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Corporate America

Observability for You and for Me

One digital health metric I now track almost religiously

One digital health metric I now track almost religiously

I caught a cold about two weeks ago on a Sunday night. I thought I stayed home to sleep it off on Monday, July 18. But this thing escalated quickly! When I went to see the doctor on Thursday, she told me I was about to get over it and that I just needed to rest to recover. Boy! That recovery took more than a week. Thanks to my trusted Fitbit Charge HR, I was able to track my resting heart rate and feel confident that I was on the path of recovery.

Before I started tracking my RBPM, I had no idea that it’s so much correlated to my overall health. Even though I was just laying in bed all day when I was sick, my resting heart rate went from 64bpm to all way up to 80bpm in just a few days. Clearly my body was fighting valiantly and my one health metric confirmed it for me!

Come to think of it, as an engineer, I know so much more about the machines that I work with in the data centers but I hardly know anything about the most important machine of all aka my body. At Fitbit and at Twitter, we routinely collect thousands and thousands of metrics about any single machine every minute of every day but we hardly know anything about our own bodies. Here’s a video of a short talk about the Observability Team at Twitter talking about how many metrics or times series they collect very minute. (Hint: it’s in the billions!)

So why do we know so much about computers in data centers but so little about ourselves? Wouldn’t it be nice to have metrics collected continuously about our bodies so we can analyze their patterns and create alerts for potential health issues? Wouldn’t knowing exactly how our bodies have been behaving make it easier for doctors to treat us when we’re sick? Today Fitness tracker is just in its very infant stage. I can’t wait until the day when we know as much about our bodies as we do about the machines around us. Digital health metrics are coming! Mark my word. 🙂


Does a POTUS Trump Mean End of Democracy?

The Donald and Hillary

“If The Donald becomes the President of the United States, I’m gonna leave the U.S. and move to XYZ!” I’ve heard this and similarly emphatic statement repeated by a lot of people in a jokingly manner, many of whom are dear friends that I respect. But let’s take a moment to examine the logic here. The fact that anyone can become the President in America is what makes America America! That is the essence of American democracy. And that is the pinnacle of the American Dream where every single one of her citizens should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. This is the clearest and most direct evidence that our democratic system is working. So why leave?

Perhaps the problem isn’t the system. Perhaps the problem lies with the people because the President is elected in America by people, more specifically by people who vote (or don’t). And who sits in the Oval Office as Commander-in-Chief is determined by your vote (or lack thereof). So for better or for worse, the system cannot function properly without the people doing their part. Too often in the corporate world I see people get together in a meeting to debate an issue, make a decision, and yet turn around and keep doing things their own way even though the team had decided to do things differently. The lack of leadership and lack of teamwork always hurt the team. But it’s amazing how many bad actors are out there!

Of course I’m talking about voters not doing their civic duties. Just think about how many friends you know complain about the justice system and yet the same friends also complain about serving jury duties! I’m also talking about leaders not being leaders. Specifically I’m talking about a President not able to work with both sides of the aisle. I’m talking about Congressmen not supporting their Commander-in-Chief because of political differences. I’m talking about passive aggressiveness instead of constructive teamwork. So hooray for The Donald to stir things up a little and remind us all what complacency, egotism, and indifference can quickly lead us to. Just remember Germany was too a functioning democracy before all hell broke loose in 1933.

So tell me where will you move to when that happens again? Stick around and let’s make this system work, Murica!


Follow Your Heart

My resting heart rate

My resting heart rate for the last six months or so!!

Since Twitter and I parted ways last June, I had a relaxing four months of funemployment where I was basically chilling and keeping it cool. I took my kids to school. I didn’t exercise or anything at first. I just kept it cool. I drank coffee with friends after dropping my kids off and maintained a manageable lunch schedule before picking my kids up again at the end of the day. Yeah I took some trips with family and friends and read a lot of comic books too. Cool comic books like The Walking Dead and Pretty Deadly. In other words, life was dead cool.

Then I went to talk to a few friendly folks at a company called Fitbit on September 2 and unexpectedly they gifted me a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor! I went out for a run the very next day with my Charge HR and had a blast. All of a sudden I was running like three times a week! I decided it was time I got #MovingOn! Thanks to keeping it cool all summer, my resting heart rate was a cool 72bpm. And with regular exercises, I got it down an even cooler 67bpm! Cool!

But alas, that’s when life took a turn. I was so happy with my Charge HR, I started working at Fitbit. And once I started working, I stopped working out. And on top of that, I was stressing out because I wasn’t working out. Three months of indolence and stress kicked my resting heart rate up to a very uncool 82bpm. Then I remember, dude, you gotta keep it cool, right!? So I signed up for a cool gym and started working out again in February. And after two months or so, I’m happy to report that my resting heart rate is now back at a cool 65bpm! Very very cool.

So what’s the lesson here? You have to follow your heart. More importantly, with the right Fitbit tracker, you can also follow your heart rate too. And that’s real cool!


Lunchtime!

Let us eat!Ever wonder why some people are such workaholics? The Super-Rich like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet are always working and working and working despite having achieved incredible success.  Is it because they enjoy their jobs so much that they simply cannot stop?  Maybe.  Or is it because there is something else that’s driving them?  Who knows!

All I’ve learned so far having been funemployed[1] for almost three months now is that I need a steady lunch group.  I miss having lunch with my friends and colleagues regularly between the hours of noon and 1pm.  Managing different lunch dates and coffee breaks and so forth with various people throughout the week has just been too taxing on me.

It’s the Wild Wild West out there, my friends!  The lunching scene is simply brutal, man.  You’ve gotta trust me!  Last minute cancellations!  Reservations!  Parking!  You gotta deal with parking.  Write that one down.  Never forget parking.  And then you’ve gotta make sure you are fair to everybody in your scheduling.  And what about those subtle rejections?  I didn’t wanna bring it up but all these things take their toll on ya.  The lunching scene is just too stressful, to put it mildly.

I’m ready to get my steady lunch group back!  That’s one of the reasons why I go to work.  It’s lunchtime!


[1] Thanks to my former coworker and friend Nhu for this term.  I’ve never heard of “funemployment” until she used it on me!  #Genius!


Moving On

JoggingWent for a jog yesterday.  It was so hot out I barely felt like moving at all.  Then all of a sudden, a group of young runners passed by me and just like that, I picked up my pace and followed them for like a mile and a half!  It was definitely faster than what I would have done on my own.  I am of course very sore today but it feels great.  That’s pretty much what it’s like to be part of a team.  So with renewed energy and enthusiasm, I am to begin looking for my next team. #MovingOn


And in the Darkness Fire Them

One person recommended Lisa!?

  One Lisa to lure them all
    One Lisa to hire them
      One Lisa to inspire them all
        And in the darkness fire them


Mom, I don’t work for Eurosex!!

Don't tell me what G stands for...

Euro G. Sex?

I know!  I know!  Dr Steven Levitt of Freakonomics says names don’t matter.  But 5,000 years of Chinese heritage in me say otherwise.  I mean you honestly want me to believe that if I step into that office, I’m not gonna have some Scandinavian adventures?  And of course, arouse by any other name would smell as sweet, too!