30 January 2013

And I also saw a kangaroo in the wild.

Hi, I am in Australia.

I am at linux.conf.au in Canberra, to be precise. Always trying to learn something new - I cannot wait for the talk about Git for Ages 4 and Up, by Michael Schwern, today (Thursday - I am still not completely over the jet lag).

What have I done so far, besides meeting very nice people, too many to mention?

On Tuesday there has been a miniconf for women - Haecksen, which I learned it is the German word for female hackers. Men were welcome, of course! The talk that struck me the most there was Denise Paolucci's Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: great suggestions on how to fight that bug in your brain telling you you are going to be found out , from "always ask questions"  to "mind your (internal) language" to "teach". A very funny exercise followed the talk: a typical self-deprecating thing was reported by someone in the audience, then whoever thought that of him/herself once raised his/her hand - and it looked like a calisthenics class after a while. I find it interesting how this useful talk was felt to be needed for women, or at least mostly for women: and how I think that yes, indeed, it's mostly a woman's problem. Could it be caused by how women have often to manage conflicting expectations? (Of course I think that men have problems with expectations too, but I also think that at least these are mostly due to "simple" bars set too high, not with "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations.)

And a mention must be made of Radia Perlman's keynote, also on Tuesday. It was interesting, it was funny, it was accessible: I was absolutely fascinated - and no, it was not just the graphs. It ended with one of the wisest suggestions I have ever heard, for everything in life: before fixing a problem, make sure you know what the problem is.

OK, now it's time for breakfast, and another exciting day!

(And if you're wondering about the kangaroo: yes, I am sure I saw one the other night.)

8 January 2013

Trying to wake up.

It didn't go as planned.

Too many things I wanted to try? Maybe.

The result, anyway, has been quite a disaster.

I still haven't learned C (or Go, for that matter); I tried but miserably failed to read Modern Operating Systems; my beloved tutorial is still missing some pages. And I feel like I have forgotten so much!

Yes, there has been a minor step forward in my studies, but not enough for an article; my github page is a little better, but out of two projects one is untouched and broken and the other is stuck (and on an apparently trivial problem! how to find an Eulerian cycle in an Eulerian graph!).

My health has been behaving badly too (enough for my doctor and my supervisor to suggest me to take a term off university "to take things with more ease" - let's just leave it at that), and that has not helped.

So: I need to wake up! To do something!

And so I decided to go to the Doc Sprint in Brno: trying to set myself some goals, hoping that they are not unrealistic.

As usual, any suggestion is welcome.