This is a journal for myself for random thoughts on academia, system admin, development and things linked directly or tangentially to those areas.
I’ve spent the last few years working for several small companies and startups, usually as the generalist on the team. I enjoy working on the back-end fundamentals of a system, and the further down the software stack the better. I’ve maintained legacy systems, developed existing systems, installed new systems and architected entirely bespoke solutions. I’ve worked in the back office, I’ve worked facing the client, and I’ve pitched to VCs. I’m happiest when working on problems that are more substance than hype, more technical than marketing, and where the problem pushes me to new technical limits.
Previously I’ve worked
- in C doing low-level cross-platform networking stuff, writing RADIUS modules and other client-server systems
- in Python doing several small projects and scripting tasks
- in Java writing back-end code for Tomcat-based stacks
- in PHP for a few years doing LAMP-based website stuff
- in C writing Linux device drivers
- in VB and ASP while really wishing I wasn’t
I’ve taught C, C++, Java, numerical methods, electronics and assembly code in university courses for computer engineers; basic embedded systems to MSc students; and C and Unix in industry courses.
I’ve spent a lot of the last decade chasing after a PhD in robotics, mainly because of having to restart from scratch halfway through (being beaten to publication isn’t pleasant, even if is the German version of the nuclear emergency response team that beats you to it). So I changed the topic to applications of some slightly esoteric nonlinear mathematics to robotics. Oddly, doing a PhD in your spare time leads to slow progress…
I’ve worked with MySQL, Postgres, MSSQL, Jet and Access, Perl, Shell scripting, PC/104 systems, ARM7 systems, PIC chips; and dabbled in a dozen other areas. I’ve been a sysadmin at one level or another for a decade, and if you asked me to choose, I’d find it hard to decide whether systems administration of large clustered sites was more or less interesting than writing the code that ran on them.
I currently work for IBM doing High Availability and Disaster Recovery development work on the DB2 database, and also sysadmin work for the DB2 development infrastructure in the Dublin lab.
Outside of work, I like to cook (especially desserts and baking in general), I’ve been looking to go back to training in Aikido for ages but never seem to get round to it, and I’m very involved in Olympic target shooting.