Past mistakes

I think everyone needs at least one blog post under their belt that describes mistakes they’ve previously made in their careers. Now is the time for me. Liberal application of the word ‘just’ “Why don’t you /just/ do this other thing instead?” Uuughhh…this word, which serves as punctuation as much as the word ‘fuck’ does in Glasgow, is bound to rile anyone up after the umpteenth attempt at trivialising the problem they have.

Agile lipstick 💄

Over the past decade of my wondrous career I’ve rather haphazardly stumbled in and out of the realm of agile leadership. I’ve been a scrum master and an agile coach, even got the PSM1 certification which is nice but not really worth the PDF it’s written on these days. My best investment was in a coaching course1 where I learned experientially all of the things I didn’t learn as part of my job: active listening, rapport, acknowledgment and recognition, transactional anaylisis, I’m Ok/You’re Ok, etc.


I’m driven by ambition, as are many of us. I don’t think that you need to be ambitious to be successful, though, unless you reframe your perception of it. You can be enough; no more, no less. My ambition is fuelled by wanting to do more or wanting to do better, but on the flip-side it feels more like over-compensation. One particular habit I have, for example, is to work late on an off-day to try and feel like I’ve pulled my weight.

Human after all

I’m sure everybody goes through the ‘angry programmer’ phase at some point in their career. I’m sure that some people enter it and never leave. The angry programmer looks at code and wonders what kind of dumbass would write something so stupid. The angry programmer assumes a codebase to be a load of shit by default. What I’ve just done is create an archetype of a person that reduces them to a few simplistic characteristics that might sound amusing if you relate to it, but can just as easily be used as a label to diminish your opinion of someone.

Permanent solutions to temporary problems

Depression fucking sucks. It sucks to suffer from it; it sucks to see others suffer from it. I lost contact with my landlord sometime last year, and obviously as a private tenant that raised some concerns as my main point of contact for my flat had vanished off the face of the earth. He’d deleted his email address and his phone number was deactivated. To be honest I thought nothing of it for a while, and the last thing he told me was that he was bogged down with work at the NHS.

To simpler times

I previously wrote about how this site was built1 and then deployed2. I’m quite happy experimenting with how I set up this whole shebang because I can learn a lot from it and the worst that happens is that the site goes down for half an hour. The stakes are low. You might tell from the design that I’m trying to keep things basic. The most outrageous things on the entire site are two SVG icons, a CSS animation, an embedded font, and poor mobile responsiveness.

Things I’ve learned after 10 years in the industry

Earlier today I read a blog post titled /Software development topics I’ve changed my mind on after 6 years in the industry/1 and it made me reflect on how my own thinking has (hopefully) evolved over my decade long career. I’m not going to discuss the content of the linked post, except to say that as much as I empathise with the author and have been an angry programmer myself, the overly aggressive tone that occasionally slips out isn’t really my cup of tea.

Using Ruby’s C API inside Ruby

A thought occurred to me in my mask-wearing, lockdown-addled brain last night: why the hell did I choose /now/ to stop drinking? It’s for my own good, I told myself, and so my thoughts shifted further into the absurd with nary a mind-altering substance in sight to stop them. One of those thoughts stuck out in particular, because of how ridiculous it sounded: could you optimise your Ruby code by using FFI with Ruby’s C bindings?

Gettin’ Ziggy With It On The Pi Zero

Alright, you can read the article first and shoot me later for a title like that, and what will inevitably become a series of Zig-based puns. Zig, for the unaware, is a fancy language that looks to be to C what Rust is to C++. Honestly, I recommend you read the summary on the main page1 to find out more yourself, as the best I can do is to just parrot what has already been written.

Can you crack the code?

What better way to spend the final moments of 2020, locked down in London, than with a logic puzzle and a computer that can, well, do logic? Join me for a few minutes on this auspicious eve, and learn how you can spend an order of magnitude more time computing a solution than what it would take if you used your noggin instead. I presume you’ve seen this kind of puzzle before: there is a lock that requires a three or four digit code in order for it to open.