Wednesday May 26th

The Day she Pair Programmed

I had my first Pair Programming session with my MSR mentor today!

  • A couple things about my first pair-programming session with my mentor today….it was awesome. And, we totally went over.
  • I got there nervously at 5pm, thinking about how we might even begin to work through half an hour, and soon it was after 7pm and we were still working stuff out, which was delightful and unexpected! The only thing that kind of stopped me, I think, was I was starting to get hungry :). But I enjoyed it a lot, and I learned a lot! And I was only hungry because my shipment of ramen came in the mail today.
  • I tried out about 4 different types of ramen and found one I really like, and have been ordering them pretty regularly. We don’t really have a lot of great options where I am, which is sad, considering there were so many where I used to live.
  • But anyways, basically the offer is on the table as much as we’d like during the course of our MSR opportunity, which is pretty awesome! That’s pair-programming, not ramen, although “as much ramen as we’d like” is a pretty sweet offer, I’d bet!
  • I keep thinking someone is going to be overly cynical, roll their eyes, call me stupid, lose their patience, or throw their hands in the air but they’re just really patient, and in fact, in our last meeting, the other student and myself got a “fantastic job” congratulatory meeting and words of encouragement. So that was pretty weird. No one yelling or sighing rudely? Is this really software land? No one running to another person suddenly to give them a chest bump? I guess not.


  • I have another package that seems heavier than anything I’d purchase, and it’s from Washington, and it’s arriving tomorrow, and I have no idea what it is.
  • That seems to be the general sentiment of things going on in my life right now. I seem to be in the orbit of several people, who all have decided that I can do different tasks, so it’s been a fair amount of juggling. I think I am mostly on top of things, but sometimes I cut it close and I have to ask for time “until the end of the day” to get stuff done. And for me, that usually means really near the end of the day, or really early in the morning.
  • I was also assigned another really cool opportunity; I’m one of 2 persons who will make a mini congratulatory speech about how Dr. G. West has impacted our lives, for Dr. G. West, when she receives her Pioneer award on Friday from NCWIT. So that’s pretty exciting! I found out just as I had completed the pairing and we were still working through an issue and I almost fell off my chair :)


  • I’m at a couple spaces tomorrow. The Alan Turing Institute, my blockchain fellowship, and then with our FAIR mentor, as well as my advisor meeting.
  • You wouldn’t believe that in the middle of this fellowship, onboarding for an internship, MSR’s project, I am also working on 2 papers. I was wondering why I have been going to sleep at 2 or 4 in the morning, and why I felt wiped out yesterday evening. Oh, and the DEI ICLR work, which has begun. Things have been a little crazy.
  • It hasn’t gotten so crazy, though, that I have lost track of what month it is. That would occasionally happen, where I would happen to wish my friend or relative Happy Birthday a month earlier than the actual date.
  • One good skill I have learned, which I suspect is a pretty good skill to have from a leadership standpoint, is the ability to rotate from project to project.
  • Often, as a junior (or an intern), you’re put on one project and that’s pretty much all you have to think about. You set up your one environment and you’re all good. Not so when working on and making progress on multiple things at a time.
  • It definitely requires organization, and having spaces compartmentalized, and definitely in their own sandboxes, because the facets of each project involving code have their own needs. And each person I’ve been working with is different. It’s going to be interesting once I start working for my internship, which is a completely separate device, which I’m very thankful for. I’ve been trying to also ensure that I have already made a habit of having that time clear of outside tasks, because those hours will be dedicated to my internship from next week. No outside meetings during those times (I’m still pushing for everything to be either before noon or after 8pm, so I can put in solid internship time during the week in PDT). It’s tough, because everyone wants to do things on a schedule that is convenient for them, and you’re dealing with multiple time zones. But so far, so good. I just block the times off.

For fun

  • So what do I do to unwind these days? I’ve been watching this YouTuber who had done some work on a bunch of puzzles. By puzzles, I mean that they had used tools to decode text, audio and that sort of thing. That stuff is pretty neat. I’ve also been working through a Number Theory book.
  • I really need to get my resting act together, though. I stayed up until 4am reading 2 Cryptography papers, and sometimes these habits lead to my not having much of a window for sleep. So I should get a bit better about that. But it’s hard because when it’s quiet early in the morning, it’s so tempting to just stay up and get focused work done. But the turnaround is rough.
  • It’s something I have to work on, I guess. And everyone already seems to think I don’t sleep, so… (I promise I do!). Things have been busy, but great.
  • Oh, and that issue is still not fixed, but tomorrow is another day. Oh wait, it’s (actually) today. Whoops.

And that’s it

Written on May 26, 2021