About willCode4Beer and Me, Paul
This is is a collection of things. It's my notebook where I drop bits of information that are useful to me. I find it to be a reference. I make it public in the hope that anything of use can be found by others. Search Engines, like Google, make it easy for people to find things.
The site is also my conversation. Unlike a traditional blog, I don't really post a lot of things about my personal life. I do try to open conversations. I like to challenge conventions. Sometimes, I just like to spout out a random idea to see what others think.
Who is the conversation with? Why it's you. You are here. Maybe you have points to add, maybe you disagree with me completely, maybe you found something useful, or perhaps, one of my ideas or solutions led you down the wrong path (I hope not). I'm interested in what you think. I use tools like Technorati, MyBlogLog, Google to connect the dots of how folks respond.
This site is my little place on the web. Come on in and have a cold draft.
I've just finished reading the Cluetrain Manifesto. It has changed the vocabulary I use when describing my site and I think it has adjusted the way I look at it as well.
Why No Comments on the Site?
I decided some time ago that I don't need to have comments on the site. I don't need to own the comments (or the conversation). I don't need try attempts to "keep the visitor on the site". So many folks have their own sites and blogs. The conversation, the web isn't about You or Me, it's about us, sharing ideas.
When I find a reference to one of my pages, I usually link to it. I especially like the ones that disagree with me. I see links between pages as the way we connect threads of a conversation.
What if you have a response and don't have a site, or just want to drop a quick note? You can always email me at email@example.com If you want to bring others into the conversation, post something up on DZone, Reddit, Digg, Stack Overflow or whatever. I'll find your message there, and so will others. Maybe somebody we've never met before can offer some briliant insight that neither of us have thought of. You could even send an email saying where the conversation is taking place.
If something was really useful, maybe you can buy me a beer one day. If something led you in the wrong direction, I'll buy you one.
So, About Me
I'm a software engineer. I've been doing this for a while, and I'm always trying to learn to be better at it. I didn't study this in school, I actually studied Civil Engineering. I spend time looking for best practices, and better (simpler) ways to do things. I'm always learning new things. I've also come to the conclussion that sometimes, the best way to learn to do things better is by suffering the consequenses of doing it wrong. Even better, learn by the suffering someone else has gone through.
I did a stint in the US Army as an Airborne Combat Engineer. I spent most of that time in the 27th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC (Rough Terrain baby). Though I've moved on, a piece of me will always be there. It changed me, for the better in a lot of ways. One major thing I took away, there is always a solution. You may not have the tools or equipment you need but, unique solutions can often be found with what is at hand. Then again, maybe I just watched too much Macgyver as a kid.
I've got a little sailboat (ComPac 16) that I like to cruise around San Franscisco Bay. I'm fairly new to the area, and I love the fact that there's always enough wind. It's a beautiful place to sail.
I picked up my Pilot's license a few years ago. It was a dream I had since childhood. It's amazing how much smaller the world becomes when you fly.
I've been an electronics hobbiest for as long as I can remember. There's always been something alluring about soldering together a bunch of componets to create something that does something. My current interests are BEAM robotics, and working with really high voltage projects.
For info about my professional life, I just refer to LinkedIn. The profile isn't 100% complete but, it's useful
About the Site
I'm currently using JVDS to host the site. I highly recommend them, and unlike most companies in the IT world, they provide excellent service. I like the virtual machine because, with root access, I can experiment or setup services on the server.
I use ChangeIP for my DNS. This is kind of legacy because I once hosted the site out of my living room. Their customer service kind of sucks. Fortunately, I don't need it much.
It's not the most beautiful site around but, hey, I'm an engineer. I did try to keep the design simple and clean. I hope that makes it easier to read.