About me, and the fairies in the kitchen sink

My name is Chris, and I’m your normal 30-something year old software developer-turned manager… which is to say, not normal at all. I can get passionate about just about anything, if it grabs my attention – and I’ve often been accused of being an over-thinker.

Someone once asked me why did I choose to do what I do – and after thinking for a while I explained that for me, I like to get beyond the abstract. So much of every day life is abstracted away from us – there’s detail that we don’t need or want to know about. An electrical power point – simply plug something in, and voilà – magic. A TV – simply press a button, and you’re done. The kitchen sink – simply turn a tap, and water will instantly appear.

But, underneath it all, how did that happen? What happens beyond the tap? For all we know there’s a magic box under the sink filled with a bunch of fairies (there’s a great visual image). Ironically I’m a terrible plumber – but I like the metaphor. For me, I love to get beyond the abstract – in a wide range of areas.

On this blog I’ll be talking about concepts that can be abstract – some topics will be technical, some will involve code, sometimes I’ll talk about things philosophically, and sometimes I’ll tie it into bigger picture things – but I’ll always be trying to make a practical point. Sometimes the point may not seem abstract at all – but that’s also the point – something can seem obvious to one person who has already made the connection, but can seem unimportant or boring to another.

If you’ve ever worked in IT and tried to discuss our field with others you’ve probably observed this – we can get reactions ranging from outright awe to complete disinterest. I’ve been called every mystical name Hollywood can conjure, but I’ve also had to watch eyes glaze over at the first mention of my job. The thing is – it’s not because of anything to do with our industry, which in truth is no more boring then law, or accounting, or any other field. It’s because IT is a field that is so young, so unknown, and so abstract.

So this blog will reflect my story and experience of being abstract.