What I’ve Been Up To

As you’ve undoubtly noticed there has been little activity on my blog lately. There’s a couple reasons for that.

The first reason is the classic one: I’m pretty busy. As you may know I’m doing a quite intensive one-year master course at Trinity College, Dublin, namely Networks & Distributed Systems, which eats time.

But there’s another much more important reason for this. Long term readers probably know about what I refered to as the change. Zef, the guy that spent most of his free time programming all of the sudden (or actually gradually) stopped liking programming. This “change” happened roughly two years ago now and in hindsight it’s not the thing I’d today still refer to as “the change” unless you considered the whole of the past two years as a changeover phase. Things have changed a whole lot more since then, ultimately leading up to a point that came last Christmas in which I basically decided to “give up” the computer science thing and go do something completely different.

You wha?

During the past years my interests shifted a lot. First I liked programming, then I didn’t anymore and became more interested in software architecture. After a while I realised I didn’t see myself actually developing regular software either. Developing software for banks, administration stuff, web applications, nah. I moved up to another level, the meta level if you will: tools. Given that I don’t want to spend a lot of time developing software, what can I do to get it over with. How do I squeeze as much out of each minute that I spend on it as possible? If you want to do stuff like that the best way to go is to go into research. And I’m at a great place for that, Trinity College’s computer science department is quite big and does quite some research in interesting areas, such as distributed systems and information and knowledge engineering (think Googlish stuff). So I thought, yeah, when I finish with this year, I’ll just go do a Ph.D. and after that I don’t know, just continue doing research or something.

But at this stage I think I’m not going to, not anytime soon at least. I realised I am still interested in it, but mainly in observing what’s happening in that area. That’s basically what I’ve been doing the past years here at zefhemel.com, it was mainly about programming languages, development tools and other cool new technology things. Sometimes I came up with something myself but in most cases I didn’t actually build it, I just philosophised about it. I enjoyed writing about it.

2005 was an eventful year for me, if not the most influential in my life with the exception of my birth year ;) A lot of things happened in my personal life and I’m happy that they did. Also, when I came here to Ireland I started a newish life building on this “new me”, if you will. I got different friends who, generally, don’t do anything related to computers. And it’s great. We don’t often talk about computers and I never steer the conversation into that direction either. One of my good friends here does a language related study, we talk about that a lot and I find it very interesting. More interesting than what I’m studying myself now actually. That’s not a good sign, is it? Then last Christmas somebody asked me what I wanted to do after I finishing the course I’m doing. And I answered I’d probably do a Ph.D. Don’t you want to do something different? Well yeah, I do, but I’ve been investing into this since I was 9, you can’t just… Well I can, I’m still young, I’m 22 and will be 23 when I’m done. I can still do something else. And I most likely will. My current plan is to go back to Holland after I finish here (I’ll finish because it’s a waste to stop now and a M.Sc. degree from a well-known college like Trinity won’t hurt your career either) and study English Language and Culture. Yes that’s linguistics and literature and stuff. Yes that is quite different. But that’s the whole point. I want something different.

Stupid computers.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been posting a lot lately, I had to figure things out for myself. And I guess I pretty much did by now. I am still interested in technology, but how active I will be here I don’t know, it’s hard to predict. I might just change things around, but it’s a bit weird to do that. It is my personal homepage technically, but I’m thinking most of the people reading this blog don’t read it because they care about me as a person, they care about what I have to say about technology. So yeah. I haven’t decided on that. But I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on with me anyway, it’s only fair.