Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Mar 2006, 12:05 p.m.

Park Slop

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Yesterday and today feature the best weather since Leonard and I arrived in NYC. The window is open and Leonard has fed me macaroni and cheese (with peas and mockmeat and hot sauce) and apple pie (with cheddar cheese). What tremendous well-being good weather and food can produce.

Fred Clark points us to Orwell's book analyzing Dickens. I have read almost no Dickens, which is rather a flaw in my education. More cool stuff to read! I've actually been exhilirated over the past few weeks as I've discovered topics I really want to learn, like Scheme, the advantages and disadvantages of various bugtrackers, accounting, finance, microeconomics, effective sales techniques, etc. The Fog Creek reading list (although that's out of date) and my wantlist hint at some of those topics. Part of the Fog Creek program is that I'm getting paid to read, after all.

Leonard and I visited the "Second Chances" thrift shop on Astoria Boulevard yesterday. It feels like a giant unkempt garage sale, and the thousands of books are precariously piled in such a way that you can't even see the titles of half of them. I wonder whether that store hides any treasures. I might have extracted "Anatomy of a Compiler" from the stack were I more courageous.

One great thing about learning tech in 2006 is that so much great material is free and online -- SICP and the accompanying lectures, for example. Reddit provides me with a few edifying items each day; I might start reading Digg, or even visit Slashdot again.

I've become a more productive and self-directed worker than I was at highly structured jobs I've had before. I restrict my web browsing at work to Reddit links, basically, and wipe out my web history every few weeks to lower address bar autocompletion temptation. I sometimes listen to rock music to get my spirits up to do some hairy task, or have no music or instrumental or non-English music for background. But more than all this, I feel responsible and important.

This week, a bunch of Fog Creek people went to the Emerging Tech conference in California. The first day, I was sort of freaked out that I was the only one who could take care of various incoming stuff. But then, the second and third days, I took ownership of the thing and was actually more productive than I've been since I got here. It was pretty awesome. Soon my mentor will be lounging on a beach hammock or something inside the office, sipping fruity umbrella drinks while playing Xbox with sunglasses on, while I explain to prospective customers why FogBugz is tremendous. Maybe I can shoehorn in the "Benjamin Harrison/no comparison" campaign theme song, only it's FogBugz instead of Harrison.

This weather is making me punchy. Maybe I'll trot around and do NYC tourism this weekend. Sketch comedy or diners in Brooklyn, anyone?

Yay for seeing Brendan soon! Yay for Leonard's book deadline and an application deadline for me being over soon!