Week 2 of my RC batch has just started and I wanted to recap the first week before I dive in.

I expected it to be intense, but it was even more so, both from the point of learning new stuff and from the point of meeting people and making new friends.

Monday was mostly meet-and-greet-all-day-long and it was nice to meet both Summer 2 and Fall 1 batches – there was lunch in China town, a speed-dating event, and dinner with a tech-talk from resident Spencer Russell at eBay offices in the evening.

I achieved a lot during the rest of the week. To keep things somewhat modular, I posted separately about a few projects I did have a chance to start and finish. I worked on IRC server on Thursday and Brainf*ck interpreter on Friday.

Some other things I had a chance to work on:

  • Splurthian Periodic Table problem from Reddit Daily Programmer (including the bonus problem)
  • 9p server James Porter is implementing in Go language to be able to mount his github gists as a local drive
  • Deep Learning course on Udacity
  • AND Product problem from Hackerrank, implemented together with John Omar in Standard ML language (we had to write our own bitwise AND as SML did not implement it)
  • usgo.org website that Brian Lee is creating to centralize Go game ratings, he uses Flask which I was curious about and was glad to get under the hood of
  • some whiteboarding with Cihan, including some linked lists, trees problems and maximum sum subsequence problem that uses two-pointers approach to arrive at elegant linear time solution
  • unique BSTs problem that bothered me for a while. We tackled it with Aline Lyn Normoyle and then finally cracked with Brian Lee.
  • many ‘warm-up’ problems (kudos to Rose Ames) for providing those
  • discussions about systems design, numpy, Erlang, Elixir, Fortran and many other topics

Thursday was also a day of presentations and I really enjoyed James Katz’s ‘exploiting timing vulnerabilities’ based on Cryptopals crypto challenges, Sarah Friend’s canvas animations and George King’s presentation on test coverage tool he implemented.

There was a game night on Thursday and I had a blast playing chess with Aissam Belhachmi and Lareine Jeng. I also played some board game with a bunch of folks. Pizza was delicious and the vibe was amazing.

Some things I’m struggling with:

  • keeping up with all the things going on on the chat
  • trying not to do too many things at a time and not to switch context every 5 minutes
  • social awkwardness of wanting to say hi and talk to everybody but at the same time trying not to distract them from work/conversations
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