Quantum Mechanic

Content from 2015-07

Injection

posted on 2015-07-12 00:22:00

Injection Cover

I've been doing my work on being a better nerd, lately, and I've always wanted to know a bit more about comics. I've been reading Saga for a bit (though I'm behind now) and I've been trying to find my own stride a bit by looking through the single issues and picking things out. Injection looked like it had a decent balance of things, with some sort of programmer, some sort of wizard, and a smart/crazy professor lady making immediate appearances. I also liked the repeated demands for a sandwich. I think everyone can relate to that. I've read the first two, now, and I'm excited to see where the story goes.

It seems to involve the sort of magic that isn't particularly explained, or isn't magic. We've seen portals to other worlds, but they were locked up in a research institution. Strange flashes in stone circles, leave circling around the angry maybe-wizard. So far, I like that it's been showing strange, exciting things without explaining much. In visual media, like movies and comics, I think that's a strong sign that there might be good story telling going on.

I have become Programmer

posted on 2015-07-11 23:54:00

As I mentioned last time, I've taken a new job in a new field. I've left academia, which I'd like to write more about, because it was important and difficult. Now, I'm working as a Software Engineer for Octopart, where I've been working in Python and Javascript, mostly doing fronted work.

It's been exciting doing something I've done for so long professionally. Octopart is a small team and it means I have a lot of freedom to work on things I think need work, but some of that is a bit disorienting, especially as someone working in the field for the first time. It's hard to know what expectations are in any situation, but people are trusting me to do what needs to be done and I'm working the confidence to believe my decisions about that are correct.

I also haven't really worked in Python before. It's always nice to learn a new language – especially with such a defined project – so that's been a plus. I am surprised again and again by how different languages handle importing files/packages/modules and how often it feels magic, weirdly difficult or some other sort of uncomfortable. Lisp has the strange duality of packages and ASDF systems, which aren't the same thing but often effectively are. Python has it's own difficulties, but in many ways is simpler. You pretty much just use paths with dots replacing slashes for folders. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan, but that's probably more stylistic than anything else. Even though python has a command line REPL and more sophisticated tools like IPython, I miss SLIME when I'm working in it.

Really, I miss lisp, generally. One downside of working in programming is that I have little enthusiasm left over after work for looking after my own projects. Hopefully, I'll get better at that in time. In any event, go check out Octopart if you're into electronics and let us know how we can make it more useful. It's made by a lot of nice people who care about what they're doing.