My geek origin story
My earliest inspiration for computing came in the form of the Usborne Guide to Computers and its sister publications of the early 80s.
Before long I was one of the ones regularly huddled around the warm green glow of an already aged Apple II in the school library as it whined, whired and crunched its way through the likes of Robot Oddessy and LoadRunner.
Not long after that, my parents were nice enough to purchase a brand new Amstrad CPC 464 with a massive 22k programmable memory, an inbuilt tape deck and my launch into the magical world of writing software had officially begun.
I was absolutely transfixed by the ability to not only replicate what I saw in movies, television and books (albeit in a crude 8 bit manner) but also explore virtual worlds completely of my own making.
In coming years, seemingly everything from Tron light cycles through to virtual pets through to intricate tales involving knights and dragons was up for creation and play.
I was addicted to infinite possibilities and remain so to this day.
Coolest programming thing I've done
With any luck, whatever the most recent project was.
The act of creating a piece of software is still a vaguely magical process to me and the act of working through a problem to arrive at the other end with a useful, elegant and hopefully pragmatic solution in a timely manner is one that still holds me entranced.
Sometimes, like a devious puzzle, just the act of finding a working solution is an achievement unto itself. Other times it might not be the solution that's special but more a case of who the software is helping.
And sometimes it's just a tiny piece of code that scratches a particular itch so well that it's impossible not to smile as one turns it over in one's mind, inspecting it from every angle and appreciating it like a jeweler might appreciate a newly cut gem.
Hottest topic in our industry right now
Individual topics come and go but the aspect that really intrigues me is how much computing is ceasing to be "technology" and just being another (hopefully unnoticed) part of everyone's day. As common as the table or the chair.
For over 50 years, we've had software that requires humans to actively manage its existence. Feeding it and maintaining it like some sort of extremely fragile and naive child.
With the arrival of almost ubiquitous communication and seemingly endless amounts of processing power available to even the smallest devices, my hope is that the bulk of the software produced ceases to be the fragile naive child and starts being the intelligent and discreet concierge of one's life.
Quickly, efficiently and competently working behind the scenes to ensure its user's day is an effortless series of pleasant surprises.
What attracted me to working at Readify
Receiving some training from Readify (or Monash.Net as it was known back then) and really being inspired by how enthusiastic and knowledgeable the presenter was about software development.
My favourite thing about Readify
Passion - It's everywhere. It doesn't matter whether it's writing code, setting policy or hiring new staff, everyone seems genuinely passionate about their area of responsibility within Readify. Actively enjoying one's day is infinitely better than just surviving it and it's even better when those around you feel the same way.
Humanity - The joy of being able to share a story or a laugh with someone is not a dictated by an org chart within Readify. People may have different parts to play within the company but that doesn't remove the fact that they're living breathing human beings and not two dimensional stereotypes of the job description.
Inexperience - More specifically, mine. I love being the "dumbest guy in the room". It means there is always someone who may know something more or be able to point me in the right direction. If I'm not discovering something new and interesting regularly then I know I'm not asking enough questions.
My geeky pastimes
Either writing computer games or helping others to do so.
Games tend to represent some of the most bleeding edges ideas on all sorts of ideas including user interaction, performance, story telling and the art of assembling software itself.
Plus who doesn't like games?
The pigeons fly at dawn.