I was born and raised in Australia, and lived there for most of my life, but I moved to Ukraine in 2019 to experience a new and different culture, lifestyle, and language.
The question I get asked most is "why Ukraine?".....
The answer to which is actually a bit strange. I knew I wanted to move to Europe, but was unsure of which country to choose. I started making some friends online, and without knowing in advance where any of them were from, the majority ended up being Ukrainian. So I took it as a sign of where the world was leading me. Now here I am!
My first programming experience was when I was only 9 or 10 years old. I attempted to adapt code for a blackjack game written in AmigaBasic to the Dick Smith Wizzard (also known as the CreatiVision in many parts of the world) - I didn't succeed, but it was a great learning experience.
I returned to programming as a hobby in my late teens, learning a bit of C while developing a text-based game with friends. Unfortunately the Daleken project has long since been laid to rest, however the code base is still available in the wild and a few other MUDs credit Daleken as a source of both inspiration and code.
In 2009 I decided to move into programming as a career, beginning with a diploma of web design. Soon afterwards I started my first job as a web developer, and have been in the industry ever since.
Most of my knowledge is self-taught and I have always tried to be a versatile programmer, having learned C++, C#, VB.NET, Java, and a few others just to fulfill some requirements for different work projects. My current love for Python also came from a very small work task.
In the last couple of years I've also become a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast, keeping abreast of the challenges and changes (social, technological, and legal) that accompany these new advancements.
I've been heavily involved in open source since about 2010.
All of my own software has been released under an open source license on my old website, although my work on this software is on hold given everything else I have going on in life right now. I plan to slowly move all of my software here, and hopefully make some updates in the future, although I can't promise anything right now.
I am also a developer and forum moderator at PortableApps.com which is an open source community creating portable versions of existing Windows software, and I am a community moderator on Reddit for r/brave_browser and r/BATProject - the two official Reddit channels for Brave.
I have also worked for cinemas at two different times in my life in roles covering projection, maintenance, management, customer service, software development, and social media management.
These days it is more a labour of love for me - assisting with social media and advertising just in my free time.
In late 2020 I began the Kyiv English Book Exchange - a small project to give the local English speakers and the expat crowd of Kyiv access to a range of English-language books for trade.
As someone who loves to read, but is also interested in keeping a somewhat minimalist lifestyle (and I'm sure I'm not the only expat in Kyiv with both of these interests), this initiative gives our community a wider range of books to read through trading, without needing to constantly buy books and then figure out what to do with them afterwards if we don't want a library at home.
I consider myself lucky to be both a logical and creative type, but sometime it is a curse too because there aren't enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.
I've had an interest in photography going back many many years, and have picked it up again as of late 2019. This time around it is as a serious passion, not just something for holiday snaps, and I am pushing myself weekly to do or learn something new.
I also write on PublishOx - a blogging platform through which you can earn cryptocurrency by reading and/or writing articles.
On a more physically creative note I paint (and do some other crafty things) which you can find on my Facebook page.
I've also played guitar and bass on and off since I was a teenager, and have been writing electronic music for a few years. You can find my electronic music on SoundCloud below, all of it is released under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license so it is free to download & use for non-commercial purposes.