Reflections one year into a PhD program

5 Aug 2023
Computer-Science, Education, Career, School, Personal

I started my PhD program about a year ago. In my first year I have: Taken 4 “normal” 3-credit-hour classes Participated in 3 seminars Switched advisors Attended 2 conferences (PLDI @ FCRC, JuliaCon) Presented my work at JuliaCon It’s been a lot of work, and there’s been a lot of stress. I’m in a much better place now than when I started, and over all I’m happy where I’m at and where I’m headed. ...

Metric Worship, or: How a bad manager wrecked a (small) company

21 Feb 2023
Management, Career, Philosophy

The story I once worked as a part of a company with four employees, all of us programmers. We formed a sort of daughter company with a bigger—though still modest-sized—company that handled our payroll and whatnot. Our work directly helped the parent company, but we were organizationally independent development-wise. I really liked working with that small team: we had a one-hour meeting each week to plan out our work, and a short, casual stand-up each morning to get things rolling. ...

Changes in Career Aspirations

3 Feb 2023
Personal, Career

It's interesting for me to reflect on how my aspirations have changed as I've grown up. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a computer programmer like my daddy. I wanted to have my own cubicle and a work station and write Perl programs all day long in Emacs. There was a phase where I had to shake my head at that—a cubicle-dweller? Seriously? After experiencing some open-office work spaces, the shoulder-high walls afforded a privacy and sound muffling that any hipster coder would be envious of. ...