New Blog, New Projects/Responsibilities, and Reflections on New Directions 2017-2018

Written on November 1, 2017 - 6 minutes read

Welcome to my blog! I’ve been meaning to get back into documenting my thoughts, progress on projects, and reflections with more frequency this year, particularly since things have changed so quickly and significantly since the beginning of it. So this is a first step towards that.

I’m very conflicted about sharing on an online platform such as Facebook or Twitter as even though I have opinions about topics that I’m passionate about it always feels weird for me to go in depth on them in the manner I reflect on. I try my best to put a lot of thought in how I communciate, and these platforms aren’t necessarily built for the type of sharing and discussions that occur for me when I’m deeply engaged in a subject. Similarly, I care about documenting and tracking my thoughts as I continue to grow professionally, and while there are platforms that allow me to engage and write articles externally towards a community I want to have my own space to write articles that are written for myself. Writing helps me keep track of a lot of my interests, be it in computing, art, and music among other things, and I want to have a space where I feel comfortable doing that.

I also like to play with the web and have some projects that I’ve been incubating over the past year, so this is a nice hub to pull those and my other projects/code reposities together. It’s quite a change from where I was a year ago, which may reflect the shift in direction and industry that’s occurred for me.

In general, this year has been incredibly busy and intense, but mostly for the better:

  • Going from Pixar to contracts with Google Spotlight Stories and Facebook, which in itself is a significant both in working lifestyle and foci for my career self-development goals;
  • Wrapping up my (for now) last commitment to the ACM SIGGRAPH conferences with the lateral expansion of programming for the ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 VR Showcase;
  • Being invited to be part of the ACM Professional Development Committee and co-spearheading a new product offering that could impact practitioners the world over;
  • Shifting away from my career in offline film production and trending back towards real-time graphics engineering, VR/AR, web technologies, and tech+art performance and installations, which was where I was at in 2014-2015. I get to shoot lasers and make art for myself again;
  • Shifting away from organizing logistics at the ACM SIGGRAPH conferences to presenting at conferences, including Web3D 2017, SIGGRAPH Asia 2017, and Visualization Matters 2017;
  • Finally getting to be involved with CODAME and Leonardo after years of not having time to do so;
  • Have the opportunity to be mentored by different senior professionals across computing who are interested in my growth as an engineer and an entrepreneur;
  • Going from a position where I have more agency to decide what my career is going to be like based on the different skills and domain expertise I’ve been accruing over the years.
  • Having a more defined opinion and position on varying aspects of computing and other interests;

Similarly, things have changed for me on a personal level. I’m at a point in my life where I’m single and living by myself again, and it’s actually been great because it gives me the opportunity to push myself harder to pursue different things that I’ve wanted to do for myself. It’s also a year when I suffered a health scare and lost my grandmother, but also the year where I’ve made a lot of new friends, had some really unique experiences, and edged closer to becoming the person who matches the goals and ambitions that I’ve kept to myself. For all the ups and downs to get to this point, I’m pretty happy. There’s not much to regret other than I hope that I can to improve on being gracious and considerate to myself and other’s needs as I keep going along.

If anything, there hasn’t been much time to sit down and be idle. For every time I’ve expressed a desire to take a break I’m already itching to explore a new thing. In the case of setting up this blog, I ended up playing around with multiple ruby environments via rvm, which I originally intended to use to run a local server process to preview the page. I haven’t gotten into back-end programming with Ruby on Rails per se (I’ve done a bit of work with Node.js), but it would be a nice skill to have in my back pocket if I ever wanted to make a switch. All this said, I’ve gotten far better at knowing when I need to take a break and where I need to focus my efforts. Again, journaling my thoughts is a mechanism for me to do that.

So where does this lead me moving forward? I’ve started lookint at logistics for projects and initiatives that I’m investing in for 2018, and I’m interested in working on projects that will have a significant impact and will really push me to grow in my self-education and professional goals. This, at the very least, involves my responsibilities as part of the ACM Professional Development Committee and the ACM Practitioners Board Marketing Committee, which are tied towards my goal of understanding the practitioner profile, what the education and inclusivity needs are within the community, and how to create organizational product offerings and partnerships with a defined long-term vision and set of takeaways.

I’m also looking at developing prototypes for AR, WebXR and some more Web3D interactive experiences and data visualization tools, with an eye towards a deeper and a more proactive involvement in the space. I’ve been leaning towards making a full return to doing projects for fun, and I’m hoping to really push myself back into that mindset for creation.

From a self-education perspective, I’m looking to pull together my thoughts on the papers and articles I’ve been reading, and hopefully provide a considered perspectives and responses on this blog and other platforms.

I’ll also write about things not related to computing. I like art, fashion, comic books, movies, and culture in general - I like a lot of things, really. That’s what this blog is for.

Beyond that, I have a few presentations and summits that I’m lining up for 2018, and some other technologies that I’ve started dabbling deep into - more on these later. Suffice to say, I’m hoping 2018 will be a busy year, with the key difference being that things are more measured and done with a finessed intent that will help me push myself even further. I think it’ll be awesome - kind of can’t wait for it already.

P.S. This blog template is a mild variant of the Jekyll default. It may evolve in the course of this blog’s lifetime, since I play around with stylesheets from time to time. That being said, I didn’t change much because I like the cleanliness and simplicity.