What I'm Doing Now

This is a now page. I will update the page roughly on a monthly basis to share where I am, what I'm focusing on, and what I don't do.

Last updated: May 4, 2022 @ North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Starting with empathy

Being conscious about the externalities of what I’m creating as a product developer is the biggest personal challenge at this moment, and I have kept questioning myself as "Should I build this?" for years. In particular, I keep seeking an opportunity to work on what I can empathize with based on my intrinsic motivation, as opposed to extrinsic motivation such as social recognition, status, and financial success.

It's all about being more empathetic about the things and people around myself. "Mindfulness" can be a word that best describes the motion, but my recent learning about ethics, loneliness, and relationship revealed empathy means a lot more than what we think. I believe nothing is more important than everyone's happiness, and hence I'm on a journey to improve my empathy skill.

Enjoying the life in Canada

It's been a year since I relocated from Japan to Canada “just as an experience”. Overall, I'm loving the beautiful walkable city, where I can easily expose myself to nature while maintaining the major benefits of an urban life.

To be fair, I still believe Japan is the best place to live, and I often realize how valuable all the experiences in the home country are. But who knows what happens next? Right now, I’m simply trying to be part of lovely local communities in Canada and make as many reasons to stay in the country as possible. Following my traveler identity, I'm also planning to visit new domestic locations more regularly than I did last year.

Accumulating more experience as a hiker

On the weekends, I'm busy hiking.

I'm an active follower of "105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia", and I have done 18 hikes out of 105 as of writing. My current objective is not only exploring as many local trails as possible but deepening my knowledge & skill further. As a first step, I have obtained a Canadian Red Cross's Remote First Aid & CPR certification.

Running long distance

I am actively practicing for a half marathon at Banff Marathon on June 19, 2022 and marathon at Royal Victoria Marathon on October 9, 2022. While a mechanical issue on my knees hinders me from running fast, my current milestone is to finish a marathon in less than 4 hours; the best record so far was 4'06 at Vancouver Marathon 2022.

In 2021, I also started running on trails, and I was able to finish my very first trail running race. To improve my mobility and flexibility further, I have recently enriched my daily workout routine with core training & yoga courses on Apple Fitness+. Stay active!

Being enthusiastic about BC Ale Trail

Exploring local craft breweries has clearly become a dominant part of my life lately.

There are hundreds of breweries across the province as you can find on BC Ale Trail, and I immediately fell in love with how people demonstrate their creativity to make diverse tastes of beers with a strong connection to their local community. To enjoy every single sip even further, I’m currently studying for the Beer Judge Certification Program entrance exam.

Polishing personal OSS projects for recommender systems

I’m actively developing two of my personal projects, FluRS (Python) and Recommendation.jl (Julia), which I originally created as part of my master’s thesis back in 2017. By the end of 2022, I’m aiming to fully polish the tools and publish their version 1.0 with some external presentations.

In practice, the design aspect of recommender systems (e.g., code structure, system architecture, UI/UX decisions, evaluation metrics) are crucial to make a system truly meaningful both for developers and end users, and hence I use these projects as a hands-on training opportunity to be an ethical product developer.