Monday, October 17, 2016

The Lab of O

I’ve started the new job at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology! Specifically I am working for the Macaulay Library and it is awesome! When I started my previous job at COS I really wanted to push them to start supporting citizen science, but that never really worked out. Now I am dropped right in the middle of a citizen science and machine learning project! What could be better? If you want to help out: edbird is where you should submit checklists and upload photos, and merlinvision is where you can box/annotate bird photos.

So other than the tons of paperwork that comes with switching jobs, it is pretty awesome. My normal commute now is a walk in through the woods, with binoculars, so I can bird on the way in and out, and sometimes lunch too. It certainly beats 30 minutes each way unless I got stuck behind a bus.

Of course I am still learning the stack after two weeks (I claim there is quite a bit of paperwork to do), but I am starting to wrap my head around how things are done and being reminded how repetitive Java is: Make a new instance of a class by first telling the compiler that this is an instance of this class and then using “new” and the class… I understand that it makes it solid, near indestructible code, but I am not a huge fan. Also semicolons, thank goodness for a good development environment.

The best thing about this job is birds. People at work like birds! There are 1.4 million bird photos with more coming in every day from people across the world. It is just amazing that I am getting paid to do this. I guess they are paying me to become familiar with Java, the rest is just icing on the cake.

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