + report submissions, final assessments, & presentations on this month. I received the news that I got the Wikimania 2015 scholarship and informed my employer and my parents about it; and they allowed me to go. And the month ended with examinations (5 exams spanned on 3 days ._.) but at the end of reading week, I managed to “escape” to Azure Global Bootcamp at Microsoft Singapore for lots of talk on Azure (and I observed that the audiences were quite different with FOSSASIA; FOSSASIA had more casual audience while this one had more corporate audience). I was also really excited by watching Build 2015 keynote presentation. I also learned new language: TypeScript, it was a typed (data type kind of “type”) JavaScript that is makes JS similar to Java.

May the Force be with you. After my examination ended, it was the start of my internship, meeting some new internship mates and adapting to a new culture. It was a nice experience: whole company eat lunch together every day, meeting every Tuesday 10 am (with a random sharing towards the end of the meeting), and sometimes tea break at random times on the evening (discussed at the “Tea Bros” group chat at HipChat). By the way, besides internship, lots of stuffs are still going on: CNS Programmer meetings & trials, NTUBS Senior Appreciation Party, NTUBS training for its participation at Awaken Challenge, and NTUBS 33rd Coordinators Recruitment Drive.

June started with Vesak Day celebration cum MC outing. Weekdays were spent for internship. Besides that, I had given training for Awaken Challenge + went to support the team at the competition itself (and we won the runner up position), joined NTUBSA Vesak Celebration, and NTUBS Support Team meeting. In this month also, there were URECA paper submission, development continuation of plan*, bad news from Office of Housing & Auxiliary Services (that I wasn’t allocated a room in the 1st round and need to wait till the waiting list started to clear at early August) and ended with a Family Outing: around SEA Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, and River Safari.

July! The month where I escaped from the internship for a week using the money that the company bosses had indirectly given (they donated to Wikipedia, and WMF funded me for the travel :P ) It was the unforgettable Wikimania 2015 at Mexico City, Mexico, around 23 flight-hours away from Singapore. It was also during this time that I rushed my IO report because it was due after I went back to work. During my final week of internship, my supervisor worked really close with me and I realized that he is a really awesome coder.

August came and the CNS work resumed. It started with Management Retreat 2 to discuss about the future of NTUBS; then long holiday for #SG50 in which during the National Day, I & some of my friends went out to celebrate but I’m not really satisfied. School started and it was welcome week, filled with Welcome Tea & CNS. Tiring, but the work continued with Recruitment on the 2nd week and ended with CNS final meeting & NTUBS Subcom Appreciation Dinner where I gave a handmade card to my subcoms. The month ended with NTUBS AGM and I was elected as the VP (Dharma). By the way, school has started and I have skipped lots of classes.

September started with Investiture and then the usual cycle of week continued: lectures, tutorials, labs, project meetings, CCA meetings, Dharma classes/talks. Except this time I skipped lots of lectures and the number of NTUBS meetings has increased so much since due to the structural changes discussed during MR2, I was now partly in charge of overseeing Committee Day. And there were another rounds of recruitment too. All of this busyness halted when I went to watch Muse concert at Singapore Indoor Stadium during the end of September.

The 8th month, literal meaning of October, was next. Started with recess week, oops it’s week full of MDP work, and the week ended with another Management Retreat. After that, school resumed and the cycle continued: meetings after meetings, events after events. One more was added to the cycle: more serious weekly ICPC training, and weekly swimming. It all ended with Exam Supper and then the next day XH & some of us went to JB to visit Nalanda and have fun around the area.

November was month of project submissions & presentations. Also selection of FYP, there were 200+ projects available and we need to choose 15 of them so the system can allocate one for us. I’ve selected 13, and got my first choice, titled “Web-based Argumentation”, I still do not know what I’m supposed to do since I haven’t met with my professor yet. And then came the reading week. But just right before the exam, we flew to Phuket for ICPC, three days were spent there. Exams were fought and everything was done quite okay till the last one: CZ3002 Advanced Software Engineering which I was felt quite hopeless.

Like always, December made an end to every year. After exams, I did spend a week before going back to my hometown. During that week, it was well spent by attending to Ajahn Brahm’s talk, Dharma camp trial, ICPC Singapore, SCE peeps outing (escape room that was quite easy, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 that was damn good), and some NTUBS events. After I went back, I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens on cinemas and it was really good but reminded me much on A New Hope. After that, I did almost nothing productive during the first two weeks: I spent it by watching Star Wars Clone Wars TV Series and reading comics and playing games bought from Humble Bundle. During this final days of 2015, I’d like to reflect on what I’ve done in 2015 and hope for a better 2016.

And that’s it. It was 2015. One of my regret is fail to update the blog weekly since May and unable to periodically start new side projects. I see 2016 will have lots of uncertainties since I’ll be graduating on December 2016: What will I do on Summer 2016? What will I do after graduation? Where will I stay after graduation? What to accomplish before graduation? How will ASEAN Economic Zone affect the job market? Can I pay off the tuition fee debt? These are the questions that I hope to answer before 2016 ended.

See ya.

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