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Want Your Ears and Mind to Chill?

To Live and (maybe not) Die in LA

I’ve long been wanting to write a post about Los Angeles. It’s my birthplace, it has the best food compared to any other city I’ve been in (admittedly, I haven’t been to many places), it’s a diverse landscape of cultures, and it’s where people come to chase their life-long dreams, but a majority succumb to the constant failures while trying to achieve those very goals. LA has those who live extravagant lives and those who struggle to make ends meet. LA has people that clearly don’t give a damn about anything or anyone (notably in traffic), but also has kind and compassionate individuals to make up for some of the shadiness, greed, and corruption riddled around the city. LA has: sunny year-round weather, yogi masters/life gurus, infamous slow traffic, Hollywood, delicious food, In-N-Out, terrible pho (shout out to my CO peeps), gang violence, celebrities, cat hotels, fusion cuisine, world renowned theme parks, unique museums/landmarks, cupcake ATMs, ridiculous parking tickets, ridiculous cars, Venice Beach, prestigious schools, not-so prestigious public schools, a notorious police department, and million dollar homes that would only cost you half that outside of Southern California, all within a 25 mile radius, but it’ll still take you 2 hours to get to where you want to go. These don’t even scratch the surface of all the hipster activities LA offers for an adventurous millennial like myself, but this post isn’t meant to be a list things to do in SoCal. You can find that elsewhere. The purpose of this post is about why, unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to live up to Tupac’s catchy chorus that I’ve been rapping to for the past 10+ years.

The reason why I’ve hesitated to write about LA was because these points (and others such as its rich history) have been tirelessly written, talked, televised, and blogged about. Millions of people were born here, there are food connoisseurs that have a far more sophisticated palette and overall knowledge in cuisine than I ever will, I’ve only been exposed to a small portion of LA’s rich culture, and of course, the Hollywood Dream – similar, but distinct to the American Dream – have been depicted in a multitude of media formats, if ya know what I mean.

Controversial vocation choices and originality in posts about LA aside, I love Los Angeles and as a millennial, I feel as though there are many, many activities, sights, and, most importantly, food I’ve yet to experience. If I want to go to the beach or go hiking, I have the beautiful California coastline to see the Pacific and various parks to overlook the city. If I want to try different foods, I’m just a Yelp tap away to the nearest poppin’ new restaurant. If I need to get my weekly dose of super car jealousy/envy out of the way, I just step outside my apartment for a couple minutes until the neighborly Ferrari 458s, McClaren 650S’s, and Lamborghini Aventadors come roaring down the street. For those of you that don’t know, in West LA, Porsches and Maseratis are like your Corollas and Civics elsewhere in U.S. (so forget I even mentioned those peasantry vehicles among the elites).

I would love to stay in LA, but there are a couple reasons why it might not happen. The housing market in the region is absurd. You pretty much have to give up the thought of having a front and backyard, unless you can fork over $500k+ and at that low of a starting point, it probably doesn’t have many other perks (e.g., safe neighborhood, close to the highway, etc.). If having kids is important to you, giving them the best education and support system possible are probably on your checklist as well. Unfortunately, the school system here is dysfunctional and insufficient. Many parents opt to send their children to private schools instead, which in turn, cost more money. Additionally, the importance of familial support when raising a child (or children) is well documented and highly recommended, particularly when they are younger and when you are early on in your career. Therefore, there is a lot of value living near extended family.

Although I realize software developers are needed across all geographic and industrial domains, I also know there’s not much that compares to the mecca that is Silicon Valley for a career in technology. In relation to that fact, the most compelling reason that I might not be staying in LA for the rest of my life is because of my burning desire to continue to taste, touch, breathe, hear, and see the world around me. One of my greatest passions is learning about different cultures and experiencing what a day in the life is like for those people. I’ve had the chance to live in multiple places in Colorado and California and all those experiences have shaped the person I am today. Just thinking about what all I would learn from living in other places in the world (especially San Francisco) is exhilarating and – if I were to receive a job offer in Silicon Valley – to miss out on such an life-changing opportunity because of my love and connection to LA seems somewhat limiting.

This isn’t to say I’ve given up my pursuit to reside in Los Angeles. In fact, my girlfriend and I will be living here indefinitely. I’d be more than happy with a job in the up-and-coming Silicon Beach (I’ve read that most people in the industry resent that name) tech community, a relatively better housing market than SF (for now), and an overall familiarity to the SoCal regions. Not to mention, I actually do have extended family in SoCal (however, my girlfriend does not). When it’s all said and done, my feeling is that LA is made up of a little bit of all the places of the world. Of course, it’s easy to see if you take a look at LA and SoCal’s past. Native Latinos, dreamers from the east side of the country, Asians from across the Pacific, and other immigrants from around the world – with a pinch of some liberal crazy – makes LA one of the most diverse boiling pots of people and culture found anywhere. I think that’s why even if I were to go anywhere else, deep down, I would miss having that boiling-pot variety around me. Plus, why wouldn’t you want to live and die in LA?

To Live and (maybe not) Die in LA

Early vs. Beginning Coders


A great article by Zed Shaw about new programmers!

Originally posted on Zed A. Shaw:

When I was working on Learn Python The Hard WayI was frustrated by how often I’d have to explain that the book is for a total beginner. The problem is that most of the technology world considers someone with about two programming languages under their belt a “beginner”, but learning two programming language would take you about 4-6 months. After 6 months you can’t really say someone is a beginner since, well, 6 months later is not the beginning. The beginning of something is…I mean why do I have to say this…at the beginning. Not 6 months later.

It seems pedantic but this is a constant problem in the technology education world. When you look at the categories for technology book publishers they only have categories for “beginner” that fit the model of a person who’s not really a beginner. My book actually didn’t fit into many publisher’s…

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Early vs. Beginning Coders