My various employers and colleagues, over the years, have made use of
– and given me opportunities to extend – my talents in the following
In each context, several:
C (whose nuances I know in
detail) and C++. (ForTran and Lisp have also had
python, perl, make
(particularly the GNU version, with sed, grep and
their friends in supporting rôles), Bourne and bash shell
scripts. Previously csh, [gn]?awk and DCL have all
served. I take pride in having written perl which others found
easy to maintain and particular joy in the
toolspython has enabled me to write.
(X)HTML and its family, styled with CSS; made
dynamic by ECMAScript or generated dynamically using CGI (I've also dabbled in
PHP, but won't claim any particular expertise with it); and illustrated using
SVG. I haven't yet entirely forgotten how to use TeX and its kin.
I learn new (programming) languages with ease and am passingly familiar
with several more, notably including SQL, ruby
Linux at home since 1995 and at work since
2000. At work (mostly previously, but sporadically since), most flavours of
Unix, at one stage or another since 1991, particularly Solaris. Before even
that, various DEC (VAX) workstations and mainframes running DCL/VMS, with
digressions for Cambridge's Phoenix in the 1980s and a pre-history involving
paper tape in the 1970s.
I Listen. This has been a great asset in
learning my way round the various fields into which work has taken me. It
regularly helps in finding the right questions to ask and discovering others'
perspectives. This enables me to Explain even quite complex things to
those who wish to understand them.
I adapt rapidly to new situations and areas of
work. I originally trained as a mathematician pursuing my interest in
theoretical physics, and have since made my way in the world as a software
engineer. As each need has arisen – as informaticist, tool-wright,
integrator and in diverse other rôles – I have developed extensive
skills ranging from teaching and document preparation to tool and interface
design. Tracking the wiley bug to its lair also often requires deviousness and
ingenuity that benefit from keeping a flexible mind.
In the mean time, I've written many tools for my colleagues to use and
learned how to make effective use of (and re-program) others they were using,
including RCS and CVS – which I have been happy to leave behind in favour
of git, in which I continue
learning new tricks. I also touch-type, controling emacs via spinal
My mother tongue is English; I can also get by in Norwegian – if those
talking to me are gentle – and have been known to speak half-way fluent
French, 'though I am severely out of practice.