As most of you already know, I departed for NOC a day ago. It still feels pretty surreal that I am here in Silicon Valley, where I dreamed of going ever since I fell in love with programming.

I think it’s important to set the goals and aspirations straight for NOC. It’s a very unique and special program and there are different ways of approaching it. So here’s just one humble goal I wish to achieve.

Level up, more.

I’ve been keeping this goal for every semester in NUS and it’s something that I really value. Keep levelling up. First semester I had CS1101S, which challenged the way I think about programming. Then I went on to fulfil my thirst for software engineering by contributing to NUSMods during my first winter break.

In the following semester, I took on a project of my own, which was compiling an EPUB version of SICP in JavaScript. Although it wasn’t perfect, it still taught me many valuable lessons about web development. Also coupled with an accelerated algorithms course (CS2020) which once again proved to be challenging.

Then in my freshman year’s summer, I felt the need to take on something on a bigger scale, of more importance and challenge. I joined ShopBack and was part of the UI redesign and reimplementation. It was a really fruitful 3 months spent despite the tough times. In the most recent semester, I took up the challenge of CS3216 and I learned and achieved more than I could ever imagine, at the cost of my other grades.

The thirst to level up pushed me through all these tough times. None of the above made my life easy, but I believe it was through the struggles and pains that I am able to improve and better myself. I am glad of where I am today, and I am excited for where I will go in the future.

Looking forward to NOC, it shall be a whole year of level-ing up. Taking on a role of Platform Engineer at EasilyDo, something I am totally not familiar with considering that I came from mostly a frontend background.

Work should not be the only source of learning, spending a year in Silicon Valley, the Mecca of software engineering and innovation, should also open my eyes to more engineering and startup culture.

Be like a sponge, absorb. Learn and imitate what is good, improve what is bad.

Keep quenching this thirst to improve, keep setting higher expectations for myself. This is what the next year’s gonna be about. 🙂