I know it seems like I write a lot about knitting, and it is the case that knitting covers a lot of the "stuff I do" it's certainly not the only thing I'm doing, and I thought it'd be fun to quickly review a bunch of things:
- As of this week, I've been working at Interchain GmbH on Tendermint Core which is a consensus engine for state machine replication. After spending a huge part of my career on projects that were either "enterprise technology" (e.g. writing documentation for database engines), or technical operations (e.g. systems administration), or mostly internal facing (e.g. developer tools,) it's been really interesting to work on something that is definitely core product engineering with a great team. My work has mostly focused on what I think of as "platform concerns:" service construction, networking, workload management, and test architecture: these are the things I really enjoy, so that's been great.
- More recently I've begun reballancing my time work to spend some time (intentionally) on what I think of as "engineering issues" rather than "software issues." I'm still writing basically the same amount of code as I ever did, but I'm also thinking about how to support teams as they grow and function. At basically every organization and team that I've worked in, the main constraining factor in shipping features has always been coordination with other engineering projects and not really "how quickly can I write code" (I'm pretty fast, all told.) I've always thought that challenges of how people coordinate their labor and organize their efforts in distributed (conceptually, temporally, geographically) environments, is one of the cool/hard problems.
- I've been cooking a lot more. I'm getting better at making simple dishes that last for a few meals that I enjoy eating. I've been really getting into bean and letils, and have also made some good lentils making a lot of white bean and sausage dishes, lentils, pasta sauces, roast veggies.
- I'm knitting a lot! Most of the time I have 2 or 3 projects going: a sweater, a pair of socks that is easily portable for travel or times when I'm not at home, and more recently a series of plain white socks. I'm quite enjoying all of this. As a backdrop to knitting, I've been watching Poirot recently, which has been fun.
- I have a couple of "writing about knitting" projects that I'm writing and preparing drafts of. These are mostly book-length (though on the short side,) type projects, and one needs more editing (which I'm hoping to hire someone to help with,) and one is roughly half way through a first draft. The idea is to provide a lot of technical depth about the craft of knitting--techniques, skills, and design--combined with discussions of projects (mostly from a process perspective,) with some personal reflections and anecdotes sprinkled in. It's been a fun exercise, both because writing about things you understand well is fun, but also because (as weird as this sounds) it's been nice to sort of explore the boundary between technical writing and more creative writing.
- I've been doing a bit more things that I think of as "general personal care/growth:" reading more books just for fun and because reading is good for inspiration generally; doing duolingo every day (Russian, which I studied as a kid in school); upgrading a bunch of my personal computing practices (new laptop, better remote editing environments, staying on top of my email, switching to tmux, etc). I definitely go in cycles of paying greater and less attention to all of these sorts of things, but I think it's worth while to dedicate time and attention to these kinds of things.
I want to find more ways of writing little things quickly. There's that old quip "sorry for writing a 10 page letter, I didn't have enough time to write a one page letter," but also I think that I do most of my writing in the morning and tend to not do this on days when I'm working, though this seems like a tractable thing to reorganize and think through ways of doing more writing (and other projects!) throughout the week.