Saturday, January 14, 2012

Curiousity is life

The school term has just started and I've been reflecting on my drive to learn and keep studying. This video is a perfect explanation about how I feel, it's about the question and the journey as opposed to the destination and arriving at an answer.

One of my professors gave some sage advice during lecture. "You will forget 70 percent of what you learn one year after you are learning how to learn". I agree, that being a lifelong student, it takes me less time to learn new things and that it's about being adaptive as being a sponge as technology changes at a rapid pace and knowing about something old is not as critical as being able to learn something new.

The new school term has me learning new software again, SolidWorks for fabrication modelling, and ProTools for audio design. It's been 15 years since I started playing around with computers/programming and got on the Internet and I have been thinking about all the software and languages that I've played around with and it's a long list (from my own opinion anyway).

[Note: I first started programming when I made my first website using AOLPress to make a Megaman fan website on AOL in 1996. Yes, back when the common file format for images were still BMPs and loading a page took 10 minutes and hoped that no one would call and interrupt my modem.]

I have tried to keep the list in somewhat chronological order that I learned them in.

My giant list of software that I have used in some shape or form
Web Development: AOLPress, Macromedia/Adobe Dreamweaver, Macromedia/Adobe Flash, gcc
Graphics: MS Paint, Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign
Film: Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro
Audio: Goldwave, Finale, Audacity
Programming: Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, MatLab
Languages: HTML, HyperCard, Pascal, JavaScript, ActionScript, CSS, C++, Scheme, Java, Perl, SQL, OpenGL, PHP
2D/3D: 3DS Max, Autodesk AutoCAD, Maya, XSI, VectorWorks, Cinema 4D

Obviously, I'm NOT an expert at all of these programs as there's no real way for me to keep up with all of them, but I still remember and understand the concepts that I've learned from trying them out. (The list probably isn't complete either because I'm sure I've forgotten some).

I should probably add Objective-C and Ruby on Rails to the Languages, but I never got a decent understanding (or a working prototype of those projects) of them.

Interpersonal Skills
I (think I) have grown a lot. I used to be someone who would never speak. (My sister has stories of her friends being amazed when I actually said hello and they jump in surprise going "Oh! He talks, he talks!")
My philosophy has always been to speak with purpose. By speaking less, when I do speak, it adds weight to the words I use (yes, I choose my words carefully so that I try to sound like I know what I'm doing).
By being quiet, I shut myself off from people, so I have to find the balance of talking too much and too little. However, I do feel much more comfortable now being social with people compared to before. Little steps.

Moving forward
I don't really believe in resolutions, new year's or otherwise. This was just a reminder for myself to think of what I have learned, of how I've learned, and how to keep continuing to learn and being happy not knowing where it may lead me. =) Cheers to curiousity and growing!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Reflections on 2011

2011 feels like it was a good year.

I was able to create some good projects and post up a revised portfolio.
I got to travel - Europe (Amsterdam, Prague, cities across Germany down the Rhine, Berlin), Canada cross-country road trip, Disneyland/Legoland + California road trip.
There were some ups and there were definitely downs, especially with choice of how to spend my time. But as with anything, I have learned something with every mistake.

There have been new avenues of possibilities that I have finally started to take upon. Taking more time to donate on creative and inspirational endeavours - volunteering and attending various conferences and events (Meshwest, TEDxVancouver, Creative Mornings, Vancouver Startup Weekend, Vancouver Free Portrait).

Prioritizing my time to focus on subjects that interest me is always an ongoing process. I was lucky enough to run into someone at a design event and that lead to joining a meetup group of foodies. I am still working on being more pro-active taking photographs and learning how to be a better photographer. I've stepped up my game towards posting more photos on my Flickr as well as getting a pro account. Also taking photography lessons, and also signed up for another one this year.

Ending the year with a small kitchen mishap was not good in any shape or form. Hopefully the part of my thumb that I sliced off will grow back soon. =/ However, the end of the year does not end on a sour note.
I'm happy that my sister was able to come visit and celebrate Christmas and New Year's (it would have been a lot more quiet holiday season if she wasn't here). Old friends who are abroad were visiting and were nice to see again. Good friends and family for a week long food fest over the holidays has been a burden on my health but has been great for my spirits and awesome times to be had.

I have met a lot of new and interesting people and made some new friends. Here's hoping for a great 2012!