Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Asians, and maybe Filipinos more specifically, have this cultural bias towards trying to avoid conflict. So often there will be people who don’t like to speak up when they think something is wrong, either just tolerating it or hoping someone else will take it up. A software dev in another company once told me that he felt like he was complaining so much that he was looking like a bad guy

This is of course, a bad attitude to have. If no one speaks up about the problems we see, how would we ever improve? Someone has to do it, it might as well be you. And often there will be benefits too to speaking up, for one thing you might get credit for raising something no one else has thought of. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease

That being said, you should of course pick your battles. Don’t complain too much about the little things, but be sure to raise your voice when there’s an important battle to be fought. This will give you a reputation such that when you do raise something, people will pay attention. Having a balanced approach is a lot more helpful than complaining about every little thing

Oh, and of course if someone is doing something wrong, try not to be combative but be a bit diplomatic. You don’t want to offend anyone, you just want to do things the right way. And question the action instead of the person so that it doesn’t feel like a personal attack. “Hey, is that really how it should be done?” will be received better than “That’s not how to do it, you idiot!”

Don’t be afraid to be unreasonable every so often. As George Bernard Shaw famously said “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

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roytang.net is a personal site, an E/N site, and kind of a commonplace book; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.