or: From the Light into the Darkness

I was made redundant just before Christmas 2016. As I already had a holiday to Australia & New Zealand booked, I decided not to rush into finding a new job. Once on the other side of the world, it became clear to me that I was deeply, deeply unhappy with myself and my career. Self-loathing turned up to 11. I suppose you could call it a sort of mid-life crisis.

I’ve tried to keep myself busy over the past 9 months, with varying degrees of success, but what I have done, is re-discover myself, my sense of self and – most importantly – my love of writing software. Pretty useful when you’re a software engineer.

As well as putting myself under the microscope (not easy, even after I found one big enough…), I’ve opened my eyes to the world around me. I’ve opened my eyes and recoiled in horror – but they’re still open and now that they are, I’m clear about what I want for myself, what I want to achieve professionally and what I need to do as a human being.

It’s time to leave the ComfortZone™, pick-up my sword and my shield and go, boldly, into the darkness.

Or, to quote Austin Powers: “I’m back, baby! Yeah!”

Baring One’s Soul, Part II

I have a friend (yes, I know!) called Gemma. Gemma, as well as being one of the best singers I’ve ever had to privilege to hear, is a mum and has undertaken to do The Great North Run.

You can follow her journey and get to know her through her fantastically frank and open blog. Better still, you can support her and the three great charities she’s running for.

What’s this got to do with the price of fish? When I started this blog, I asked the question “how much should I share?” do I have the courage to share myself with the world in the way that my friend has? An interesting question. A very interesting question indeed…

Computers don’t like Mondays Either

Back from Holiday and I have two emails (amongst many, of course). The first, to my personal address, is from a colleague notifying me of an error she encountered accessing a company Website for which I am responsible (and that when she tried to send it to my work address, it was bounced by the mail server). The second, to my work address, is from my boss, forwarding the original message I’d already received but which also included the bounce message.

Interestingly, both of these errors (a database connection error for the first, a 554 Relay Denied for the second) appear to have been transient and occurred around the same time this morning. This makes me think of the notion of Ghosts in the Machine – the idea that as software systems become increasingly complex and/or have been installed for a long time, they develop unexpected (emergent) behaviours that makes them seem temperamental; that they develop their own personalities.

Of course, it’s just a textbook case of anthropomophisation and could almost certainly be explained by something as mundane as a temporary spike in traffic, but you know, there is something strangely comforting in the thought that Computers don’t like Mondays Either.


Baring One’s Soul

Blogging is one of those trends that has mostly passed me by; I don’t follow anyone and the blog posts I have read, tend to be technical in nature (usually found with a search engine).

Before Christmas 2012, a friend put it to me that I should blog. After thinking about it over Christmas, I setup this site. Now, I have to decide what I will blog or more specifically, how much.

This is not as trivial a decision as it may sound. Essentially, everything on the Internet lives forever. Of course, there are bits of Internet history that are lost, but you can’t count on it. This means that whatever I put onto this blog, will forever be associated with me. For better or worse.