Check-In 4th of July weekend

July 2, 2017

I’m back! So this has been a very excrutiating and stressful week (read: not fun at all and I wish I was living the RC adventure instead - but this was important enough to take a big break from it). The good news is that I’ve sort of made a private decision about where I’m going next. In the process, I’ve really sorted a lot of stuff about the future. This includes the following knowledge:

Since this is exactly mid-batch, I want to reflect on my experience so far, and what my goals are for the next few.

So far

I’ve learned a lot about what professional programming is, in terms of culture and the work involved. I have an idea of how to keep typing in a sustainable way for my body, and this taught me a lot about having work ethic, incidentally (because to be able to program sustainably, I need structure, and making structure means thinking critically about how to work).

I know how Bitcoin works, more or less, and some things about security and encryption (in particular, homomorphic encryption).

I made a proof-by-picture animation which I hope to present in the near future.

I now use VIM, and I’m more or less comfortable customizing my work environment on the computer. This more than anything has a direct impact on my life and productivity, as I am so much more empowered as a computer user.

After years of feminist awakening, I finally organized my first women event, in the form of dessert outings. I’m much more comfortable doing women events, and I feel much more tight-knit with the women who are here.

I think the main lessons in this are mostly

What I want to do next in the batch

Things that are the total opposite of research and academia (I’ll have plenty of this very soon). I want to make small, practical things that are very neat tricks to navigate the information age.

In particular, I’d like to learn

I think something I did coming here that I want to diversfy from is doing fancy things. Fancy things that I can do are very theoretical, and are essentially playing on my strengths. While I will continue to pursue these, I think it’s also important to do little practical projects, because I think having the power to interact with the web I browse everyday in a more meaningful way will lead to very interesting projects/skills in the future.

Alright, that’s about it for now. Feel free to reach out on Zulip and offer suggestions!

Check-In 4th of July weekend - July 2, 2017 - Hang Lu Su