Building software is something that I love, it’s been my hobby for over 20 years and my profession for only a few years less. I do have a life (with a family and hobbies that brings me joy) outside of it, but it is one of my true pleasures.

It offers a lot: it’s a craft you can hone and perfect; there are aspects of science, maths, creativity, logic and humanity all balanced together; it can give you an enormous sense of achievement; it gives you the chance to communicate and collaborate with amazing people and it allows you a lot of mental space to go roaming.

But I’ve been feeling restless for a long time, because I haven’t felt like I’ve been participating with my peers enough. The things I’ve worked on professionally, in the last few years, have been largely been things that lived behind closed doors. The circle of people I interacted with professionally was quite small.

Another ennui factor is that I haven’t felt the space to be able to pursue my own ideas. I don’t believe that any one idea, by itself, is that valuable. But being able to explore it and turn it into something real is.

My little side projects over the last few years have started to scratch that itch. But they, LZSSE in particular, were also enough to make me understand that I needed more.

Because of that, I’ve decided to start my own business, Burning Candle Software. Part of what we’ll be doing will give me the chance to work with more of you (contracting, development services, consulting, mentoring). I’ve worked remotely before (both internationally and interstate), so that isn’t an obstacle for me. If you have a problem that needs solving and you think I’d be a good fit, reach out. Even if we can’t come to an arrangement, I’m always happy to help where I can.

Some of that might include expanding or integrating the technology (or similar things) from this blog. If you’re interested in that, I’d be very happy to hear from you.

It will also give me the freedom to choose when to pursue my own ideas, some of which will end up as open source and contributed back to the community (with the usual technical detail blog posts) and maybe even one or two will become commercial (or maybe both at the same time).

Finally, I’m looking forward to getting more in touch with the local development community in Perth, who I have not had much of a chance to engage with in recent years. It will be fun both learning from them and providing mentoring where I can.

I’ve had a pretty varied career; I’ve worked in games, I’ve done focused graphics and computational geometry research in a corporate lab environment, I’ve lead teams, I’ve been involved with engineering large scale projects (like smart card systems), built bespoke and packaged software used all over the world and been the lead developer/quantitative analyst for an algorithmic trading firm. I’ve had experience in areas like graphics, performance optimization, distributed systems, high performance networking, compression, image processing, machine learning, natural language processing, geographic systems and am hoping to get experience in many more (VR!).

This is new for me and that’s a little intimidating. But I’m here and I want to contribute.

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13 June 2016