About KimSia

The name is tricky.

Quick links here:
Want to know who I am? You’re in the right place.
Want to know what this blog is about? Go to /welcome
Want to know what I’m doing now? Go to /now
Want to read more of what I have written? Go to /published

The name can be tricky.

In Asia, either your name is in the form of {family name} {given name}, or {given name} {son/daughter of} {father’s name} like some Arabic or Indian names. On this blog, which I expect Westernised audiences, I am going with the conventional {given name} {family name} format. Hence KimSia Sim.

You can just call me Kim. It’s easier. And, please, you aren’t the first one to make a North Korean joke about my name.

I live, work, and play in a city-state called Singapore. I run a business managing tech for other businesses. It’s currently called Oppoin (rhymes with appoint) for legacy reasons. In other words, I run a tech B2B outfit.


Working With Me — A User Manual

I have come across articles and tweets saying that people should write their own user manuals. These may be about how best to communicate, work with, or even live with an individual written by the very same person themselves. Which I think is a great idea. Therefore, this section is my attempt at creating my own user manual on working with me.

A great use of personal user manual to manage up
Yet another tweet extolling the virtue of a user manual for individuals

At heart, I’m a business minded person. However, I’m much more skilled in software development. This explains some of the comments I get from people who work with me. A sibling I work with once said to my face that I’m “not a true programmer”. I’m more of a “business coder”. Customers whom I work with recognise my technical and communications skills. So much so that I even had a job offer as project manager from a customer when I informed them I’m going to run my own software company. I have also less charitable though accurate assessments by technical mentors saying I don’t build maintainable and scalable systems. I agree with that assessment. Now that I’m truly serious about being successful on my own terms, the plan is to change that.

Settler. Neither Pioneer Nor Town Planner

There’s a perspective known as the Pioneer-Settler-Town Planner Model. Pioneers are those brave souls who go against the prevailing paradigm and break new ground. They are the rebels, the inventors, the disruptive innovators. Town planners are those who enforce the existing rules within the existing structure. Settlers are in between these two moulds. They see and understand the new vision espoused by the pioneers though they seldom can come up with new original visions on their own. They appreciate the need for order and structure like the town planners but they don’t believe in blindly following existing prardigms.

As much as I like to become the heroic Pioneer, with sufficient life experience I have come to realize and accept that I’m more of the Settler type. The truth is I realised it early. It just took me longer to accept it. Which brings me to my next point —- I can be incredibly stubborn.

Stubborn

For good and bad reasons, I have been told I am stubborn. At the same time, friends I have made and travelled say I am an easy going and easy to get along with. So it comes down to me being stubborn on positions I care about. Things I don’t care about I’m willing to be flexible. Stubborn is a trait that depends on the quality of the owner’s judgement. So, that means my stubbornness is good when I’m right and it’s terrible when I’m wrong. Stubbornness is also good or bad depending on how I express it. Embarrassingly, I have thrown tantrums which show a lack of control. Whether I’m subsequently right or wrong doesn’t matter for I have lost the ears of my audience. Which leads to the last point about me as a person.

Rationality

I deeply care about being a rational person. It’s perhaps paradoxical but my drive to be rational is ultimately based in emotions. So if we disagree, you need to persuade me through rational reasons. I may still act out and look displeased. Eventually, if you have the better reasons, I expect myself to come to yours. Similarly, I greatly appreciate other people when they have the same attitude. Though I no longer expect others to share my priority regarding the pursuit of truth.

Just a quick note before I return to more conventional description about myself, I realized how much I enjoy writing this user manual. I intend to write a longer treatment about this in the future. Will update with a link to the expanded version when it happens.

Achievements

I like to build stuff. At first, I wasn’t very good. Eventually, I got better. And then, I enjoy building stuff even more. Which leads me to do more of it. Which begets more progress.

You get the idea.

I have either built things on my own, or I have done it within a team structure.

Things I have built personally:

  1. A quotation processing system for a telecommunications equipment firm
  2. A purchase order processing system for the same telecommunications equipment firm
  3. A PDF reconciliation systems for asset management firm

Things I have built by leading a team:

  1. A RFID warehouse inventory system with iPod devices for warehouse workers for kitchenware company based in China
  2. A one-way data replication for the same warehouse inventory system above so that employees based outside of China can access the data

These are the most challenging projects I have worked on. Therefore, they’ve also become my most satisfying achievements to date.