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Kurniady’s Blog

My Future

November 29th, 2009

So the last post was about relocation (stopped at D-5). Turned out that at that time, I was to busy to write about my last days before relocation. Anyway, here are the updates.

I am now in Sydney, working fulltime for one of the best employers in IT. Working in a team whos project is to revolutionize online communication. Can’t tell you much about it, as I don’t want to deal with what’s confidential and what’s not, and I figured out that it’ll be easier to keep this blog personal and not about work at all.

If you’ve read the previous posts, you’d probably know that I was at some point in doubt of the many choices that I had about my life after graduation. I did pick one, which I believed to be the best, even until now. Relocating to a new country, meeting new people, it’s a totally different lifestyle in Sydney. It took a few months but finally I’m feeling quite settled, at least for now.

Last May, I finally went to the United States, visiting the Silicon Valley. The place was so techy that it even has a Computer History Museum that exhibit any kind of computer you can imagine (and even more!). Visiting the museum gave me a better image about the history of computers, far better than the boring university textbooks. The Silicon Valley gave an entirely different feel about IT: home to big companies like Google, Apple, Yahoo!, and many more, as well as the famous Stanford University, it is the place where most major innovations in computing originates from. Everyone who do IT as a profession definitely should visit it at least once, I think.

Okay, so now I work in a foreign country, earning quite a satisfactory amount of money, living well, eating well, had fun. But, what’s next?

Currently my plan is to stay for at least a few years in the company (maybe more), finishing a master’s degree part-time as well, and then decide whether to stay longer or start some business of my own. In the meantime, I’d carefully invest what I own (needs to be very careful given the current economic uncertainty worldwide). Sometimes I’ll feel lonely, but I do believe that God is planning the best solution for that. Probably I’ll also travel a bit more, which is now economically possible for me.

The plan feels quite boring though, therefore I’d be happy if any of you reading this post can suggest something more exciting for me to do in the next few years. I simply can’t think of anything better… any ideas?

Thanks for reading, comments are always welcome :-)

-Andrian Kurniady

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Relocation Preparation D-5

March 13th, 2009

Several things that I have done today, with the departure day getting closer:

  • Bought an external DVD-RW drive (so that my sister at home can transfer and burn video DVDs captured with our Handycam).
  • Bought some more Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries. Had a set of ‘em before which worked very well (retain charges for months, which is really suitable for amateur photographer like me :D who don’t shoot frequently). Also bought a new hand-blower (my previous one is broken).
  • Reorganized my CDs and DVDs. Computer geeks like me tend to produce loads of data. My CDs and DVDs counts up to a few hundreds. I now have my own catalog of DVDs (systematically numbered).

Hopefully everything will be done on time. Cheers!

-Andrian Kurniady

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Relocation Preparation D-6

March 12th, 2009

With the departure date coming (I’ll be departing for Sydney on March 18th), it feels that I’m running out of time. Even less considering Jakarta’s traffic :P . Summarizing the things that I have done so far:

  • Got the visa label attached to my passport
  • Got my Qantas ticket booked and issued: as expected, this airline is not so convenient on the ground. Even though the booking process is done online, the payment cannot. All bookings outbound Jakarta needs to be paid in person by bringing your credit card to the Qantas’ office. Not reasonable, even so when the traveller’s name is the same with the credit card used to pay it. In comparison, Singapore Airlines does not require such hassle when you’re paying with your own credit card. Yet another disappointment :P .
  • Reorganized all my computer parts at home: The amount of computer parts I collected over the last fifteen years seemed to be a lot. Thrown away several obsolete things: 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disk drive and a lot of the diskettes (presumably already unusable anyway). A lot of things such as webcam or 56k modem which used to be so expensive are now already things of the past.

I also learned that, Ratu Plaza (a mall known for its computer shops) and Mall Ambassador (along with ITC Kuningan), are not worth visiting. Most of the shops are selling a very limited set of parts with unreasonably inflated prices (consider a common pack of 50s DVD+R discs are being sold IDR250.000,- in Ratu Plaza while in Mangga Dua it’s only less than IDR150.000,-, even less if buying from online seller on Kaskus). Not even worthed considering the parking and traffic involved. Next time if I need something, I’ll go to Mangga Dua directly or order online instead.

There are many more things to do, hopefully I’ll have them completed before I’m going.

-Andrian Kurniady

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Not a student anymore, not yet a professional

March 7th, 2009

The first two months in 2009 has been quite a milestone in my life. Most of January was spent doing my thesis, which took a bit longer than I predicted. I then had my thesis pre-defense and defense examination, to pass with A. Unfortunately, my final GPA was 3.89 and that doesn’t qualify for Summa cum laude (>=3.91). Anyway, I’m now done with my undergraduate study.

The graduation ceremony, however, is scheduled to be somewhere in July (or August). Annoying, but I don’t care about it much (heck, other universities want their graduates to find job as soon as possible, this one apparently doesn’t). Maybe I’ll return later for the graduation, or maybe not. Depends on the circumstances in the next few months.

As planned, I started the process for applying for Australian visa right after I got the necessary documents (although the temporary degree certificate was not issued until 2 weeks later therefore had to be attached separately). With a migration agent appointed by my future employer, the process was quite easy. It took merely less than two weeks for the visa to be granted (better than the quoted standard of 4-8 weeks), due to the low demand (recession-related).

What’s left now is me preparing for a move to Sydney. Because the visa ended up granted earlier, the preparation for the move needs to be rushed. I am also yet to find a permanent accommodation in Sydney, but I suppose that’ll have to wait till I’m there. I’m planning to fly there (unfortunately, no other airline match Qantas’ sale fare, so I’ll give it another try) on about next week. I’m excited about the new life I’ll have there, not as a student anymore. I’m to enter my professional career, soon.

Wish me luck!

-Andrian Kurniady

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Moving out of Friendster Blogs

March 7th, 2009

After months of inconvenience of using the sluggish, buggy, troublesome Friendster blog, I have finally decided to move this alternate blog out of Friendster blog. It is now hosted by the same hosting provider with my main blog, Dreamhost. The Wordpress used has also been updated to the latest release. Hopefully this will bring better performance, usability, and less trouble while writing and reading this blog.

P.S: I got a feeling that Friendster is going bankrupt soon, so this is also a safety measure :P

-Andrian Kurniady

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Welcoming 2009

January 2nd, 2009

This is another end-of-year + new-year post, which means that it’s been a year past the last post of mine with the same topic. Well, years were never the same, hence, this post should exist.

The year 2008 left so many memories for me: valuable experiences, new places, encounters with many sort of people, a few competitions, lots of tasks, but it was great. Here is my summary of 2008 :

  • I visited Korea (transit only), Canada (ACM ICPC World Finals), and Sydney (Google Code Jam APAC onsites). I also visited my hometown, Pontianak, after 9 years which didn’t feel like so long. Those journeys are done in 12 flights, around a bit more than 20.000 miles in total.
  • My cash-equivalent assets shrunk by around 25%, due to the considerable loss in stocks and extra expenses (including the purchase of my Lenovo Thinkpad T61). Extra income from competitions come in a strong sum, I think a bit better than 2007, which helps keeping the shrinking minimal. In comparison, the Jakarta Composite Index fell about nearly 50%.
  • I’ve almost finished my studies, with satisfactory grades. I’ve also been appointed as a teaching assistant handling one lab class.
  • Relationship matters are mostly still unclear, but is getting better.
  • I’ve increased my weight by around 10kg, such that now I have a more or less ideal weight.
  • I’m now more outgoing, I believe that now I deal with other people better than before.
  • My productivity in completing tasks are not really improving, such that a big chunk of the year are wasted in games, pointless browsing, etc. Maybe I’m just tired with everything, and need a significant change in life (such that moving overseas). Task backlog never clears up throughout the year, which adds to the laziness.
  • I got a job offer from Google Sydney, and have decided to go there after finishing my studies. Not lost anymore, which is good.

Many of the interesting stories from 2008 can be seen in the previous post in this blog as well as my main blog. Now I think we shall continue to my outlook of 2009:

  • I’ll be finishing my studies, and am targetting an A for my thesis. If everything goes well, I’ll graduate with a GPA of 3.90 and a Summa Cum Laude. Hopefully…
  • I’ll be moving to Sydney, hopefully there’ll be no problem with the visa and others. This will be my first time living abroad, hopefully I’ll be completely independent soon.
  • Because I’ll be employed and earn my own salary, I’m targetting a steep 300% asset growth. Hopefully the world’s economy recovers, so there’ll be interesting investment opportunities arising by the end of the year.
  • I’m expecting to visit two new countries this year, or, one at minimum.
  • I’m planning to upgrade my DSLR camera. It’s nearly 5 years old already and I think now I have a higher expectation out of a camera (which is becoming possible and affordable now). Maybe switching to Canon too? or maybe not.
  • I’m expecting to learn more about people and their behaviors, hopefully increasing my skill in managing people (which is not so good at the moment).
  • I may need to find and tune my long term life plan, because somehow I’m seeing my dreams started to fade, which is not good.

Many more to be written actually, but I suspect you’ve got bored up till this part, so I’ll end it here. I would like to wish everyone the best in 2009!

Cheers,

-Kurniady

P.S.: having a similar thought? or don’t agree with some of those ideas? whatever you think, let me know by posting in the comments. Thanks.

Andrian Uncategorized

When being alone is not that fun anymore…

October 12th, 2008

In the past, let’s say, until few months ago, I used to enjoy working alone in the middle of the night so much. Those nights are the time when I can get full concentration on things, and it was usually very hard to force myself to sleep. Usually I don’t go to sleep until I get terribly sleepy (my biological clock thinks that there is 25 or more hours in a day, so I usually get sleepy around one hour later than the time I got to sleep on the previous day), or until I’m worried like “it’s going to be dawn soon, what am I doing instead of sleeping???”. Those nights are the best time for me to browse around the net and read whatever things I found with enough excitement to continue until I finished with some topics. In short, I was very productive at night, especially in learning new things (never really tried studying for exams that late at night though, so can’t tell whether it’s more effective).

However, that was the past. Even though nowadays I still work and learn well at night, I don’t feel like enjoying it as much as I did few months ago. While the urge to “do something more before calling it a day” is still there, it’s not that fun anymore. Just like last night, I was stuck at around 2am in the morning, with nobody to chat with, no motivation to do anything, want to sleep but can’t (not sleepy yet). That raised the question, whether I am still an Introvert like before.

So, today, I took the Jung Typology Test (based on Myers-Briggs approach), and to my surprise, I was diagnosed as type ENTJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive Thinking Judging) - Fieldmarshals. I remember that I took this same test three years ago, during the CB1 class, and was diagnosed as INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive Thinking Judging)- Mastermind with heavy preference on Introversion rather than Extraversion. Apparently currently I’m significantly more Extraverted than before, so that may explains “the loss of motivation to work during the long nights alone”.

The description seems to fit perfectly (even the description here and here too), so I think I really have changed. (And Bill Gates falls into this type too, what a relief :P )

Is it a good thing? or a bad thing?

The good news is, Fieldmarshals are said to have some Leadership quality, so I should be able to manage people better. Well, maybe. That seems to be a fair trade with my ability to work until late night, at least I’ll be able to live healthier later on when I finally quit being a night-owl :P , which may happen sometimes soon. Or not.

What do you think? :D
-Kurniady

Andrian Uncategorized

When life starts…

September 12th, 2008

It’s been a long while since the last time I wrote something on this blog… well, during the past couple of months, I’ve been having a long holiday, done a couple of projects, and more. But that’s not the point of this post, as those are quite usual compared to other holidays I had in the past.

As some of you may have know already, I celebrated my 21st birthday last week. It’s not about the birthday, but it’s about being 21 years old. Somehow the old thoughts about future are coming back. (p.s. thanks everyone for the birthday wishes btw… :D )

Based on my observations on some peoples, actually I’m a bit early about thinking about life, as some others say they’re going to think about it later when they graduate, when they turn 25, or some even want to play until their 40s.

But for me, planning life as early as possible is a must (how perfectionist is that :P ). I am already in my 7th semester, currently doing thesis and looking forward to graduate in about half a year. So, what should I do next?

In the recent weeks, several new tasks comes to me. Thesis, competition, projects, etc. Somehow, I tend to think more when loaded with tasks (think of a Pentium M processor with SpeedStep technology - it works at a faster clock when the workload is high). So that’s may be the reason why this though is coming back.

So, what should I do after I graduate? There are many choices actually, which are :

  • Start a career in software engineering. Fortunately, I actually got an interview with Google Sydney next week, so we’ll see whether going there is the right way to go. While working, it may be possible to take a Masters degree with part time coursework. Google is currently quoted as the best employer to work for, so getting a chance to start right there is very valuable.
  • Continue for a Ph.D degree in Singapore (or somewhere else). At first, this choice was very interesting. But then, when I tried some research work (while preparing for my thesis), it wasn’t that fun anymore. A lot of the research work is actually reading and re-reading papers from previous work, and currently presenting new ideas in research is quite not easy. It has to be proven to be a new idea, connected to all relevant previous works, etc. This makes working as Software Engineer more interesting, because it is more into “creating cool stuffs that works”.
  • Continue to a Master’s degree and decide where to go after that. This choice may look good at the beginning, but if I’m going to continue to a Ph.D degree from here, it will eventually take more time to complete (and more work in total as well). If I’m going into the IT industry, then a Master’s degree may be a good start for a good employment (in lieu of work experience, may be or may not be).
  • what else? do you have any idea? :D

Even more things comes in mind if I consider planning for a longer timeframe. How about getting married? How about retirement? things like that. But for the time being, I think I should focus on these short-term decisions first.

By the way, the new semester is starting. I am enrolled for two courses (Monday and Tuesday) as well as appointed to teach for a lab class on Wednesday. I will be free on Thursday and Friday, but I think the time should be spent doing thesis. Ah yes, I opted to take one lab manual project too. Hopefully it’ll be useful for the next batches of Binusians after I left the university.

Another competition, the Google Code Jam 2008 - onsite regionals is coming close too. I will be in Sydney next week, for about a week there. Competition, interviews, and sightseeing will be the main activities. I actually didn’t expect this to happen before, but it’s a nice break from the routine days in Jakarta whatsoever. Preparing for the event was quite a bit of work, which include applying for the visa (lots of documents), as well as preparing for the competition itself (hasn’t practiced a lot, actually). Fortunately it’s a couple of weeks holiday after I get back, so there should be enough time to catch up with other tasks.

These activities, tasks, really makes me feel that my life is “starting”. A lot of responsibilities, tasks, which calls for an efficient way to be solved in time.

What do you think?

-Kurniady

Andrian Uncategorized

My (New) Workspace

March 19th, 2008

Setelah lama nggak sempat ngeblog, akhirnya ada waktu lagi dan dapet ide untuk nulis blog ini. Sebulan terakhir seperti biasa sibuk, mulai dari kuliah, persiapan untuk ke Canada, betulin komputer (udah selesai akhirnya… *fiuh*), rapiin file (udah diarchive ke puluhan DVD belum abis abis juga *aaargh*), dan yang terakhir juga trading.

But the topic that I want to write about today is about my workspace (a desk, actually). Setelah sebulan bongkar - bongkar PC (thanks to that damn SEAGATE sampah things - two new harddrives go broken one week apart), beli monitor baru (It’s a 19" wide screen LCD by Acer), dan a couple hours of soldering (modifikasi router biar bisa dipake buat download), I finally got the time to clean up and rearrange my workspace. Here is the picture :

Dsc_8659_1

From the right to the left :

  • A PC - an old Athlon XP 2500+ PC with 4 harddrives (2×80gb and 2×160gb) and a DVDRW plus a CDRW inside. The casing is a nice one made by Silverstone which was a prize of a computer competition sometimes back.
  • A pack of DVDRW and a USB Disk
  • An LCD monitor, 19" wide screen by Acer
  • A keyboard and mouse (wireless) set by Logitech
  • A mouse by Belkin (bluetooth)
  • An external harddisk enclosure
  • A mouse by Acer
  • A laptop by Dell, a Latitude D510n
  • A router by Linksys (behind the laptop :P )
  • A card reader
  • An HP Print-Scan-Copy all in one
  • A handycam by Sony (currently capturing video in the picture above) and a bunch of MiniDV cassettes
  • My pen

LOL, that was a lot of things hahahaha… last time I tried to find a Dell port replicator to simplify the process of attaching the devices to the laptop, but I did not find one in Jakarta, what a pity…

Oh yes, for those who are interested, the PC itself is actually running Linux, but currently viewing remote desktop of the laptop which is running Windows XP. I found it to be a nice solution rather than using extended desktop (plugging the LCD to the laptop) since it require me to plug the fragile VGA cable everytime I want to use my laptop there. This way, I can use both of the keyboards and all of the mouses altogether.

Hopefully with this new settings, I will be able to work better in the future. What do you think? hehe..

-Andrian Kurniady

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Feeling Lost

January 26th, 2008

Have you ever felt "lost" in your life? That kind of "lost" when you don’t know where to go, what to do, or even where you are.

Currently I am somehow in the state of being "lost". There are many things that I don’t exactly know how to deal with, such as about the future or even about the relationship matters. Being "lost" is obviously not a right state to be in, and in my case, it significantly degenerate my efficiency in working and solving other things.

Few years ago, when I’m about to enter a university, the choices are not that many. I was choosing between continuing my study in Singapore or in Jakarta. Having predetermined about my interests, choosing a major to pursue was not a problem. The choice came out naturally based on some circumstances and I ended up continuing my study in Bina Nusantara International, without even giving a lot of thoughts on it.

But now, the conditions are different. There are more choices ahead and I have no idea which option is better than which. I have a year to decide, but that wouldn’t be easy for sure. When I finally decided about my future, I think I should be able to draw some rough roadmap about my future completely (for some of you who thinks I have such a roadmap written or drawn already: no, I don’t have it yet, but I certainly will make one). I know that I want to be successful in the future, and since it’s so important, naturally I am very motivated to be successful. The problem is that being motivated does not make the options clearer or easier, I still have to make that decision.

The case can actually be generalized to the case when you want to achieve something. Imagine you have a goal to achieve. Sometimes, you are very determined to reach that goal, but you simply don’t know how. That is not a pleasant situation to be in, because if you’re in there for too long, you’ll start blaming yourself on not doing the right thing to achieve your goal, or simply on not trying hard enough.

Well currently my only solution is keep trying and be patient, and also somehow believing that sometimes I can only wait for the solution to come naturally. However, I still believe that the awareness of being lost (such as me writing this post) is a part of the solution.

What do you think?

-Kurniady

Andrian Uncategorized