Temporal word cloud or a recursive blog story

No, I have not become totally crazy, as the title of this blog might let you think and as some people might say. From my latest experiments with word cloud came the ide of applying it to my blog. Some might think that a dozen or so posts are not enough, and they would be right. However, my blogging habit didn’t start here on WordPress and I have in the pas 5 years or so about a hundred more posting on an Ericsson internal blog (conveniently also named TheLoneNut). Thus, if I sum up my internal presence and my newly external presence, I have written about 50k words in 5 years. According to Wikipedia, this puts my writings in the size range of a novel. Quite enough for a good word cloud experiment.

Where possible I have split the words in subject buckets:

  • Yellow: Having new ideas,
  • Red: Learning,
  • Dark Green: Peoples,
  • Light Blue: Cloud Computing,
  • Dark Blue: Ericsson and core telecom subjects,
  • Purple: Programming,
  • Light Green: Data Science, Machine Learning, …

The rest stays grey. Some of the grey words could make it in one of the subject buckets, however sometimes they are used across different subject so I preferred to keep them grey. So without further ado, lets take a look at the overall word cloud for my 5 years of blogging.

overallBlogWC
Overall word cloud of five years of TheLoneNut blogging.

From the overall word cloud, we can see a few trends. A lot of having new ideas, a good level of cloud, a fair level of programming, telecommunication and people and a little bit of Data Science… But we can do more. An interesting aspect of the blogging with respect to a novel is that it strongly embeds a temporal component. Posts are distributed through time in a semi-uniform fashion. Thus we can make an evolving word cloud. Starting five years ago and coming to today. Let’s have a look.

BlogWC5
TheLoneNut blogging five years ago.

In 2012, I started a new role at Ericsson. Something more research oriented and I had to come up with some good research subjects. As the word cloud can say, lots of ideation and idea exploration. Ideas were mostly oriented at Ericsson core telecommunication aspects. A small team and the need for help from the others. We can also see a little bit of trials in the Genetic Algorithm (and Genetic Programming) and Data Science in general.

BlogWC4
… four years ago.

As time passed, I still go through a lot of ideation and it is still focused on Ericsson core telecommunication aspects, but comes a lot more of programming, as we are trying out and implementing some of those ideas. The team and the help from others is still present, and we can see the need as well to learn new things. To figure out if some of the problems we were facing were already fixed somehow by someone else.

BlogWC3
… tree years ago.

Going forward, we see that the main research focus became the cloud (not the word cloud!). The core telecommunication aspects became secondary. With this clear research agenda, I started in parallel a Master in Computer Engineering on that new found subject of the Telecommunication Cloud.

BlogWC2
… two years ago.

With time, the research project got a name: Unity (not the 3D framework) and a specialisation around the Actor Model (from computer science). A lot of programming for my team and me.

BlogWC1
TheLoneNut blogging in the last year.

About a year ago, the Master thesis and the Unity project were concluded and I took on a new role. We can see it from the word cloud, where the cloud is shrinking and Data Science related topics are on the rise. Still a lot of ideation required, but not as much as in the early days. The core telecommunication aspects are pretty much off the radar as Machine Learning and Cloud are taking the floor of my interests.

Hope you found this word cloud analysis of my five years of blogging interesting. But more importantly I hope you see how a temporal word cloud analysis can reveal interesting insights!

Now for the recursive part… let’s add this blog entry and see if it change anything for this year blogging word cloud…

BlogRecursive

Well, not much for a single blog entry (as expected)… so long for recursive word clouding!

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Grow your own moustache!

It is done! I finished my Master study. The defence was held on April 26 and the thesis got published today. For those inclined in reading this kind of literature, here is my thesis: A Scalable Heterogeneous Software Architecture for the Telecommunication Cloud. It is an actor model based framework which can deploy on any cloud and be written with any programming language.

Let me tell you it is a big weight removed from my shoulders. In retrospective I would do it again. However I would not take two courses in the same session. Also I would have started the writing of the thesis and verified it with my thesis director earlier. But now it is done. On the bright side, I think what I have learned in the process really helped improve the end result the research done by my team.

I could not resist long and had to learn something new. Something has been on my back list for a while and I decided to give it a try. But let me put a little bit of context here. Four or five years ago I went to course about innovation in Stockholm. One of the exercises went as follow. In teams of two we had to point randomly in magazines and pick pictures and sentences, and give sense to them. I don’t recall each individual element, but I think we came up with a sentence going like this: “You have to grow your own moustache”. I still recall that sentence because out of the randomness of the sentences and images we picked we ended up with such a profound revelation!

It might not look like it, but “Growing your own moustache” is a really good metaphor for a lot of things in life. I will just show one of those things. As following a course and learning is, growing a moustache is a decision you have to make. Once that decision is made, it will take time, you cannot have it grown over night. Two people won’t grow the same moustache and it won’t grow at the same pace. When you learn, you might struggle more than someone else, but in the end, no matter the struggling, what you have learned is personal, what you retain depends on your background and how the moustache grew… everyone will get its own, there is things you can do to shape it the way you want, but some things you cannot control or change.

That being said, this exercise and many more went a great deal to start a friendship. The course I am following now is from an advice from that friend, Andreas S. who told me about it. So Andreas told me about that book which guide you through the process of building a computer. You start from Nand gates and build a computer from them, an OS, a language and eventually the Tetris game. It happens that the guys who wrote the book made available that course on Coursera: Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: From Nand to Tetris. It is a two parts course and the first part is available now. I finished the first part. Last week I completed the assignment for week five where you have to build a CPU and Memory and assemble them as a computer. This week I completed the 6th week assignment to write an assembler for that computer. It is all simulation, but you know it could work for real if you had the patience to build it physically as in the previous weeks we built every elements leading to this, from the Nand gate. Two transistors and a resistor and you have a physical implementation of a Nand gate. You would need a s**t load of them to build an actual physical version of it, but you get the full understanding with the course. By the way, someone did such a computer from individual transistors. You can get a view of it in this video.

When I did my bachelor degree (in electrical engineering) 25 years ago, I covered a lot of what is shown in this course. But still some pieces were missing. We built/simulated logical gates and from there went to Register and ALU but we didn’t assemble them as a CPU and a Computer. Other course showed us assembly and compilers but it was not linked in a coherent chain. That course bring you from the basic Nand gate up to writing a Tetris game will all the steps in between. You can be a perfectly good software engineer without knowing how a computer is built, but there is a lot you can gain by understanding it. Making it yourself ensures you have a deep understanding of the whole process. I recommend that course to everyone. Thanks Andreas!

A new beginning

I have been blogging internally at Ericsson for close to four years. As time passed I have seen that a lot of what I write has nothing to do with private internal stuff but could be beneficial to a larger audience. Lately an intern in our group told me he would like to share some of my post with comrade at the University but obviously could not since my blog is internal…

So here I am, about to share what can be public content to the larger audience in hope some peoples can find it helpful. This blog will be largely technology oriented as I’m working in the high tech world and want to share my passion for it. Do not expect revelations about Ericsson, official spoke persons can do that, I’ll simply write about what inspires me and what can be said publicly about my research interests.

Enjoy the ride and feel welcome to share your insights with me!