I'm back!

20 Jun 2015, by Pang Yan Han

Thoughts on getting back

It’s been a while since I blogged here. To be exact, it’s been half a year since I’ve written my last blog post, and slightly more than a year since my last technical blog post. In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve done this, everything feels as if they’re from a lifetime ago.

That said, I do wish to post new entries here on a more regular basis and share some of the stuff that I’ve been up to. I mean, heck, some of my own posts have been helpful to myself when I least expected it. For instance, I actually found this entry very helpful when I got a new Macbook recently and wanted to install Solarized. To get back to blogging, I needed to know how to setup my system to compile my blog using Hakyll. This entry led me to a project which I’ve not looked at for months to see how I did it in the past. And I got everything back up in the span of 1 to 2 hours yesterday evening, with most of the time spent by GHC on compiling all the prerequisite software. Wow. These mean a lot to me.

What I have been up to

In August 2014, I concluded my internship at Viki and went back to school to complete my final year of studies as a Computer Science undergraduate. Having gone back to school after an almost 1 year stint in the industry, I’ve gained a much greater appreciation of school and what it offers, so I’ve probably put in a lot more effort into my studies compared to the previous semesters (I suspect I was more serious in my final year than my freshman year, where I spent most of my time on academics). I’ve also had the pleasure of taking some rather fun classes taught by some awesome profs, worked as a TA in CS1010S and CS2010R teaching people who are mostly 4 to 6 years younger than myself (I feel old in school already; the appropriate term to describe people like myself will be ‘dinosaur’), talked to a lot more people than I used to (in fact, the number of people in school I still know and talk to surprises me because most people from the same intake year as myself have already graduated), tried out stuff I previously would say no to or wouldn’t dare to, made some silly mistakes, etc, so it’s been a great year.

And I’m proud to say that, I’ve passed all my courses in my final year, so I’m slated to graduate this July =) 11 July 2015 will be the day of our commencement. I’ll probably write a very long post to review my life over the past 5 years. Ok, probably not as long as the AngularJS tutorial I wrote in 2013.

As to why I’ve not been blogging: I was real busy with school + I was too lazy to blog. Blogging does take a lot of time and effort.

(Part of) What I’ve actually been up to: Doing more Mathematics than the past few years and not giving myself too much pressure along the way. I’m sure we’ve all read a lot of posts, some by very well-known developers, on how Mathematics is not necessary in programming. In fact, that has been the experience for a large number of programmers, myself included. At a professional level, I’ve never had the chance to work on applications that require Math exceeding simple arithmetic. I know that at a professional level, I may never get to use a lot of stuff I’m picking up, but I believe that the skills one picks up by doing some Math will sharpen one’s mind. And who knows, I may get the chance to use my Math-fu some day. In fact, I have one very short blog post (in the making) on a very simple Mathematics concept. It’s something I thought about while reading on the train. Stay tuned =)

Other than Mathematics, just reading up on a lot of stuff, some technical, some on life. Discovering more about myself, accepting my own limitations, and thinking about the direction(s) I want to head into. And talking to friends and other people to gain their perspectives.

It’s good to be back. Coincidentally, I saw this on YouTube today:

Can’t help but think of the TV ad I saw for Terminator: Genisys with Terminator saying: “I’ll be back.”

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