What Have I Been Up To In The Past Few Months

Good day! It is a sunny Saturday summer morning in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. THIS POST DOES NOT COVER TECHNICAL SUBJECT(S).

I like to listen to constructive comments. I can then do some research, think about the pros and cons, and finally make an educated decision. Since no one is perfect, your decisions are not always the best, but by following a set of steps like the ones I outlined in this paragraph, in retrospect most of the decisions made seem to be the right ones.

If a post is based on a specific technical subject, I will indicate so to avoid readers wasting their time with a post that might not be useful for their immediate needs.

I just took a quick look at the last posts in my blog. The last three were generated in February, March and April 2022. Very weak in my opinion. Hopping to change that by generating one or two posts per week. Recently I do not have too much free time and in my opinion there is a reason for it.

Earlier this year I started working at Microsoft. The people (about 181,000 employees) seem to be very nice and knowledgeable of the things they work on. I am very grateful and happy to be in such good company.

Depending on what the team is focused on, you have to learn specific things which always include the source code and documentation. It takes time to become proficient and effective and hopefully able to provide some insights.

On the other hand, each company / team has their own way of doing things. You might have learned a specific tool (i.e., Git) and became quite proficient with the workflow you needed at the time. As you deal with other companies/teams their workflow is probably different. That requires you to refresh concepts and features. In general the concepts are the same, but the amount of new features could be mind boggling.

Years ago (in 2017 to be specific) I purchased the book Pro Git and learned a lot from it. Of course not all commands are used by everyone every day. You stick to a workflow that solves 90% of your daily activities, and the other 10% are features that you may have to look up as needed.

I did a search on my blog and found several posts that touched on Git. The oldest date back to 2016. Git was created by Linus Torvalds and was released in 2005. The core of it is written in the C programming language. With time Git has become the world most widely used software for source code repositories. I will be generating a new post on Git concentrating on a couple workflows.

I have a string interest in software engineering. Enjoy reading books on the subject because I enjoy learning and more important putting such knowledge to work. Recently I watched and ACM broadcast that touched on the subject. At the end of the presentation got on Amazon and purchased a book mentioned and authored by the guest speaker. I will be generating a post on the book in the near future.

If you look at most of my past posts, they tend to touch on a specific subject (i.e., queue, hash map, etc.) Such topics are in general covered (or should be covered) in undergraduate school. It seems that most (never generalize) companies focus on such topics. In general the actual work you will be doing will be completely different and you will seldom have to write a queue or a hash map. More on this topic in a future post.

In general I read early morning shortly after I wake up and before going to sleep. It seems that the best time to read is just before going to bed. The subject matter seems to linger for some time and it seems to help you better understand what you just read.

In the first half of the year I took a set on courses that made a specialization on the C programming language. I have been using C for some time, but I find it useful to refresh knowledge specially to learn new features and use some of the ones that for a reason or other have not been visited in the recent past.

I also started a set of three courses that are part of a C++ specialization. I am about to finish the second course. One more to go. After that I will be concentrating with higher data structures and tools.

Work and learning are beneficial for the brain, but that is not all. We need to exercise to help the physical aspects of our intellect (the brain). Every year my wife and I start walking sometime in spring as soon as the sidewalks and paths are free of snow and ice. We do it around noon because it is the warmest time of the day and we all need a lunch break. As time goes on we switch the walks to evenings. Once the days get too warm we switch to mornings. We are out and about by 06:00 AM every day (including weekends). If the weather does not cooperate we switch to the evening. Sometimes it is raining or there are thunderstorms so we have to skip the day. I highly recommend brisk walking which does not require special equipment or time and money to drive to a facility.

Today I already read a few pages from an interesting book which I will comment on as soon as I finish with it. My wife and I went for an hour walk. The day was sunny and temperatures in the mid 60s. I prepared breakfast and after consuming it, we made from scratch some pizza dough. It is proofing as I am working on this post. I feel that tomorrow I will concentrate on the C++ course and abstain from blogging.

Later in the day, I will get a haircut, will chat online with our two sons, have to run some errands and as soon as we get back, will set the pizza oven on the deck, warm it up to about 825 F, and prepare and cook four pizzas. Each time we cook we try to improve in techniques and flavor. Will see if we move forward or we have a setback. That is the only way to learn and improve.

Hope you have a great day. This will be the only post of this weekend. Hopefully tomorrow I will finish the second C++ course. At this time I just want to finish with good scores and move on to better and more exciting things!

John

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