💭 Is this technical? No. If you are looking for CTF writeups, this is not what you are interested. Instead, this is just me talking on my 2022.

2022 is a life-changer for me. There were some tough decisions and a few surprises.

Leaving Hong Kong

The #1 difference for me is I moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to Taiwan 🇹🇼. The most obvious reason is to commence my new career at Google, which I think was an opportunity as well. Back in May 2021, I was contacted by recruiters from Google to see if I am interested in working there. I always have low self-esteem, so I could never imagine passing the interviews and getting the offer. Well, as most of you know, I passed.

Leaving should be a tough decision, but I wasn’t spending a lot of time struggling back then. While I am having the interviews, more policy has been implemented and more suppression happened in Hong Kong. Freedom was seriously seized. Besides, migration is one thing a lot of Hongkongers are thinking about in these few years. Receiving Google’s offer is a golden chance for me considering that, too.

In short, I have less tendency of staying because I am seeing less hope and more absurdity in the city. It didn’t take me long to decide to accept the offer. After that, it was a long wait to get the visa approved afterwards… My starting date was deferred from November 2021 to February 2022.

Working in Google

Featuring @wwkenwong.

I started my work on February 14, 2022 (how sweet!) in a quarantine hotel (how sad!) as a software engineer in Global Capacity Delivery, and my main focus is to create security solutions to protect Google’s contract manufacturers. This is pretty new to me – I am working on the defensive side instead of the offensive side, as I usually did before joining Google. I also develop tools for test engineers.

On the other hand, I can also work on my hobby in Google – CTFs! I collaborated with a lot of awesome hackers from Google on the CTFs: Google CTF, Hackceler8 and H4CK1NG G00GL3. I am also grateful that I could travel to the UK for organizing Hackceler8, where I can meet with the CTF players worldwide.

Hackceler8 2022 in Google London HQ.

Living in Taiwan

Ximending. The image was stolen from maplestory.fandom.com

This is the first time I am living alone, and I found that there are a lot of things to be handled. For instance, I have to find an apartment to live in, feed myself and maintain my sanity.

Taiwan’s food is great, and it is 50% greater because I am living near Ximending. However, The food is pretty oily and I would double my BMI if I don’t cook on my own. I would not say I can cook now, but at least I can increase the temperature of the ingredients so that they are edible. Also, I did not poison myself yet, so I guess it is pretty successful so far… My BMI increased nonetheless.

Staying sane is a harder problem, however. I rarely meet new people as an introvert. It is also increasingly difficult to gather with my old friends because they are physically distant from me. Fortunately, my home CTF team, Black Bauhinia did not forget me after I stepped down. We worked on a few interesting collaborations online. This is very crucial as I am losing passion and the cooperation is getting me back on track.

Regarding travel… It is a shame that I have not travelled around Taiwan yet. I can still get lost while wandering in Ximending.

Looking forward in 2023

So that is it for 2022. There are a few things I want to achieve in 2023:

  1. Touch grass. It is mentally unhealthy to stay at home all day long. Also, I feel an increasing need to exchange ideas and socialize with people in real life. This probably could make me less dull.
  2. Spend time wiser. I feel like I wasted quite some time this year because I am lacking motivation.

Last but not least: I am not sure why you read, but thanks for reading.