Category: Work

May

Food Rolodex

I should have listened to my gut and my brain. On hindsight there were so many obvious signs that it’s a bad idea and a bad business relationship. But my heart wanted to really make it work. My heart can go take a bench break. So back in October 2013, my soon-to-be Troublesome Business Partner […]

May

Closing my company was painful

I never thought closing my company would be such a relief. Three years ago, about this time of the year, I was preparing the final documents for the very last Annual General Meeting for my company. I was doing so as both the (sole) company director and the CEO. Before that, I had already sent […]

Feb

How to found a company

Just do it. But jokes aside, the bigger question is not how. It’s why. [Disclaimer: any information you read here pertains to Singapore laws and regulations. Your country’s laws and regulations might differ.] I have people emailing me “Wow Vincent, you’re running your own business! That’s totally awesome. I wish I could do something like […]

Dec

Financial reports must be untouched by human hands

People handling billing or financial data are usually very uptight. Especially when it comes to numbers. If you thought mathematicians, statisticians or economists were protective of their numerical figures, go talk to someone who works in the financial department. PI is an elegant number. It goes to about 3.14159265, and describes the ratio of the […]

Dec

If not using the database, please disconnect

I’m maintaining some Windows programs created by the PowerBuilder software. The original developer didn’t plan for the programs to be used by many people. So the instant one of the programs was run, a database connection to the Sybase database was opened. And left there. As more programs were created in this manner (and added […]

Nov

FAHTR aka Free And Happen To Remember

The following completely fake conversation was inspired by an actual conversation with an internal company user. User: The web application doesn’t let me do XYZ. I can’t download ABC data for customer PQR. Me: Well, your customer database don’t have JKL. The code changes will take some time. User: So how long will it take? […]

Oct

Satellite and maritime data calls

Let’s talk maritime communication data. That’s what my users work hip-deep in. “Wait! Didn’t you say you’re in the satellite business the last time?” Oh yeah… so, to me (and my users), they’re effectively the same thing. You see, out at sea (ooh, alliteration), captains and sailors still need to talk with their loved ones […]

Sep

Are corporate programmers also polymath programmers?

I’ve been writing for more than 2 years now, and I realised that I never told you much about my professional job. Let’s start with a brief summary of how I started… Beginning of professional career I started working a few months after I graduated in 2002. I had a science degree in applied mathematics […]