Thursday 15 August 2013

Back from summer break

It turned out to be one of the best summers in London in decades. The weather was uninterruptedly stunning for more than 2 months in a row. In my previous years, I had to face the extremes in Hungary. It could go up to 40+ degrees celsius. For most of the Brits I've told this fact, it seemed like a desirable condition. It's not. It gets under your skin. The air is stiff and sticky. The concrete jungle amplifies it and radiates heat even after the sun sets. You stop sleeping, you start getting moody and you feel trapped. Going somewhere seems less and less feasible as you can't imagine yourself sitting in a car or on a train. It's miserable. So after all those years of summer suffering, I really enjoyed that perfect 25-30 degrees that suddenly hit England.

We had similar conditions last year, but it lasted only for a week. They said it's normal and I believed it.
View from my study
So as it kicked in around June, I started taking the most out of it and stayed outside until late every night with friends. It was a nice transition as the city slowly realised that they could actually count on the sun. People flooded the streets, parties popped up on random outdoors locations and the general mood just went off the charts.

I have this secret goal in life: to live. So in the name of that, I hardly said no to any invitation. I've met
many wonderful people on my way, went to beautiful places, danced until dawn, chatted away on a hilltop overlooking the city, went to a wedding that was a pool-party, accidentally wandered into a Stones concert, had beers and BBQs in several parks, played on a table-football tournament, and many-many more things that I couldn't possibly list. Every afternoon/night held something magical. I felt like stepping into one of those road-trip-like american movies, where surreal things happen to the characters, and they hilariously fight their way through whatever life throws at them. Then all of it becomes a very good memory, and forms a special bond among the people involved. Currently my head is full of such memories of laughter, tears, music and booze. Most of you can probably relate to this from the last days of summer holiday before going back to school. The difference is that doing the same crazy things as a grown-up turns out to be even more fun!

If I could give you one advice only may that be professional or general, that'd be this: don't just exist, live!
With friends at Seven Sisters

But life is not only about partying. Every morning, I showed up at work. I believe that this balance makes it even more memorable. I can't say it was easy though. Sometimes waking up after 3 hours of sleep seemed impossible, but at least I learned that I could actually focus on code much better when I'm that tired.
Anyway, we had some great successes during work that I'll be writing about soon.
I've managed to crack the configuration problem. Used it on several projects now at The Guardian, and I can say that I'm happy with the result.
We've evolved the AAO framework to be context-aware and to support relative subject and object references, enabling fluent conversation capturing.
I contributed to cucumber-jvm with an option to generate camel-case snippets.
I'm preparing a talk and a workshop around AAO too. You can catch me in NYC on the 20th of Sept, or in London on the 18th of Oct for the workshop.

To close this post, I'd like to share a video I've made at the Holi Festival of Colours, London last weekend. This summarises what I've been just writing about, and it closes this period. Time to get back to reality and change the world!

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