In short, I'm a generalist and proud to be one. I'm interested in sports, politics, culture and technology. I'm most drawn to the intersection of design and engineering where creativity meets constraint. I work as a web developer and software engineer, but have previously worked in the broadcast and print media. I've taught at university, and volunteer at the local public school. I have degrees in Commerce, Arts and Computer Science. I live in Sydney with my two kids and wife, Anna.
How I got into building software
I'm not entirely sure! I "coded" my first basic website in high school with some simple HTML that was available on the school intranet - but I didn't really get into it until much later. At the time it was cumbersome and uninspired. I preferred music, maths and writing. The mixture of creative and technical aspects were far more intriguing to me.
After school I didn't really have a good sense of where to focus and did a degree in Commerce and Arts with a focus in media and politics. I worked as a journalist and producer for a few major broadcast and print mastheads but was increasingly drawn back to the web. The media was (and still is) facing existential challenges from 'big tech'. We were trying to figure out how to work best in the new digital landscape, and after a lot of indirect and direct exposure to web technologies I decided to give it another go.
Fortunately while working at the The Guardian I was able to collaborate with their digital storytelling team, and was able to learn a lot about crafting stories for the web with the right tools for it. We experimented a lot with presenting data in new and interesting ways, adding interactivity and animation, scraping data and building tools to help us do our jobs better. The more I was drawn in the more I wanted to learn.
I started with a few online courses, and then enrolled in a part-time, then full-time degree in Computer Science. I found the initial forays surprisingly difficult. I was basically rewiring my brain after close to a decade of writing and thinking in a different way. That transition remains one of the most challenging things I've done, but also one of the most rewarding.
Since, I've built far too many websites to count, apps, and APIs and have worked on all sorts of problem spaces. I've worked with some great people and companies and lean on my breadth of experience to help me solve problems in new and interesting ways.