Friday, July 17, 2009

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

You might recognize the title of this post as Admiral Stockdale's opening line from the 1992 vice-presidential debate. Stockdale was famously unprepared for the debate, and something in the tone of his opening rhetorical questions gave the impression that he really didn't know the answer.

It's cheap and easy to criticize someone else's mistake as a way of claiming that you're not making the same mistake. So of course I want you to believe that I do know who I am and why I'm here.

I write software, sometimes for a living, sometimes just because software is interesting and figuring out how to do something complicated that I've never done before is more satisfying than a lot of things. I mostly use Java, because I know it pretty well, and because it strikes a good balance between understandability and efficiency. I'm more interested in making big complex things run fast, and not so interested in the zillions of little workhorse programs that don't do anything particularly speedy or exotic but make the world run. I think in terms of frameworks more than applications, which is a rare luxury when you're writing software for money, which is something I'm not expecting to make from my own projects.

I'm starting this blog as a way of explaining to myself (and anyone bored enough to tune in) what I'm doing and why. There's no better way to discover that your ideas are full of holes than to try to give a coherent explanation of them.

I expect to be an inconstant poster, subject to the ebb and flow of distraction and concentration, enthusiasm and apathy.

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