Nine Weeks Off

I’m starting a new job on Monday; what have I done with the nine weeks since RStudio laid me off?

  • Published a short story that I wrote after my brother died and “Ten quick tips for staying safe online” that I co-authored with Danielle Smalls. (All the work for both was done before I was canned, but seeing them in print was still a nice boost.)

  • Wrapped up Research Software Engineering with Python: it should be on the shelves this quarter.

  • Finished the first usable draft of Software Tools in JavaScript, which teaches software design by building small versions of the tools programmers use themselves. Comments and feedback would be very welcome.

  • Turned a pile of notes into a rough draft of Building Software Together, which is a guide for undergraduates embarking on their first team software project. The sections on security and fairness are still unsatisfying, but I hope it’s useful, and feedback would be even more welcome.

  • Built yet another Jekyll template for writing books like these. It relies on a bunch of Python scripts to make up for Jekyll’s inadequacies, and I use another Python script to convert the generated HTML to LaTeX so that I can produce a PDF (because that’s easier to maintain than customized Pandoc), but it’s working well enough that I might get around to documenting it for others to use as well.

  • Discovered the hard way that if you don’t use WordPress for 20 years, you forget everything you once knew about PHP.

  • Gave a couple of talks and signed up to give a couple more.

  • Read about two dozen papers. (Thank you, Alexandra, for making this possible.)

  • Added about 20,000 words to the novel I’m working on. I’m 4800 words short of my target for the nine weeks, so I did well or poorly depending on how you look.

  • Exercised and played guitar four or five times a week. My blood pressure and BMI are still higher than they should be for someone with my family history of heart disease, and progress on guitar is still frustratingly slow, but I’m mostly satisfied.

  • Built some lids for our garden boxes and generally got the back yard ready for another spring. It’s unlikely we’ll do any house renos this summer (Ontario is going into another lockdown thanks to the Ford government’s cowardice and incompetence), but I’m hoping we can take advantage of working from home the way we did last year.

  • Played several hundred games of Hive and lost most of them. I do all right if I survive the opening, but that’s a big “if” right now. If you’d like to trounce me, I’m gvwilson on Board Game Arena.

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