My name is Ian. I've been kicking around the planet for forty years or so, and have been tinkering with computer programs for most of that time.
Why programming? It's magical. You type letters on a keyboard, and things happen in the real world. Music plays. Colors appear. Robots attack.
On a good day, you get to see this happening. You can actually hook an oscilloscope up to a gadget you're building and see the electrons flow—because of the thing you just typed in.
And yet, no matter how deep into the details you get, you can always zoom back out and see how your computer program is also an act of communication. Part math, part poetry.
So, we program to get a job done, and we program to communicate. We carry the tension between those two goals around all the time. We argue endlessly about how to satisfy both.
You can easily fill up decades doing this.
I live near Portland, Oregon, USA, where we bike to work in the rain, obsess over coffee and microbrew, and get nerdy about the outdoors. You can drive an hour to the east and go skiing, or drive an hour to the west and go surfing.
Outside of work, I write books that a few people read, compose songs that no one will hear, and train myself to walk fast.
My family is a tiny, loud bunch of amateur sculptors, designers, illustrators, musicians, writers, and athletes. We spend our time making things, playing board games, shouting advice at the characters in Doctor Who, kayaking, and generally just (to quote Douglas Adams) outliving the hell out of everybody.
And you out there in electronic-land, reading this—may your own obsessions bring you the same joy.