I'm keeping this one short. The goals for the year will be the following:

  • Code 10 hours a week on non work related stuff
  • Exercise 7 hours a week
  • Write a blog post every week

I'll break down each of these resolutions in slightly more detail.

Coding

The people I respect the most are prolific coders with insane output. The best way to achieve this is by well... coding a lot. It's easy to motivate myself to code for work. However I don't think I can truly get any level of mastery unless I also make sure to find joy in it outside of the workplace. The biggest issue with coding outside of work/school in the past is my inability to truly get going with a project. Without deadlines, and expectations from others, it's hard to drive a project from start to finish, especially when the steps are large and poorly defined. A short list of programming projects that I started but never finished because of the immense amount of quit in me:

  • AwkLang (an implementation of the Awk programming language)
  • TallyUp (A p2p sports betting app)
  • HarkDB (A GPU powered query engine... this one made it slightly farther than the others)
  • FutharkCXX (A C++ file generator to wrap Futhark's generated C API into classes)
  • StatFloor (A WebScraper for sports data)

This is just to name a few projects that I have failed to drive to a respectable point. By writing code 10 hours a week I am giving myself a fighting chance of actually driving a project to the finish line in a way that I can be proud of.

Exercise

I used to go to the gym for 2 hours everyday. Then I moved back to America and haven't worked out in 6 months. I lost 20+ pounds is mildly devastating. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and think that's one big boy! I need to find a gym and or fall back in love with calisthenic exercises.

Blogging

Writing a blog post every week will improve my technical writing ability. It's pretty insane how bad I write. I read most of my written English with genuine disdain. This is what happens when 98% of writing is done via texting, and messaging. Writing a blog post a week will help bridge my writer's block. It will also allow me to get a better feel for writing concise, structured paragraphs and sentences. I have many things I want to write about. To name a few:

  • My thesis
  • Something about MLIR
  • Getting a consistent development environment across platforms Everytime I encounter a niche bug, I have an opportunity to write a blog post, both to solidify my knowledge and a possible way to help some unlucky developer who might by some miracle come across the same issue. Its also clear to me that in technical conversations I lack the ability to communicate my ideas with the correct terminology. Writing will definitely help with that one.

Conclusion

What's weird about life is that I am super happy with where I am. For the first time in my life I don't feel behind in some non-existent race. I am working on compilers, at an innovative company and I'm excited to go to work (virtually) everyday. However there is always room for improvement. At the end of the day I want to be proud of future me. If I code 10 hours a week outside of work, exercise an hour a day, and write a blog post once a week, it's nearly impossible that won't be the case.