TITLE: Strange Loop This and That AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 16, 2010 7:59 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Some miscellaneous thoughts after a couple of days in the mix... Pertaining to Knowing and Doing ** Within the recurring theme of big data, I still have a few things to study: MongoDB, CouchDB, and FlockDB. I also learned about Pig, a language I'd never heard of before. I think I need to learn it. ** I need to be sure that my students learn about the idea of multimethods. Clojure has brought them back into mainstream discussion. ** Kevin Weil, who spoke about NoSQL at Twitter, told us that his background is math and physics. Not CS. Yet another big-time developer who came to programming from another domain because they had real problems to solve. Pertaining to the Conference ** The conference served soda all day long, from 8:00 in the morning to the end of the day. Hurray! My only suggestion: add Diet Mountain Dew to the selections. ** The conference venues consist of two rooms in a hotel, two rooms in a small arts building, and the auditorium of the Pageant Theater. The restrooms are all small. During breaks, the line for the men's room was, um, long. The women in attendance came and went without concern. This is exactly opposite of what one typically sees out in public. The women of Strange Loop have their revenge! ** This is the first time I have ever attended a conference with two laptop batteries. And I saw that it was good. Now, I just have to find out why every couple of weeks my keyboard and trackpad freeze up and effectively lock me out. Please, let it not be a failing mother board... Pertaining to Nothing But Me ** Like every conference, Strange Loop fills the silence between sessions with a music loop. The music the last two days has been aimed at its audience, which is mostly younger and mostly hipper than I am. I really enjoyed it. I even found a song that will enter my own rotation, "Hey, Julie" by Fountains of Wayne. You can, of course, listen to it on YouTube. I'll have to check out more Fountains of Wayne later. ** On Twitter, I follow a relatively small number of people, mostly professional colleagues who share interesting ideas and links. I also follow a few current and former students. Rounding out the set are a couple connections I made with techies through others, back when Twitter was small. I find that I enjoy their tweets even though I don't know them, or perhaps because I don't. On Thursday, it occurred to me: Maybe it would be fun to follow some arbitrary incredibly popular person. During one of the sessions, we learned that Lady Gaga has about 6,500,000 followers, surpassing Ashton Kutcher's six million. I wonder it would be like to have their tweets flowing in a stream with those of Brian Marick and Kevlin Henney, Kent Beck and Michael Feathers. -----