“Before I go” (make sure to watch the video as well) is an essay by Paul Kalanithi in which he talks about life, time, and cancer. It’s one of the most beautiful and touching essays I’ve read in recent times. It made me think about the inexorable forward march of time and the inherent fragility of human health. I think that’s really scary – we cannot really do anything about either of those things. All we can hope to do is live life in such a manner that when (not if) our time comes we realize that every moment leading up to now isn’t a flat line of points, but rather a gorgeous valley of peaks and troughs.

Building a building

Instead of reading two research papers for the month of March I’ve decided instead to read as much as possible (yes I know that’s not a measurable quantity) of The Architecture of Open Source Applications: Volume 1. I’d read the LLVM and HDFS chapters in the past and was blown away but how well written they were. I’m pretty excited to read the rest of the book.

My favorite album of 2014: The Amanuensis by Monuments

Of all the albums I listened to in 2014, The Amanuensis by Monuments is definitely by favorite. The powerful, soaring vocals, excellent bass and drum work, and FANTASTIC guitar riffs make this an absolute joy to listen to. My favorite track from the record is probably Horcrux.

I’m quite disappointed I missed seeing them (and Animals As Leaders and Devin Townsend Project) in December. I had tickets but was feeling a bit unwell the day of the concert and didn’t want to risk my upcoming vacation plans.

Goal Tracking: February Edition

At the beginning of the year I published a post outlining what some of my goals for the year were. In the spirit of being transparent, here is the progress I made on them over the course of February –

  1. No volunteering.
  2. Decent progress in eliminating shyness.
  3. No progress made on learning Rust or Erlang.
  4. 1 book read – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. An incredibly sad and beautiful book.
  5. 1 paper read – Read-Copy Update.

  6. 5 blog posts.
  7. Zero muscle ups.

2015 goal achieved – contributing to an open source project

This week I managed to achieve one of my goals for 2015 – contributing to an open source project.

The project I contributed to was a command line interface to GitHub Gist. I found this project on the trending Python repositories page and decided to check it out (pun intended).

I think this was a great first project to contribute to. The code base was relatively small and extremely well organized and structured. The author also had a list of issues that needed addressing that made it very easy for someone to jump in and contribute to the project. I found an issue I felt I would be able to resolve, and after some back and forth with the author, my pull request for the issue was merged.

Things I learned –

This was a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to find the next project to contribute to!