Summer Solstice 2017

An art piece I made years ago – but that still depicts how I feel about the (northern hemisphere) summer solstice. This week – until this coming Sunday is the “week of the longest days of the year”, and starting Sunday, we start losing daylight minutes. This is of course what low banders like – each day another day towards more darkness and longer hours for low band DX-ing . . . Of course, since its Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere, the astute low band DX-er keeps watch on all low bands even in the northern hemisphere summer!

I worked late last night and rode my bike back from BART in Orinda at about 8 PM. Its always interesting to mark time by my bike ride – not too many months ago it would have been dark at 8 PM. I’ve been so busy at work since I started at Credit Karma that the seasons are rushing by. Right before I started at CK, I re-landscaped my front yard, and now that all of the plants are in full bloom, and that all weeds have been pulled and I only need to keep the watering up – my front yard feels like an extension of my living room. Combine that with my back deck overlooking the creek – and its a nice summer. Sure – we get the occasional heat wave, but I am more than thankful for our moderating fog that creeps in through the Caldecott “gap” nearby.

This summer has turned out to be “The Summer of Python” and also “The Summer of the Credit Karma Data Dictionary”. In the first quarter at CK, I have written 6 Python programs and designed a fully functioning and very utilitarian Data Dictionary. A Data Dictionary is a database of “meta data” or data that describes all of your data assets and elements. This is especially useful for say someone wanted to understand what data is available for reporting, but in today’s world – where applications and systems are “distributed” and “decoupled”, ensuring that two development teams working on parts of a large system or set of applications understand where the “single source of truth” is. Examples would be a companies customer list – or maybe a geographical lookup table. These types of data are sometimes replicated and get out of sync because one development team doesn’t know another team has already solved this problem. In today’s world – a software package like Salesforce or Netsuite – should be the “System of Record” (SOR) for some information, and in some cases the application code you write in house is the SOR. Having redundant efforts and sets of the same data that get out of sync causes all kinds of problems. This gets compounded when you have different types of databases designed by different teams. Its easy to create “impedance mismatches”.

I coded like crazy this Second Quarter – and now in the Third Quarter – I need to sell it internally by giving in house presentations and attending meetings. Its a very interesting job and pretty much my all time favorite company to work for.

Anyway, the Python you see above is Python on Raspberry Pi – which is something I am very interested in. I have been coding Python because it has turned out to be the most productive development environment (PyCharm) with a very powerful and simple language. I have never delivered so much in a short amount of time.

I also know C and C# and Microsoft Visual Studio – which is what you use on Arduino, so one of the many things I need to research for my stepper driven auto tuner project is whether I want Arduino and C or Raspberry Pi and Python or C.

Anyway, while summer isn’t the best for the low bands, its a great time for coding – (especially when there is a heat wave). Otherwise – goofing around with antenna projects in the back yard on a nice day is always big fun – and with no rain to worry about until perhaps November. I get my exercise every day going to and from work, so weekends are always open for hobbies or puttering around the house – which is how I love to spend my weekends.

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