January Retrospective

Trying a little something new here. Here’s my January Retrospective

The Good:

  • New blog, new domain name and (counting this post) five blog posts in January.
  • Completed full-month streaks on GitHub and StackOverflow (my Seinfeld productivity tracker tools).
  • Submitted proposals to RailsConf on time! (woot!!).
  • Completed a big project for a client that snagged the CIOs attention.
  • Applied for the Launch School scholarship and to be a volunteer at WWC Connect 2016

The Bad:

  • Not accepted as a PT apprentice at CodeNewbies.
  • Rolling off my current client, which means I will stop working with a team I really like.
  • Still haven’t completed PokerHands.

What I Can Do Better

  • Have my resume ready at all times, no matter how secure I feel on a particular team.
  • FINISH POKER HANDS ALREADY (oh, look, a squirrel with a scholarship opportunity…) No, really — I will push the code in February.
  • When faced with an opportunity, I will jump in with both feet. For a lot of ventures (even the successful ones), I’ve hemmed and hawed, feeling uncertain if I was even good enough to consider it. I need to accept that no, I won’t get everything I go after. But I won’t get anything that I don’t actually try for.



First, Commit

It’s January, that time of year when we all embark on wondrous plans for self-improvement. We join gyms, quit smoking and … start blogging again. And this year it’s going to stick, dang it!

But first, commit. I commit to writing something useful or interesting here at least once a week. I commit to coming here first with my ideas and musing, my code snags and bugs, my reviews and recommendations. I commit to blogging here (and then I can always tweet about it later!)

My next post will be on this intriguing research paper by Tina Gotschi on Mental Models of Recursion. I uncovered Gotschi’s paper while researching recursion in preparation for a proposal for RailsConf. Recursion is such a perfect concept, but one which I don’t feel I completely understand. I’ve had a few Eureka moments when using it in a program (like for the Zombie vaccine problem), but my grasp in imperfect. A dive deep enough to explain it to others should take care of that!

What’s your favorite computer science concept that you want to understand better? Or do you have a topic that took something out of the ordinary studying to understand? How did you tackle it?