May 28 2018

Miss Subways

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:27

I just finished reading David Duchvny’s Miss Subways. I started reading it a few nights ago, just before drifting off to sleep. I would not call this novel a master piece, but it sure fits my literary style of what I like to read. I loved it and I can’t call it a master piece because I’m no literary critic.

It is a surprising read and for the first three chapters I was having doubts which was the real thread of the story. I even asked out loud when Sidhe was introduced if David was on some good marijuana or some hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Overall it is a story about love, of hopes and dreams, of human weakness and strength. Just as in “Bucky Fucking Dent”, love wins against all odds and plots and deals. The book it is also spiced up with references to different religious figures and myths and snippets of writings from Yates, Shakespeare and other classic writers and poets. There are subtle references to the current political situation in the US.

It is a good read and my only regret is that it was so short.

Another thing a devoted fan of David Duchovny will notice is that this book also contains common elements with the “Every Third Though” music album that he released at the end of last year. There is a chapter called “The Sacred Heart”, which is also a term used in the title of one of the songs: “Stranger in the Sacred Heart”. Both the chapter and the song reference the Sacré-Coeur church in Paris, where people go to pray not for themselves, but for others.

There are three things worth mentioning:

  • The book is about a person or two, that wanted to be writers in their youth and never did it because … life got in the way.(similar to “Bucky Fucking Dent”)
  •  There is a paragraph where the protagonist reads a text from her lover and there is a typo in it. Her exasperation with his carelessness for grammar made me identify with her from that moment. That’s why the end of the novel brought tears of happiness in my eyes. Because she gets the happy ending ( or beginning?) I hope for too.
  •  It is funny how David dedicated a chapter to explain how the protagonist’s book made use of a lot of racist and discrimination cliches we are so used to, and still was deemed a good book. Just as his novel has, and I really hope no exaggeratedly sensitive political-correctness envangellist will start attacking the book for that.

I don’t think I have a favorite quote, I think I need to read the book again to pick one. Also, I gave you enough details to make you curious, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

So, buy it, read it and let’s talk more about it.
Stay safe, stay happy!


May 26 2018

GDPR Stuff

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 9:35

Every company that ever got its hands on my data, is telling me that they either are keeping it safe or they are asking me to confirm I still want they to keep it, or remove it.  I’ve also seen a few bloggers saying they are modifying their own installation of wordpress to implement GDPR specs. And while reading all this GDPR spam, because this is what this is, I thought maybe I should say something as well.

The only personal data I have is data users have provided themselves when posting comments. To post a comment on this site, you only need to provide a username and an email. No email is sent to you for confirmation and their validity is not checked so you can be as creative as you want. ;)

I will not modify wordpress or start deleting the database with comments from this site. My blog is not a business, I do not sell anything and I do not need your personal data. Thus I do not sell it nor use it to analyze you and try to sell you stuff you have a bigger tendency to buy.  Nevertheless if you decide to use your real name and email when commenting and decided to check that check box because you want to receive notifications when somebody else comments on the same blog entry, you will receive those emails. Your data is safe with me, it is stored on an AWS instance, that can only be accessed through SSH from a computer I configured, before connecting to it. Publicly on this site, only the username you used to comment with is visible, so if you decided at some point in the past to comment using your real name and are worried about it, please send me an email to delete your comment or edit the username.

WordPress and Amazon have already updated their privacy policy regarding storing and handling of personal data as well.

Sure, I will add a page explaining you in a formal matter all this GDPR stuff, I am forced by law to do it after all. But rest assured, anything that you did not decide to make public on this blog through comments, won’t be made public and the data you provide (username and email) will never be given to a third party.

I hope I was able to put your mind at ease.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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May 19 2018

Names rage

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 16:14

Every person has a button that if it gets pushed too many times, at the lightest touch, they snap. For me that button is my name, actually is how other people spell my name. My name is Iuliana Cosmina, with big “C” and big fucking “I”.  It should be obvious when I send an email, or complete a form, that people write their names with fucking capital letters. That should be obvious for any sane and intelligent adult, right? WRONG.

Since I declared myself eligible for a new job on LinkedIn, a lot of recruiters have contacted me.  You have no idea how many of them salute me with “Hi Luliana”, yes, with an “L”. First time it happened, I brushed it off. Different nationalities, you know? Second time it nagged me a little. Third time, I actually made a comment out loud about it. Forth time, I ignored the message of that recruiter altogether.

I mean, really, wtf people? Why do you think I would write my first name with a small caps letter? Why would you fucking think that??? I always recommend myself as Iuliana Cosmina, if I bother to write the second name with capital “C”, don’t you think the first is capital “I” ??

What is the logic  behind it really? If you are not sure, ask, or just use bloody copy paste and copy the name from the resource you are using.

I have colleagues originating in the most diverse countries and I rarely misspelled their names, you know why? Because I respect people enough to learn their names.

Yeah, this is my first blog-snap because of this subject. I really did not want to write about it, because one of the guys messing up my name might read this and feel offended. But you know what? Feel offended all you want, I feel offended by your carelessness, your dismissal and your lack of respect. So if you read this, after you finish feeling offended, please just fucking  grow up and do your job properly.  Because you probably missed the chance of recommending me to the company that you represent and you might also have missed the big bonus you would have gotten if I would have gotten the job. And I would have gotten the job. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

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May 09 2018

Moving on and letting go

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:20

My dear friends we have a problem. As I prepare to move to another city, to another country and start another job, I am getting insomnia thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I am still packing and trying to decide what to leave behind. I am saying goodbye to friends and bleeding money while trying to move everything from Ron to pounds. I just sold my car, that I barely had for a year and a half. And I don’t usually get attached to things, but this car was one of the best investments I ever did. I am happy though, because it is getting some awesome owners that will appreciate it just as much as I do.

The problem that we have is that you see me as this strong, inquisitive, curious and brave person and some of you do not seem to realize how hard this is for me. Because even if I don’t show it properly, because I’m an introvert after all, I am attached to some of you. And it hurts thinking that most probably I will never see many of you again.

And I have to spend two weeks without my cat. And three weeks looking for rent in a country that looks down on Romanian immigrants and uses credit score to decide if you are able to pay rent or not.

And the new job… seems amazing, but amazingly challenging as well. And I am terrified of the culture clashes and the repercussions of me being too blunt and too open and maybe too friendly. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what scares me, I’ve always been good at adapting. Sure between my four walls I will cry in the evening before falling asleep, that is if I can sleep. Because insomnia is one of my oldest friends, that never leaves me alone in challenging times.

And I have a book to write as well and I feel guilty every time I fall behind a page or two.

But saying goodbye to friends is the hardest. Because there are some people that you never think see you as a friend. But they do, it’s just that they have their own life, challenges and responsibilities keeping them busy. And they tend to take you for granted. They always think that there is time. That they will have that beer with you tomorrow or maybe next week. And you think that they are just too busy to see you. They all seem to have so much going on in their lives, that you don’t want to bother them. So we all take each other for granted. You think there is time. That you will maybe meet next week. But you never do. And then somebody moves away, and you realize that you should have bothered them. You should have asked them for a beer, even if rejection hurts. And you should have said yes and got that beer, because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

I am as guilty for taking people for granted just as much as my friends. But I am guilty of being too scared of being rejected. Because if somebody said no to me more than twice, I give up. No need to be a bother, right?

And I am really sorry, I guess I have a long way to go before becoming an adult. I believe after this change I have learned my lesson and do it better next time.

I guess, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 18 2018

On kids

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:58

Last week I was in my home town to baptize my godson. My best friends decided to add me as a family member, so they gave me the honour to be a godmother to their youngest child. I spent the whole week with this 6-month-old kid and his 5-years old sister. And their parents kept saying I have potential to be a parent. And it got me thinking.

I’m a self-educated introvert. I did not have the best parents. I mentioned this quite a lot around here. But I am over it. I realized that good or bad, whatever happened to me at their hands it made me the person I am today. I am strong, I am relentless, I am smart and I am driven. There’s a big chance I would not be this person if my parents would have been more protective, supportive and understanding. Instead, I took all my anger, all my disappointment and all my pain and used them as fuel for my willpower. And boy I have a lot of that!

Would I be a good parent? I don’t know. I would probably be better than they were, and this might make my kids weaker than I am. Or maybe not. The truth is, I cannot tell. Only time can tell.

But what I can tell you for sure is that I will adopt. I do not want to risk my body and mind to have my own kids. I will adopt. For multiple reasons. One: we are way too many on this planet already. No need for more people. Second: this will be my “screw you” to this society that allows for people to be born without a chance to a normal life. I will adopt a kid, or two and use the resources I have to give them a fighting chance. I know and I accept that I will probably have to ensure counselling for him or her until adulthood to compensate for their rough start in life. But hey, kids are expensive anyway. ;)

So yeah, you don’t have to worry. I will leave some kind of legacy. I will not fade away silently into nothingness.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Jan 04 2018

10 Commandments Of A Career

Category: TechnicalIuliana @ 23:18

I don’t know if 11 years of experience in programming and three published books can be considered a career, but in this 11 years I got promotions I did not chase or even wanted so this must count for something. I do not know if I did anything different than others that try to succeed, but my attitude and hard work got me from a low place to a place higher than I even dared to dream so I thought it might be useful for others.

So here there are, the 10 commandments of my career.

1. Do your best. Sounds easy, sounds simple, but it is difficult to do your best. Especially on your bad days. The truth is you will spend at least 8 hours at work, you might as well use it properly, to deliver quality products and acquire quality knowledge.

2. If you do not like it, change it. Nothing is perfect in this world, thus companies are not either. You will get defective management, defective products to work on, defective people to work with. But nothing changes its state without interference and stimuli. So do your part: speak up and act. You would be amazed how much much you can change. A strong warrior is forged in battle so be thankful for the battles you have to take part of.

3. Ask. Do not expect people to know or care, what you want or need. If you do not ask, people will rarely know what you need and give it to you. There are also people who are shy and can’t say no, even if they don’t really want to give you something. So ask and insist when necessary.

4. Read your contract, know your rights. This should be obvious, but many people skip this part. You have more rights than you think. There are rules put in place to protect you from bullies that are high up the corporate ladder, because with great power sometimes it’s not the great responsibility that comes, but great assholeness. So know them and invoke them when necessary.

5. Never stop improving. This should also be obvious, but some people get cozy at their jobs and get complacent. The only constant in this universe is change. So ride the change like a surfer rides the ocean. Keep your mind fresh and open and enjoy all the wonders of changing time. People who are reluctant to change fade into the background of the company, those who welcome it shine like the sun.

6. Speak up.Do not be afraid to voice your concerns and make proposals. Be open. Be creative. Even in companies that are known to have rigid hierarchy and fixed processes, exceptions can happen when good ideas are strongly voiced. Provide feedback whether is positive or negative. People like being complimented for their good work and even if uncomfortable, people accept that they have to improve. Those that do not want to improve, will most likely quit at some point anyway.

7. Establish boundaries. Be explicit about your do’s and dont’s. For example, it’s ok to state upfront that you do not like overtime, or working in shifts. Preferably do this at the interview, but if you were ok with this at first and then later some changes in your life  make you incompatible with this sort of activities, do not be afraid to communicate it. Contracts are not always explicit about your responsibilities and anything you are asked to do that is not in there, you can be negotiated upon.

8. Work with friends, not colleagues. We are humans, not robots. We make mistakes, we change, we have good days and we have bad days. Know your colleagues. The key to a productive team is to figure out when people are having a bad day and not pushing them and to figure out when they have good ones to challenge them. Also, building trust and friendship with your colleagues leads to a more comfortable working environment, that ultimately… does not feel like work. The truth is, for at least 8 hours a day we share the same space, breathe the same air with a select group of people. The key to a good collaboration is to know their strengths and weaknesses, and harness any of them to build a quality product.

9. Learn from the best. Learn from the worst. Learn from mistakes. And teach others. We are humans, we have genius epiphanies and brain farts. We have cheerful moments and we have low ones. Every experience is learning experience. From the best, copy behaviours that will make you the best. From the worst you can learn what not to do. From mistakes you can learn what was tried and failed, so you will know what not to try. And yeah, preferably learn form mistakes done by others. And teach others. We all die not knowing a lot of things. But be generous with your knowledge, share it so we all die knowing more things. ;)

10. Keep it simple. To make things complicated is easy. You don’t even have to try too much, just take something that you know and build it in your own personal way, thinking that you will never share it with anyone. To people that do not know what you tried to build and how, it will look complicated. The hard part in any domain is to build complex things in a simple way, so that others can understand it and contribute to it. So keep things simple. Implement complicated things in simple ways. Simple is the most practical way after all.

I know some ideas in the above paragraphs might related or even repeated. But, as Aristotle says: “We are what we repeatedly do; thus excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Stay safe, stay happy!


Dec 07 2017

Experience cloud

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 11:12

I created this for a presentation about my experience and skills and I thought it belongs here.

The word cloud above covers all my 11 years of development so far and clearly reveals which topics I am best at. Although I always wished myself to become an agnostic developer, also known as a polyglot developer, after all these years I have to accept the fact that Java & Spring are clearly my strongest points.

Where should I go from now? Well… I have considered learning Kotlin for a while. ;)

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