Two-thousand eight was a pretty eventful year.
From Japan to Jersey, and teaching english to
teaching myself Perl.
My blog turned a year old, traffic moved up, and content
relevency meandered in haphazard and unguided circles
from Django to Perl to my fledgling efforts at writing
Luke and I founded
Monocle Studios LLC, released
our first game, and made
our first buck selling a product instead of selling ourselves
(the grass is greener).
I was given the opportunity to give my first public technical talk.
2008 has been a good year, but looking back on it, progress has
been pretty linear. If we consider Malcolm Gladwell's newest
pop science, then I've been investing hours towards reaching the
ten thousand hours required for mastery in programming, but I've been too focused,
and have been neglecting other areas. If we live for eighty years and
sleep eight hours a day, then we have 467200 hours in our lives to
devote towards masteries. I've been going pretty hard on this technical
stuff for the past three years, and if I don't start diversifying I
know where I'll end up in a decade. It isn't a bad place, but I don't
want to know where I'll be in a decade. If I know, then I've chosen
a path with too safe by far.
I have a few priorities--resolutions one might say--for this year.
One article each week focused on making a computer science topic
accessible to layman programmers who never graduated from a
computer science program. There is a lot of confusion about
computer science: it's hard, it's programming, it isn't
programming, left is right, up is down and there is no spoon.
Like with everything else, I think comp sci suffers from
mediocre presentation, and that with a bit of effort it
can be accessible and valuable to anyone who has ever typed
a few lines into an interpreter.
Write one essay each month. In general, I don't think anyone
gives a damn about my essays, because I haven't done anything
to justify my opinion as valid or interesting. But I also believe
that too much technical writing sucks the joy out of writing for
me. My opinion doesn't particularly matter, but not that much
other shit matters either.
Monocle Studios is going to grow this year.
We're going to release some really good stuff.
I love getting to design and implement entire
applications. Getting good enough to actually sell
the applications, that's a mighty tasty gravy.
I'm looking to transition from a contractor to
a full-time employee at my core contracting gig.
I have to keep my options open and do the right
thing for myself and the others involved, but
I like the whole going to the office, seeing the
people I work with routine. Working from home has
its perks, but my sanity isn't necessarily one of them.
My two computer science weaknesses (self-assessed) are
in operating systems and interpreters/compilers. I want
finally get a grip on those, by writing an interpreter,
writing a compiler, and at least doing some study of
operating system design.
Get back on the math train. I've been off of it for
about five years, and my perch was always a bit shaky.
This is something I want to get back onto. I'm keeping
my mind open about pursuing a PhD in a couple few years
(for fun, you see), and I'll need to work on my math
foundations before that pount.
I want to keep working on design and graphics.
I actually feel like my grasp of the two has improved
a whole lot, but only because I was starting at the dead
Get back into studying Japanese and Spanish.
Mostly, my goal for the upcoming year is to keep myself
open to new opportunities and to see what is before me
instead of following the paths I plan for myself in my
Good luck to all of you. Let's move forward together.