Once more – with feeling!

Okay, so let’s try this again.

I didn’t anticipate either needing such a long break, or ever going back after the break turned into a long one. But I really miss studying. I don’t have the mental capacity I did three years ago, that feels gone forever. So I’m taking the advice of many visitors to the blog, and slowing things down. Just taking one 30-credit module a year for the next four should see me through, without too terribly much stress.

Things got insane with Covid. For the first year and a half, work was rough. Where I work, we had to observe every lockdown, keeping over a thousand people working remotely, and going through all the lockdowns wasn’t easy. Those lockdowns kept rolling through until December 2021. Just the sheer numbers of tools we went through is insane to think about.

2022 wasn’t too bad. I had a huge holiday at the end of it, and I was enjoying just working during the day and enjoying my free time in the evenings, and … being normal, I guess.

I’ve known I was itching to start studying again for a while. I didn’t want to start it up last year with the holiday I had planned. But I had to postpone it this year, too, for a couple of months. My job had to reduce the number of senior IT positions … The trouble being only my boss and I have senior IT positions. I basically had to interview against my boss for the remaining position. I didn’t want to be job hunting, then settling into a new job, and going back into study all at the same time.

Thankfully, I won’t need to be. I was successful in my bid for the position, so I think I can finally step back into my studies. I enrolled this morning. I’m extremely excited about the new AI module, but I didn’t see if it was a first presentation this year. I’ve sworn off first presentations. So that’ll happen next year. This year I’m trying again with TM357 Cisco Networking part 2.

If things go well with the AI module next year, though, I’m planning to use that for my cap-stone project at the end of Stage III. I’ve been spinning up a few language models (GPT-2, DialoGPT, and GODEL) on Google Colab, and playing a fair bit (like everybody else on the planet) with OpenAI’s API. I have an idea for long-term context memory using Pinecone DB (or another cloud-based vector database) for a chatbot, and there’s an interesting GitHub project I saw that uses a similar idea to consume your internal documentation to become an AI knowledgebase. Combining the two could make a super responsive helpdesk assistant, and I’m really excited about giving it a go.

Anyway. That’s my long-winded (as always) way to say: I’m back.

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