Monday December 31st

Happy 2019

So it’s not actually 2019 yet

  • But it sort of is, in my home country, so….

Looking back

  • It’s been a roller-coaster of a year. So much has happened.
  • This year started out randomly; it was my dream to attend POPL, and it ended up changing my life. And so, I ended this year having submitted 9 applications to grad school and having fallen in love with the PL research community.
  • I lost a job and got a new one in a month. The interviewing process took me to Pittsburgh, and I had my first real on-site in a new state before I secured one locally.
  • This year took me to Boulder, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland and of course, San Francisco. I almost made it to Boston, but that’s for another year :). I met so many incredible individuals along the way who really touched my heart with their generosity and support and passion for what they do.
  • I contributed to a couple large open source projects, and it whetted my appetite to keep going. These were the result of some incredible mentorship by top quality mentors who had incredible patience with me.
  • I received a particular grant (called the Helium Grant) that was a highlight for me because it was specifically given to me in support of the things I was doing with my life. It meant so much to me to have so many people support me in the tech industry. I feel really humbled and thankful.
  • Most importantly, I received my first serious Haskell summer mentorship, which led to my offer for a Haskell summer internship in 2019. My summer experience was a high-quality one, and developed a palette for what I want going forward in my career and what my values are.
  • This year was also my first serious year applying for internships, where I was able to properly measure what I need to improve on and work towards improving those skills and integrate it into my study. It was also a really positive experience for me, with several recruiters and engineers telling me that even when they didn’t have a spot for me because I wasn’t quite there yet, they saw a lot of talent and potential in me and that I shouldn’t undersell myself.
  • I also joined a racing boat, and found that I love racing, and enjoy winning :)

Looking forward

  • In 2018, I not only received a plethora of scholarships and awards, but also a plethora of contructive criticism on what I could improve. So that is definitely a work in progress for me.
  • A goal for me is to start being a part of a chess meetup or group, or to teach myself chess. I can do this once a week for a couple hours.
  • Continuing to learn about Haskell and things related to Haskell; right now, I have a huge desire to learn about Haskell and the Linux kernel, so it’s a mix of Haskell and C (gcc, specifically). My passion is for Haskell (even though I’d rate myself a 2 out of 10 at it haha), so I’m going to stick with it.
  • I’d like to continue the Dependent Types book, or other proof-related opportunities. This is a huge weakness for me, and it’s something I’d like to improve on.
  • My browser project is a work in progress, but that’s lower down in priority. I was able to get a simple parser to work from an HTTP request, but got side-tracked prepping for a couple internships in which I plan to participate in the New Year.
  • Open source projects: There is one in particular I plan on continuing to contribute on, and another one that is lower in priority. But I definitely plan to continue to contribute. Also, I’ve already been asked to be a volunteer for SCALE, which is the Linux Open Source conference of note in Southern California.
  • I started writing things down: Gabe and Chris encouraged me to do this, and it’s helped me tremendously. I’ve continued this practice long after my Summer experience. It helps me to be more methodical and analytical while learning instead of assuming broadly that “I understand” (often I think I do, but I really don’t).
  • This is a point on a long list of reasons for applying for a PhD; a deeper understanding, better analytical skills, and quite frankly, because it is a good fit for my mental state at this moment in time in my life. I am quite honoured to have been supported in these current pursuits by organizations like NASA and the MSRI, with which I will be pursuing research and collaborative opportunities in 2019.

Most importantly

  • This year has been another year of really demonstrating grit and resilience. It has been hard, but very rewarding. I have been able to bounce back from so much, while discovering so much strength within my character that I never knew I had. I’m excited to see where this ability to bounce back and keep going takes me.

I have tremendous anxiety

  • 2019 is one that has incredible challenges of its own. There are a few opportunties that I have not yet resolved, and I will have to be incredibly flexible and organized in terms of my time, schedule and finances. But I’m up to the challenge.
  • I may get to see my parents! They have expressed a desire to help me move in to a new place, depending on where I end up. So that is really promising! I’m really thankful for amazing parents! I also have to renew my passport, which might require a random trip to New York or somewhere on the East Coast. Again, a lot of loose ends to tie up in 2019.

I wish you the best in 2019

  • May your dreams come true and may you find kindess and march forward with optimism and passion.

And that’s it!

Written on December 31, 2018