Daniel Mai

Who Am I?

I don’t know who I am. I’ve known this for a while. Every time someone’s asked me a personal question, nothing really concrete comes out as an answer.

I had an interview recently and I did a horrible job answering personal questions, which should probably be the easiest part, and the part I really shouldn’t mess up with. So it’s probably time for me to think about myself. The following questions aren’t all from the interview I had. It also includes questions that people had asked me from their curiosity.

What do I do in my free time?

I like to read. Right now I’m into reading about programming as a way to learn more than what college doesn’t do much to teach me, such as famous computer scientists, using version control, and a little bit about the well-known languages and frameworks that are used in the industry. At least, the classes I’ve taken so far haven’t taught me these things, and I’m impatient with my learning.

It’s strange when my professor or a textbook mentions something that I only know about from doing some reading outside of school. When it’s presented in lecture it’s almost as if we should’ve already known how to do this, but none of the classes I took before really covered it; I need to do my own reading to be on top of what’s happening in class.

I enjoy bicycling to places. It’s amazing that I can just pedal my feet to get somewhere relatively quickly. For example, I can bike to school with about fifteen minutes more time compared to driving (and a whole lot more sweat), without worrying about needing gas, changing my oil, running someone over, or finding parking. It’s great.

I like to play video games. They’re fun. I love interacting with these surreal worlds that hundreds of hours of man work has been able to concoct.

And I write. Here, in my journal, and with my friends, practically every day. I’m not a great writer, but if practice makes perfect, then I hope to become better by writing every day.

Where do I see myself in five years?

I see myself working on something that lives on the web. Things on the web can be opened by any browser, no matter what OS is running, with no notion of being “downloaded and installed”. It’s pretty amazing.

What do I want to do with a CS degree?

When a guy asked me this question last semester I told him “I don’t know.” I still don’t really know, but I know I’m interested in networks and the web. I want my CS degree to allow me to create things that people can use.

What kind of music do I listen to?

I’m not really a music person. By that, I mean I don’t follow or listen to whatever’s popular on the radio. Heck, I’ve never really fully memorized any lyrics to a song. When I see people sing along to their favorite songs, it amazes me that they know all the words. I can’t do that.

I tend to listen to songs that I like; that’s not really narrowed to any particular genre, and my tastes change over time. Nowadays, I tend to listen to video game and movie soundtracks. Listening to them brings me back into their respective worlds, and they sound fabulous to boot.