Woo! I was very busy for most of this month, and the weeks just flew by. Now April’s almost over, and in a week I will have graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
One of my first goals that I met this month was finishing The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. I took notes along the way, and ended up with about a page of what I consider the book’s most salient points. Duhigg’s claim that old habits can’t be truly erased, just overwritten with new ones, sticks out to me the most. I just find it disheartening to hear that it may not be possible to completely eliminate bad habits from one’s life. I mentioned this qualm to a friend of mine, and he replied that the upside to this is that by this logic it’s also impossible to forget good habits. I think that’s a good consolation 🙂
Next week I went home for Spring Break. It was nice to have a week off from my job and see friends that I hadn’t hung out with in months, but that’s not to say I didn’t do any work. I still had to monitor my Senior Design project to ensure that it was running smoothly, and had to do a bit of extra classwork for the course. All that effort paid off though - last Friday my team presented our project to our review committee, and they were all quite pleased with it! Our sponsor even added us to the community page of the Johnson’s Dictionary Online Project. My team is listed towards the end of the Student Researchers and Volunteers section, under the Quotations Software subsection. Yesterday we finished obtaining matches for the last of the quotes, so we are almost ready to completely hand off the project to the sponsor. Once that’s done, I will feel that the project is truly finished and can breathe a big sigh of relief. This project was definitely the largest collaborative effort I have ever been actively engaged in, and I learned much about team management and communication skills. I’ve heard horror stories about other teams not getting along well, but I am grateful for having worked with four other diligent and conscientious students to create a system our sponsor is happy with.
Over the break I also started reading Neuromancer by William Gibson, and I completed earlier this week. Two of my friends have been recommending it to me for about a year now, and while I wasn’t too impressed with it at first, after finishing it I can understand their fervor. The book is permeated with a gritty neon sci-fi atmosphere, and the last 50 pages really amazed me. Gibson may have missed the mark by failing to predict the advent of cellphones, but his descriptions of cyberspace are nearly prescient.
I also did some leisure coding over break. I added continuous integration (CI) tools to Flagon such as Travis and Codecov, something I had never done before. Not only does this make Flagon look more official and reliable, it also gives it some fancy badges! 😃 Next I started a new Go project called resumize. A few weeks ago I read how one programer I follow keeps all his CV data in a yaml file, and uses that data to easily create a custom resume for any position he applies to. This inspired to do something similar in Go, hence resumize. This allows me to write a resume using HTML/CSS for the formatting, without having to actually include my resume data in the markup. I can just call resumize from the command line, pass it my cv.yaml file and Go text template file, and voilà! A uniquely-formatted resume.
Now that classes are over, most of my work outside of my part-time job will be centered around research. For the rest of this month (and perhaps the rest of this year), I will focus specifically on how to resolve issues with how 3C rewrites pointer types in C macro definitions. Next Wednesday I will meet with my advisor and one of the minds behind 3C to discuss this issue in more detail, and I hope that will give me a clearer idea of how to solve this problem.
Finally, last Friday I got my first COVID-19 shot! My shoulder was pretty sore the night after I got it, but otherwise I feel pretty good! I can’t wait to get my second shot in May; that will be one less thing to worry about.