Friday, 19 July 2013

Commitments

"When you commit for something, it becomes some sorts of responsibilities."

I came back to SG to attend the commencements few days ago. Actually, I didn't intend to come back so soon. Firstly, I still haven't finished the voluntary job in One-Man university(wanmen). Indeed, I enjoy it so much that I spend days and nights coding the system. Secondly, my favourite profs are not attending the commencements(Indeed, I think my favourite prof would rather me to work harder on the great projects than taking a photo with him). Thirdly, the commencement of CEG(computer engineering)takes place in different dates with SOC and Engin while my most projects are actually accomplished with SOC peers. However, I finally bought the air ticket, firstly because I have committed to Sharon(the NOC Israel coordinator) that I'd better come back to attend the commencement day since it is one of the most important days in one's life. Secondly, our iOS team has committed to attend the iCreate competition and I've got to work things out before the last minute. Another commitment is to Prof.Anthony when I told him that I'll start working with him from August 1st onwards. However, this commitment doesn't require me to come back so soon. I also told my little brother Rick Qing that I'll probably visit Chendu (with 70-80%certainty) when he's on vocation home in Sichuan. I've got a cousin from Fudan University who's coming to NUS for exchange next semester, thus there is a responsibility that I shall at least pick him up in the airport(August 1st) and treat him a dinner.  By coming back to attend the commencements, I actually can fulfil most of the commitments(Sharon's sincere suggestion, iCreate, Prof's work, cousin) by sacrificing some of my own passions(staying longer with the One-Man U team, traveling in Sichuan).

Most of my decisions are actually influenced by the opportunity cost of different commitments. For instance, an important reason I took Prof.Anthony's FYP is that I've worked with YunReading in CS3216 which is a digital publishing project. I don't want the project to die because of my own lack of continuity in moving this project forward. If I don't touch the digital publishing related area for the last year in NUS, I will probably never touch it again for another few years, which would be really really bad. It is me who decided not to accept the 6k purchase of the system, I shall have the responsibility to move it forwards(at least pay off the teammates' talents and hard work).

My initial commitment to One-Man University(Wanmen) is to make an iOS app for them during the summer. However, they have got no website yet. Since the NGO has got no extra hands to help it out, I've got to pick the skills up and build the web system. It's not a Coursera for the Chinese students, but a knowledge curation system which helps integrate useful online academic resources to the mass public. I built a basic version using Rails. However, there are not enough contents yet, thus we still haven't officially launched the system yet. To make it a nicer system, we've got to work with more talented designers/developers.

These few days, I'm learning Node.js because I've committed to the GSOC organisation that I'll work this project(patient timeline viewer) out in the summer. The main purpose for doing the GSOC is to financially support my voluntary work in Wanmen and learn more some stills along the way. However, when too many commitments come along, they become burdens. These few days, I stay late around 2-3 am finishing either GSOC or the Wanmen project. In the first two days back in Singapore, I stayed overnights with Zhixing to finish the icreate iOS demo.

In August, I'll move forward to other projects(primarily ReadPeer, CodeRobot) and hopefully not too many other commitments will come along. Otherwise, I'll have no life.... Currently, there are some potential commitments from other project teams and I have to learn to DELETE and FOCUS.













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