Coder Lee YongHo – Chapter 87: Code 16600 (1)

Competitive business prohibition clause.
And code 16600.
It was California Business and Professions Code Section 16600 clause which was added to the Californian civil law in 1827.
According to code 16600, Californian business had no way of stopping an employee from leaving, nor did they have any way to stop the leakage of secrets. The only thing they could do was ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to not poach each other’s employees.
While big Korean businesses fatten their stomachs under the industrial technology outflow prevention and protection law, the businesses in Silicon Valley compete fiercely.

Techno Valley in Pangyo, Korea, cannot and will not become like Silicon Valley.

Of course, it wasn’t because of only this that Silicon Valley rose up to be the area of worldwide startups.
However, this law was representing the biggest value that Silicon Valley had.

Personal ideas are the topmost priority.

YongHo felt electric currents down his entire body while reading the articles related to code 16600.
‘Silicon Valley really is……’
He subconsciously exclaimed.

A culture that respects the individual more than the organization.
A culture that takes creative ideas as more important.
A culture that takes failures as experience.

This was the complete opposite of what YongHo experienced in the Korean IT industry.

A business culture that respects organizations rather than its individual.
A culture that makes losers as dropouts.
A culture that treats creative ideas as nonsense, and 4 dimensional.

‘No wonder it’s called the city of startups.’
On the internet, there were countless other advantages of Silicon Valley other than just contents relating to code 16600.
Of course, there were disadvantages here and there.
However, people all gather at Silicon Valley since the advantages weigh more than the disadvantages by a large margin.


Even so, he thought ‘perhaps, maybe’. YongHo looked for Brad to be sure.
“You received such an e-mail from your previous workplace?”
Brad, who heard YongHo, also didn’t seem to think much. Such an attitude made YongHo relieved even more.
“I need to talk to the legal team of the company first, but I don’t think you need to worry that much.”
“Thank you.”
“No at all. Rather, the company is expecting a lot from you, Mr. YongHo, after seeing that you bring out ideas actively.”
YongHo felt that Brad was thinking him as important. He listened to his ideas, and became interested in the things happening around him.
America, which was the representative of automation and industrialization, instead seemed more humane than Korea.
After talking with Brad, YongHo found his passion again.

When he went back to his office, everyone was concentrating hard on their work. They were absorbed in reading the source that YongHo committed which made the RMSE Score 1.000.
The gazes of the people reading the source gathered towards YongHo at once. All of them had ‘I want to know how you did it’ written on their faces.
‘Seems I need to do this first quickly……’
YongHo avoided the gazes as much as possible before going to his seat quickly.
Then, he exuded an aura of ‘I’m really busy right now’ for a few days by typing madly on the mechanical keyboard.
Fortunately, no one spoke to him easily.
Only the typing sounds of the mechanical keyboard was resounding across the quiet office.


YongHo, who was sitting inside a café, was anxiously waiting for someone. As if to hide such anxiousness, he was typing the keyboard of his laptop on the table.
Then, he looked at the faces of the people entering the café.
YongHo was disappointed several times, but eventually, his expression became bright.
It made one wonder if he could be any more delighted. YongHo excitedly jumped around while waving at Jeff who was coming.
“Mr. Jeff!.” (T/N: Dang, it ain’t SoHyun, lol, all that description above…)
“I don’t think you need to wave you hand around so much……”
Seeming uncomfortable at YongHo’s such exaggerated reaction, Jeff had a difficult expression while sitting down.
As they met several times until now, they weren’t that awkward with each other anymore.
“You know how much I waited for you until now.”(T/N: YongHo, you don’t say that to other men… Haiz…)
Before Jeff even sat down, YongHo turned the laptop around to face Jeff’s direction.
YongHo was planning to ask Jeff about the recommendation algorithm that he was making. He was planning to express what was written as codes into mathematical formulae and listen to his explanation.
He already sent the source code before they met.
“How is it? Did you have a look at the source?”
Like Jeff had already received a written oath from YongHo, YongHo received the same thing from him.
Moreover, Jeff was already a famous person within the software industry. He had more than YongHo. YongHo thought that there was no reason for Jeff to backstab him so he could show him the source of the recommendation algorithm he was tuning until now.
“I did have a look, but… You’re saying that you cannot explain properly even though you’ve implemented, is that right?”
Jeff looked at YongHo without even looking at the laptop. In Jeff’s common sense, this was incomprehensible.
No programmer would be able to understand if he/she asked another programmer to explain his/her own source.
Moreover, there were explanations in the form of comments here and there in the source. As YongHo had solved the problem he had difficulties with, it was also hard to believe that the source YongHo showed him was from someone else.
“I will tell you the specifics next time, so can you explain this to me first?”
YongHo begged Jeff. In Korea, nobody complained about anything if the program ran without hitches.
It was just Son SeokHo who asked for the logics to YongHo now and then.
However, it wasn’t like that here.
There were 10 people like Son SeokHo. They asked very specifically about YongHo’s development process.
For YongHo, who only learnt from other people, this was a new experience.
‘To explain a correct information in detail… this is the only method.’
The information the bug window tells him should be correct. However, it was insufficient with just that if he wanted to tell another person about it.
He thought that only when he understood it himself fully, could the other people understand if he explained to them.
This was the biggest reason why YongHo was meeting Jeff.

On a piece of A4 paper, several equations were dancing around. Even Jeff didn’t know everything. However, as he had the experience on top of his basic level of knowledge, he could understand something fast no matter how hard it was.
His superior basic intellect, which was unlike YongHo, also played a role.
However, superior intellect didn’t imply teaching well.
“Is it me who cannot teach or is it you who can’t understand……”
Jeff, who was amidst of explaining, stood up and stretched his body as if fed up.
YongHo had no thoughts of going home before he understood this perfectly.
Fortunately, what looked like alien language was changing to be more numbers and signs.
“So, you’re saying that the calculation of Sigma 1 to n is substituting the for-statement on line 470, and for a better performance, the layered Sigma is written out, right?”
YongHo was only looking at the piece of A4 paper which Jeff wrote to explain.
To understand everything without leaving anything out, YongHo didn’t even look away once.
“And you didn’t even learn higher level algorithms. You’re really interesting.”
While looking at YongHo who asked for a confirmation, Jeff could only marvel.
“I don’t have any thoughts on going back home before I understand this, so please.”
“Then shall we go to the next part?”
Jeff also hurried with explaining the next part. He didn’t seem to want to spend his time with another man for an entire day.


He couldn’t work forever. To pretend to ignore the hot pleads of his colleagues around him, his back was hurting too much from their gazes.
He also had the things he learnt from Jeff. YongHo sent a notice to all his team members.

There will be a simple explanation in the conference room at 2:30 p.m. Please come if you have the time.

YongHo set out for the conference room. YongHo. The entire team had gathered to listen to YongHo’s explanation.
‘First, I should draw their attention using the results and go over it fast.’


YongHo first ran the program to check the results. The value which appeared on the screen was 1.010. It was 0.01 higher than last time.
The people widened their eyes after confirming the value. YongHo was also looking at the number which the beam projector was shooting.
‘Even I find it amazing, how amazed must they be?’
YongHo tuned the algorithm while changing the results on the specification document.
Once, he wrote a really high number but there was no result. Instead, a word he saw for the first time could be seen on the bug window.
Impossible. (T/N: There ya go, that’s the answer most people were curious about)
He found it amazing that there was something impossible with the bug window.
YongHo got out of his imagination and proceeded on. Fortunately, as he had intended, all the people were looking at the board with marvel.
“I think you have probably read over the source I’ve uploaded. And so, I’m planning to briefly explain about it today.”
After speaking, YongHo quickly explained what he had learnt from Jeff. He postponed the questions which popped up to after his explanations ended.
It seemed the things he had learnt from Jeff was effective as the curiosity written on the people’s faces here seem to go away a bit.
A sweet rain poured over a drought.
They knew a bit after reading the source. However, listening to the original creator was different. This gave them confirmation whether what they understood was really correct or not.
Some colored in delight that they had seen through correctly, and some colored in delight that they got to learn something new.
“Any questions?”
The same thing happened as last time. All the people inside the conference room raised their hands up high as if trying to attract attention.
“I can’t answer all the questions now since I don’t have enough time, but I will have sessions like this to explain a few times a week.”
At YongHo’s words, people found it to be a pity. However, even YongHo couldn’t do anything about this.
Tell the team members what he had learnt from Jeff. To do that, this method was the best he could do.

When leaving the conference room, Dave was waiting for him with his thumb held up.
“YongHo! Amazing! I knew my eyes weren’t wrong.”
Dave also seemed to be excited. The RMSE Score kept rising. In addition, the only complaints that the team members had, satisfying their curiosity, was being solved bit by bit.
“I should have done this sooner. I’m only sorry.”
“If you’re busy you can be like that. And also, YongHo has the qualifications to do that.”
Dave spoke while remembering the scene inside the conference room just now. All the people who were listening to the explanation, nodded their heads in agreement. YongHo explained it easily to help their understanding.
It was an explanation which Jeff, the top of the top, gave. There was no way there were any flaws.
“Okay, I will do better from now on.”
YongHo spoke while smiling. Although it was small, his own area was appearing at this place. YongHo could now smile in satisfaction.

Translator’s notes

Regular Chapter 1/3

Sorry for the late chapter. Releases will be sporadic this week due to Chooseok(Korean thanksgiving) and I will be going down to my grandparent’s house.


Translator : Chamber

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4 thoughts on “Coder Lee YongHo – Chapter 87: Code 16600 (1)

  1. Argos Yesu

    I like the comparison he did between the two places he’s now worked. Although, there is probably just a bit of bias and misinformation as neither place should be heaven or hell… Some people would, for example, flip their views of whether it’s heaven or hell…


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