“I’m Not Dead Yet!” Proclaims Blog Author, Returning From Hiatus

The 1.5 readers of this blog will no doubt be incredibly grateful that I have decided to emerge from hibernation and mystify the Internet yet again with my exploits. It’s more of a case of having so much to do than having too little to write about.

I.e:

Driving test #1:

I was ready. I was definitely prepared. I’d badgered an incredibly patient friend into giving me driving lessons for two months. I’d gotten an instructor lined up and we were waiting in line. For two hours. And then they told us the car didn’t have the right insurance stickers and at 4.30 pm on a Friday I couldn’t take my test. Stickers, really?

Driving test #2: 

This was totally my bad. A too-fast right turn and a too-optimistic assessment of my own right of way at a residential small intersection sent my instructor into paroxyms of panic. End result: failure.

GRE: General

Not bad.

GRE: CS

Comically bad. I’d forgotten how much I hated probability and statistics until I began preparing for this test. Anyway no knowledge wasted and so on. At least I have a better understanding of search algorithms, which can be nothing but helpful in my current job… right?

The Job

Since we’ve released our product, I think I’m in a better position to actually talk about what we contributed to the company’s ecosystem. We were involved in machine translation, or the automatic translation of English to other languages and vice versa, so that other groups in the company could use our service to release products that needed those translations.

I think we’re the first company of our kind that’s using machine translation in such a large way. There are so many techniques and challenges to this that I’m pretty sure I’ll need to dedicate an entire blog post to how cool the project was, but suffice it to say that “just use Google translate!” isn’t the solution to anything we were facing. Not entirely, anyway.

Unfortunately, due to some stupidity aka politics, every developer but one was pulled off the project about a month before it was released so that it could be transferred to another part of the organization. I know, gentle reader; like me you’re wondering how efficient and effective that must have been. In any case, while that project’s been up and running, I’ve been transferred to another project which is almost diametrically the opposite of machine translation. It’s still cool because hey, front end development! Haven’t seen you in a while!

One thing I will say though: CSS sucks like a small child enjoying a lollipop, and like this comparison I just made.

The Life Plan 

Due to various reasons, including various conversations I had with people in the science writing field, as well as the fact that I was switching projects at work, I decided that the main reason I was writing the GRE would have to be postponed. I got to a point somewhere this year where technically speaking the job just wasn’t making me enthusiastic, and I started feeling bold enough to consider other options. But there’s boldness and then there’s recklessness.

Part of the problem is — here’s the quarter life crisis spiel, readers, hold on to your hats! — I don’t know what I want to be doing in life. I’m not sure what it is I’m 100% motivated by, or if I’m even capable of finding out what it is. Maybe my life skill is being lazy. Or procrastinating.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and tomorrow I’ll be enjoying a giant dinner with my adopted family here in California. I’ve done something different every year for it and while I haven’t bought completely into the whole turkey-and-family-day, it’s nice to see togetherness and tradition being celebrated in any number of ways.

 

 

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