Jan 08 2018

Work memes

Category: FunnyIuliana @ 14:39


Jan 04 2018

10 Commandments Of A Career

Category: English posts,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 26 2017

The butterfly effect

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:22

When you do something do you ever think of the unknown consequences of your actions? Let say you walk down the street and you kick a stone changing its place. What could be the consequence of that action in 24 hours? What about 1 day? Or one month? Or one year or 100 years? Did you ever think what are the chances statistically, that a child might crouch down to lift up that stone, loose his balance and fall into the street and cause an accident? Seems an improbable scenario, right? And maybe too pessimistic and too creatively morbid, right?

Indeed, that is maybe too creative. I’ll ask you another question then: do you ever think of the long term consequences your actions and decisions have on your children?

Today I was visiting my parents and I stayed there for three painful hours. During these three hours there were some fights and some shouts, but some information made it’s way to my ears as well. Both my grandmothers were taken of school in the fourth grade so they can help around the house with their younger brothers, six and seven of them. Apparently they had a natural talent for learning, because they were able to get first prize(in Romania I think they are still rewarding the best pupils this way) even with little time to learn or do homework. Good news: intelligence runs in the family and seems to be “affecting” mostly females. :D Both my grandmothers never forgave their parents for stopping them from going to school. The one that died a month ago, was 87 years old and on her death bed she mentioned this again. She died pissed off on her parents, and blamed them for the mess of a life she had. Because even after 77 years she thought not being in school was one of the worst thing in her life and the first bad moment that allowed the rest of them to unfold.

I think most people say that, in life it is better to regret the things you did than those you didn’t. My grandmother regretted on her death bed that she did not go to school, and her parents were to blame for that. There were dead and buried a long time ago, but she could not forgive them. Maybe a psychologist could have helped, but Romanians believe psychologists are con-men.

What I’ve heard today made me sad. Not only because I found out yet another sad event in my grandmother’s life, but because I’m starting to think the consequences of my tormented childhood might never be healed. And my childhood was tormented because my mother never received a proper education in parenting, so she did what she thought best. She still thinks the regular beatings she blessed me and my sister with were justified and necessary. And those are just the physical abuse. I don’t really want to think about the emotional abuse right now.

So, how could I think of having a family and bringing a child into this world just to raise it broken? How can I break this bloody loop of bad decisions and abuse? How can I raise and educate a child when I am still a broken individual? How far away should I move to break this loop? How do I do it without feeling guilty for not being empathetic with my own parents?

And least, but not last, I asked them to give me one reason why I should have a child? An answer that I might give to my child one day if he or she asks me why I decided to bring them into this world. I asked them why did they have me and my sister. I would have loved a typical communist answer like “me and your father really loved each other and had a lot of good sex and because there was no contraception of the time you happened.” But they were not able to say that, because it was not true.

Well, no idea what is waiting for me in the future, but if I ever have a child, I really hope it is a girl. And I hope from my whole being that I will be able to guide her and help her develop her bright mind while keeping it whole. Because I’ll be damned if I continue this’s  bloodline of bright broken minds.

So if you read this and you have a child, reconsider your behaviour towards him or her. If you do not have a child yet, check if you and your partner have whole minds and as little frustrations as possible before choosing to have a child. Because there is a chance your child will never forgive you and die hating you, if you wrong him or her.

And this broken world is the consequence of broken people, wether we are able to accept it or not. So, let’s break this loop.

Dec 23 2017

În vizită pe acasă

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:06

Bună dragilor,

Cum v-am obișnuit deja, de trei ani încoace, în preajma sărbătorilor de iarnă vin înspre Iași ca să îmi văd familia și cei mai dragi prieteni. Mâine mă pornesc încolo (nu vă faceți grji, este cine să aibă grijă de casă și de pisică) și până pe 1 Ianuarie 2018 cînd mă pornesc înapoi spre Sibiu o să fiu  o să cam umblu între Iași, Piatra Neamț, Roman, Pașcani și Bacău, în funcție de cum vă aranjez în programul de vizite.

Așa că, dacă  vreți să ne vedem și când dați un semn, să văd cum mă învârt. Dacă doriți ceva din zona Ardealului, dacă doriți cărțile mele de Spring sau orice altceva, dați un semn până mâine.

Acestea fiind zise, vă urez sărbători liniștite și fericite.


Dec 17 2017

About sexual harassment

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:59

I did not want to write about this until the scandals toned down a little because it would have looked like I was “milking the cow”. But I need to address this because surprisingly I did not read anywhere an opinion similar to mine and I wonder why there not many people with a similar view.

If you take the sexuality element from the sexual harassment, all you are left with are some bullies, some sad individuals, that feel pleasure in making other people feel weak and in hurting them. Or in taking advantage of other people’s weakness. And unfortunately, most women are weaker, because this is how our species has evolved. We do have more feeble bodies and stronger minds. Because well, you need that in order to deal with shit that people stronger than you will do to you.

If we take the sexual element from sexual harassment and look at the bigger picture, we are left with a disturbing culture, in which strong individuals are allowed to treat weak individuals like shit. The bullies were raised by some parents that did not educate them properly in the civil spirit that humanity prouds itself with. Unfortunately, education and respect for any human being could control this kind of behaviour. And I say unfortunately, because education is something that is not prioritized in most countries.

The most ridiculous thing is this world is that we have religions, we have so many of them, and any religion in this world has a basic rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” I can’t imagine that being sexually harassed and raped, is what Weinstein, Trump and others are actually what they desire done unto them.

The downside of all these scandals is that we might see gestures like stealing a kiss disappearing, because no man or woman will ever try this for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. The upside is that we currently have a generation growing up with a new sexual conduct that will lead to a lot more sane relationships. And sane relationships might mean more educated children, that will become more sane adults.

I really hope I will still be here to see it.

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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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Nov 30 2017

Pro Spring 5 e-book giveaway

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:52

Hi guys,

I’m quite a young author, I only started writing technical books in 2015. This obviously means that I’m basically unknown in the industry, so I need to make a name for myself. I received a lot of emails with feedback from you, some of you have praised my books, some of you have also found mistakes that helped me prepare Erratas and make sure I spread useful and valid information.  I am grateful to you all and I hope I provided proper support for the books.  In order for me to continue writing, I need my books to sell.

That is why, if you bought my books, please post your reviews on Amazon, or on the Apress/ Springer official sites, or on your personal blog, or anywhere really. I need you to share your opinion about the books and the source code.

My last book, Pro Spring, it is a book already consecrated on the market and I hope I did a good job with its 5th revision. To make sure this book gets your attention Apress decided to give a few of you the e-book for free. The only thing you need to do is to send me your email. Another thing that will be nice of you to do, is to read the book and provide reviews for it Amazon and Apress/Springer sites, or on your personal blog, or anywhere really. ;)

The  way I see it is like this, you review my books and tell the world how great(I sure hope they are worth this attribute!) they are, my books sell and I am motivated to keep doing this. And Apress is convinced that I do good work and keeps giving me books to write.

So yeah, not quite give away, but close enough. I am waiting for your emails at iuliana[dot]cosmina[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thank you in advance!
You friendly technical author,
Iuliana Cosmina

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