DRMacIver's Notebook

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Today we release Version 37.0 of the DRMacIver software system. We've been working on it for a whole year, and are pretty excited to share the results with you.

In reality we of course practice continuous deployment and so have been rolling out releases through the entirety of the last year, and all of our changes are breaking changes so there's no hint of semantic versioning in our release process, but nevertheless bumping the major version number is a good chance to talk about some of the exciting new developments over the last year.

The major improvements we've seen since the Version 36.0 release are:

In case you don't get the joke (you probably get the joke) it's my 37th birthday today. Today is, legally speaking, the year where I have to start saying I'm in my mid to late 30s rather than in my mid 30s.

Back in ancient times, when I were a wee lad in my late 20s, I used to say that I didn't really mind the idea of hitting 30 (back then 30 seemed very old) because the people I knew in their 30s were mostly like the people I knew in their 20s only they had their shit a bit more together.

I then spent the first half of my thirties with my shit very not together - life went a bit sideways in the dying months of 29 and it took me about five years before I hit rock bottom enough to start doing something about it. The result was me rather disconnecting from people emotionally, and it didn't have a great impact on my career either.

People don't really notice that I'm not a software developer any more, partly because I only became famous as a software developer after I stopped being one. Officially 4% of Python developers are running my code. I wrote that code entirely after burning out. I haven't actually been employed as a software developer since early 2015, outside of the occasional short term contract for Hypothesis work.

There's something about the software development industry that burns people out. I don't know what it is, but it does it to most people. Maybe every industry is like this and I just mostly see it in the one I know? Maybe it's just acedia.

I started to pull myself out of the hole around 2017 I guess - I moved back to London, started a PhD, kinda started seeing people. In late 2018 I started a new relationship, which has been going very well. It prompted some reflection, and I've spent a lot of the intervening period attempting to sort my shit out in the way that a decade ago I, apparently, naively assumed would come with age.

Is it working? I guess.

Part of why I wrote Easy Changes and Uncomfortable Reflections was that it was what I needed to hear (that's why I write a lot of these posts). It's quite hard to escape the feeling that I could have done all this work seven years ago, or seventeen years ago, or even twenty seven years ago, and life would have gone a lot better for it. I think this is partly true, but mostly false, but it still feels like a wasted opportunity.

Today's Tarot draw (I've been doing daily draws even when they've not made it into the notebook) is the Ace of Cups, which signifies among other things getting in touch with your feelings. Well I've done that. It's got its good points, and there's yet more to do on that front, but also it kinda sucks in that one of the major downsides of becoming more in touch with your own feelings is that you're more aware of your feelings, and sometimes those feelings are bad. I think I've in many ways been less depressed over the last year than I've been... ever, possibly, but it doesn't necessarily feel like that because I'm more aware of it.

Especially given, as you might have noticed, there's a global pandemic on at the moment.

This post was meant to be reasonably optimistic - I do think that the next few years will be quite good for me - but entering my late thirties in the middle of a global pandemic feels weird. I can barely predict what next week is going to look like, let alone the next three years.

All told, I'm doing what I can to lay a solid foundation for whatever comes next. It might even work.