Category Archives: School/Work

Anything related to school, classes, courses, studies, or work

Is being a student or having a full-time job more difficult?

Depends on the job. Speaking as a Software Engineer, being a student was tougher for me. I had about 4–5 programming assignments due every week. I had literally no free time. I was sleeping in the computer labs and surviving on instant ramen and popeyes chicken and Red Bull for 4 years. Each Final you had to tediously study hard for because it was worth like 60% of the final grade, and it was usually at 7am-8am in the morning, and the whole class average is like a C+ at best. Most of the professors at my lectures were inevitably East Asians or Indian or East European which meant that they had an accent that was impossible to understand.

Then I had to study for all these interviews and the first jobs out of university are the hardest. You can only get the junior positions or internships, no one wants to hire a guy who has almost no work experience. You have to pass the grueling algorithm challenges against 1000 other students also looking for a job , and you get paid peanuts.

When I am a full time worker, other than the occasional overtime day, I come in at 9 and I leave around 5 or 6. I have free time after that to do what I want. I have enough experience to change companies easily. I can ask for higher salaries for the same reason. The actual coding experience at companies isn’t nearly as difficult as the coding challenges you undertook getting there. Yeah you have to deal with your boss and coworkers, but overall I would much rather be a full time worker. Did I mention that you make money? As a student I was surviving off of pennies made from various part time jobs in university.

Alternate income streams

Ok, so beginning of 2019, my New Years resolution is to make back the money I lost last year. Which is around $150k give or take. I know, that’s ALOT of money to make back, and I’m still trying to figure how to make that much money back *while* giving me a path to go back to Korea (cause I dont want to stay forever alone).

So the obvious choices for a job is to either be a freelancer or find remote work like I did last time I lived in Korea. Problem is freelancer work isnt really stable, and finding a full time remote job like before isn’t that simple either, not many companies are willing to do it, and even less if I want to work from Korea (thus necessitating my own hours pretty much).

Or I can live in Korea and be an English tutor or teacher, that always works but its not the job I like to do. And if I do that I need some additional income streams. So what are some options for side jobs?

1) Earn money from Youtube. Hey, I already do that. I make around $75-$100 a month from Youtube revenues now. It’s not that much, but it will pay for the cellphone bill each month.

2) Earn money from Quora. Already doing this too, but Quora pays very little, only abut $10 a month on average for me. Again, a free meal every month but thats about it.

3) Write an e-book and sell it on the Kindle store. Need to figure out what to write about. My expertise is either JavaScript libraries, Blues/Rock guitar playing, Magic the Gathering strategies, Korean lessons, or Basketball trivia. Not sure if I’m a good enough expert in any of those fields to really write a book about it.

4) Start a Udemy course and sell the course to students. Again, similar to the Kindle thing, I need to be a good enough expert in a field to really make my own course teaching it, but maybe sometime in the future.

5) Rent out my house/apartment or AirBnb it. I need to get a place first, but I will most likely do this once I buy an apartment/condo in Vancouver in a few months.

6) Drive for Uber or Lyft. I need a car to do this, but definitely a nice weekend side job if I have nothing else to do and have a car.

7) Make advertising / affiliate revenue blogging. I am not a well known enough blogger to make any money from it.

8) Stream video games on Twitch and earn advertiser revenue. Not a good enough or entertaining enough gamer to do this either.

9) Sell my own merchandise on my own store using Shopify and Droplift. I don’t have my own brand that I’m selling right now, I would probably need around 200k ish subscribers before I have a market of people to sell my brand to.

10) Start a Patreon and get folks to support you. Again, if my Youtube channel surpasses 200k ish subscribers then I can see myself doing this but I’m not popular enough now.

11) Invest money in dividend stocks. This is recurring revenue, and something I would like to look at more once I have more money saved up.

12) Invest money in Masternode coins. This is also recurring revenue but you have to be careful to avoid the ponzi ones (I fell victim to several last year and lost around $15k to them), and definitely more riskier than dividend stocks (crypto in general is riskier than stocks) but could definitely have potential for higher return if invested in the right ones.

13) Mining coins. Bitcoin is no longer profitable to mine, and so is most other coins out there. You need dedicated machines and/or equipment to mine, and given the bear market right now, its probably better to go for the PoS coins rather than PoW.

Toronto trip, new job, new videos

Haven’t updated in a month, so here it is. I traveled back to Toronto and Orillia (my hometown) for the first time since Dec 2011. I finally got to visit my friends and family again, which was really nice as I haven’t met my friends especially for a long time. Here are some pictures, including some of the childhood pictures that I drew back then. I’m shocked at how much time I had back then. I’ll never forget my roots, that I came from a poor family in a small rural town in Canada.

My elementary school, Couchiching Heights, Orillia

My elementary school, Couchiching Heights, Orillia

My high school, ODCVI, Orilia

My high school, ODCVI, Orilia

At my alma mater, the University of Toronto

At my alma mater, the University of Toronto

My adorable cat, who is 10 years old now...

My adorable cat, who is 10 years old now…

I drew all the Gundam mobile suits...

I drew all the Gundam mobile suits…

As well as all the DBZ characters...

As well as all the DBZ characters…

As well as all the weapons from every DOS game...

As well as all the weapons from every DOS game…

As well as all the Gundam Wing pilots...

As well as all the Gundam Wing pilots…

As well as all the D&D Dark Sun monsters...

As well as all the D&D Dark Sun monsters…

As well as various superheroes..

As well as various superheroes..

As well as 10 versions of Mew...

As well as 10 versions of Mew…

As well as all the characters from Metal Warriors and One Must Fall 2097

As well as all the characters from Metal Warriors and One Must Fall 2097

As well as all the Digimon..

As well as all the Digimon..

As well as various other monsters..

As well as various other monsters..

As well as all 150 Pokemon...

As well as all 150 Pokemon…

As well as all the DBZ characters AND their transformations

As well as all the DBZ characters AND their transformations

…Yeah I had a lot of time back then as a child. I even created games back then based on this obscure DOS game called Sir Bombalot but basically I would create “pieces” for the game that had different abilities like mimic moves, freeze other pieces, mind control other pieces, move in different patterns, magnetize pieces, explode, etc. It was cool, unfortunately I couldn’t find those pieces that I made as a kid, but I remember doing that.

Future plans

“Only after we lose everything are we free to do anything” – Fight Club

Going to Korea really opened my eyes and changed my life. So much so that I realized that the so called “American Dream” is built all on a life of consumerism. Having a big house, a fancy car, the best gadgets and making a lot of money, that is what is advertised to people. I realized that this is all nonsense. Life is all about experiences, not about making money and consuming. To that end, I’ve been trying hard not to spend any more money on what is not necessary, be a true conservative and rein in my spending. Get rid of all the things that I don’t need. Stay tuned… but my future plans involve renting out my place and moving somewhere else to start over. I need to get away from here. It’s ironic saying this as my dream for many years was to come to California, but now my life has turned a different direction. The next step in my life. It’s better I realize this sooner rather than later.

In other news…
I got a job at Walmart. Yes, the Walmart e-commerce division which manages the website. Having this job means I can finally say that I’ve worked at every level of industry (as my former PEY director once said): Government, Startup, Small company, and Corporation. Getting into a big corporation finally is ironic because I’ve been wanting to find success at this level since my PEY days when my friends all got into IBM and I got rejected. Take that! 5 years later and I’m finally there working for the Fortune #1 company. Can’t get bigger than that. Plus, I get to work remotely, which is awesome for my future plans [hint, hint].

I’ve also got a Korean tutor now. That’s not to say going to Sejong Institute was a bad thing, it is a good place for Korean beginners, but I’m at the point where I really need to work on my conversation skills, listening and speaking, and a personal tutor is the best for that. I feel like it really makes a difference as now I can understand what words Koreans are speaking at a fast pace now, just need to work on the vocabulary part so I can translate it in my head.

I’ve been playing some pretty good Japanese fighting games recently. No not Dead or Alive or Tekken, but ones that focus more on story than fighting. Both BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma and Persona 4 Ultimax are pretty amazing games, both capable fighters but with pretty good stories underneath. They are 2 of the few games that I actually beat. They might be my favorite storyline games since Yakuza 4‘s amazingly twisted storyline and Catherine‘s morally twisted storyline.
I also played Xblaze Code Embryo, my first graphic novel, and it was pretty fun but frustrating when you don’t know why you got a bad ending.

Xblaze Code Embryo, A visual novel

Xblaze Code Embryo, A visual novel

…and I’ve finally switched to Android!! I’ve only used Apple iPhones for 2 reasons: 1) because they are small and compact and 2) because it has a good camera, and now that Apple has switched to larger phones just like Android devices and the cameras for Android devices have gotten better, I’ve finally made the switch.

Sony Xperia Z3C

Sony Xperia Z3C

Yup, I’ve decided NOT to support my beloved Korean companies Samsung and LG this time in favor of the Sony Xperia Z3C because: 1) its got the same footprint as my iPhone5S, 2) 20.7MP camera, 3) waterproof and dustproof, 4) HD audio decoding, 5) microSD slot, 6) 2 day battery life, 7) PS4 remote play
I mean need I say more? This is hands down the best compact Android phone out there right now, better than the Galaxy, LG, HTC One, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, ZTE, Archos, what have you.
Sony needs to advertise this more. 2+ days of battery life!

Videos
As always, I try to be productive all the time to record videos, and I’ve retired my faithful Canon HFM40 that I’ve been using for over 3 years for outdoor recording and music video recording in favor of my iPhone 5S for outdoor recording and the Sony Music Video Recorder for music video recording. Here’s some gadget reviews and music videos I’ve recorded.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7PP1N6h_18

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_0SxpwM8CI

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zMpwZZkeqc

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02mMQCLVbgA