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My Apologies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Colum Ferry, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Colum Ferry

    Colum Ferry Moderator

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    Where do I start?
    Probably best to apologise.

    Sorry everyone for my absence.

    Time to move on to the explanation.

    Ok so, here's it goes.

    I'm not exactly sure when I stopped actively taking part in discussions on this forum. I think it has been a couple of months at least. It feels a lot longer and it could well be.

    I've been checking in every now and again to see what's been going on and I'm glad to see a_bertranda_bertrand is still progressing with DWM.

    The past few months have just felt like they've rolled into one, and my life has gotten so busy it gets difficult to keep track of things. Because of that I've had less time to be around.

    At the start of the year, my baby girl was born. From then my time started to dwindle rapidly. At that time I was unemployed and still in University.

    Fast forward to March, my daughter is almost 3 months old and I get a 20-hour part time job handling customer support for a mobile game. I'm still at university, but it's coming up to exam time and the end of semester.

    May now, its exam time, I sit the exams, I'm still at my job. I get about an hour to myself and it usually spent getting ready for the next day.

    5th June, I start my year long placement as a software engineer. Two jobs now. Spend 4 hours a day commuting to and from placement. 20 works a week spent travelling to work. 37.5 hours spent working at placement, 20 hours a week working at the part time job. 77.5 hours a week dedicated to work. It's tiring. Especially as I get to bed at around 12am and have to be up again for 5am.

    Despite this, starting placement has done wonders for my education, and for learning more about software development and computer science as a whole. Whilst in work I have some free time that I can use to research topics that interest me and learn more about them whilst learning on the job as our team works with Angular 4 (they should really just drop the version number..) and TypeScript to develop a web application with a C# backend, utilising git as our vcs.
    My knowledge in all four of these areas has improved drastically, but I've learned so much more general software development techniques :

    • Unit testing
    • E2e testing
    • Code smells and useful refactoring
    • Proper implementation of OO Concepts
    • Readability vs Reusabilty
    • Value added vs Time spent
    • How not to develop a web api in this era
    • How to discuss the implementation of a feature in a meaningful manner *
    • Git- how to use it as part of team working on a project
    • Github enterprise - using it to track, monitor and maintain a potentially commercial software application
    • Code reviews
    * almost slipping into arguments as each party believes their idea is the best and only potential solution

    Whilst all of this has had a massive impact on my knowledge, and considering this is after only just one month, I'm sure that by the end of this year I'll come out a much better developer than when I started.

    But what about the free time that I've had to research topics?
    I've been spending hours each day soaking up as much as I can about machine learning. It is beyond fascinating to me. I've read a lot of articles talking about different methods and techniques and some of the basic concepts and theories behind this topic.
    I've learned about the different learning techniques, the purpose of learning rates in algorithms and also how different algorithms lend themselves to the three different machine learning tasks.
    I still have so much to learn but I'm hoping that by the end of the year I'll understand this field a lot more and be able to utilise my knowledge in it for my final year project in university.

    I've also sadly got addicted to No Man's Sky since my daughter has started to sleep at night and is currently being a lot less demanding. If you didn't rate the game when it first launched try it again now, there is a lot lot more to do now.

    So, how have the rest of you all been?
     
  2. a_bertrand

    a_bertrand Administrator

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    Good to hear about you! I must admit I started to play No Man's Sky as well, and I cannot understand all the bad reviews it still get. Maybe the look is not for everyone, but I find it quite enjoyable.

    For machine learning => that's a huge computer science by its own. And I'm sure there is still loads to be discovered. Maybe you can remember, I played with it a couple of month ago. Quite fun.
     
  3. Colum Ferry

    Colum Ferry Moderator

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    Yeah I love the game, I love that it has no fixed story and lets me do what I want and create my own style of gameplay from it. I'm a border, a resource collector, so I love mining and gathering then selling that stuff, and I think I'll continue with that path as I progress in the game!

    Machine learning is huge yes, involving not just computer science but other forms of science and maths. It is very intriguing.

    Just as you mention you played about with it a couple of months ago I used thI code and the demo you created as a reference point and it inspired me to look into the subject in more detail.
     
  4. sniko

    sniko Active Member

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    I too have been inactive :)
    Cool to see you learning so much/getting exposure in your first month - that's really encouraging that you've found a really nice place to work at.

    Congratulations on your life events, from Harry
     
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