Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The first team I managed was a team of developers that were thrown together to build a tool set for compiling (building) programs, provisioning resources (on AWS) and then deploying those built artifacts to target environments. Even though we didn’t know it then, developers who wear these hats apparently are now more commonly known as SREs. None of us had any sysadmin, ops or system engineering experience. All of us came from software development. I believe that a large part of our success was that we didn’t have baggage of how to build CICD tooling — most of us were…


Violas have a smooth, dark tone and often described as being closest to the pitch of a human voice.
Violas have a smooth, dark tone and often described as being closest to the pitch of a human voice.
Photo by Belen Garrido on Unsplash

I had always wanted music lessons. However, growing up, my family could only afford to send one child (my older sister) since it was very expensive to buy a good upright piano and find a reputable piano teacher. They figure the older one can teach the younger ones. While my sister took piano lessons for a few years, she eventually dropped them due to obligations with school, sports and volunteer work. She taught me the basics of reading music, but couldn’t teach me more beyond what she learned herself. So, since age 16, I took it upon myself to teach…


The root of all innovation is creativity. However, we can sometimes squelch creativity if we overthink things.
The root of all innovation is creativity. However, we can sometimes squelch creativity if we overthink things.
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

In my current role, one of my teams has spent the better part of two years trying to dig ourselves out of a hole created by another team who poorly designed some fairly critical applications dealing with platform services -- meaning functionality that is upstream to many other microservices. A large part of the problem was that I believe the former team was a victim of over pre-optimization. I know it is easier to have hindsight since we’re now living with the consequences and constant issues of the ecosystem of services we inherited. …


Photo by Queens on Unsplash

There’s a lot of conversations around discrimination these days. I have seen that people will judge based on skin color, ethnicity, age, gender, societal status, and other physical and not-so-physical markers. Companies offer training on unconscious bias and expanded their diversity and inclusion initiatives, but despite these efforts, there is still an undercurrent of implicit discrimination that occurs.

I am a female in a predominantly male industry, and I am a first generation immigrant at that. English is not my first or even, second, language. I am older than most of my colleagues — after all, I have been in…


Management sometimes feels like a game of chess.
Management sometimes feels like a game of chess.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

People who’ve spent several years in a technology job will sometimes find themselves at the crossroads of their career — do I stay an individual contributor, or, do I move into management? It’s been almost 4 years since I made the jump myself. Although my reasons may not resonate with everyone, I would like to offer some of my discovery process that led to this decision. But first, a look back through time…

The Beginning

My path to an engineering manager role was not a straight one. In fact, my career in IT has taken different twists and turns along…


Fog of war represents the uncertainty or lack of situational awareness experienced when assessing an area of conflict. My husband often plays first person shooter games that employ a map, used to depict the fog of war. The map gives you a general idea of what’s out there, but until you get to the marked locations- no specifics are revealed until you go there yourself or send a scout. As you clear an area, that part of the map is revealed. As you tackle and conquer more locations and place the map into clear view, eventually, you win the game.

An example map from Far Cry showing the fog of war
An example map from Far Cry showing the fog of war
Photo from https://www.polygon.com/far-cry-5-guide/2018/3/26/17164422/map-weapons-fangs-for-hire-challenges-perks-helicopter-stealth-arcade


My first memory of a family pet was a Japanese Spitz named Niño. I remember the day Niño came home, all white and fluffy. He grew to be big enough to carry me as a toddler, at least according to family pictures. We had many other dogs as I got older, so I was convinced that I was a dog person, even though I found, later in life, that I was in fact allergic to dogs, cats and bird dander. I also took for granted that, growing up in Asia, we had housekeepers to help us take care of the…

Grace Ke

Grace works in IT and is addicted to Toon Blast and online window shopping. She hopes to publish a children's book someday.

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