matthewninja today: Slack Bot & Grad School

It feels strange when you spend all day working, yet end the day feeling like there’s so much more to do. I put my head down for over 12 hours today, but I barely ticked off half of the items on my to-do list. Screen Time on my phone shows that I only looked at my phone for 45 minutes–far lower than typical. I didn’t really procrastinate at all. I can’t reacall opening reddit or Instagram even once. Still, I made some nice progress on my PharoJS Slack Bot.

PJS-Express Slack Bot πŸ€–

I sent a pull request to PharoJS, adding a package and baseline for PharoJsExpress. Built using PharoJsExpress, I proceeded with building a Slack App. It’s completely written in Pharo, then transpiled to JavaScript for easy deployment in the cloud. The biggest challenge was dealing with requests to the express server. They come in various Javascript data structures which are hard to deal with from Pharo. Still, everything seems to be working, and I made some big diffs.

Grad School Decisions πŸŽ“

Over the past few months, I’ve explored the option of pursuing graduate studies. I learned that I enjoy research and self-learning in Computer Science. But, the opportunity cost is a factor that perhaps could make grad studies impractical. My pre-requisites for a graduate program are that I must be able to take it as a part-time student and that it’s in a subject that I’m highly interested in. I started seriously looking into programs last month. I found two programs at U of T that piqued my interest.

Firstly, U of T offers a research-based M.Sc in Computer Science. It’s also offered in a part-time format, so I would be able to reduce the opportunity cost by working full-time and completing the program over an extended timeline. It looked perfect! But the application deadline was in November. So, by the time I started seriously looking, it was already too late. I would have to wait for another year.

Second, U of T offers a course-based M.Eng in Computer Engineering. The courses looked extremely interesting and the application deadline is March 15. This could work out! I would be able to attend the prestigious U of T part-time while advancing my career! There are two catches, however. One: Because this is a course-based program, it would close the door to potential Ph.D. programs in the future. Two: the program is Engineering studies and not Computer Science. Computer Engineering and CS are very closely related, but I’m definitely a Computer Scientist before I’m an Engineer.Β I’m still going to apply, as I don’t need to make a decision yet.

I’ve known for a while that I want to start working when I finish my B.Sc in April. I have an incredible job lined up and I’m uber excited to start my career. Amazingly, my future employer will even pay for my tuition (pending approval)! Because Ryerson’s M.Sc is only offered in the full-time format, I hadn’t considered Ryerson’s graduate program to be a possibility. However, I learned something amazing last week! Essentially, if I were enrolled in Ryerson’s full-time M.Sc, nobody would ever ask me if I was working a job. I can complete the program at my own pace as if I were a part-time student. Amazing! πŸ™Œ

So, Ryerson is now my top choice. It was an easy decision given all the benefits of this path.

I sent in my application to Ryerson today. Now I wait.