Monthly Archives: September 2014

Continuous Learning

At my advanced age, I’m still happy to learn new things.

In my new job at Fitbit, I’ve primarily been working on an eCommerce web application in Java, but in support of a data migration/business intelligence project, I also find myself suddenly working in Python, a language I’ve never previously used, pulling data out of Google protocol buffers.  So I’m learning two new things at once, and enjoying it.  I can’t share any of that code of course, but I might post some code in Python here eventually, and/or some code demonstrating the use of protocol buffers in Scala or Java.

Meanwhile, in one of my primary “extracurricular” activities, I’m also taking up a new musical instrument.  For a couple years now, I’ve been involved in a group called “The Sing”, which meets weekly and, as the title suggests, sings!   In that time, I’ve sung in a variety of genres, sometimes accompanying myself on piano (not very well…), and sometimes recruiting a friend to accompany me on guitar.  But as I’m doing mainly music that makes sense with a guitar, I’ve decided to learn to play it.

So about a month ago I bought a guitar, and have been picking it up gradually on my own, learning chords and a little finger-picking, developing callouses, and stumbling through Phil Ochs’ “Too Many Martyrs” and “A Toast to Those Who Are Gone”, Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind”, and the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple”.   I’ve also signed up for Introduction to Guitar on Coursera starting in mid-October.  Maybe in a couple months I’ll be ready to play in public.   Not *too* public, but in the weekly sing, among friends.  Not giving up my day job!