I grew up copying game code from long books into my ZX Spectrum and searching for typos when it all went pear shaped, time and circumstance led me to the school computer club when I was a bit older and my new friends introduced me to C, Pascal and how to re-use Assembler routines to make my sprites move. It was a beautiful beginning…
But, like all great stories, there was a time when the boy left the village: Though I had been a devout follower and student of C++, I grew restless and joined a band of e-Commerce adventurers. With them I travelled through many dark lands, where simple magics could result in terrible and unforeseen outcomes, yet the prize was great. I fought ruthlessly, armoured with layered architecture and the COM+ of righteousness until at last the light of .NET streamed from above. I hastily discarded the VB6 Grimoire, freed myself from the glue-code-ey binds of terrible ASP and vowed never to return to caves of DLL Hell again.
Then began a simpler life of relative comfort, I plied my trade at a local castle, churning out components at the local smithy and assisting the chemists and physicians of that antipodian kingdom in extending their services to the unwell. Many years passed…
More years passed and I woke to find that I had lost my passion for the fight, at some point, unbeknownst to me and purely by my own fault I had become a dark matter developer. Somewhere between the lull of present comfort and production deadlines I had ceased to visit the training fields. I still remember when a colleague approached me with an exciting new approach - I didn’t even smile, I simply dismissed it instantly as too risky… When I went to the office bathrooms later that day the automatic lights failed to illuminate, because I simply was.. not.. there.
There was nothing for it, I had to leave the comfort and safeguard of those walls, I had to roll the dice and once more venture into the unknown…
I managed to find passage on a vessel bound for London town, that place of rumoured golden streets, abundent taverns and perhaps most importantly high speed broadband. There, I decided, I would find my fight once more, I would be close to the pulse. I had heard many warnings of that place, but I chose not to heed them.
“In fact, very few people on the face of the planet know that the very shape
of the M25 forms the sigil odegra in the language of the Black Priesthood
of Ancient Mu, and means ‘Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds’.”
– Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens
And as luck would have it, I was right to do so and Fate and Lady London looked on me favourably…
I found the road was more open and collaborative than it ever had been, it was abundant in opportunities for open source and even the birds as I walked came with news of great tech every day.
I am currently doing what I love and loving what I do, and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do so.
If you would like to get in touch, please find me on Twitter (@stephenhjames) or Github (@stephen-james)