So I switched jobs again
First, the most important thought that bubbled up in my sleep-deprived consciousness today (while watching The Big Lebowski and recovering from a rather heavy pizza – there goes the diet!) was that I’m now part of a larger community of developers that give a crap. Obviously not a very well integrated part, this being day two and all, but a part nonetheless. This has some rather profound implications, chief among them that I no longer have an excuse to not get shit done.
In previous positions, I’ve had ideas on how to build up the collective competence of my team, to do geeky, fun stuff while learning in the process. So far, my follow-through rate has been abysmal, and I’ve always had at least one obstacle that I could point to and say “see, that’s why I can’t make this work.” Possibly I’ve even been right a couple of times. This time, though, I’m told from the get-go that if I’ve got ideas, I’ve got support too. It’s all up to me.
Today I got several interesting nudges from Jouni, wicked bastard that he is. 🙂 One of them resulted in an idea: learn F# and hold a brown-bag lunch presentation where I introduce it to others. I’m not committing to a date, but it would combine two goals of mine: practicing the art of presentation and learning a new language. So yeah, I think I’ll put that on my to-do list. Starting with the “learn” part.
I also got my first assignments, and in the process realized how poorly I really know ASP.NET, especially the Visual Studio tooling. The stuff I do know was probably current sometime back in 2004. Crap. Far from being a technical leader – if this is the yardstick, I’m a crappy follower.
Speaking of leadership: I don’t think I mentioned why I’m blogging my answers to questions presented in a book. I suck at sticking to doing something, be it physical exercise, a diet or answering difficult personal questions in the name of learning. The point of these posts is to force me to think about each question, and write the answer down. I hope the content is interesting enough to warrant the search engine hits I seem to be getting…
In Chapter 4 I set myself a goal of practicing my guitar playing for 15 minutes every day. It’s a sad testimony of my piss-poor commitment that I managed to miss two days from the last seven. I also recalibrated my expectations: instead of trying to play and sing at the same time, I’m concentrating on playing riffs right, with a metronome. It seems to be working, too. Who knew? 😛 I’m combining daily practice with what I got from reading The Talent Code: I’m trying to split the problems into chunks, then practice the chunks in a way that allows me to fail in a controlled way, and then hone that failure away. Once that’s done, I can do the same thing with the chunks, and so on. (I’m paraphrasing heavily here.)
On the study front, I failed again to sign up for the study techniques course. This time I remembered it, and even had a reminder to sign up. Unfortunately, while my other spring courses opened up for registration yesterday, registration for that one ended last Friday. They’re doing this on purpose, I frigging know it. I did manage to sign up for two grueling math courses that should keep me occupied for the spring. In fact, when I plotted them on my weekly calendar, the idea that I might have tackled more seems absurd. I also decided to not re-take the exam for Theory of Computation. I’m not going to learn anything significant in the exam, and improving the grade would only serve my ego.
Also, finally got me an iPhone, which explains the gratuitous cat photo. This concludes my status update. I promise I’ll follow up with Chapter 5 soon.