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confessions of a passionate moderate
I've been nudged by germanlandis to actually write something here, since it's been about two years since I last posted.

So, yeah. I'm still alive, still in Philadelphia. I find I kind of like it here, and am getting settled into the various and sundry communities.

For the past two years, I've been working for a public policy and technology company. During most of that time, I was working on a bunch of idiosyncratic projects: large-scale urban farming; community health worker initiatives; random state and municipal financial analysis; tax modeling; and an assortment of other tasks that I can't quite remember at the moment. In short, the work was fairly chaotic, and I had to go from zero to expert sometimes in hours.

A few months ago, my position shifted, and my job title is now "Research Associate/Software Engineer". The research I mentioned in the previous paragraph is taking less of my time, and it's been replaced by writing code for our company's main product/project. It's the first job I've had where my coding is the main aspect of the work (as opposed to writing code to help me do something else), and the first job where I've had to deal with software engineering issues. It's a fairly interesting gig, and it's requiring me to learn and relearn things that I've just sort of fudged around before.

Not sure what else to say, because it's been so long since posting anywhere.

Current Music: Future, "Turn on the Lights"

7 words of wisdom || Be profound
This is both a test of LiveJournal<->Dreamwidth simulcasting and an update.  I seem to be doing the update thing about once per month, thereabouts.

The past two months have been decidedly chaotic.

We have been having an intermittent dispute with the owners of our apartment, and to a lesser extent with the building's management.  It all started with a leaking toilet, slow drains, flaky electrical wiring, and an apartment that was not cleaned out before we moved in.  The toilet has been fixed (though we were without one for a couple of days in the interim), the drains are still quite slow (and there's a lot of finger pointing between the building management and the owners about that), the wiring has been fixed (it seems).  The biggest problem right now is the heat.  The owners don't control that; it's set by the building, and it seems to be...flaky.  It's either blazing hot, or not on at all, no matter how we adjust the radiators.  It's irritating, and there are definitely legal issues that are being raised.  On the other hand, it's also interesting since it provides good examples of the actions of owners and building management and how they intersect with and respond to the law, and it sheds light on the enforcement mechanisms in place to provide remedies for problems.

In early October, I started a data analysis job with a local food distribution company.  At the beginning of November, I was laid off from it, because (according to them) they hired too many people without regard for budget.  For various reasons, I was somewhat surprised to be let go, but not particularly distraught.  (I was more bothered that they reposted the job two days later, presumably at a lower salary.)  As I write this, I am still waiting for a paycheck that they should have given me two weeks ago, but has not appeared in my mailbox.

For the past few weeks, I've been sending out applications, but so far no responses.  The good part is that companies seem to be looking for business analyst/predictive analytics types, which I feel comfortable and am interested in doing.  Unfortunately, I'm in a situation where I don't really know anyone around here, so I'm cold-submitting applications.  It's a rather frustrating process, and I'm currently not terribly good at networking.  To the extent that I've gotten work through connections and referrals before, it's because of friends I've had for some years, not people I've met as part of networking.

It's easy to fall into a funk.  Distressingly easy, in fact.  I've been trying to get out of that in a few ways.  Most recently I've been reading Data Analysis with Open Source Tools, which is a fairly decent book that covers a lot of pretty standard techniques in analytics, data mining, and so forth.  Trying to find straightforward applications of these techniques and [livejournal.com profile] bram suggested a Kaggle project.  Even if it's not a winning model, it's better than nothing and it'll get my brain into gear.

Anyway, I'm signing off.  Just wanted to let people know (at least kinda sorta) what's going on.

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Current Music: Eric B. & Rakim, "Follow the Leader"

3 words of wisdom || Be profound
Testing the LJ/DW cross-poster.

Edited to add: Success, though I put the LJ entry as "private".

This entry was originally posted at http://techstep.dreamwidth.org/926.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Hello again, LJ friends!

Who's in Philadelphia, or sufficiently near Philly? (Other than jcreed, whom I know is there.)

The reason? We will be moving there at the end of September.

Watch this space, and possibly others, for details.
6 words of wisdom || Be profound