Christoph Flick

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Procrastinating my Master Thesis - Progress and Stats

I'm currently writing my master thesis. Well, basically I'm not currently writing it, but I'm in the process of writing it. I started my thesis at the end of September 2020, though I haven't gotten too far yet.

The topic of the thesis is “A domain-specific language for the derivation of traffic simulations - Enabling the virtual validation of connected vehicle use cases via formalized simulation scenario models”. Sounds fancy and buzzwordy, like a good master thesis title should *grin*. In easy words: I'll create a domain-specific language to make it easier to generate scenarios for traffic simulators (like Eclipse SUMO).

In the beginning, I did the usual stuff: researching various aspects of the topic and familiarizing myself with it. I've worked with traffic simulators before, so that was kind of easy to get into. Domain-specific languages are a whole other topic, it is definitely not so easy to grasp. Especially as the publicly available resources are only of mediocre quality in the best case. Especially the process of creating a DSL is not very well documented - except maybe for toy languages that only contain a few lines of code.

Nevertheless, I got to a point where I have decent enough knowledge of the topic to keep going and I already created a first draft of the “target DSL”. That's the point where I should start writing something. Which is harder than it sounds, at least for me. My inner self just protests against starting to write, and I'm not quite sure why - the popular topic of procrastination. I read articles, learn stuff irrelevant to the topic of my master thesis (I just became a MongoDB Certified Developer), watch YouTube videos, play video games, etc… The list is non-exhaustive. There's just a lot of things to do besides writing my master thesis.

I don't know why I tend to procrastinate. It may be because I think what I write won't be good enough, maybe because I'm just lazy, maybe because I just don't like writing (though I think I may seem to like it). There's a ton of resource on the topic, I especially like the post from wait but why, though I don't think that will help me. In my case, the best thing seems to be just forcing myself to start. Once I'm on it I usually get into “the flow” quite quickly where I'm completely focussed on writing the thesis and get stuff done. My main problem here is to get started at all.

In this post I'm going to track some stats about my thesis - maybe that will help me to focus a bit more. I will see how this goes in the future.

Total Word Count

DateWord CountComment

Entries in the Bibliography

DateEntries in the Bibliography

  1. Even though I haven't written any more words, I continued working on the DSL itself ↩︎

  2. Christmas time wasn't exactly working time ↩︎