It’s been a little over a month since I moved, and I still haven’t unpacked. But my furniture is in place, and now I’ve moved my boxes out of the middle of the living room and into the areas of the apartment they belong.
The next step is to start unpacking and decluttering. I’ll also start putting together a cleaning routine by assembling the supplies from Melissa Maker’s book Clean My Space. I tried out some of her advice to get ready for my brother’s visit (see below), and I was very pleased with the process and the results.
I finished Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. 5/5. The next step is to choose some disciplines I can carry out regularly. Even though it’s a reference book, I actually recommend reading it all the way through. Doing that gave me a better sense for which disciplines would be useful.
Next in my book listening rotation is professional development, and I’ve gotten about halfway through a software development book called Continuous Delivery. It’s about managing the testing, packaging, and releasing of your software in a speedy and highly reliable way. I’m glad to be reading it because these are important areas of extreme ignorance for me. Sometime after I’m done, my plan is to set up the code, documents, and procedures I’ll need to follow the book’s advice, and I’ll also add something about it to my coding guide.
Speaking of my coding guide, as I’ve begun reading my software development books more seriously, my idea of that project has broadened. I’m going to change the name from “From Private to Public Coding” to the slightly blander but more accurate “Software Development Notes.” I’ll probably still comment on the contrasts between private and public coding, but the goal is mostly to record what I’m learning in general about effective and professional software development.
As a side note, I really like the way Continuous Delivery is written. I’d like to study it a bit as a model for some of my writing. Even though the book isn’t exactly a page turner, and most people would be totally lost, bored, and asleep by page 2, for people who care about the topic, I’d say it’s just readable and engaging enough. It gets the job done and covers a lot of complicated ground in a well organized and efficient fashion.
I spent a lot of the week reading the 100 Reasons blog. My brother has a PhD, so I talked with him about it on Saturday while he was in town, and his contention is that the problems it brings up aren’t universal among grad programs or unique to grad school, so by themselves they aren’t good arguments for avoiding grad school.
But should I go to grad school? It depends on whether my goals require it. For that I need to map out my goals. So that’s my current project. Also it’ll help me prioritize my projects as they come up, and it’ll help other people make sense of what I’m working on. So far I’ve been reread my old journal entries on this topic, and I’ve been looking for some diagramming software, because this map really needs to be more than just text.
AI field map
After my goal map I need to map out the field of AI, at least the parts of it that relate to my goals. This will give me a more immediate idea of how I need to prepare to enter it.
The used copy of Composing Music I ordered got sent to the wrong address across the country. It was rather perplexing watching the tracking number travel from a processing center 5 minutes away all the way to Pennsylvania and then down the coast. But the tracking was helpful because it meant I didn’t have to wait longer to raise the issue with the seller. So I got a refund and ordered the book again (from someone else).
I’m going to try starting on the exercises right away. I feel like I’ve waited long enough to get back into composing. But I’ll try very hard not to let it shove aside my more important projects.
My brother visited this weekend to watch his friend get ordained on Sunday. Saturday we just hung out and caught up on life. In the evening we took a walk around a scenic local lake, and he asked me very helpful questions for thinking through my next career steps.
Asking yourself, “Should I go to grad school?” seems wise.