I recently acquired a job doing customer service for a major wireless carrier. As indicated elsewhere, I also do programming in my spare time and contribute to Gentoo, a GNU/Linux distribution that I use as my primary desktop OS. Over the past two months, I've spent a lot of time learning about what it means to provide quality customer service and what goes into ensuring a good experience for both the customer and the agent. Ironically, this knowledge has applications in developer-user interactions as well.
A few weeks ago (on June 20th), my girlfriend and I signed the lease for our first apartment together. It was the first time that I had gotten into a residence that I could call "mine", so to speak. Some may argue that I'm late to the party since I'll be thirty this year. Maybe they're right. Regardless, my girlfriend and I are relieved and happy to finally have our own place.
When I started using Gentoo in 2012, my primary goal was to exert control over my computer. If I didn't want a feature enabled, I had the power to disable it. That power was liberating, and it was a welcome change over Arch Linux, which had switched its init system and made it impossible to remove the new choice from your system without considerable recompiling. Over time, I grew attached to Gentoo and wanted to be a valuable asset to its development. This is my developer story.
In a little over a week, I'm moving out to Washington state to live with my girlfriend. She and I already had plans to do this, but it's been moved up due to some recent familial problems I've been dealing with. My girlfriend and I are excited and look forward to getting a place together once I secure employment again. I'm posting about the move to explain why there's been an absence of content and why there will continue to be for a little while.
In the field of computer science, design is an integral part of the process of writing programs. Without a solid design, the program will perform erratically or become so large and complex that it's impossible to maintain and keep your sanity. Thus, one of the biggest parts of computer science and application design is carefully hidden among the details. The key to good software is managing the complexity of the program in a way that makes it easy to maintain and appear simple to users. This key bears some resemblance to a concept in Taoism called p'u, or "simplicity".
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