Friday June 1st

GSoC and RustReach Day 19

Yeah…so my build has an error!

  • OMG WHY!? :( So much sadness! But I’m determined it will be fixed!
  • Also, my video conferencing situation is not ideal. Right now, it’s circling around three computers while they take turns freezing or crashing or otherwise not supporting video or screen-sharing at all. Fun times! It will be sorted out, though.
  • Gabe had extreme patience today. I don’t know how he does it!
  • Chris wasn’t able to make it for the stream, but later on had some hints about why the build is failing. So I’m going to work on those while my clothes are in the washer and dryer, before I pack to go to LambdaConf.

Oh, and I got to meet Steve Klabnik and Chris Krycho

  • It was a fun session! :D They’re both as awesome to speak with as you’d imagine in your head. Steve is as big a PL geek as I imagined, which was really great, too!

Today was hectic

  • Got up at 5, took the 6:17am bus, went straight in for 7:30am and stepped away to do my Mozilla meeting at 9am. Then at noon, I went to the bank to get my rent cheque together, since I couldn’t do it over the weekend (because I won’t be here until Wednesday). I sort of got screwed over by an organization, so I had to deal with that while eating lunch, checking mail and cutting my cheque, which was hand-delivered because it was my first pay period with the PT gig. I left work around 3:30pm and just got on the 3:51pm bus and crashed. I got up and took the other bus to my place, ate dinner and did my meeting and worked through code screen-sharing with Gabe. He’s super patient, which is really impressive. He’s also highly personable, and just fun.
  • After I stepped out of the meeting after filing the issue about the build, I took the next bus (about ten minutes later) to drop off my cheque, and missed the other one coming back up, so took the train instead and started doing laundry. When laundry finishes, I can pack and just do house-cleaning before heading out. I figured with the schedule, it was worth it to take a shuttle that will pick me up from home rather than drag my bag around a subway at 3am.

Gabe mentioned some interesting stuff about building libraries

  • I was really interested in how schedules his time, and he said that he eliminates a lot of the time wastage by not releasing half-baked libraries, making sure they are typed and having apis inspired by abstract algebra, so they tend to be low maintenance, as opposed to ad-hoc.
  • He said it was important for him to make people think about things differently, so that what he creates leaves an impression. I’ve been thinking about why people make libraries; is it for themselves or for others? Gabe had mentioned a while ago that he was generally more impressed by people who made tools not just for themselves, but those that had usefulness for others in the community. But of course if he says this is untrue, totally don’t believe me or anything lol. These are just conversations while working. Chris had also similarly remarked that he was interested (in interviewing, since they both have done a fair amount for their respective companies) in how a person thought, and that it was a really bad sign if they started throwing in everything and the kitchen sink willy-nilly. Makes sense.

So I really like programming

  • I’m discovering this more and more. Today I was teaching some other QA-ers Scheme LOL. Their eyes opened up in shock and one of them immediately said “uh..I think I’m going to stick to Java.” LOL. Many of them hadn’t heard of SICP or anything, either.
  • So I got bored of TestRails-ing and started learning some PHP. I got into about classes in PHP, and learned a bit about sorting and things like chown and chmod which I always assumed were just shell commands. So that was interesting.

One of the interesting things

  • I asked Steve today was about the future of Rust, and considering it’s powerful both on a low-level sense and in for browser tools and Web Assembly, if it might perhaps influence things like numerical computation. I was specifically thinking of how cool Julia is as a language, but how I really don’t care for the browser/JavaScripty parts of Julia. I guess we’ll see.

I am super tired

  • One of the things that was exhausting was that today basically started with my plans falling apart when this organization I expected to follow-through didn’t, and then with the video conf stuff, where both were about just pulling it together and making it work. It’s exhausting but I guess part of trouble-shooting.
  • Coincidentally, Gabe mentioned he liked working on crappy computers, or rather, ones with limited functionality. It’s really a different muscle being exercised. I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but a $20 laptop running Ubuntu sounds great to me.

One of the things I struggle with

  • Is seeing where I want to be and where I am. I remember when I was taking a design class years ago, and some of my profs were amazing, and they said the same thing. Your eye improves faster than your ability. So you can see where you want to be, but you fall short, and that’s frustrating. And you do it again and again. Most don’t have the stomach for it, and they drop out, frustrated. But I really like the community, I like the language, and I’d really like to continue with this as much as I can. It’s very much a part of my life and who I am, even though I’m struggling and I am mired in “land of the suck” right now.
  • I’m not going to give up. Plus, I have really great mentors and a lot of people who believe in me, for some strange reason. :D

So that’s it

Written on June 1, 2018