It’s been a while since my last update but a lot has taken place these past few weeks.

Since my last update I joined /dev/color a non-profit organization that aims to help black software engineers advance in their career. One of the ways /dev/color does this is through the A* program which uses squads for like-minded peers to provide a growth community. Squads meet once a month and during this meeting squad members share their experiences in working through their goals, sharing challenges and successes. We recently had our first squad meeting and it’s been super helpful for me. After our first meeting some of my squadmates and I ended up staying late working on algorithm and stats problems we’ve come across at various points in life. I really like being a part of a crew of nerdy black software engineering friends.

Here are some of my goals that I’m working through with /dev/color for this year,

  • Read a CS paper a week (or a book chapter of a technical book a week)
  • Build a side project that makes $$$
  • Give 5 public tech talks or non-technical talks to tech audiences
  • Publish a blog post once a week
  • Go to the gym 3x week

This isn’t a list of all of my goals for the year but this is the first time I have ever shared any subset of my goals publicly. I’m inspired by my friend Nat Welch who shares his goals, weekly updates, quarterly updates, and year in review. I’m going to give this a try and see how long I can keep it up.

One goal I’ve worked towards pretty well is giving public talks. Thus far I’ve given 2 public tech talks. One talk last weekend at PyTennesee and another talk this past week at BrooklynJS

PyTennessee

I loved attending and speaking at PyTennessee (PyTN) in Nashville this year. It was a very special moment for me to speak there since it was the first tech/python conference I’ve ever attended. I first went to PyTN in 2014, I use to live in Atlanta back then. Being Nashville last weekend was great because I got to have really good southern food. I went to Monell’s and enjoyed a delicious country meal. But Nashville would be a miss if I didn’t pack in some Nashville Hot Chicken and for that I made my way to Hattie B’s before the weekend was over.

My favorite part of Monell’s is that it’s a family restaurant and so when you sit down, you don’t get your own table but you join others on this long table. This was kind of challenging because I’m almost always use to having food with people I know. But at Monell’s everyone shares the food on the table together. It’s a like a buffet because you can eat as much as you want since the waiters keep refilling the table plates. It was a cool experience. I wonder if there are any places like that in NYC.

I really enjoyed the talks at PyTN. There was a great lineup of talks that were about emotional intelligence and community building. To highlight those talks,

I think the line up of talks on emotional intelligence and building healthy, welcoming communities was a great idea and I’m glad to have come across these talks.

But one of my favorite parts of PyTN was running into one of my first friends in tech Frank I met Frank via Twitter and is probably my first Twitter friend that I became friends with in real life. Frank also gave a talk on writing Alexa skills.

BrooklynJS

Earlier this week I gave a talk on my programming language Noor that I created during my batch at the Recurse Center in 2015. I really enjoyed working on this project and it taught me a lot about programming languages. It was really fun to dust off this project so I can present on it. It was a brief 10 minute talk on what motivated me to make the language (Ramsey Nars Qalb programming language), the tools I used to build the language (PEGJS) and concluded with some bits I learned about RTL language support and the BIDI Algorithm.

The BrooklynJS tweet about this talk spread about pretty decently. My favorite thing about having given this talk is that I learned something new. I learned that before Noor and Qalb there were two other programming languages that have been created and they’re,

  • Kalimat - made by an Egyptian CS professor
  • Sakhr - on computers back in the 1980’s.

Non Tech stuff

I just watched The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix and I liked it. I’m starting to have a thing for movies/shows that involve time travel, and dimension hopping. It’s a very eery thing to think about other dimensions existing along ours with their own narratives/events. Or traveling back in and ruminating on combinatorics of the different timelines that could be generated when the order of past events takes place.