Thursday, January 15, 2009

Second half of 2008 in review

A summary of the important points since my last post.

I decided to move my focus away from philosophy and more aggressively onto business and technology. Stopped pursuing the MA in philosophy but beefed up my commitments to the business papers to a target of Master of Management by the end of this year.

Second semester papers in international business and IS management.

International business being one of the most interesting papers I've taken during my university career. Particularly as the paper had a bent towards case studies and current events rather than theory. Covering everything from Pizza Hut's use of high inflation in 1990's Brazil to discussions of the evolution and traits of China's Guanxi based business relationships the paper provided plenty of interesting and potentially useful bits of knowledge.

Unfortunately the IS management paper was less interesting. This may have been because I already knew much of the technical and the management information in the course work itself seemed ill-informed. The textbook contained a suggestion that Lines of Code could be a useful metric of measuring a program. Any experienced programmer will tell you that LOC has only a relation to a programs size or complexity in terms of the programmer that created it. One programmer can easily take 100 lines to create a function that another programmer can solve in 10.

Luckily only the first half of the IS course was based on course work so I could happily wander off and look at some more interesting topics. Such as Dell's supply chain management which is a really fascinating topic in how they choose to manage demand rather than have a variable supply. I'll probably make a post about it sometime. It caused me to geek out and start describing it to people at the time. Strangely they didn't seem all that interested in supply chains...

Outside of study I made the decision to move to Wellington in order to be nearer to what amounts to the tech community of New Zealand. Move consisted of my hopping on a plane with a suitcase. Took me four days in a backpackers to find a decent flat. Flat had the significant benefit of including someone intimate with the daily drama's of parliament which gave me a very interesting view of the election. Living with politicos during an election is definitely worth the price of admission.

October featured the Rails Rumble a 48 hour programming competition that I put together a group of four for. We got a lot done and finished respectably in the middle of the field that had something completed after being significantly hampered by a last minute bug on our front page. Everyone had a good weekend.

After the mostly sleepless three days around the Rails Rumble I had a week to recover before getting started on National Novel Writing Month. A month of plenty of writing and sunday meetups for coffee(It only took three visits to the coffee shop before I was being offered "the usual") lead to a good month and plenty of writing. I now have 50109 words worth of a novel happily sitting in my computer. One day I might finish it.

December featured Christmas and some bad news on the health of a family member.

My New Year's resolution was to go swimming at the nearby beach. I did so on January 1 2009. It was very cold.