On The Spot

Quotes - 10/60
Credit: flickr / B.Romain

Tonight I went to Students and Startups at The Code Factory. It was really good, although I was nervous at first because we were doing these building challenges, which I worry I suck at. In the end it was OK – we didn’t win, but I don’t think anyone else had much more of a clue than I did.

First off, each student had 30 seconds to introduce themselves. We were supposed to say, who we were, what languages we liked, and what our ideal job would be.

Most people went over time and rambled a little. It’s tough to stand on the spot and do that. People kept saying they liked Java and sometimes C, to which I just tend think “y’huh, Java’s probably the only language you know” – I know, in my head I’m mean. Mostly I don’t say this stuff.

A side note on, “Java is my favorite” – in general I get the impression from so many CS students that Java is the hammer and every problem is a nail, you know? It’s too prevalent. Learn a bunch of languages, have a favorite, sure, but don’t have your favorite be your favorite because it’s the default. I like Java, it’s up there in my favorites but I’ve tried a bunch of other ones and also, I mostly love it because Eclipse is a phenomenal IDE and there are so many fantastic Java libraries and toolkits available. Ultimately, Java is just one tool in my toolbox, and I love it because it’s like one of those screwdrivers, you know? With all the different heads.

And then someone mentioned Haskell. And I thought, “nooooo!” because he would be the first person in Canada I’ve encountered that even knows what Haskell is, let alone can code in it. So then I couldn’t mention Haskell. And I was adamant that I was not going to go over time.

In the end, I said something like,

My name is Cate Huston, I’m a masters student at uOttawa. I work on, basically data-mining and visualizing Twitter. I’ve coded in 10 plus languages and I liked them all, except for Tcl. You can find me at catehuston.com or on Twitter, I’m @kittenthebad.

Like almost everyone else, I forgot to say what my ideal job was. And afterwards I kicked myself, because I knew exactly what I wanted to stay, but then on the spot I totally forgot.

So here it is:

I want to make stuff, that’s beautiful, functional (useful), and usable.

How about you?

13 thoughts on “On The Spot

  1. Well said Cate.

    Personally I always fret when asked to say something in front of a large group too. Having great reflective powers but a very slow real time processor usually means I have something awesome to say the next day.

    Thank you for participating.

    1. Thanks for organizing it! I had a really good time, and if something scared me then that means I left my comfort zone – normally a good thing 🙂

  2. Well said Cate.

    Personally I always fret when asked to say something in front of a large group too. Having great reflective powers but a very slow real time processor usually means I have something awesome to say the next day.

    Thank you for participating.

    1. Thanks for organizing it! I had a really good time, and if something scared me then that means I left my comfort zone – normally a good thing 🙂

  3. chuston>> How about you?

    I want to make stuff that people enjoy using. Being useful comes second. Is that bad?

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