Jen's Useless Accomplishments of 2015

Posted by Jen Tong on December 18, 2016

I keep a work journal. My entries are bulleted lists of my day to day work – kind of like filling out voluntary TPS reports. The journal helps my coworkers, managers, and anyone else at my workplace keep tabs on what I’ve been up to. This may sound silly, but passive information sharing turns out to be a great tool for scaling communication without lots of unnecessary emails. Incidentally, this journal is also great for aggregating my accomplishments when performance reviews roll around.

Anyway, a couple years ago I started adding a new section to each of my weekly work journal entries: my Useless Accomplishment of the Week. They are sometimes bizarre, but always silly, and people seem to enjoy them. They rarely have anything to do with work, so I’m going to start publishing them here too in aggregate.

This means I have a big backlog to get through right now. Here are my accomplishments for 2015.


  • Participated in the first (and probably last) hot tub all hands meeting
  • Gave a Firebase presentation at a competitor’s corporate hardquarters
  • Had a conversation with Sergey. He remembered my name
  • Moved 1 desk to the left
  • Got the URLs and
  • One day, two cities, 4 talks
  • Snowboarded that one long flat run at Heavnely without hiking the uphill parts
  • Gave away about 1200 tee shirts in under 2 hours
  • Presented at 2 conferences that were simultaneously scheduled on opposite sides of the continent
  • Changed my hair color to orange
  • Worked for 6 hours, from a balcony, in one day
  • Did my first aerial silks drop, a front flip from a hip key swing
  • Traveled from my hotel to a conference 2 km away entirely via subterranean tunnels
  • Video conference called into two meetings at the same time
  • Moved desks twice in one week
  • Read an RFC for fun
  • Ate a donut bacon cheeseburger, and a bacon smores waffle sandwich in the same meal
  • Got a piece of fan mail o_O
  • Made french toast out of stale donuts
  • Won Final Fight
  • Cooked waffles on a bus
  • Shut down my last WordPress blog
  • Took my electronics hacking kit as carry on without raising the suspicion of TSA
  • Looked through the third largest operational refracting telescope in the world
  • Skated a roller derby game in an active factory
  • Did a talk three hours after an intercontinental flight (a terrible idea)
  • Spent a week in Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre
  • Climbed in and out of a big telescope dome, while it was rotating
  • Managed 3 days of IoT hacking without a single fire!
  • Somehow managed to throw a 6’ roller derby teammate into a 5’ tall opponent. Spectacular physics resulted (without serious injury).
  • Explored inside of an abandoned Nike missile base.
  • Did a handstand in the SFO terminal 3 yoga room.
  • Rode in a self-driving car
  • Made it 8 months on the GCP team without presenting a GCP overview
  • Reached 10k reputation on Stack Overflow! Now I’m a mod, kind of.
  • Went to a game conference only to discover that I’m part of the badge artwork.
  • Sampled many fine sugary frozen drinks on Bourbon St in NOLA