I hate to define myself by my job– I’m opposed to doing so on principle– but currently my job really is one of my more interesting features– I’m doing full time open source programming on the npm command line client for npm, inc, npm being the javascript package manager that’s best known for coming with Node.js.

Now, my profession is also my hobby. Almost was only a hobby– when I was a teen I was convinced I’d never enjoy it as a job as it’d mean having to write code when the inspiration wasn’t there. And yes, truly, that is less-fun, but you learn to roll with it.

As such, it should be little surprise that I’ve published more than a few modules over the years, some in node.js, some in Perl, some in languages that will not be spoken of.

I also have some unusual highlights in my career including starting an ISP, a pre-iPhone mobile-gaming start up based on XMPP, JavaScript and SVG, and not least of which, having built the backend for the first version of the Kuwait Stock Exchange’s website (including a trip there whose highlights included: fixing bugs in the basement while the US embassy encouraged us to leave the country due to Saddam Hussein’s troops massing on the border).

Sooo… that’s what I DO, but who am I?

I’m a late 30s unix programmer whose planning to marry her primary partner in May of 2015. I live in Cambridge with my fiancée and our two dogs. (Over time, location is variable and number of dogs may increase.)

From another perspective my current twitter bio puts it this way:

Cynical optimist, intersectional feminist, concurrent pragmatist, anti-utopianist, async determinist, parser partisan, poly, queer, trans, in that order.

So let’s break that down:

  • Cynical optimist – You know how people say “individuals are awesome but people are terrible”? Well, I kind of believe the opposite. Any person can be good or bad, and sure, there’s a lot wrong with the world right now, but I have a great deal of hope for the future.
  • Intersectional feminist – That is, you’ve got to understand that oppressions are multiplicative, not additive, and as such trying to be reductionist will lead you astray. That said, there are a family of oppressions that are specially centered in misogyny– there’s a reason that queer-theory grew out of feminist academic spaces.
  • Concurrent pragmatist – There kind of a few things going on here (haha)– first, across the board I prefer the pragmatic to the idealistic. Give me something that works over something pure. This is also kind of an oblique reference to my programming preference for async + processes for concurrency over, say, threading.
  • Anti-Utopianist – I distrust utopianists because history shows that its far to easy for them to fall into “ends justifies the means” reasoning for the purported utopia. So even if their ends are lovely, I ain’t willing to sit through their means to get there.
  • Async Determinist – This and the next are programming ones– I’ve grown to prefer async based “concurrency” over anything else on offer. Though if you’re gonna make it debuggable, you’d best factor your program to make your bits deterministic.
  • Parser Partisan – Similarly, I’m fond of writing parsers, s’which probably ties into my latent interest in linguistics and languages.
  • Poly – My fiancée and I are polyamorous, so you may hear talk of her boyfriends or girlfriends. (Less so me, as I’m not motivated to have more partners. I wouldn’t turn away if something comes along, but I’m also not out there looking, you know?)
  • Queer – I won’t be pinned down by your “orientations” but I ain’t straight. 😉 In practice, I’m nearly exclusively interested in other women.
  • Trans – For political reasons I think it’s important to publicly be out as trans, though it’s not a central part of how I understand myself. That said, some days it does seem like a disproportionate number of the most awesome people I know are trans or otherwise gender variant… what’s up with that?
  • George

    Things are a bit confusion nowadays (at least for some of us – me included), so even if your description of yourself is reasonable long, it doesn’t help me to get an idea about you in areas that are relevant for me. So could you tell us each one of the billions of cells of your body, what gonosome do they have? XX or XY?

  • Pope Francisc

    Man, your brain is soo cooked! Repent and live!

Whatever fills my mind…