week one

February 15, 2014

So, week one is already over, and it went by pretty quickly.

Anyway, week in review- what have I learned so far, concretely?

  • ‘git add -p’ for reviewing each and every change you made before committing it
  • ‘git commit –amend’ for opening up your last commit and making changes to it
  • ‘Ctrl+R’ to search through old CLI commands
  • ‘diff’
  • what a ‘trie’ is
  • what a ‘queue’ is
  • depth-first vs breadth-first search
  • that vim doesn’t source my .zshrc by default
  • state-machine
  • void returns in C
  • the basics of list comprehensions in Python
  • etc etc etc… and on and on and on…

these are just facts, and random things, but they are actual tidbits of knowledge that I actually remember because I learned them ‘in the stream,’ as it were.

This is a funny place to be, but it feels really natural… everything you do here is one hundred percent your own decision. It’s incredible to note that everyone is working all the time. The real time chat we use is constantly on fire with threads about all kinds of arcana from assembly specs to keyboard reviews to places to eat lunch.

Also, I got to try an Oculus Rift, which was totally rad.

The question of what exactly to work on while here is a big one- but there is certainly no lack of ideas. Every single person I talked to was working on something interesting, and the huge variance in people’s backgrounds virtually guarantees that you can both learn something from and teach something to anyone in the room.

I’ve been going through the last couple of chapters of nand2tetris and hope to have the book done in the next couple of days so that I don’t have to think about it anymore. It’s been an incredible learning experience, but I do want to maximize the time that I spend pairing and shipping while I’m here, and nand feels like it’s best done on one’s own and in isolation (at least, that’s the way I’ve enjoyed doing it… though the toolset that I composed with Ruby is really, really ugly and could use a refactor really badly!)

More later on specifics… I want to write a booklist of all the things I’ve read so far and all the things I hope to read, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to get some clarity on what exactly I want to work towards and what I want to learn- or at least narrow the scope of those things to a manageable point.

Tonight, though, it’s my birthday. So I’m trudging out in the cold and getting some sushi. Had a preemptive small party last weekend with lots of singing and nerdery, and I’ll post some videos from that pretty soon. It’s pretty fun to get a room full of musicians drunk and then play “lets listen to a song once and then play a fully realized arrangement of it yay lets go GO HARMONY EVERYWHERE!