About Me

Work/Life Balance

This isn’t my normal tech-ish posting; this is a more personal view at how Corporate America and tech startups and the like are abusing their workforce. I don’t mean the sort of abuse seen in the service industry (below minimum wages needing to be supplemented with tips; excessive overtime; all that stuff). I’m talking about white collar tech jobs. The sort of jobs I did; likely the sort of jobs you’re doing (if you’re reading this blog); office workers…

Imposter Syndrome

We all know what imposter syndrome is. We may all have suffered from it at some point. I know I did. We may even know, rationally, that this isn’t a sensible thing. One good representation of this was from David Whittaker Yet despite this whenever I started a new job I was always worried that I wasn’t the right person for it; that I’d fail to deliver.

I still dunno what I want to do

Recently I wrote about how I got here without knowing what it was I wanted to do. That was a prelude to the other half of the equation; I may not know what I want, but I do know what I don’t want. At this moment in my life, I don’t to work. At all. I want to have the luxury to be able to lie in, to read a book, to stay up late hacking on some code or whatever…

I dunno what I want to do

One of the most annoying interview questions is “where do you see yourself in five years time?“. I hate it. I have no vision of the future like this. Hell, I barely know what I want to do tomorrow. I’m good at foreseeing the future, honest! So my first job, straight out of uni, was with a small Greek shipping company. I learned a lot there ‘cos I had to do it all.

Career advice

I get email… What are your thoughts about making a career out of specialising in Unix? It seems like you’ve done quite well… Interesting question… Realise that I started doing this 30 years ago. At that time there was no Windows (Windows 1.0 was around the corner). We had DOS. Networking was mostly serial based; if you were (un)lucky you might have had Banyon Vines or Novell or some other proprietary network stack.

What made me start thinking about security

Back in 1984 I thought I was pretty good at writing programs for my BBC Micro. I could write BASIC programs that worked; I was learning 6502 assembler. I could hack on programs, break copy protection. I definitely knew more than my teachers. But my brother was able to break my code. For example, I wrote a simple “football” program for him. The idea was that he’d select two teams and the game would simulate a match and generate some scores.