make something better

About

Software developer with strong focus on user experience, process and team-building. From Scotland, in Australia.

Trying to keep it generalist, but recently focused on web application development. Fortunate to have worked for startups, agencies, and bigger companies.

Currently building things in Melbourne. Eventually, wants to write some code that goes to space.

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Blog

200 Words on AlphaGo

mar '16

Originally written for a job application: "Describe something awesome in 200 words or less"

In 1996, for the last time, the world's greatest chess player, Kasparov, defeated a chess-playing supercomputer. In '97, after losing the inevitable rematch, he remarked on the "deep intelligence and creativity" in "Deep Blue"'s playing style.

Last week, the Man vs. Machine experiment was repeated with Go, a 4000 year-old game with simpler rules but much more vast in its complexity*...

Building

nov '15

I've never built a computer before.  As a developer who wants to understand as much of the stack I work with as possible, this feels like a gap in my knowledge that needs filling.

I started getting really into programming at about age 14, so I've been doing it for about 10 years now, and I've always gotten by using a mac as "my machine". I think my first computer was an inherited Power Mac G4. These were pretty cool: you could pull this latch and the entire side would hinge flat, so you could really see what was inside...

Clean

oct '15

Today I completely obliterated my first EC2 instance. A year ago I moved to Australia, and the lag when connecting to Dublin over SSH was just too much. I wanted a clean slate, running right here in Sydney.

This process is simple, and involves only a few steps. First, make sure everything you want to keep is backed up. Then shut it down, terminate the virtual machine that represents your server, sever it's connection to the internet it by disassociating its IP address, and destroy any attached storage volumes...

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Work

Talking Buses

aug '13 - aug '14

For my masters project, I implemented a navigation-assistance app for blind and visually impaired iOS users. This involved creating a back-end (based on python and MySQL) to store and serve bus service information, as well as a native iOS app (written in Objective-C) with a heavy focus on providing a solid UX using Apple's VoiceOver technology to clearly communicate real-time information to users who were unable to see the screen of the device. I was fortunate to meet fortnightly with members of the Royal National Institute for the Blind to iterate on prototypes, and run a cooperative evaluation against existing solutions not developed for this group of users to measure the impact of the design.

Github:

https://github.com/chriswait/TalkingBusesServer

More work...