About

Who am I?

My name is Chris. You can email me at this address.

No surname? I like to preserve a thin veil of anonymity so that my current (and future) employers allow me the luxury of presenting myself as I would like to be. I generally don’t blog about work, but sometimes I stray into my work’s technology and management domains.

I describe myself as a “software guy” because I have worked as a “programmer” of some type since December 5th 1988. When I started working IT was called EDP. When I started work, I was given an IBM 3270 terminal with APL keys.

I’ve been passionately in love with Jessica since 1990. In 1995 we were married. We have three beautiful children.

What is my field of expertise? Why should you read my stuff?

While I have experience with many things I’m not sure I can claim to know enough about any of them to call what I have “expertise.”

I have worked for a bank as a systems programmer. I wrote S/360 assembler, JCL, APL, NCL, punched cards to control cheque sorting machines, wrote C code using trigraphs and did my best to stay away from COBOL.

I have worked for a defense contractor on a system involving aircraft and tactical environment simulation as well as avionics testing. We had fun convincing the RAAF that Booch clouds were harmless abstractions and not a joke we were playing on them. We argued that clouds were serious replacements for the substantial polygons of times gone by. We railed against a process that wanted 2167A and 1521 waterfalls and functional decomposition when we wanted to go all OO/Booch/Firesmith/Jacobsen and iterate our way towards mutually-beneficial contract delivery nirvana.

“Smarter people than you wrote these standards” we were told. Ouch.

We ISO 9000-ed. We CMM-ed. We worshipped at the shiny brown altar of Watts Humphrey. We nodded in recognition when Walker Royce said his father’s waterfalls were taken out of context. We went to the pub. A lot.

I have worked for my current employer — a US-based telecommunications equipment and software company — for a long time. I’m now called a systems engineer by some people and an architect by others.

Politics? I think I’m centre-left. I’m not a card-carrying member of the Australian Labor Party, but I live with one. I have a strong interest in Australian, US, and other countries’ political landscape and issues.

I was an active member of the Australian Republican Movement for years before the convention and referendum. I didn’t like the model, the process, or the outcome. Thanks for asking.

I have an abiding interest in pop music. 80s pop. 90s pop. Synth pop. Techno pop. Anything with a hook, I’m there.

Why does Brainsnorkel exist?

I answered this in a post called “Why Blog?”:

I figure BS is that same radio program delivered from Sydney with no sound and better taste in music. It’s certainly not the second worst blog on the Internet. It is also very unlikely to be sued by the blog that aspires to be the second worst.

And why the name Brainsnorkel? Apart from BS being a good short form, there’s an explanation in the first post:

Why the brainsnorkel.com domain name?
1. URLs should be memorable
2. URLs should not require unique or difficult spelling
3. URLs should be a reasonably accurate representation of their content

2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

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