Monday July 16th

GSoC Day 64

I spent half the day

  • Stressed out because this is the last month of pushing forward. One of the projects at my PT gig is behind, so I’m sort of a “floater” (hopefully not the one that flushes!). So I got to that in the afternoon, but I had to leave at 2pm because GSoC comes first, and I needed to be prepared for that.
  • I actually also spent a chunk of the morning learning about LambdaCase and reading through the code from Driver.hs. I started doing what Gabe recommended and just writing everything down and writing down questions. It has definitely helped and I think it has also instilled in my mentors confidence that I am putting in the work (which is the secret fear of any GSoC student; that they think you’re slacking off).
  • I also learned about @ today, which I initially thought was just used like (x:xs), which is like rest in Racket, where there is a head and a tail of a list, so it decomposes the list, but as it turns out, @ is synctactic sugar. So not necessarily just for a list. So it’s more of a pattern match than type-constrained for a specific data type.

I also learned about

  • The language extension Derive Functor. And I spent a while figuring out how to rewrite this anonymous function, because my head was wrapped around using const, and Gabe said not to use const as a crutch in this particular case. So yeah..considering I should know how to use it, I guess I need some practice with that and understanding currying. I’ve gotten better, but there is always room for improvement.

The Blackout

  • I’ve been thinking of just staying off of social media after all this is done. Just giving myself a break. There are some great people on Twitter, and Reddit is super helpful, but it also means interacting with a bunch of people I’d rather not interact with quite frankly. My friend also mentioned a Slack I used to frequent (and pretty much stay on all day), and I quit that, also (decativated my account about a month ago). In many ways, I had to cut my losses on that garbage fire.
  • It’s just been too toxic for me and I don’t think it will really help me improve. I have most of the help I need; I can contact friends who know and work in Haskell if I get stuck. I’m realizing I don’t need to be around people who just talk all day about what they did or how great they are or whatever. It isn’t helping me and it has frustrated me that some of these people who purport to be so open there aren’t actually as friendly or hardworking as they purport to be on these sites; it’s an illusion. You can always go to someone’s github or blog and see what they’re actually doing. In my mind, if I don’t see that they’re working for a company that does X, or blogging on Y, or committing code or making a library, it’s time to write them off. Or I’ll get stuck in the mire of emptiness that is social media. Don’t get me wrong, some people are good and can work and talk. But I think that this population is severely overstated on social media.
  • The interesting thing is that there are people who are never around and go on to get hired, and you never hear from them openly commenting on everything, and then there are those who can’t even get past the first round of interviews or don’t even have a Haskell repo on their github. It’s tricky, and social media is fun, but at the end of the day if this is going to be my life, I need to follow and stick with people who actually get things done. Do…the…work.

Years ago

  • A friend of mine (who is a developer currently) said that the socialization aspect of learning to code is fun and helpful, but in many ways, learning is also very much a solitary activity. All the hangouts in the world chatting all day or Meetups socializing is not the same as a person sitting down and getting stuck, working it out and repeat. That’s pretty much coding. Another friend said that the whole “learning to code together” thing is actually a pretty new phenomenon. In his time, he said, you’d work on a game in BASIC or whatever, get stuck, and read the manual and try to work it out, pretty much. And you’d be determined because you really wanted your game of PONG or whatever to work.

So that’s all I have to say on that

  • Time for me to get back to work. Got a bit done with Chris and Gabe tonight, so I’m going to make progress on learning Haskell on my own tonight, and go from there.
Written on July 16, 2018