Who am I?

Hei, I am Alexander!

I promised to write a  introduction for my blog but have been very soaked with work and catching up on other topics. One goal I had this month was to again try to talk less about technical stuff with people I meet. So far I have failed to achieve that because I meet some very interesting people this month and of course had to ask them many questions. Some mention worthy was one person who was building FPGA hardware for satellite use cases and another guy who wrote a book about the Helvetica typeface. I have also been promoting the upcoming JAMstack Oslo meetup to anyone who wants to listen. During one of the discussions one person talked about Azure Functions. I had never heard about it and look forward to trying it out. It's always nice to see what is out there even though I don't plan to use it for something specific.

Any ways back to the topic on hand. You know my name now. I am under 30. My family moved from Kenya, to Norway during the late 90s. I may not look like it but I am practically  Norwegian and naturalized. We have been living here ever since, so it's like 20+ years something.

I dropped out of secondary school to learn how to become a hacker. I used some of the writings of Eric S. Raymond to guide me. If I can recall correctly the first programming language I wrote in was Python. From there I played around with the LAMP stack where I learned to use vanilla HTML, CSS and Javascript before venturing into game development. Trying to make games was a lot of fun and I got to learn C/C++, sprite management, win32 APIs, Direct X, OpenGL and more stuff I can’t recall. It was good times even though I did not really ship or sell anything to anyone.

Wanting to make some money. I started focusing in on iOS development where I spent a lot time reading Apple's documentation and learning Objective-C. I got my first coding job from my neighbor. At first he just wanted some help with a bunch of computers at the office. After he saw me several times with my MacBook he asked me if I could make apps. I told him I was still learning. To keep it short, I made their first apps. I learned a lot about working in a small team and still learning today.

Wanting to make games I tried to attend more game jams. I discovered Ludum Dare which led me to the awesome hacker space Bitraf. I very quickly fell in love with the place. The people I was meeting there knew so much and I was learning something new every day. After showing up frequently, I naturally got more responsibility by joining the board and overtime running the daily operations. Thinking back some of the new things I learned about here was the Raspberry Pie, Arduino, PostgreSQL, writing CLI tools, hacking on billing system and much more. I was here for a few years and tried todo consulting work after leaving my regular iOS job. It was interesting trying to make ends meet while doing a lot of volunteer work. I don't think I was ready for it since I eventually left to join a more regular 9-5 job.

After leaving Bitraf, I was working on Android and iOS applications for people in construction mainly. So just a bunch of checklist apps... It was fun playing with things like AngularJS (not the new stuff). I feel in love with the two way data-binding 😁 I also relearned that I don't like server side programming so much, it's okay todo it a little but would not enjoy for ex. working in a massive spring legacy project.

I guess I got tired of mobile development even though most of the apps I worked on were mostly mediocre if you compare them to amazing things in the Appstore. I wanted a challenge so I slowly tried to transition to network programming in the kernel community. I attended several of the Netdevconf conferences. Meet many interesting people and learned a lot about the various protocol layers for the internet. I even got a job at Covalent where I got to work full time on the Cilium project with great developers. Yeah, it was fun but writing Go code everyday and feeling stuck in user-space was not for me so I eventually left there after a short time.

It took a while to find out what I really want todo. I want to for now focus on becoming a better frontend developer which really means full stack nowadays. Also I would love to build Electron apps people use. It's fun to work on low level things and statically typed languages, but I love the feedback loop with dynamic languages more. It felt like Swift might have been a close alternative, but you still have to deal with limitations there.

This post is not a complete picture, but I wanted to get it out. Enjoy a picture from Wikipedia below of the first machine I bought (used), thanks for reading!

White Macbook from Jared C. Benedict
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