Better Developer

Corey Prak


TL;DR: I’m just a dude trying to help you become a Software Engineer, at the very least better yourself.

I didn’t expect this post to be so long and so exhaustive of my history, but I feel like the context would be nice. Anyways…

I’m a first generation Asian American whose parents fled Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge. I was raised in Lowell, MA, a historically rich, multicultural melting pot of a city which is heralded as, “the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution”. Oh, don’t let me forget about mentioning the rampant crime, gun violence, gang activity, and drugs that the city is infamously known for which I had to refuse and avoid. I tell people it’s hard to sleep sometimes because I miss the sound of police sirens…

#home to attend my maternal grandmother’s 100th day ceremony of her passing. Honoring the #death and #rebirth of Grandma Vanna, then celebrating life anew as I attend my brother’s first birthday in the afternoon. From this whole day, I’m longing to be with my grandmother again, recognizing life’s fragility, and inspired to #keepgoing. #coreyprakphotos #circleoflife #family #honor #perseverance #cambodian #cambodianculture #khmer #cambodianamerican #khmerrougesurvivor #thankyougrandma #travel #lifelessons #digitalnomad #inspiration #proudfamily #asianamerican #southeastasian #conviction #photooftheday #instagood #iphonephotography #betterdeveloper #betterdevelopertravel #coreyprak #khmerican

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I am the oldest of four boys who were raised by a single mother. We subsisted on a salary of about $25K USD/year (for my international friends reading this, that’s not a lot). We’ve never owned a house and moved about seven times before I became an adult. Much of my childhood involved helping my siblings and staying home to be with them, instead of hanging out at friends .

What started as simple babysitting and being home alone together turned into helping with homework and rides to school, and later evolved into responsibilities usually owned by parental figures. I routinely have two scheduled conversations per week with my youngest sibling; we just worked through taking the SATs! #REMOTE-PARENTING

Given the circumstances and privileges that I’ve had, I’ve always strived to try and do great things; to do something more than stay in the city I was born in. After graduating from University and moving out to the West Coast shortly afterwards, sharing my adventures and accomplishments through social media as a Software Engineer – (CAUSE I BE DOIN IT #FORTHEINSTA BABYYYYYY #TABLEFLIP (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻━┻……….┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ) – sorry…) – who can work from anywhere has brought people to ask the big question: how can I be awesome too? How can I get a job as a Software Engineer or travel the world and do awesome hair flips in front of waterfalls? How the hell do you do both?!?

Finally back in Hollywood after a week in Arizona; been about a year since I was last here enjoying this natural and stunning blue water. @sansoup, @tiffle_sniffle, and @socrast33z told me that a hair flip in front of a waterfall would help @pantene consider me as a model. Considering the ten miles it took hiking here with about 50 pounds on my back, I hope the hard work pays off . : @sansoup . . #coreyprak #betterdeveloper #arizona #waterfall #hairflip #fabulous #khmerican #khmerhikers #cambodian #cambodianamerican #beautifulwater #betterdevelopertravel #glistening #clearwater #photooftheday #instagood #digitalnomad #nerd #softwareengineer #travel #bucketlist #wanderlust #grandcanyon #hiking #hikertrash #oasis #hiddenoasis #squadgoals #vscocam #wanderlust

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Dozens of people have approached me with that question and I’m confident that I’ve invested hundreds of hours of my life helping family and friends achieve their goals. For free, repeatedly, and many times repeating the same things.

The idea for Better Developer came to mind so that I could create a resource that I can use to improve my efficiency in helping people reach their goals. So I can paste a link and say, “hey, watch this video or read this post, then get back to me”

Whether it’s becoming a Software Engineer without a degree, tailoring a resume for a job, advice on how to juggle college, anything, I had the idea for Better Developer to be exactly what the name describes: being better at developing themselves. I’ve been trying to get swole to walk the walk and talk the talk; it’s really hard.

Helping is in my nature. Seriously. Especially people with dogs.

Meet “Trees” and his #furchild Lou. I took a detour on my morning walk with @doukenthedestroyer and walked past this #dynamicduo. Packed up a bunch of food, water, seldom used #dogtoys + a few more things from the store, then came back by myself to drop it off and say hi. After just a few minutes, I learned that Trees is a #dirtykid, which The New York Times describes as, ” a self-proclaimed set of countercultural vagabonds.” In five years of hitchhiking, hopping trains, and being a true nomad, he’s been to every state except #Maine. He’s even made it to #Canada, albeit for a few hours until he was deported. Trees and his eight month old #pup met three months ago and arrived from #Atlanta. They’re here in #hollywood just visiting for a few weeks. What’s next for them? “Probably hopping a freight to San Francisco on Monday. I got a buddy who grows weed there” he says, unless he mends the fence between him and a girl that he’s been getting to know. Spending my #morning with these two was a #refreshing #insight to a side of life worlds apart from a weekday 9-5, bills, and stress, yet not so hard to achieve; that there’s more to life than just being another player in the #ratrace. It really makes the prospect of enjoying a #vanlife with @tiffle_sniffle even more exciting. For Trees, it’s not choosing to be #homeless, it’s choosing to be #free. #friday #happyfriday #dogsofinstgram #dogsofinsta #dogsofig #photography #photooftheday #iphonephotography #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #travel #adventure #vagabond #california

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If I’m not helping family, there’s friends whose goals I’m talking to them about. As of August 2018, I literally spend hours of everyday on my own time helping people. To improve my teaching/guiding skills and expand my resources, I’ve even reached out to people on the internet to offer my help. For free! (just how many damn times have I written ‘free’ and ‘help’?…)

Unlike other services, institutions, and other people who “coach” to offer the same service I do, I don’t have a marketing manager, editor, graphic designer, copywriter, etc. There’s no team that’s trying to generate this into a business to pay the bills with gimmicks and unhelpful content with actual useful stuff peppered in (#shotsfired). Just me doing literally everything that you see both here at the website and anything beyond it related to Better Developer.

I’m not sure what Better Developer could become, but I know that not sharing my knowledge and being a part of peoples’ growth would be a shame.

I’d be genuinely honored and very privileged to be able to support people reach their goals. For now it’s mainly to help people become Software Engineers, and although I’m not a Senior Software Engineer or perfect student, I’m confident that the hard lessons I’ve learned in failing and missing out on opportunities can be used to maximize your investment in becoming better.

My dream is to give the next Jimi Hendrix a guitar and some lessons.

Serenading the wind in the White Sands desert. The last stop in our #roadtrip from #boston to #california. Website has more pictures and gifs of us sledding on the dunes. #travelcoreyprak #travelblog #bittenbythetravelbug

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To take people who have known the city all their life to see the mountains and landscapes I’ve seen that I often think about (or better yet, new horizons we can experience together!).

The holiday season isn’t quite the same without snow, so we left LA to spend time in a climate that we’re way more comfortable with during this time of year. Spent Christmas Eve Eve with @tiffle_sniffle and @douken_daisy, just one of the many views of the day. This time around, we were able to share the experience with Amy, Patrick, and their fur child Bella. Started the morning with an early hike around #convictlake, then freshened up in the hot springs with before getting sweaty again and doing some outdoor rock climbing. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve made this trip since we came for the first time a few months ago. #coreyprak #coreyprakphotos #couplegoals #familygoals #hotsprings #fitfamily #stayactive #exercise #explore #adventure #optoutside #happyholidays #coriffany #photooftheday #nature #iphonephotography #california #westcoast #landscapephotography #mountains #whitechristmas #winter #holidayseason #holidayweekend #weekendtrip #wanderlust #adventure #squadgoals #itakegoodphotos

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To take someone rock climbing and give them some gear and a chance to climb because screw the $70-$100 a month it costs for a membership.

Another #latergram from my recent #thanksgiving trip back #home. I aspire to introduce people to climb, so after getting @huy.q.le into the sport a few years ago, it feels great to see him not only keep up with it, but go even farther by working at an indoor gym. Huy gave @tiffle_sniffle and myself a chance to gather our friends for a private climbing event where the whole gym was ours. This meant being able to keep up with my routine of climbing 3x/week, catching up with good friends, meeting new ones, and introducing more people into climbing. Working together to enrich everyone’s mind, body, and spirit. Way better than splurging obscene amounts of money on an okay meal in #Boston. I think we’re going to make climbing events during trips home a tradition. #coreyprak #coreyprakphotos #betterdeveloper #betterdevelopertravel #rockclimbing #climbing #indoorclimbing #squadgoals #getfit #getswole #workcation #teamnodaysoff #photooftheday #instatravel #instafitness #newengland #khmerican #getswole #friendgoals #passionproject #millenial #strong #digitalnomad #climbanywhere #travel #nerdswhoclimb

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If none of that, I’d at least like to help the single parent who wants to make a change, or the kid he/she is raising who wants to make an honest living and can’t pay for even one shot at an education/certification to better themselves, all the way to the ones who have never owned a home or barely make enough to get by, like how my mom raised us. I wanna be who I needed to others.

I truly believe that everyone needs someone or a group of people to guide them. At first that’s usually your friends and family. Later it could be your classmates, professors, or coworkers. Sometimes the best person to guide you is yourself. From writing code and taking advantage of the people on my team, I’ve done so much for myself.

Let me be a part of your team and let’s get shit done.

If you haven’t already, please join the Discord channel here so you can talk to me directly at anytime and collaborate and learn along with other people I’m working with.

With love, as I type this in my underwear with my hair down,

#coreyprak #betterdeveloper #bttrdvlpr #novowels #somillenial #letsgo