So close… and yet not

Ugh. Sometimes I absolutely love coding. And other times I can’t stand it. This week has fallen much more in the second category. Mainly because, while I’ve been feeling like I was getting really close to getting my current user study set up done, this week I’ve had to do a bunch of changes that have ended up moving me backwards.

know all the changes are good ones. They’re necessary. They’re making my code better (shorter, easier to understand, and less buggy). But, in order to implement them, they’ve all seemed to require me first breaking my current code and then getting it working again. And some of the re-writes have taken longer then expected.

I’m still cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to have a playable version before our summer students end – but only cautiously, and that would be with a version that has some pieces missing. I’m more optimistic that I can have it done by the end of August. But the countdown is really on now – which means the days are going to fly by.

It’ll help if I can have more days where I’m productive on my own work, versus spending large chunks of my time helping others (which is good – but doesn’t move me forward). But this week has been a combination of low motivation, coding challenges, and lots of side discussions. It hasn’t made for the most productive week overall.

I actually was talking with another prof the other day and he was asking me about my progress. He gave me a sympathy wince when he learned that I have been doing and am doing, and will be doing lots of user studies with people. And I need to start filling out my next ethics application for the current study I’m working on. But, I’ve been wanting/hoping to get the main part of the study done first.

I’ve got one more day (today) this week to get stuff done. I’m hoping to finally get through part (or most) of what I had hoped to do earlier this week. Here’s to hoping for a productive Friday (before the long weekend – yay).

(Oh, and if you need (want) to waste some time, check out NELL – Never-Ending Language Learning. A ‘bot’ who has been reading the web 24 hours a day for 3 years. The bottom of the page is the most recently learned facts – which often make no sense. Like “Gore is a politician endorsed by President George W. Bush.” Yeah…)


3 thoughts on “So close… and yet not

  1. I definitely know this feeling. I’ve had some success with (at least some semblance of) the pomodoro technique to reduce distractions, especially for weeks like this when you know what needs to be done and you just need to focus and do it.

    Here’s the webpage if you want to give it a try. The technique has been around a long time.

    • I’ve written about the pomodoro technique a few times – it’s one of my favourites. Unfortunately, I can’t use it while I’m on campus in the summer, because I’m constantly being interrupted. And often times for discussions that take up to an hour to solve. But, when I’m working from home, it’s my go to “get stuff done” method when I’m having trouble staying focused.

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