Computer Science

Until Tomorrow

Today was my last day of gainful employment at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

SPOILER: I’m going to receive money to make video games.

Now, the middle bits, as efficiently as possible.

I’ve been interested in game design for at least two years, and in fact that’s what’s driven me (with some meandering, I’ll admit) through Computer Science degrees at Concordia and then McGill. When I started on the latter, I began looking for a means to withstand the notoriously exorbitant Quebec tuition fees; as luck would have it, a friend suggested a contact of his at the on-campus Genome Centre who might be hiring; that contact (who’d actually been more interested in full-time bioinformatics graduates) then referred me to the Cardiovascular Research Laboratories at the RVH. Given that it was across the street from school, and that the work was straightforward (grokking & awk’ing data, adminning some sys), I took the job.

The work was good, and offered plenty of spare time for other activities, but I’ve come to realise that, ultimately, multitasking may not be my thing. I can’t work and listen to a podcast; I can’t read two books at the same time; I can’t sneeze and keep my eyes open; and I…found it difficult to work one full-time job, and then come home to another. My gig at the RVH was temporary — I knew it, my boss knew it, though the janitor may have been unaware — and it was becoming more and more obvious that the time had come. I resigned last month.

I am survived by many excellent and genuine people, doing genuinely excellent work on the genetics of cardiovascular disease. They have been, in a word, fantastic. Or wonderful, or amazing. One of those will do. My thanks and a raised glass to them:

Here’s to five and a half years. It…does not feel like five and a half years, here.

Of course, that much time under one (occasionally water- or asbestos-shedding) roof comes with its share of nav beacons: I started this website only a month or two before getting the job; I traveled from Edinburgh to Istanbul; I became both a Master and a hipster; I…well, the heartbreak or two; I got together with friends who make games; I attended my first GDC; and I can happily say that I am, for the moment, the one and only Rudzicz with an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

not-bad.jpg, as the kids say and the crow flies.

Up next is video games. A friend found himself an angel, and with a little bit of bootstrap funding, we’re hoping to start something worthwhile: a number of ideas suggest themselves, including a little pet project of mine. I’ll write more about that when we have something a bit more tangible to show — though anyone who knows me will, I imagine, know exactly what I’m talking about. Mars awaits.

To my (now ex-)coworkers: live long and prosper. To all: I shall attempt to make this new endeavour a worthy one indeed. As my friend Lando would say: here goes nothing.

Please rise for the Canadian hymn to the Patron Saint of Lonely Wanderers.