The Tortoise and the Hare – ITCamp @ UCSY

I was giving a talk today regarding Version Control System at UCSY’s (University of Computer Studies Yangon) ITCamp, a BarCamp style unconference organised by the student body. Git was used for showing demo.

Nope, I’m not going to play the same old record of nothing original on the blog about VCS. Just go and google for bazillions of stuffs people have written here and there.

I’m just going to talk about some experiment I did with the way I presented. Instead of a bunch of code to make commits on, I started out with the following deducted point-to-point script of The Tortoise and the Hare.

And I picked audience at random and let them change anything they like about the story such as emotions, location, the era which the story is taking place, characters and actions. Upon every change I would make commits, introduce mistakes and bla bla, you get the gist.

Badass Hare playing DOTA, Sleeping and still winning the race.

The resulting story wasn’t as spectacular as I expected an improv game such as this to be. I’m not sure if the students were just too shy or they didn’t get the gist of the game. Or may be I was just expecting too much out of a 40-minutes section.

One thing I noticed though, it is excruciating for a speaker to get the audience to switch off their broadcast mode and participate in an engaging discussion with the speaker like a BarCamp session is supposed to be.

Perhaps I need to work on my public speaking skills.

Or not having more time to play the game since VCS was taking the whole session to explain was the problem. :P

This isn’t a new year resolution

No, it really isn’t.

It’s a funny thing, a new year. Everytime I had to look at the calendar or correct the date I put down in a form, the strange figure of the year figure reminds one to reflect on things. A reminder that rings loudly to one’s mind that “Dude! it has been almost a year since you last reflected on things”. That made me realized that my bi-annually blog posts are the results of these reminders. (Perhaps I should keep that in mind too, when I choose my next hosting provider, since each post that I made cost half of their yearly plan. But I digress.)

I would have ticked all of the choices below when I am asked to reflect my 2013.

  1. An excellent year.
  2. A good year.
  3. A trying year.
  4. A challenging year.

This was the year that I first got the taste of full-time entrepreneurship. This was the year at which my relationship to my SO suffers LDR syndrome. This was the year that I am brought back to earth by facing the realities of Myanmar in first-person as an adult (being I left at 16). This was the year at which my family is at its most trying stage. And in a lighter note, this was the year at which the boys at Arsenal start to live up to the expectation and the same year at which I have no access to Premier League live shows subscription.

For as long as a year is, I have no problem giving no rating to my year. It definitely has its ups and downs, but my optimistic and grateful mind is readily accepting it’s one of the best years.

Nope, this isn’t the part where I start to list down stuffs I wanna get done this year. That’s just too mainstream.

And nope, there’s nothing more I need saying. This is me just relieving my guilty conciousness of not reflecting on a new year.

This is Mike signing off and looking forward to more exciting years ahead.




ျဖစ္သည္ရွိေစ ပ်က္သည္ရွိေစေပါ့။

ေၾကြလာတဲ့ သစ္ရြက္ကို တားဖုိ႕မပိုင္သလုိ
ေလအလာမွာ ပ်ံလြင့္တဲ့ စြန္တစ္စင္း ေျမဆင္းခုိင္းရန္လည္း မဆုိင္ေသးပါဘူး။

ေၾကြခ်င္သပဆုိ ေၾကြ၊ ပ်ံခ်င္သပဆို ပ်ံေစ ႏွလံုးသြင္းေစဆုိေသာ္
သူ႕ခမ်ာ သစ္ရြက္မဟုတ္၊ မုိးေပၚပ်ံသူ စြန္လည္း သူမဟုတ္။

ေၾကြေတာ့လည္း လြင့္လြင့္ကေလး
ေလေဆာ့လည္း လြင့္လြင့္ကေလး

မွီရင္ေတာ့ ဖမ္းလုိက္ပါ့မယ္ သစ္ရြက္ရယ္၊ ေျမမွာရယ္ မညစ္ညမ္းေစခ်င့္
ပ်ံႏုိင္လည္း ပ်ံစမ္းပါ့ အုိ စြန္ရယ္… တြယ္ေႏွာင္တာ မရွိစမ္းေစသျဖင့္

သစ္ခက္ေပၚက ဆင္းလာေလသလား မသိ
ဘယ္ေန ဘယ္ရာက ေလလာမွန္းလည္း မသိေလေတာ့
ေဘးဘယ္မွာေနၿပီး ပူရတယ္
ရွည္၏ သက္ျပင္း…

First six months of my full-time entrepreneur life

“Strange!” is the keyword I’d start with. Strange as in the farmer who suddenly found himself stranded in an island. Strange as in the reason why a dog might chase his own tail. The moment you caught yourself experiencing a déjà vu. The breathlessness you feel when you look into your lover’s eyes and the energy it takes to look away. “Strange!”, yes, it is the keyword I’d start with. Continue reading

Weekly Updates and Worthwhile Reads


Last week has been quite hectic. My youngest sister has just arrived from Myanmar for her tertiary education and I’ve been helping her out with all a newly immigrated person would need: a phone line, a bank account and etc.

Me, Rachel, the sister and a bunch of friends scaled the Bukit Timah Hill (537′/164m). Though it’s hardly a mountaineering affair, it was quite a fun thing to do. I could imagine myself doing it again (if oppurtunity arises).

As for my dev works, I’ve started working with Cucumber a lot and also managed to successfully deploy a test application to heroku. Nothing profound though except a lesson I learnt while I got stuck. I will talk more about it if I found something better to share.

I have shared some links below for your reading pleasure too. Check it out.

Continue reading

~/.code/log : The day that I got stuck

Hour 0: 
  "I'm gonna finish implementing a feature today."

Hour 1: 
  "Why isn't this working?? This is supposed to work!"

Hour 2: 
  Google, SO, RailsForum, Github, GoogleGroup and even, IRC

Hour 5: 
  "I have tried literally everything. I feel stupid" 
  "I might as well try restarting my computer too."

Hour 5: 
  When the restart didn't work
  "Yes, I am stupid."

Hour 6: 
  "Great! I'm stuck at a scenario and a half let alone implementing a feature."

Hour 8: 
  When I eventually found the bug. 
  "WHY AM I SO STUPID! What was I thinking!?"

Moral of the story:

Just because it’s simply one line of code, do not implement unrelated feature B (and forget about it), when you are working on feature A. Especially during TDD.


BarCamp Mandalay 2013 (Part II)

Due to my schedule and my forgetfulness, I must beg forgiveness from two of you out there who read my blog and have been waiting for the Part II. I have half-written this post and totally forgotten about it. 

This is the second part of the post about BarCamp Mandalay 2013. I had booked the 11:00 am to 12:00 pm schedule to talk about 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The session before me was the session about speaking good English, a lecture given by an English lecturer from Mandalay University. I arrived early and joined the previous session, which was very popular that they had to add another row of chairs just to fit everyone. Once it was over, it was my turn.

I started by writing the title of the session “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. I did a brief explanation about what I was gonna talk about and there it goes.

Either by contradicting myself or following the traditions of BarCamp, I didn’t plan ahead well enough to fit all of the habits well enough into the 45 minutes. Typical!

If having to add in yet another row of chairs for the audience is a sign, I must say it was a well-received presentation.

Unfortunately, since I didn’t prepare any materials for this presentation, I do not have any artifacts to share except to send you in the right direction if you ever wanted to read the books.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Originial 7 habits of Highly Effective People on BookDepository | Amazon

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers

The teenager version by Sean Covey: BookDepository | Amazon

There is also a Burmese translation of the teenager version by Kyaw Win. The book is titled “ ႏွစ္ဆယ့္တစ္ရာစု သားေရႊဥ”. Find it at your local bookshops!

BarCamp Mandalay 2013 (Part I)

After attending and speaking at BarCamp Yangon for the first time ever, I couldn’t get enough of the energy, the people and the atmosphere of BarCamp. Having originally intended to go to Mandalay BarCamp even before I have come back from Singapore, it made it easier to decide to attend Mandalay BarCamp.

It was a cozier and much more tightly knitted BarCamp. I was speaking the same topic of Introduction to MVC and CakePHP. However, learning from the experience, I had went in to this session better prepared: with a bag of candies (rewards for those who participate in discussions or raise questions) and the decision to change my plan and the presentation topic according to the audience who attended. I tried a less formal way of engaging the audience and spoke mainly in layman terms and thankfully, I reckon they have at least learnt something new by the end of the day.

I guess I learnt something new that day too: Never assume to know who your audience are, engage with them to really know who they are.

Anyway, for those of you who attended the session and wanted the slides, check it out in the post I made for BarCamp Yangon.