On Being A Turtle

On Being A Turtle November 14, 2015

My apologies to those who have commented recently; I confess I’ve not been paying much attention.

As I might have mentioned a few weeks ago, the project I’d been on for many years came to an abrupt end, meaning that I need to quickly transition onto something else. I’m now working on two projects, each half-time, which means that I’m trying to climb not just one but two learning curves at the same time. What’s worse, the two projects are just similar enough to cause confusion. I’m working with the Java programming language in both (a language I’ve really only dabbled with in the past), so I need to learn how to use Java well. One project is using Java 6, and the other is using Java 8. Both involve writing user interface applications, but one uses the Google Web Toolkit to compile the Java code into a Javascript web app, and the other uses the JavaFX GUI framework. The two frameworks have much in common, and solve many of the same problems in similar ways, but they are distinct. They break the problem into pieces in slightly different ways, and use different names. And the problem domains I’m writing these apps for are distinct but related.

I’m grateful to be employed and to have challenging work to do; but it’s kind of like trying to learn Spanish and Portuguese at the same time.

As a result, I’m playing turtle these days. I’ve got my arms and legs and head drawn in, and I’m coming out only for the absolute essentials, which includes my work, my family, and activities for my parish and my Dominican chapter. Still, I’m going to continue trying to write at least one blog post a week for the time being; and in a few months I should be far enough up the learning curves that I can take a few more things in stride.

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