Let the Geek Week begin

Yesterday I started my first (and hopefully recurring) Geek Week. So whats this Geek Week I speak of? As a computer lover and technology geek there are a lot of things that I would love to do, but more often than not don’t actually get around to (for a number of different reasons). But it’s that time of year when colleges in the United States decide that they want to get rid of all their students for a few days and so declare Fall Break. While my fellow students will by and large be sleeping in and spending time with the folks, I’m going to totally geek out.

I have a number of projects on hold that I really want to make some progress on. Some, but not all of these projects are related to computers and code. Others are things which aren’t related to technology, but just that I would like to do. I wan to make it clear that this isn’t just another catch up on backed work time, I will be doing absolutely no school work (aside from implementing some algorithms) and will think as little about school as possible.

Another aspect of Geek Week is that I’m not working to a fixed schedule or deadline. While I want to get a lot done, I do want to enjoy myself while I’m doing it, so I won’t kill myself to be productive. I’m not ruthlessly scheduling or setting up extremely precise. Rather I’m just making a list of projects and I’ll be moving between them as I have the inclination. While working on a demanding project (especially a creatively demanding one) I’ve found that it helps to able to mode-switch to something else, if only for a while. So having a number of interesting projects at hand should be a way to get things done without burning out.

As you can imagine, this will also be an experiment in seeing how my creative process works. Since I’ve almost always worked in a school environment, I’ve never really been in a situation where I have the chance to do focused creative work around the clock (and even when I did I was generally more interested in relaxing or something like that). I’m going to try to keep an eye on how I’m working and see if I work best in bursts, or in long ‘flow’ modes or something in between. Ideally I would like to do this on a time scale longer than a week, but we do what we canwitht the time that is given to us.

I’ve already started on one of my projects and done some preparation for another. Before I go back to geeking out, here’s the mostly complete list of what I’ll be doing:

  1. Working some more on the problem analysis that I worked at over summer
  2. Building a static site generator (a la Jekyll) in Python
  3. Starting on a interpreter for a BASIC-like language to explore programming language design
  4. Reading Orson Scott Card’s ‘Shadow Puppets’
  5. Catching up on some TV thanks to the wonders of the Internet

Did I mention that I love Fall Break?

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Published by

Shrutarshi Basu

Programmer, writer and engineer, currently working out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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