For the past year, I’ve made it a habit to publish my accomplishments and aspirations at the end of each semester. I use it, primarily, to track my progress with respect to my short-term goals and long-term growth. Its auxiliary function is to help me keep in touch with my network, publicizing my accomplishments and inviting others to join in. Enjoy!

No, we didn’t meet Shaq

Another semester down, another step closer to #gettingout.

This spring has been the most rigorous semester of my college career, which is to say it’s been the most rigorous semester of my life. For the past four months, I’ve juggled a full load of 3000+ level courses alongside a 20 hr/week part-time job.

Sacrifices/Time

My desk, fully equipped for code jams and all-nighters
My wall-mounted spring commitments, prioritized

1. School

My next big milestone is graduation. I’ve been working towards it for the past four years. Once I graduate, I am pretty much free to do whatever I want. Therefore, I should do everything in my power to ensure I’m on track to get out and begin the next phase of my life.

2. Physical Health

You must be healthy to do your best work. You can argue with me as much as you want about the boons of harsh, stress-filled conditions on inspiration and creativity, but I know this to be true: eating well, working out, and getting enough sleep are the building blocks for a productive day and, thus, a successful [insert unit time > day].

In one of the CNN’s newsrooms

3. Work

I got a part-time gig because I wanted to learn new things, boost my resume, and prove to myself that I could handle such a rigorous load after veritably failing two years ago. The money was definitely nice to have, but, by itself, wasn’t valuable enough to warrant running this gauntlet.

4. Side Projects

There are so many side projects currently sitting in my backlog, that it was extremely difficult — and a bit stressful — to prioritize them so low. It’s hard to shake the feeling that you aren’t being optimally productive when you’ve got a bunch of great project ideas zipping around your head, yet you’re stuck spending hours reading about cumulative distribution functions for Statistics. There were many times when all I wanted to do was take a night off to hack together a prototype, but my time constraints forbade me.

5. Social

Everyone likes to socialize and the argument could be made that a fair amount is required for good mental health. That being said, it’s also fair to say that a good deal of it isn’t particularly productive. The cultural tendency to imbibe alcohol at such events further increases their footprint, effectively eliminating any possibility of working the night of and making it near impossible to have a productive next morning/afternoon due to a common side effect: the hangover.

Time Usage

Death to pie charts

Goals

In my fall 2015 reflection (and my update, ex post facto), the goals I created for this semester were as follows:

Wall-mounted list of spring 2016 goals
  • 8Tracks -> 100k listens
  • HAMY Codes -> 1,500 views / month
  • Complete Cracking the Coding Interview
  • Do awesome stuff at CNN
  • Build and Publish SPLINK
  • Summer Internship
  • Enjoy Life

GPA -> 3.25+

Status: Complete

8Tracks -> 100K Listens

Status: Incomplete

Four of the new playlists I published this semester
This semester’s 8Tracks stats
Sitting pretty at #2

HAMY Codes -> 1,500 views / month

Status: Incomplete

Monthly stats for HAMY Codes

Cracking the Coding Interview -> Finish

Status: Incomplete

The repo holding my solutions

CNN -> Do Cool Stuff

Status: Complete

My boi, Newstron

SPLINK -> Build and Publish

Status: Incomplete

The landing page I made back in August 2015

Projects

On a brighter note, just because I wasn’t able to work on SPLINK, doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to work on anything. On the contrary, I’ve pushed out more code this semester than during any other period of my life:

GitHub Activity | May 2015 — May 2016

Junior Design

3 / 6 people on our team were named Brian

BusRUs

This project was created for my Junior Design class, which gives teams two semesters to design and implement a system, ideally, solving a client’s problem. Our problem was to overhaul the Georgia Tech bus prediction system to make it more accurate, easier to maintain, and less expensive (the current system costs $50k!).

Computational Journalism

CompJ focused on the intersection of computing and journalism. Specifically, how technology could be used to extract raw data, synthesize data into useful chunks, and produce newsworthy conclusions about that data.

Atlanta overlayed with crime change statistics and Beltline coordinates

The Beltline and the City

The objective was “to create an interactive map mashup/visualization with a newsworthy dataset of your choosing.” Essentially, we had to find an interesting dataset and put it on a map.

Don’t they look regal?

Twitter Cabinet

Remember back in January when Fox made a jab at Trump saying, if he was elected, he would utilize his Twitter followers as his presidential cabinet? No? Well, that’s the basis of our project.

Feeds: 344,522 | Tweets: 2,086,736 | Analyzing the craziness of Twitter users: priceless

Computer Animation

Experiences

The semester wasn’t all work and no play. I was still able to do a bunch of cool things:

This Summer

After a ~3 week stay at my parent’s with the Phoenix, I’ll be heading off to work. In the three weeks ’til then, I’ll be wrapping up last semester (with posts like this), working on some playlists, designing some apps, fixing up my basement, and enjoying summer in Atlanta.

Work

This Fall

This spring was my last, true, semester at Georgia Tech. I have 2 credits (5 if Global Perspectives is still a thing) left in my degree and that’s the mandatory Health course. For those wondering, I intentionally pushed my graduation back two semesters so that I could fit in another internship, study up for interviews, and give myself time to think about what I really want to do for the next few years.

And Beyond

There are two primary archetypes with regards to what you do professionally, especially in the tech industry:

  • The other is to shun corporate environments entirely and dive head-first into your own startup. You wake up early, work ’til late, and bask in the glory that is creating your own product and being your own boss.

Goals — Summer 2016

Before finishing my reflections, I like to include my goals for the near future. It’s common for these to end up changing, but it’s nice to have a record of where my head was when I wrote it. Here are my goals for this summer:

  • Expand mind through IBM — I’m jumping in to a summer filled with creatives. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot different from the gigs I’ve had previously, but that only makes me more excited. I want to soak up as much as possible and use what I learn to inform my processes down the road. Champion the “Yes, and” improv principle to be open and supportive of new ways of thinking.
  • Get weird in Austin — I’ve heard Austin is a sweet place and I want to pack as much of it into my summer as possible. I want to enter the fall feeling like I lived there. That’s a lot of living to fit into a 10-week term, so I’m starting off with an arbitrary weekly quota of 3 cool things. I’ll have to wait ’til I get there to see if this can be increased, but it’ll net me at least 30 things to talk about by the end of the summer. Habit goal of 3 cool things/week.
  • Build a product from the ground up — I’ve got a few ideas that I’d love to implement this summer. I want to go through all the motions and have a presentable product by the time school starts up. Ideally, I’ll go through a few iterations of problem-searching/defining, user research, prototyping, and funding pitches, but I have no idea how long those will take to know if this is remotely feasible. At the very least, I’ll do as much as I can and end up with more than I had when I started. Presentable product by summer’s end.
  • Get comfortable presenting publicly — Presenting is a huge part of making your ideas a reality. If you can’t get someone to understand your stance and subsequently buy into it, then you’re going to have a hard time setting the stage for your success. I know it’ll be helpful in my planned product pitches, but — I figure — why stop there? If it’ll be a major asset regardless of what I do, then I might as well approach it as such and set up a development regimen. Habit goal: Talk through one interview question or verbally present one product/idea each week.
  • Do an “everyday” project —I’m sure you’ve seen these things on Instagram. It’s an open-ended project theme where you publish a new variation every day. For example, the theme may be trees and you post a new picture of a tree everyday. I tried it this semester with SIRHAMY.IMG, but simply didn’t have the time or bandwidth to keep it going. I’m not sure what it’s going to be and I may not post every day, but rest assured it’ll be annoyingly frequent and probably artsy. Create a project with at least 30 installments.
Rebranding underway

Thanks for reading,
Hamilton Greene

p.s. Seriously, if you’re in Austin this summer, let me know. I don’t bite often.

If you want to contact me, Facebook is your best bet. Unless you have my number, then just use that.

Mindfully iterating | https://hamy.xyz

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store