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Ask HN: What are you learning?
34 points by mezod on Jan 19, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 71 comments

Sailing: You don't need a boat. Most cities near the water will have some sort of sailing club where for $300 a year you can join and use their fleet of boats. My end goal is to do some sort of week long solo trip.

Rock Climbing: Lots of fun and a great work out.

Meditation: Just getting started with this, but have already seen improvements in concentration and a decrease in anxiety.

Introductory Deep Learning: http://course.fast.ai/ This is probably my favorite course I've ever taken online.

Certainly no substitute for the real thing but having sailed quite a bit in the past, this is surprisingly 'authentic' for what it is.

VR Sailing: http://store.steampowered.com/app/579050

>have already seen improvements in concentration and a decrease in anxiety.

Interesting to hear. Meditation is something I have considered looking into for a similar purpose. Do you have any recommendations on a good place to start?

First, I did a few random 'guided meditations' off youtube (Sam Harris has a popular one) and discovered that I enjoyed it.

After that, I've been enjoying The Mind Illuminated, by John Yates, and I think others on hackernews will as well. It doesn't bother with a lot of the eastern spirituality aspects, but instead focuses on how to become good at meditating and find the most benefits from it.

Any recommendations on starting meditation?

Edit:. Both how and why.

How: check out Headspace which is a great app to get started with meditation.

Why: It makes me feel happier and less stressed. Read "Search Inside Yourself" for even more compelling reasons.

Thanks! A quick followup, how long have you been doing this? And, I guess, are you a generally skeptical person?

Picked up "Search Inside Yourself" on Audible. Looking forward to it!

I'll admit that building the meditation habit is difficult, due not to skepticism (I definitely feel the benefits) but just because meditation is hard. It's much like going to the gym. I'm generally open-minded, not skeptical, but I definitely do explore ideas and "facts" before I come to my own conclusions. I definitely encourage you to try meditation a couple times (the first dozen times will be difficult), keep an open mind, and you will very likely discover the benefits on your own accord.

I've been doing this for a few years now, so not new, but I've always been interested in anything that could be considered a science of optimized decision making. This has included Control Theory, Systems Theory, Operations Research, Economics, Statistics, and Machine Learning.

Most recently it has been Integer and Constraint Programming, which is a typical modeling tool employed by the first three mentioned. I find them interesting because of how much progress solvers have made in the last two decades. It's amazing how often someone finds an NP-Complete problem and doesn't even attempt to try and solve it. Yet with some practical modeling best practices and modern solvers you can get extremely close to extact solutions...and sometimes perfectly exact solutions.

> It's amazing how often someone finds an NP-Complete problem and doesn't even attempt to try and solve it.

Just out of curiosity, how are you coming across these? I've dabbled in integer programming with both Gurobi and SAS (once for hobby purposes, and twice to solve some pretty major problems for work). For some reason, I've found it to be some of the most enjoyable work I've done to date - perhaps because of the satisfaction of being able to say "this is (one of) the best possible solution(s) to this problem."

I'm constantly looking for new problems to play around with (particularly those with business applications), but I don't find too many. In fact, just yesterday, I was commuting home running through business models and trying to imagine likely unsolved problems where you'd be minimizing/maximizing something subject to constraints...

I run into them seemingly all the time. My background is supply chain management, and I could fill books with just the problems I've worked on for Amazon alone.

As an example, a particularly prestigious problem to work on there was optimization of order fulfillment across warehouses with different inventory to reduce costs for split shipments (order two things and get two boxes? That's a split shipment). It's a very difficult problem to solve, considering that there is optimization within an order but also across different orders from the same customer that are yet unfulfilled, and even across completely unrelated orders competing for the same inventory. And with hundreds of thousands of fulfillment options for even a two unit order, it can get extremely complex very quickly. That problem, by the way, is one that was worked on by a founder of instacart when he was still at Amazon.

If you're really interested in IP/LP/MILP/CP with business applications, start picking up literature within the Operations Research discipline. There are plenty of great books to go around. I'd recommend Model Building in Mathematical Programming...its mostly an intro to LP techniques, but the it was the book that made things click for me in terms of identifying and translating real world problems into mathematical models.

Learning Functional Reactive Programming (FRP) paradigms. Combining pure functions with reactive concepts (where variables change as their values change) is something that sparks my interest. Also the idea of chaining functions together to create composable pipelines of functions without any local state: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfWR3dKnFIo&feature=youtu.be

Improv. I've been taking classes at a local improv theater in Houston and it has been the most enjoyment I've gotten out of an activity in many years. For two hours a week I am encouraged to say, do, be anything that comes into my head, and react to situations without the filters I have to abide by at work and at home. I'm almost done with Level 1, and have our "graduation show" next weekend. After that comes level 2 and a few more advanced topics and methods.

Web App Development and Computer Science. I don't plan on making it a career but I started learning to program a few years ago after reading The Innovators by Walter Isaacson and it turned into a healthy addiction. Right now I'm throwing together a video library, actually for my improv theater, with Django to search for videos by improv troupe. I'm also doing Harvard's online CS50 course because I want to dive a little deeper into the science of it all.

Doing Coursera's Machine Learning course (the one with Andrew Ng).

Started some Blender beginner tutorials. Currently working on a glazed donut.

Also doing a Hacker News client for Android as a side project for some practice. That's how I found this thread.

I learning software engineering! Right now I'm using python to learn about OOP, because I've never really understood the paradigm. I figured it's high time I buckled down and figured it out. But to be honest, I think I'd like to try my hand at systems engineering if I get the chance to program professionally.

I am also learning Norwegian, because I want to talk like a viking.

And I am learning Go (Baduk). It is the type of game I will be learning for the rest of my life. Which is why it is my favorite :)

Word of warning about OOP: it's just a programming paradigm. It's not the best or the only way to do things, but some 1990s era educational material might tell you so.

Yes! I am quickly learning that. It's not very intuitive for me anyway.

Currently learning Elixir/Phoenix as well as web development in general. I've done desktop and a small intranet site throughout my career so this is new to me.

I keep coming back to the idea of learning erlang/elixir. Can you point out the resources you've been using? Functional programming is still a little foreign to me.

I'm in the process of learning Elixir currently. I'm completely new to functional languages but I've found this course (https://www.udemy.com/the-complete-elixir-and-phoenix-bootca...) to be an awesome introduction. I'm about halfway through and the explanations are top notch. I definitely recommend!

I bought Programming Elixir 1.3, Metaprogramming Elixir and Programming Phoenix and started from there. Unfortunately I feel like I wasted my money on Programming Elixir and Programming Phoenix. The docs for both are Elixir and Phoenix are just amazing and really make the need for anything else unnecessary.

For Elixir you can work your way through the exercises on Exercism here: http://exercism.io/languages/elixir/about

I also suggest trying to create an application and then work through the docs when you run into issues. I learned more from creating a mix task and reading the Elixir docs (which are amazing) than from the books I purchased

Sadly a lot of exercism exercises boil down to Regex and are generally uninteresting.

Practicing Elixir/Erlang means practicing OTP/distributed computing. The core language takes at most a week to learn.

Just started the Coursera Nand2Tetris course. I don't have a comp sci background so it's pretty fascinating stuff to learn from the gate-logic level.

On the job I'm still learning best practices of enterprise software architecture. There's so many opinions about the 'right' way to do things that I've focused on trying to get a better understanding of the organization I'm working in so I can suggest better directions to take.

To take a few minutes for myself every day.

Learning How to Learn, one of Coursera's most popular courses (and free!). https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

Been trying to ship an Alexa skill over this last couple of weeks - so far, the progress has been few and far. But hoping to get there.

It's been a great learning experience just to see what AWS has to offer and the alexa SDK is very well thought out.

* Crossfit advanced lifts - been doing it for a year, but going slow to build base strength and technique to avoid injuries. (At 300lbs 1RM DL, 255lbs 1RM squat, 230lbs 1RM front squat.)

* Amateur taxidermy - been reading a lot about it and applied for some taxidermy internships in my self-chosen period of unemployment. Mostly I'm interested in the skeletons of rodents and will probably stop when I can assemble a full skeleton.

* Sewing - just an oversize badger onesie this time.

* Machine Learning (obviously!) - pet project is calculating the probability of getting through the queue at the crossfit gym. And yes, current and predicted weather will be factors! :)

Concurrent Programming in ERLANG - http://erlang.org/download/erlang-book-part1.pdf

Currently learning how to transform ideas into business...

How do you learn that ?

MITx Introduction to Computer Science using Python: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-mit...

Neovim: I want to dig deeper into a small subset of tools I use a lot and a text editor sees a lot of use. Especially as I learn programming. So good place to start!

Just got my sport pilot license, which is pretty sweet considering I was told for over a decade I'd never fly as a type 1 diabetic

I signed up for 3 months of https://linuxacademy.com, dedicating at least 2 hours a day during the week and more on the weekends. System administration has been my weakness when it comes from delivering a product from development to production. I hope to be able to become a RHCE by April.

Did this for a few months when I first learned to code and could never figure out how to get something from my laptop to a "real server" ...

Great material!

Thanks for the link. Getting into containers and the whole container ecosystem has felt really daunting. I'll definitely check this out.

Physical Improvement:

  BJJ - fun, keeps me active
  Dancing - ballroom, tango
Personal Impromevment:

  Drawing - because I can't draw a stick figure
  Spanish - relationship, travel
Intellectual Improvement:

  Calculus - because I've forgotten so much, and it's
    actually relevant at work now.


Oil painting. I often like to learn completely new, unrelated skills like this because it allows me to draw from unusual, and wide sources when working on solutions. People often wonder how I am able to 'think outside the box' and I believe it's because I have a wider, more varied set of skills to draw from.

Spanish - I feel like it's easier to learn now instead of in 8th grade when I had 7 other classes to study as well. Plus, I feel it's like learning a new programming language in some ways, which I've spent the past X years doing. As a concrete skill, I can use it every day (Austin), and on many vacations.

I too am learning Spanish this year. It has been very interesting learning the differences between English and Spanish. For instance, there is a formal and informal way of speaking to people. It blew my mind a little to learn that my girlfriend (whose native language is Spanish) only speaks to her brother using the formal way. Also, she uses the informal way with some of her friends but not others. It's like a weird extra dimension of language that I never knew existed.

Microsoft DHTML Behaviors, this is the IE5-6 stuff that was deprecated with IE7. I'm on a legacy modernization project. I never worked with that stuff before so it's all new to me. I kind of enjoy this type of work so if you or anyone you know needs help with such a project, ping me (email in profile).

Hardware development, via arduino.

I'm having lots of fun putting together simple circuits, and programming in Lisp, FORTH, & C.

I've got a couple of projects on the go at the moment, and more planned. At the moment I'm mostly stalled on waiting for parts to be shipped from China.

It feels like an interesting change from purely writing code.

Swedish & Erlang. I'm also eyeing stone carving and hopefully starting roller derby.

Orbital mechanics because I take Kerbal Space Program way too seriously. If anyone wants to geek out about this and take a look at my code, get in touch.

Woodworking because it's a nice balance to working with computers. I work almost exclusively with hand tools.

I love KSP also, when do you take OM course?

I took a few courses of astronomy at Helsinki university, but mostly I've studied on my own. I did watch Leonard Susskind's lectures on classical mechanics but did not any online courses.

Check out my related project, it contains all the orbital mechanics you need to write your own Kerbal Space Program clone (look around in the branches): https://github.com/rikusalminen/twobody

Linear Algebra. It's fun!

me 2 hahahah Go Sal!

check out this playlist[0]. This guy provides intuition behind major LA concepts. Have fun! :) [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjBOesZCoqc&list=PLZHQObOWTQ...

Going through Coursera's "Functional Program Design in Scala" (second scala class in the series).. looking to finish the specialization which eventually touches on Spark.

Also, linear algebra refreshers ..

Topics for the Oracle Certified Master exam. We don't use a lot of the technology in it at work, so just knowing it even if I don't take / pass the exam might help me in my job search.

* Chinese language. Was conversational a few years back but am extremely rusty now.

* Discipline & routine.

* www.deeplearningbook.org

* Pedagogy. In particular, teaching languages.

* Crossfit ... lol

* I want to take some dance classes, but haven't pulled the trigger yet ...

Personal: - Portuguese for my relationship Professional: - OTP with Elixir - React (been slacking on my front end skills) Physical: - nutrition - more time doing CrossFit

Technical: predominately Typescript, beginning to dabble in Rust, and reading a lot about the architecture of Postgres.

Non-technical: Vietnamese language.

Work </> life balance.

It's been a recurring New Year's resolution for a while now and 2017 is the year it will be mastered!

Vue.js and particle transport equations.

Array programming languages: J, K, Q, and more recently, APL; using RosettaCode to assess my progress.

Array programming languages: APL, J, K, and Q, using RosettaCode tasks to assess my progress.

Crystal lang - it's awesome

Clojurescript and reagent .. very cleanly designed, and one ring to rule them all

Taking the 3rd part of a Cisco CCNT course so I can have a decent income for once.

I've been reading "Distributed Algorithms" by Nancy Lynch lately.

JavaScript testing, TDD, BDD.

Ruby and RoR

Ruby & RoR. It's something new & fresh after several years of Java & Scala development.

Digital audio processing.

It sucks.

how come?

Not GP but: bugs in audio processing code will produce some very nasty sounds. Can't use headphones because if you fuck up, you're deaf but can't use speakers because wife and cats complain.

This is why audio programming sucks and my software synthesizer project is on hold until I can get a house with a noise proof basement.

Scala and Kubernetes

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