Recently, I’ve resigned from my position to pursue a more flexible and collegiate atmosphere at another company. I’m recklessly optimistic almost always but I feel like this is a good change for me. Not that there weren’t smart people at Oracle, it was just a little crazy at times and I needed free time cycles to move into more bleeding edge areas instead of picking up more and more enterprise software skills. Ok, enough about that. The important part is that I negotiated a month off at the new place for studying and ramping up on new technologies. Very awesome of them.

An interest of mine is NoSQL or alternative databases and scaling massive hashtables. There’s a possibility that I might be working with a dataset so large that it can’t be solved with an ETL style process. This is timely because I was just watching a video from Cloudera about Facebook having the same problems with large datasets on Oracle DB and then moving to Hive + Hadoop. Hopefully, I can hack on this to expand out my DB skills (as a dev) to a non-relational platform. There’s some guides on setting up a cheap cluster on EC2. Although I have some hardware, I think I’ll go that route. At the very least I’ll understand more about how Facebook scaled and how Mapreduce can be implemented. I hope to find a non-trivial problem to solve (ie: something beyond counting words).

In addition to that very new and complex goal, there’s some other things I want to hack on:

  • MongoDB, especially as a horizontal scaling DB
  • Rails3 upgrade and testing of new gems on my RSS analyzer project
  • Cleaning up said RSS project to the point that I can share a 0.1 on github or what-not
  • Continuing to hack on my Tatris port to Obj-C / iOS
  • Break into node.js some more. Play with websockets.
  • Amazon is giving away EC2 dev instances and I’ve never played with their weird command line tools and AMI thingies.</p>

Of course there are distractions to all these very work relevant things. I have a languishing tetris clone that I haven’t touched since the summer and I never got around to adding sound effects to that. Producing the effects should be a problem but I’m not sure how hard it’s going to be to get back into that code. Thar be ghosts and cobwebs.

Game and graphics aren’t very work relevant (I haven’t found a simulation job). Even less so is playing around with my arduino. There are a few basics I want to get down and then possibly integrate them all into a functional thing. Something I would actually leave alone and serve some permanent purpose. I have a few ideas but I don’t want to foretell or foreblog. There’s also a RAD project I want to check out (Ruby on Arduino). I have no idea how it works or if it’s what I want to use.