RC 6: Quantified Checkin

January 1, 2017

My time at the Recurse Center is halfway over, and the next portion starts this Tuesday on Jan 3rd in the new year after a week hiatus. There will be ~30 new faces joining and only 6 weeks left of the batch left. Two months have flown by and so much has been done it’s hard to gather and describe so I’ve decided to quantify it integers and data form.

I started my batch originally on November 7th and 55 days have elapsed. During normal RC weeks, I get in the morning in the space around ~8-9am in the morning and leave ~11 pm averaging ideally around a 14 hour work day. I use a few tools to track my time and what I did during my batch detailed here.

In the past two months,

According to …

Harvest Logged 551 Hours spend on …

  • ~130 hrs (23.5%) Programming; writing code for projects and events.
  • ~225 hrs (39.7%) General: A catch-all for my time at the center; Learning and productive non-code activities.
  • ~75 hrs (13.4%) Events and Meeting: Planned schedule events at the space or around
  • ~89 hrs (15.3%) Fun: Trips to museums, parks, and long walks. Blowing off steam on the weekends.
  • ~32 hrs (5.7%) Food: Had to eat eventually; Indulged in long discussion lunch once in a while.

Harvest Graph of time here Cumulative time over 2 months from Harvest


On Github

  • In the month of November created 175 commits in 10 repositories
  • In the month of December created 113 commits in 10 repositories


On Trello

  • Generated ~198 Cards/ideas generated of which
  • 48 were discarded
  • 38 were put on hold
  • 44 are still being evaluated
  • 40 I’m still working on at least a small way
  • 16 actions/ideas/cards I got to a satisfactorily done state!


On Google Docs

  • Wrote 95 pages of notes over 54 days
  • Annotated about 18 pages of SICP up to Chapter 3.1


On Google Keep

  • Saved 300+ Links to index for later shared by Recursers or browsing.



During that time, at Recurse I …

  • Published 8 Blog Entries
  • Paired and debugged with many many cool Recursers
  • Presented at (26) presentation Thursdays
  • Attended daily standups checkins everyday for 6 weeks
  • Attended (66) Presentation Thursdays
  • Attended (56) Code Dojos
  • Attended (56) Interview Prep Fridays
  • Attended (26) Feelings Checkins
  • Attended (22) Game Nights: Played many games of Coup, CodeNames and far too few games of Hanabi.
  • Gain wisdom and insight from 3 generous Recurse Residents Glen, Tim and Roml
  • Started 8 projects (Yumkovify, Optimus-Primes, RCLI 12, gitignore, QDraw, Cronuts, Skillup.in …)
  • Shelved a few of them but also finished some!
  • Read up to 3.1 of SICP Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
  • Filled out my RC Jobs Profile and added at least 20 companies I’d be interested in checking out after RC
  • Contribute to a large open source project: Zulip
Partook in some MooCs (Massive online open Courses)
Language wise
  • Practice writing better Python, Go and Javascript
  • Brushing up on my Rust and Lua
  • Learning Scheme/Racket for SICP!

Gotham Go with Brad Fitzpatrick

Meeting cool people at a Go Conference



But also lots of fun things…

  • Attended GothamGo Conference 2016
  • Attended Hack&&Tell 40 @ Blue Apron
  • Hung out with cool JS friends at a Kubernetes Conference After Party
  • Visited a traveling tech and privacy exhibit by Mozilla and Creative Collective Glass Room
  • Went to a warehouse exhibit in Redhook called Pioneer Works
  • According to Google Maps probably trekked the total length of the manhattan island.
  • On Google Photos took thousands of photos around New York City.
  • Ate the town … too many delicious places to count.

Eating the town

Eating all the places around Recurse past, present and future



For the next six weeks

To solidify this as a new years post, I’ll lay out my next 6 weeks in Resolution form:

Build a production ready machine learning system

I want to pick back up learning Machine learning and building a small production ready system. I have been going through the fast.ai by Jeremy Howard and Rachel Thomas which teachers ML from a coder’s perspective. Similar to great work done by Andrej Karpathy to make the field more accessible for everyone.

Write and delete more lines of code

Both Malcom Gladwell and Peter Norvig point that practicing your skill is the only way to increase your expertise in your respective way. Although I spent 130 hrs of my time at Recurse zoned in coding, it only made up about 1/4th of my time there. Finding and cycling through project ideas led to just less code being written. I hope to get it closer to 50% and decrease my general downtime. Aiming to narrow down and focus on specific project ideas.

Work on a midsized-big project and collaborate on it with others

Coming into Recurse I wanted to collaborate more with other Recursers on building systems together. The best way to learn more about yourself as a developer is FOILing off of other programmers and building cool stuff together. I’ve learned an invaluable deal working with other Recursers during my first 6 weeks.

Get better at writing

Been blogging more as a self-reflective mechanism and share my knowledge and experience. But writing is tough and each entry takes hours to produce. I want to practice timeboxing entries while keeping up quality and improving my writing both technical and non-technical.

Finding a new Job

Will be looking in February for full-time positions! Been a generalist engineer the past few years but want to maybe focus in on a product or service team in my next role. Maybe still doing full stack web or trying out systems or data engineering as a next step.

Ringing in the new year and looking optimistically at the next few weeks and onward into 2017!