I have often wondered why human kind in different parts of the world, independently, believed in a creator. Creator took different forms, nevertheless, the idea of a higher being/force was there since the beginning of our history (figuratively speaking, my anthropology knowledge is better than Flintstones, but not great). I think I have the answer I was looking for. The joy that comes with creation!
With a colleague of mine, Anmol Kumar, we have developed a program to aid parametrization process. The projected start from the need. I was going to parametrize a few modified nucleotides both in additive and polarizable force fields (I never did the polarizable ones, but that’s a story for another time) . While there was a protocol for both force fields , only for additive, a semi-automated set of scripts was present. So I took the task of creating the ones for the polarizable one, I was also moving the process from other QM programs to Psi4. My colleague at the time was also showing parametrization to a visiting PhD candidate. The frustration that has build up led to the development of FFParam.
I have envisioned a command-line version, import this library to that, or run the program from command-line. But he had a vision about a GUI, he was right. There was a need for a visual tool so that the user’s wouldn’t leave this tool ever during the course of parametrization.
We both learned from each other. We both had our strengths and weaknesses. A great collaboration in the end resulted with a product. A product, as we are both aware, still has a lot of room for improvement but it will help people a lot even in its first release. Less frustration, more focus on the quality of the parameters.
FFParam was not our main projects. It was a time set aside from main projects, but it required full-time effort that we both, at times, worked on FFParam more than other projects. I was even told to put this aside and focus on my main project. But even that main project would require parametrization, I was frustrated to be told that. I haven’t worked to my full capacity on it for a while. Overtime I realized that no matter what was the project I was hired for is, this is something has to be done. So, with all my stubbornness, I continued to work on it. I don’t have any regrets for not doing what I was told to or working on FFParam. Sometimes you have to follow what you think is the best.
Under ideal conditions, you wouldn’t need to disobey. There would be a discussion without intimidation or fear of getting fired. During the course of the discussion, one of the arguments would be agreed upon as the best action, after both parties “hear and understand” each other. There would be nothing to feel guilty about. The argument chosen could have been wrong, but mistakes are less important than the process that led to them in the first place. Stubbornness is a great driving force, especially when you see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The light at the end is joy. I have tasted the joy of creating something. The reason humankind needs to believe in a creator… Someone/something must have felt that joy in creating us. When the excitement wears off I might feel different about this thought. However, the joy I feel about my contribution to the program and to the website makes me feel superior to the person who I was a year ago. Maybe, I feel this joy not because I have created something but I had the opportunity to explore different tools (my monkey appetite was satisfied after all). Who cares? I will just live in joy until it lasts.