Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, 2015

Yesterday I brought Nora to my work for the official Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. My firm organized various nice events in our offices around the country, and there were a lot of kids in my office.

Big kids were welcome all day and had a nice program, but that would have been too much for Nora. So she spent a fun hour and a half with me and my co-workers and then we went for lunch together.

The highlight? A balloon she got from a co-worker, haha.


Nora at my work

Nora and Lelya Snezha came to visit me at my work this morning.

Nora was a little intimated by all the people but not shy. A co-worker asked: "where are you going?" and she said: "house". "Where is your house?" "Outside!".


Two trips to Jersey City

Last Thursday I went to Jersey City. I traveled with three co-workers and we took the 6.00 am train from Union Station. Never mind the early hour, we had a good time in the train and talked a lot. In Jersey City we met with several co-workers, local and from Menlo Park.

We had dinner in a restaurant near the office. It was nice to catch up with everybody. The next day I took the 4.15 pm train home and the trip was smoothly. I met Sasha and Nora at Hayes Park; it was great to see them. At night I worked on a SAN migration.

Today I made a one-day trip. Again on the 6.00 am train, returning with the 5.15 pm -- from which I'm writing this update.


Playing broomball

Yesterday we had a social event at work and we played broomball. This is a simplified version of ice hockey: you wear normal shoes, not skates, and the ice is prepared to provide more traction than usual.

We played in the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, an ice rink on top of the parking mall in Ballston, very close to our office. It's the place where the Washington Capitals do their training.

We played two 20 minute games; we won the first but lost the second.


At the Jersey City office

Friday I was in our Jersey City office. It was the first time I visited there and a day was too short to meet everybody I wanted to meet.

The office is located on the river front and has a great view of Manhattan.


The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail-but some don't

This was an entertaining book by Nate Silver, who I got to know during the 2010 and 2012 elections as a insightful commentator. His background in statistics and love for numbers gives a nice dose of realism to the superficial world of political commentary.

This book describes Mr. Silver's eclectic career so far and dives into several separate subjects where he beliefs his data-based analysis are useful. From climate change to the stock market, his point of view as statistician is valuable and he does a nice job explaining Bayesian logic to the general public.

The book is a little repetitive at times, and could have been 20% shorter, but this is not big deal.

Big Data, over-fitting

He is skeptical of the Big Data 'movement' which sometimes seems to imply that "if we only capture enough data, insight will follow automatically". Mr. Silver has a lot of experience with large data sets and convincingly shows the dangers of over-fitting and emphasizes that human research and insight is no substitute for large amount of data. This is a refreshing counter-argument to some of the hype in the commercial data-gathering world.

Nate Silver
English for work

In our Menlo office

It's nice to be in our Menlo Park office. I've met several new people and caught up with the teams we've been working with over the last year.

Our office now has an electrical car charger, as does the hotel we are staying in. A colleague explained that his car can do about 90 miles on a single charge and that it takes about 3 hours to charge the car.

The time difference makes it easy to get up early. Yesterday morning I went for a run at 6.00 am and today I woke up at 5.30 am again. We're leaving tomorrow morning, taking an 8.30 am flight from San Francisco.


Nora at my work

Today Jaap was in Ballston and he came by my office with Nora. It was great to show her to my colleagues and to introduce Jaap to everybody.

Nora had just waken up from a nap in the stroller so she was quiet and peaceful, just staring at everything and everyone with big eyes.

Tomorrow morning we have our 4-months check up at the pediatrician.





A good excuse for a stroopwafel

Today is Dutch-American Heritage Day and to celebrate I brought stroopwafels to my work. They were well received.

In the evening I went for drinks at Mackey's Pub with a nice group of Dutch people. I have a cold so I stayed only a little while but it was fun.


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