Journal: Sunday, October 25, 2020

In Personal

This past week, and particularly this past weekend, have been pretty good to me. By now, I’ve finished writing up and retroactively published journal entries from the past seven or so days.

Now, for today, really the main things I’d like to record/remember include

  • not only finishing my Security Specialist Superbadge (which I actually finished yesterday night), but FINALLY reaching Ranger status;
  • indoor top-rope climbing with Jon and Suppy;
  • (outdoor) dining at Spoon (a Korean place right next to Ironworks); and
  • demo-ing TidyHQ as an alternative membership management platform (versus Wild Apricot) to the LMJS board.

On getting to Ranger

My god, it took me a 1 year and 10 months to do it, but I’m finally there. It’s definitely far from something I need to do at work, and even in the wider Salesforce community, it’s not necessarily all that significant. But having done it, and especially having done the Service Cloud Specialist and Security Specialist superbadges (both of which are relevant to my day-to-day development work and my understanding of the Salesforce user experience), I finally like I “know” what I’m working on a little better.

It’s really interesting in that way. When I worked at Zephyr, a startup, I knew almost everything about our applications, from its data pipelines, data science and application software engineering, on the technical side, to the every user persona, business use case, and even every customer’s details, on the product and customer success side.

At Salesforce — obviously a much larger company (by some 3 orders of magnitude, in fact) — the story is very different. At Salesforce, the specific feature that I work on, out of literally hundreds of thousands of features, is almost my entire world. And out of hundreds of thousands of enterprise customers, I’m only familiar with perhaps a dozen or so.

Really getting a grasp of how everything (or at least, more things) work, even at more general sense, was my goal in doing more trailheads (even as I plan to specialize even further as a machine learning engineer).

Anyway, “Ranger” used to be the top rank. Now there’s “Double Ranger,” “Triple Ranger” — all the way up to essentially Quintuple Ranger. There’s actually a lot more stuff I want to learn. I’m already on that path to Double Ranger. That said, I’m intentionally slowing my progress down now. The main challenge with doing so many badges is actually remembering and getting value from them all (I guess this is true of all lifelong learning). What I’m doing now is taking a whole lot more notes, which I’ll collect and synthesize after various checkpoints… perhaps I’ll post them here on this blog in the future!

Journal: Sunday, October 25, 2020 1

On toproping

I was originally introduced to climbing by way of bouldering. With bouldering, there’s no worry about gearing up with rope and harness, no need to find or come with a belay partner, and minimal risk of injury.

Rope climbing is different. And for some, climbing with rope is “real climbing.”

Personally, after getting “more” serious about climbing in early 2019, I’ve really only bouldered. Rope climbing (from toproping, lead, to aid and trad) has been rather mysterious to me. Though I’ve taken a class on rope safety, and despite how straightforward the setup process really is, I don’t feel like I’m 100% comfortable.

That made actual rope climbing outdoors earlier this year at Napa that much more special. And rope climbing today that much more fun.

I hope I get to do more of it in the future (according to Suppy, the current plan is to boulder every other day during the weekdays, and toprope on the weekends).

On Spoon

When I used to live in LA, my girlfriend at the time, and I, would visit K-town almost every night. After moving to the SF Bay Area, we’d still make the effort to find Korean places (despite the relative lack of them here). After we broke up, I effectively reduced how much I ate out, meaning that I ate even less Korean than ever.

Spoon was one of the first Korean places that my ex and I tried when we moved to Berkeley over 6 years ago. Since our last time there, I’ve not gone back. So getting a kimchi stew (which I’ve not had in an actual stone pot for over a year, due to dine-in restrictions this year) there felt kind of special, in a somewhat melancholic way.

On migrating out of Wild Apricot (and demoing TidyHQ)

This year, I was elected to the LMJS Board of Directors, mainly to oversee and maintain the website. Its website is run off the Wild Apricot membership management platform. But for its astronomical cost (US$313/month!), I demonstrated today that we could get everything we needed from an alternative costing $79AUD ($56USD)/month. More importantly, the new platform is a lot easier to use, is much faster (god knows how much time I’ve wasted just waiting for Wild Apricot to load pages), and has better administrative features not offered by WA (like keeping meeting notes/agendas, scheduling tasks, etc.).

Switching over is going to be a lot of work. And we’ll have to run a pilot. But after hearing the positive feedback from the board members who attended today, I’m feeling good; it’s going to make our lives so much easier.

Long entry today. No more writing now.


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