More Colour, Less Politics in Technology

Grievance widely spreads in Company X last week due to the sudden redundancy. It is not because work shortage; actually there are overwhelmed workload and not enough human resource as always. It is not because the people get redundant fail to meet their job requirements; actually several colleagues with outstanding commitment and exceptional skills suffered from the redundancy.

Before I changed my career to IT, I thought it would be a relatively pure world. Less politics and more colour.

When I changed my career to IT, I thought I was about to help people with convenient work life. Parents will be able to work remotely and more part-time opportunities.

I was wrong it depends on individual environment, and definitely not in Company X. A valuable colleague got redundant, which actually saved Company X’s welfare pay as the result.

I still remember my passion when I studied IT; I still remember my personal life before. I refuse to forget those and to be disappointed. So does many other IT professionals. We are simple people and simply devote our intelligence and commitment to make the world a slightly better place.

Shall we add more colour but less politics to technology?

Picture 1: X’mas card I drew on iPAD while studying in Japan


Picture 2: Girl holding Mobile Garden I drew on iPAD. Mobile Garden is a project that my laboratory mate started in German.


Picture 3: and sweets! That’s called life!!!



I am not smart I am learning

‘Smart’ is the word repetitively appears in IT world, but not that often in my previous careers. If a person can program, the person must be smart. If a person knows technology, the person must be smart. If the person works for a blue-chip technology vendor, the person must be smart.


Recognising people as ‘smart’ without concrete context can grow arrogance. Arrogance hurts, not only to others and relationship, but also eventually to self.


In addition, recognition with ‘smart’ does not help encourage desired behaviours. We want to encourage behaviours that can be developed such as ‘dedication’, ‘team work’ and ‘learning’; no those are born with such as ‘good looking’ and ‘smart’.


Moreover, simply recognizing with ‘smart’ ignores the person’s effort invested in doing a good job, as if they were just naturally born to do a good job.


I also received comments like ‘smart’ and ‘clever’ many times. However, I’d prefer to be recognised by my effort invested in work and continuously learning. Comparing what I’ve achieved with the effort I invested, I don’t think I am smart at all. Therefore, I am on the journey of continuous learning to enrich my live experience in the world, to be a better person, and if possible to influence the world towards a little bit better place.


Life is too short to be little (Benjamin Disraeli)


Besides ‘I am smart’, another danger is ‘I am well experienced’. It is not rare to hear the saying that ‘I know how to do things because I have 20 years experience’. Experience is definitely an advantage; however, don’t let it grow arrogance and stop learning.


Wang Yangming, a famous philosopher in ancient China believes in the unity of knowing and acting (reference: I understand it as learning by acting and acting by learning, neither can be ignored.


In today’s fast-changing world, it’s not so much what you know anymore that counts, because often what you know is old. It is how fast you learn. That skill is priceless (Robert Kiyosaki)


I recently download an audible book ‘The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss, which inspires me to be a more efficient learner. I summarise my thoughts and practices below with reference to Tim’s views


Ambitious Goal


Self-efficacy is one of my favorite theories in psychology – we tend to achieve what we believe. Giving yourself an ambitious goal, even if you just achieve 80%, it is still much better than achieving a comfortable goal which only brings you 50% as maximum.


In addition, many things are not as difficult as their initial look when you start doing. With 3.5 months full time study, I passed the top level Japanese proficiency test from new starter. When my husband mentioned this on a famous language forum in China, nobody even believed it. Other examples are I achieved IELTS academic four 7+ in 10 days with initial result of 6. I passed 3 CCIEs within 7 months during my full-time work.


Meaningfulness in Learning


Meaningfulness is the key in adult learning. Tim Ferriss used a Japanese Judo book to learn Japanese grammar – learning Judo is more meaningful to him than watching Japanese cartoon; while I studied Japanese with the initial purpose of playing games and watching cartoon.


I found it sometimes boring to learn technology purely for the sake of technology (obviously I am not geeky enough 🙂 ). I tried to relate technology to business use cases and my service goal of making people’s life easier (refer to my previous post ‘Configuring a router should not be more difficult than using a fridge’).


Meaningfulness adds motivation to learning and boosts the outcome.


Multi-tasking vs. Focus


It really depends on individual brain and task nature whether we adopt multi-tasking or focus on a single task.


When I try to maximise outcome in short time and the task involves complex problem solving, I focus on the single task, and use minor task different in nature as refreshment. I am improving on this, as when I am focused on work, I tend to forget my daily task of exercise.


Multi-tasking when less brain energy is required. For example, I listen to audible book and radio in foreign language while doing household chores, running and etc.


Learning Resource


There are plenty free learning resources on the Internet. Following is a few examples:




  • TuneIn: radio stations from all over the world


  • Youtube: such as search ‘positive psychology’


  • Free course with Udemy: can be searched from OZbargain


  • Practice blogging in different language like what I am doing 🙂


Configuring a Router Should Not be More Difficult than Using a Fridge

‘Configuring a router should not be more difficult than using a fridge.’ That’s my philosophy in technology.


No…not just technology, actually that’s exactly the same belief I expressed during my interview with Deloitte China over 12 years ago as HR consultant. That’s the exactly same belief I hold during my various studies. That’s exactly the same belief that supported my career change from business to IT before. That’s exactly the same belief guide my career development in IT.


If things are too complicated, then it implies that something goes wrong and there are space we can improve.


My first Master degree was in Human Resource Management and Business. At that time, joining big 4 was almost every business student’s dream in China. During the interview, I explained some HR theories and practice implication in simple terms, instead of big words. Unfortunately the interviewer was not a fan of my belief and preferred complicated concepts to establish knowledge barrier so that client would purchase our service.


There was a reason behind me using simple terms to articulate HR concepts at that time. I was a new graduate from Bachelor of International Business when I started Master in HR. HR was extremely abstract and hard to feel connected for a 22-year old, without any management experience and from a different academic background. Even worse, I studied HR in U.K. , under completely different employment law and employee relations from China. What could I possibly do to achieve a pleasant academic result?


The trick I took was to make complicated things easy. I projected HR theories into daily life and understand abstract concepts with metaphors and life scenarios. I also practiced to elaborate HR concepts to non-HR friends in my simplified way. It worked for me at that time and was repetitively proven working in my later studies. I related my project management study with World of Warcraft gaming experience. I related my Education study with my previous HR study. I also brought in my skills from marketing experience to engineering work.


When a thing turns too complicated, instead of investing more effort, I would prefer to look for alternative to simplify it.


I used to work as university admissions officer, dealing student inquires and enrollment. We were extremely busy in issuing offer and processing credit application around semester beginning. It was required to issue offer and credit assessment result in paper. Mail can take long time to reach students; therefore, tons of student inquiries were about application result. My colleagues and myself spent significant amount of time to check application status in database and rely those inquiries.


Same as many others, I don’t like work overtime, especially when no overtime pay! To simplify the work, I learned the database tool in use and just got enough knowledge to add a button to pull information from relevant fields of the student profile and generate email. Admissions officer only need to review the email content and click the send button in outlook. We still sent students the paper version afterwards. Since students received the application result much quicker, the number of inquiries significantly dropped.



When I changed my career to IT, I decided to make people’s life easier. But when I started working in technology, I noticed two issues: 1) IT professional’s life is not easy 2) the client’s life is not always easy – technology can be too complicated to use.


Configuring network connectivity, deploying server and etc. are way too complicated than it should be. Configuration and programing are prone to human errors. Also configuration and programming can be repetitive and manual work, not always require creativity.


Things become so complicated and evolve so fast that non-IT organisations don’t understand and outsource to service integrators. Even IT organisations can hardly achieve a complete skill matrix.


It is not rare that big dollars are wasted due to misalign with client’s environment/requirement, profit from information asymmetry, deployed but not in use and etc.


‘Configuring a router should not be more difficult than using a fridge.’ If researchers bear this in mind when developing algorithms and protocols; If developers and product managers bear this in mind when developing new products; if SAs and engineers bear this in mind when designing and deploying technology for client to use…we make each other’s life easier, instead of establishing barrier.


I red a Linked-in post today ‘Is agile ad-hoc?’. Such misunderstanding and more precisely mis-application are not rare. Agile may be used as an excuse of ad-hoc; modulised design as an excuse of siloed design; enterprise architecture is beautifully presented without user acceptance and solid ROI.


Before blaming user incompetence, shall we make the implementation of those powerful tools more user-friendly? What have we done to enhance and promote usability?


I am striving to make your life easier, please can you also help mine?






十来年前在上海读书和工作的时候,北京人不懂上海话,文化和想法也有很大不同。遇到些不快, 印象最深的是三件事。












情景二: 求职面试,遭遇外貌歧视




其中有个面试官是合伙人等级,可能是打算来个压力面试吧。他彻头彻尾都在否定我。说我的英文是just so so; 说德勤只收牛津、剑桥的,我就读的学校不够好;说我专业能力不行,说出来都是大白话,说咨询就是整知识壁垒,客户不懂就付钱了。等等等等,这些都OK,可是他的有句话让我记了十几年,甚至让我改变了一些人生轨迹。


他可能是看我穿了粉色的西裙(是我爸帮我买的,我还特意穿了去面试),说了一句话我记了十几年。 “女孩子20来岁时候可以靠外貌、可爱,到了30来岁就要靠能力、内涵。”我当时一下脑子就蒙了,面试之后觉得无比不甘心,后悔没有当面表达我的不满。只会一次又一次的偷偷流泪,觉得自己各种努力,这好那好,到头来却给人留下个只会卖萌、脑袋空空的印象。




连自己都觉得搞笑甚至是幼稚的是。。。我转行IT之后,选择的第一个实习公司是墨尔本德勤。一路过关斩将,又是好多轮面试。十来个人一桌的assessment centre面试后,只录取了我一个。本来是对这个公司抱有多少敌意的,想进德勤的目的也是进去体会下,证明自己后再无情地踹了他们。但真不得不说这次德勤的经历和之前大不相同,公司合伙人欣赏我的创意,同事也是共进退的伙伴。


















没事我不惹事,事儿来了我也不躲事。高质高效完成自己的工作基础上,联络自己在客户方、K公司和D公司的熟人、同事争取支持者, 收集罪证、有理有据投诉,并在K人上司和客户方上司面前展现受害者姿态,博得同情。






Career in IT taught me a word ‘misogynist’

I happened to watch a video yesterday, titled as ‘Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech’. I am not a fan of Gillard, but the speech content made me feel connected…though I don’t exactly know what the word misogyny means. My friend Google helped as always…’He will zero in on a woman and choose her as his target’ …’He is extremely competitive, especially with women. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible. If a man does better, he may have mixed feelings about it but he is able to look at the situation objectively’…’He will be prepared (unconsciously) to use anything within his power to make women feel miserable’ (reference:

As a person studied and worked in quite a few different cities and countries, YES, I did experience discrimination, which didn’t affect me much as I know who did those are simply loser and envy what you have achieved.

As a person always has a passion in automating people’s life, I changed my career from business to IT 4 years ago. Since then I started facing bits and pieces uncomfortable experience…but not as bad as recent two incidents. I don’t what to mention details. I doubt those, who cannot treat women in a professional way, overall work professionalism towards clients.

‘He is extremely competitive, especially with women. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible.’

Apologies to those misogynists that I will not lower my intelligence, skill level, professionalism nor customer service standard to make you happier!

I will not betray my passion in IT and learning ability.

I will not betray my father who taught me to be excellent at what I do, being generous and being helpful.

I will not betray my husband who believe I am the best, smartest and prettiest woman ever 🙂

I will not betray my employers and colleagues who trust me as best worker, outstanding engineer.

I will not betray my university professors who thought I am exceptional problem solver.

Last but not least, I will not betray my clients who trust I can help and defend their benefits.

I am new Australian migrant, female engineer. So what? I still can be distinguished. So do you!



你有没有遇到这些情况?早上出门,你妈嘱咐一句 “不要丢了钱包手机哦!” ; 或者小组讨论中,某人把你的提案逐条否定,他自己却又拿不出什么建议,你提出改善建议,他再继续否定;再或是你和女朋友吃饭,问她吃什么她说“随便”,问吃川菜么?“不吃”,吃火锅不?“不吃”。。。



积极的方式表达观点,而不是“不要”、“不许”等。当然在一定环境下,命令式的沟通直接有效,比如说明书啦,教练给指令啊,训练狗狗啦。。。但是在另外的一些环境中积极的表达方式可能让听者更容易接受,也更有效-因为你正面给出了方法,而不是仅仅说不要。比如与其说 “不要丢钱包手机哦!” ,不如说“最近过节前比较乱,多加小心”。



提出建议的口吻和时机其实是一个关于影响力的问题。影响力大体来说来自3个方面:职位影响力 (position power)、知识影响力(knowledge power)和关系影响力(personal power)。影响力也都是相对的,比如对方知识和你互补、甚至更多,或者你的职位管不到别人怎么办?很多沟通都不是绝对的,做这个不做那个,很多情况下办法是双方/多方讨论出来的。这个时候简单的“不要”、否定,就剥夺了对方平等沟通的权力。



《进击的巨人》这部动画有个场景,守城的士兵被巨人弄的死的死,伤的伤,没啥希望了。能力者三笠过来了,要自己冲过去救大家。被问到你一个人怎么可以的时候,说过 “因为我比你们都强,比你们强10倍!”。。。现实中给大家提个醒千万不要觉得听者都是小白。爱他们就信任他们,帮助他们自我实现。

如果问我理想中的状态,那就是《赤发白雪姬》主人公的状态,那种強くて優しくて誰かの力になるために頑張ります - 强而心大,为成为别人的支撑和力量而努力。