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Indeterminate Heuristics
Wow, it's been 6 years...
by Dale Asberry
January 23, 2012
Summary
Life and complacency took me away from my first 'love'.

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Man, time can fly by so quickly! Changes in focus and the 'river' of life can easily sweep us away before we even realize the complete change in scenery. My own realization started last month when I was talking with my friend Bob Schlicher and his friend Vince Marco. Vince is doing some interesting work in the 'cloud' space which he's using Scala to implement. I started playing around with Scala and quickly realized just how fun and powerful it is. The dichotomy caught me off-guard: it's been a long while since I've been excited about any particular technology which lead me to realize that life has pulled me away from my first love -- programming. That's right, I'm a geek. I loved programming before I loved girls. Being the old man that I'm becoming, it's hard to believe that computers even existed back then!

Well, anyway, back to now time... life has kept me busy. My family has kept me particularly busy. The girls are growing (and grown) up and I remarried almost two years ago. On top of that, my health was deteriorating. My weight was up to 280 lbs, my cholesterol was at dangerous levels, my blood pressure was inching up to hypertensive, and my psoriasis was starting to overwhelm me. My health issues (and surrounding mental health) took me on a deep dive into 'subrealism' - understanding those aspects of my animal machine and mental inner workings, just beyond my consciousness, and bringing them into view. Of course, work also kept me busy. Consulting gigs all around the country didn't give me much time to focus on the new and interesting. And finally, I've made a big push into homesteading. My travel through my health issues and subrealism forced me to realize that modern life has many negatives, in particular revolving around eating and food, that can't be easily overcome unless you do it yourself.

All in all, my busy-ness isn't a very good excuse since this is hardly the most demanding time of my life -- college -- and I was progressing by leaps and bounds during that phase. No, it was also partly due to my focus on technologies at work. Lots and lots of new tools that were moderately useful (providing me with linear productivity improvements) but ultimately uninteresting (ground-breaking, geometric productivity improvements). I got bored and felt like programming wasn't really progressing. Taking on such a lazy perspective caused me to miss out on some very interesting developments, in particular, Scala! My recent, quick survey took me to Scala Test (thanks Bill Venners!) Akka, and, I'm sure more that I've not yet seen. My complacency also means that I haven't been to an industry-related conference in same time either. Socializing with great people led to some of my biggest and most exciting insights in the past.

To rectify all of this, I'll definitely be adding more posts here at Artima. I foresee, at first, talking about my recent Scala discoveries. In the longer term, hopefully I'll be posting efficient, creative solutions to interesting problems in software development.

If you're interested:

My blog on homesteading, Life, Abundantly,

my Google+ profile,

my Twitter feed,

and my Facebook profile,

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About the Blogger

R. Dale Asberry been hacking since 1978, professionally since 1990. He's certified in Java 1.1 and has a four digit MCP number. He discovered Jini at the 2000 JavaOne and has been building incredibly cool, dynamic, distributed architectures ever since! Over time, he's discovered several principles that have contributed to his success - they are the Princples of: Enabling Others, Simplicity, No Complaining, Least Work, Least Surprise, Least Damage, and "It Just Works".

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2012 Dale Asberry. All rights reserved.

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