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 (Ms J) 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, tactical environment simulation and real live avionics testing. We had fun convincing the RAAF that Booch clouds were harmless abstractions and not an inside joke. We railed against a process that wanted MIL standard 2167A and 1521 waterfalls and functional decomposition and we wanted to go all OO/Booch/Firesmith/Jacobsen on their ask and iterate our way towards mutually-beneficial project completion nirvana.

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


We ISO 9001-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 and laughed.

I have worked for my current employer — a US-based telecommunications and data networking solution provider — for a long time. I’m now called a systems engineer by some and an architect by others. It says Development Manager on my business cards and I take care of staff in four timezones.

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 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?”:

… 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.