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Sean Patrick Hagen

Just a Vancouver coder

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So, it’s been a while, huh?

The past year has been pretty busy. As of two days ago, I’ve been working at Bardel for a full year. It’s been a pretty crazy year.

The biggest thing that’s happened is learning about OpenStack. Basically, the software that helps run the Rackspace Cloud that’s been cleaned up and open-sourced. I’ve also been boning up on my devops skills – Jenkins, Puppet, and a few other tools.

Other than that, I’ve been picking up two new languages: Go and Clojure. So far I’m liking both languages.

Go

This is the first language that I’ve used in a long time that has static typing. The few things I’ve done with Go so far have been tiny programs, but they’ve been pretty fun. Go is also crazy fast. Not just the programs you can write with it, but the most important step in development is crazy fast: compiling. From what I understand this has to do with how Go handles libraries, but whether that’s the whole story or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is this: holy crap does it compile fast. I’m pretty sure it compiles faster than some interpreted languages take just to spin up.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of Go routines and channels. Not sure if I’m ever going to need that kind of power, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Clojure

I’ve been trying to learn [Lisp](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_(programming_language) for about ten years – basically ever since I started programming. That all came from reading this article from Paul Graham. The notion of the Blub Paradox has stuck with me – especially when my day job was writing PHP code. I’ve been working in Ruby for the past year, so I feel like I’m a few steps up the ladder of programming languages. But there’s always been Lisp. Something about the language just never quite clicked with me – it felt like every time I tried to wrap my head around Lisp, I’d become a better programmer but still never understood how to write good Lisp code. I think using Emacs has helped ( plugins and extensions to Emacs are written in an Emacs-flavoured Lisp ).

Picking up Clojure has helped a bunch. I feel like it makes Lisp a lot easier to pick up.

The main reason is that it actually expands the syntax a bit, so that there’s more than just parenthesis – there’s now also square brackets, and curly braces. These are used to help define the different types ways to store data: lists, vectors, and maps. These really help make the language easier to parse, cleans up the page when you’re trying to learn the language.

What’s Next?

Well, I’ve got a few projects I’m working on – not including what I’ve got going on at work. I want to start writing more. Not just regular blog posts, either. I want to start writing some short fiction stuff. Between this book that I got and r/WritingPrompts, I think I’ve got plenty of ideas to get me started. I want to practice, because I’ve got some story ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for a while, and I want to get them out and see what other people think.

I’m going to try and write more regularly. Stuff on the projects I’m working on, the short pieces of fiction I write, and hopefully lots of other stuff.

Hoping to get a lot more stuff up here in 2016 – unlike 2015.