Two Months in Silicon Valley 2015-06-26

I have been an intern at Google in Mountain View for nearly two months now. I’ve reached the midpoint of my stay here so I want to share some of my experiences of living in Silicon Valley.

I have had an absolutely amazing time so far. When I was on the plane from Sweden to California I almost couldn’t believe that this was happening. I never imagined that I could work at Google, so the first days at work seemed almost unreal. I’ve learned so much from working here and I’ve met very many friendly people. I feel really lucky.

I have never lived outside of Sweden before, so it is interesting to note the differences between living in Sweden and the USA. The first differences I noticed were the much wider roads, larger cars/trucks, and more talkative people. The California weather is very different from Sweden: much hotter and drier, mostly. There were a few rainy days last month, but according to the locals those were freak occurrences. Unfortunately health care and housing is extremely expensive here compared to Sweden.

California is much less bike friendly than Sweden, but there is one nice bike path where I bike to work every day. The bike path goes along the shoreline where there are lots of birds. I’ve seen Geese, Egrets, Pelicans, and other birds I don’t know the name of.

Geese on a bike path

To get around on bike you often have to bike on the road next to cars. Usually the roads have a bike lane, but it still feels much less safe than biking on an isolated bike path. Speaking of cars, there are many Teslas, Priuses, and self-driving cars on the streets here.

My favourite thing about California is the nature and landscape. Palm trees are a common sight here, and all trees are huge compared to trees in Sweden. There are also plenty of awesome places to hike on weekends. On my third weekend here I went to Yosemite with some friends. Yosemite is probably the most beautiful place I’ve visited so far, and hiking there was one of the best experiences I’ve had.

Here are some pictures from places I’ve visited in California:

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Stream

Lake Tahoe

Golden Gate Bridge

Mt Tamalpais

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Categories: Personal

PhD Studies 2013-03-12

Since February I am a PhD student in Computer Science! I have just recently started and the specifics of it all are not completely nailed down yet but in general I will be studying and researching compiler construction using attribute grammars. I have been interested in this field a long time, though I have not written a lot about compiler construction on this blog. I might write some stuff about my PhD work but other than that it will be business as usual on here.

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Categories: Personal

Work and school 2012-10-17

I’ve been meaning to write an update about Chunky for a while, because I want to let everyone who follows the Chunky development know why there has not been much happening since early August.

I was spending incredible amounts of time on Chunky from May throughout July. Every free moment I had I was working on Chunky, whether it was coding or other tasks. Many nights I got too little sleep because I was up past midnight with Chunky, and although I was also working at the time I had a very flexible work schedule and so I took some days off to sit at home and code on Chunky.

This is a common pattern for me. I tend to become very obsessed with one project and devote all my spare time to that particular project for days/weeks/months. Eventually it peters outs and normal operation resumes.

Of course Chunky has been different because many people are using Chunky – there have been well over 10000 downloads by now, which is totally insane! I sort of feel a responsibility to the users, and my conscience nags at because it feels like I should have done more.

With Chunky I had to try to stop adding new features because I couldn’t keep the pace up. In August I finally finished my Master’s Thesis, which unfortunately got delayed in part because of Chunky. This fall term I am taking a final course that I need for my Master’s degree, and after that I have to decide what to do from there.

I would like to be a little more active in Chunky development than I have been the past two months, however I don’t want to commit to adding new features. I will focus mainly on bug fixes from now until I feel that work and school permits. I also have other hobby projects I want to spend time on. I’ve started coding an optimizing (subset of-) C compiler now that is pretty fun to work on.

If you’ve sent me PMs or emails and I didn’t respond, then I apologize. I do read all the messages but sometimes I don’t have time to answer them all and they are forgotten.

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Categories: Personal