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Yeo Kheng Meng

Maker, Coder, Private Pilot, Retrocomputing Enthusiast

3 minutes read

Today marks the last year of my 20s. My true age has always surprised people whom I just met. Yeah, I’m actually not that young already. So stock take for what was an amazing year for me!

1. Giving Talks

I have given 10 public tech talks. No conference talks this time but I managed to emcee at one instead so conference speaking quota still met. I have done the conference hat trick of recording, speaking and emceeing for GopherConSG over 3 years!

I still believe in the philosophy of open sourcing a project, writing a blog post then giving a talk. I’ll still continue to uphold this for the foreseeable future.

2. Private Pilot’s License

I manage to obtain my Private Pilot’s licence in this period. This no doubt will rank as one of my life’s most significant achievements for a long time to come. As of my previous birthday, I never touched the controls of a real plane before.

One year later, I got my license and flown my family, friends and even made an international flight! When your passengers’ lives are in your hands, it is not something to joke around. When everyone relies on me the pilot-in-command, one becomes more paranoid in preparation and don’t leave things to chance or just “wing” it.

Carrying such a heavy responsibility has made me a much better leader and a more mature decision maker.

3. Volunteering

Somehow I’m not sure how I got the time to still volunteer at Repair Kopitiam which finally got mentioned in the PM’s rally. I’m one the lead coaches of the Teck Ghee branch which is a position which I learned a lot of leadership and organisation skills.

Occasionally I still record for Engineers.SG and helping to organising Hackware. Not sure I managed to worm myself into helping to organise Geekcamp.SG.

Although I still think it’s worth it to exchange my time for the greater societal benefits, I’m feeling the warning signs of volunteer fatigue.

4. Work and skills

It’s coincidental as well that my birthday also marks my work anniversary since I joined SP Digital exactly 3 years ago. It’s the longest I have been in a company already and this period has forced me to revaluate my skillsets.

I have realised both my tech and non-tech skills have been stretched too thin. I really fit the cliche of jack of all trades master of none. In the past year, I have worked on hardware design, firmware programming, some enclosure work, Mobile dev, using multiple programming languages.

Concurrently, I try to keep up my emcee skills, teaching people to repair and maintaining my highly-perishable flying skills. Problem is, I’m not particularly strong in any area and my skills are barely entry-level for all of them. At the same time, there are upcoming skills in tech dealing with data and AI that I have zero experience in.

Perhaps I need more focus going forward especially if I still want to remain relevant within or outside my workplace.

Final words:

I felt that I set the bar and expectations so high for myself this past year that I’m not sure if things will be downhill from now. With one more year before the end of my 20s, one thing is still definite, I’ll still continue my drive to push myself out of my comfort zone whenever possible. Let’s see what I’ll achieve before my 20s end for good!

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