l33tminion: (Skilled)
More travel this weekend. This time, Julie and I are traveling separately: Julie (with Erica) went to visit her parents and attend a memorial service for her grandfather, I went to Portland, Oregon to attend PyCon for work.

This hasn't been the best conference trip for me. A combination of exhaustion, confusion, and generally being under the weather led to me missing almost all of the conference on Friday (though I did get some work done). Saturday I felt great and well-rested, but last night I had a hard time sleeping and an upset stomach, so I'm exhausted again. Jet lag seems to be hitting me a lot harder than usual. Still, it's a great conference and I'm glad I went. The Saturday talks were especially interesting, and I really enjoyed talking to people at Google's booth at the expo and meeting some of my coworkers from further afield.

I'm also glad I caught one of the Portland PyCons. I do like what little of Portland I've seen. The downtown seems so nicely designed, with it's square grid of streets and the streetcar system and just the right amount of height and density. The conference changes location every two years, and I missed last. PyCon 2018 and 2019 will be in Cleveland, which is less exciting than Portland, but convenient for me.
l33tminion: (Train)
So I stayed up all night and moved over five time-zones just so I could get in to the office earlier. I can't sleep on planes, at all. But if I stay up until night again, I'll be fine, probably.

I'm in London! My first time in London (also, my first time in Europe). So far, pretty much all I've seen (airport and train aside) is one of the London Google offices. It's pretty cool!

About last week: PyCon was fun. I particularly enjoyed the talk on memory forensics using Volatility (Where in your RAM is "python san_diego.py"?), Gabriella Coleman's talk on Anonymous, and Guido's talk on Python Type Annotations.

And taking Porter Airlines to Montreal was surprisingly good. They're a little discount carrier that does hub-and-spoke out of a single airport (Toronto City), using fuel-efficient Bombardier Q400 prop planes. From the price, I was expecting a very "no frills" experience, but it was quite the opposite: Reasonably comfortable seats, snacks and drinks including complimentary wine or beer (with drinks served in actual glassware), a nice lounge on the layover (with complimentary snacks, drinks, and wifi). The history of the airline is a rather interesting case study.
l33tminion: (Enlightened)
Pasadena trip last weekend (a side-trip for Julie, on her way to Synberc) was really good. Got to play in one of the Ingress live events (a win for our team in Pasadena, though still an overall loss for this series). Enjoyed spending some time with Sean and Morgan (my sibs-in-law), catching up with some of Julie's old friends, visiting Caltech, drinking strawberry lemonade at the Caltech Athenaeum, and seeing some of the more touristy spots in LA. Was quite a shock to go from 20 degrees to 90 in the span of a week.

Got back to work in time to wrap up some end of quarter things before heading off to PyCon in Montreal next Tuesday. And I've made further conference plans to go to the European Lisp Symposium in London the following week.

Friday, I was struck down by a horrible stomach bug (or flu or something). The worst. At least it wasn't while I was travelling.

Today, I finally got around to seeing The Golden Compass, which I'd had out from Netflix on DVD for the last far-too-many months. I'll warn those who have read the book to not expect much depth in the adaptation and those who have not to not expect a lot of hand-holding on the exposition. Honestly, I think the movie is probably about as good as a movie that adapts that book into an under-two-hours pulp-fantasy PG-13 pic could be. The pacing is very tight, they have a very talented cast, and the visual style is spectacular. I enjoyed it.
l33tminion: (L33t)
Ingress has really taken over our social life this week. On Friday night, a group of players from our team organized to paint the town green, and Julie and I took a five-hour stroll through downtown (from 11 PM until well after 4 in the morning), with a stop for 3AM coffee and cannoli at Bova's Bakery.

This weekend, we're going to Pasadena for more Ingress and to catch up with some of Julie's Caltech friends. Then Julie's going on to Synberc and we're meeting back in Boston just in time to leave for PyCon in Monreal.

I should come up with some London travel plans, too, while Xave is there.

Busy busy.
l33tminion: (L33t)
The weekend before last, I was out of town at PyCon. It was fun representing Google at the career fair, and I enjoyed the talks I attended. I was able to work from the Montreal office that Monday before heading home. I see why people are so happy at that office, it's a neat little space with a small engineering team. Plus Montreal seemed like a pretty interesting and friendly city.

Some talks of note:A larger set of talks and tutorials is up here.

This weekend was marathon weekend, yet another weekend when all the things happen at once. Bergamot serves an amazing Easter brunch.

Getting ready for wedding season. DJ and Michelle are getting married in two weeks, my cousin Ben's wedding is two weeks after that.

The situation in Ukraine continues to be messed up.
l33tminion: (Skilled)
Work is crazy. A lot of work to eke out incremental code quality and performance improvements. Interesting, though.

PyCon was great. It was a huge event this time, sold out at 2500 attendees. Interesting talks, friendly crowd.

Unfortunately, most of the post-con coverage has focused on this one incident, which could have been an opportunity to productively discuss professional conduct at conferences and how that relates to gender issues (I think the PyCon staff acted admirably and did all they could to facilitate things going in that direction), but in fact the outcome was that everyone directly involved lost their job and an army of trolls emerged to set gender relations in the tech industry back infinity years.

This weekend, I'm going to PAX East (just Saturday and Sunday, three-day passes sold out before I could get any this year). I'm looking forward to seeing Supergiant Studios demo their new game. Don't know what else. Maybe want to spend more time on the expo floor this year than last.
l33tminion: (Skilled)
Back from PyCon and the Googleplex! On my way back, anyways. There's (surprisingly good) wifi on the plane.

PyCon was great, in particular the tutorials on iPython (the latest versions have an awesome Mathematica-like notebook interface, where you can make rich multimedia documents with runnable code snippets) and the scikit-learn library (a powerful machine-learning toolkit).

Google's HQ is also cool (and huge!). Reminds me of college, really has a "summer camp for engineers"-type vibe. Despite some hassles involved in remoting, I was still able to get a fair amount of work done.

Looking forward to being back in Boston!
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