After eighteen years in various schooling systems, 2004 will be the first year since I was 4 that I am not going to be a student.
I’m taking a job as a research assistant — thus breaking from the tertiary education system not at all — from mid-January until August. It will be my longest full-time work stint ever. Then I’ll break it for a few months to go around the world, and then who knows?
When I was learning BASIC (I was 8), I ran right into a wall when it came to thinking of stuff to program. I taught myself conditionals, loops and the basics of arrays out of a helpful little book that came with the computer, but when it came to making the leap into my own projects I was always stuck for ideas.
Obviously, not being 8 and also not being completely technically isolated has improved things somewhat, but there are still only two types of programming projects I really do: web projects and projects associated with a job or school project. Presumably the scale of the latter will only continue increasing, but I get the impression that I’m not likely to be a big contributor to Free Software in the “cool and exciting new stuff” category, at least, not in the immediate future.
In the last few weeks I’ve become the documentation editor for the Twisted project. So far this has meant very little, but apparently it means effectively that when it comes to documentation, it’s my vision.
This is a little disconcerting, since I don’t know the codebase outside the Twisted Web system at all, and I know only pieces of that. It is resulting in me producing documentation at the rate of about a paragraph every few hours, in which pace there needs to be a fair improvement before I will produce respectable amounts of documentation and of edited documentation. It is, however, a task (unlike software ideas and software design) where I have reasonable confidence that I can ascend the learning curve fairly quickly.