I radically explore the known and the unknown.
I help make the web awesome.
Before I die, I wish to see everyone enabled to do what they love, share their love with the entire world, and live well. This is a big calling, and I'm chipping away at it steadily.
This has worked well for me so far; for several years I was the most active Open-Source developer in Australia and one of the most prolific in the world; my technical projects have been used in some of the world's biggest web-sites/apps (Basecamp, Spotify, Ustream) and by some of the world's biggest companies (Microsoft, Adobe, GitHub, Atlassian), touching their millions of users; my non-technical projects have also seen adoption over the years.
The key skill set I've used to accomplish this is my natural ability to quickly understand complex systems and simplify them in disruptive ways, a burning need to do good in the world, and an instinctive tenacity for always finding a way even in the most difficult of situations.
I'm human too.
I'm absorbed in the art of simple and nomadic living, with a vegan life-style and ahimsa values. The data cannot recommend this lifestyle more highly.
Through difficult and often traumatic times in my life, I've had the recurring personal afflictions of skin picking, hair pulling, and panic attacks. Since opening up about these aspects first to friends and then publicly in 2015 (at age 26), the overwhelming burden of shame I carried dissipated, which allowed me to move my attention from hating myself and hiding symptoms, to accepting myself and fixing causes, with the surprising help of friends and other strugglers, down the road to an ever more resilient life. If you ever want to talk about it, feel free.
I'm a privileged heterosexual white male born into a middle class society. I note this for these reasons, (1) the practice of prejudice continues when people judge from these inherited properties instead of from character, (2) generalising is innate and correlations between identity and character exist, however the degree that someone's identity has influenced their character fluctuates from person to person (so while identity influences character, remember to access your judgements properly), and (3) due to the work of my ancestors and society I've been afforded more free time (but no less agency) to spend continuing the tradition of increasing people's potential for self-actualisation (the head-start is thanks to my identity, the choices of how to spend my time is a matter of character).
I'm a big believer in ephemeral living. I've recently discovered that I'm my own person. Coming up with great questions and answering them - staying true to myself by discovering myself - enabling joy and reducing oppression through education - are all passages deeply rooted in my soul.
I've done many things.
In 2002 (age 12/13), I started Central TAFE night school earning my Certificates 1 to 4 in different programming concepts and languages, working with C, C#, Pascal, COBOL, Perl, PHP, ASP and other languages. During the day I was at Como Secondary College in the accelerated learning SSST program (a year ahead in Science, Maths, and Technology subjects) as well as in the Hockey Academy (doing 25 hours a week of Field Hockey, I was fit). It placed me in an interesting position of being a frat-boy and a nerd, the teachers worked with myself and another boy to use our influence to squash the bullying of our peers, it worked well. For fun, I rollerbladed, played Age of Empires endlessly, did sleep overs, and hacked the school’s Windows network for fun with friends, earning us the position of “intern advisors” for the school’s security and network systems.
In 2007 (age 17/18), I moved out of home with 2 other university friends into a house right next to the university, it was an amazing time, and an amazing Bachelor Pad of alchohol, pool billiards tables, bars, and mattresses and friends everywhere all the time, it was a non-stop study and work infused party, and we loved it. It was also the time I published the jQuery Lightbox Plugin, which went on to become one of the most popular jQuery plugins of the time. Throughout these university/freelancing years I was stepped into the worlds of Pickup Artistry, Personal Devleopment, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy, Open Relationships, Sexual Positivity, Halo 3, Road Trips, Open-Source, Simple Living, and other Extreme Lifestyle Experiments… it was all packed full of confidence and experimenting, and it was wicked fun.
In 2008 (age 18/19), after an intense week of exams, daily alcohol, daily marijuana, first-time LSD, and first-time MDMA, I ended up in a moment of pure terror believing my lung had collapsed, ended up unconscious, woke up in hospital via ambulance, and diagnosed with a panic attack… my Stress Bucket had finally overflowed and it was terrifying… I left that night with Depersonalisation Disorder, and over 6 months began hallucinating, hearing voices, and having night terrors, afraid to sleep. Having one terrifying night terror that left me questioning my safety, I had my family take me to the GP to get help and eventually see a Clinical Psychiatrist who helped me through it, with a further diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Panic Disorder. After 6 months of further recovery, I got through it to normality once again, and another 6 months later until I was able to have caffeine again.
In 2009 (age 19/20), I started feeling a lot of guilt for my fantastic life while others were in poverty. In January 2010, I went to Bali for the first time with my father and an Exchange Student, we had a fantastic time, but I was also harrowed by the poverty I encountered… It would go on to increase my investment to do good by the world.
In 2010 (age 20/21), my foray into kinder food choices began. I had watched this talk and immediately stopped consuming fish. A while later, for some reason or the other, I stopped using dairy for milk. I also developed a new relationship, and my first closed-relationship, to a wonderful woman who helped me mature in life and work very much so.
In 2012 (age 22/23), I left the amazing Acid Green who where running out of work for me, to consult for the Melbourne startup BugHerd, earning my highest hourly rate so far. I developed their first Client-Side Web Application solution along with other innovations like Live Collections and a Cross-Browser Screenshot Extension. Once that ended, I burnt through my savings going all in with attempting to transform Bevry's loss-leader DocPad into a profitable income stream. At one point I ran out of money, and a person called Kasper Tidemann out of nowhere, a History.js user, bailed me out with some cash and sound advice for finding new clients, which I did, thanks to him.
In 2014 (age 24/25), the funding ended and I burned out from 10 years of professional programming and of life in general, after a while I embraced Moneyless Living and became a volunteer at a donation-based vegan soup kitchen in Sydney. It was perhaps the most rewarding work I've ever done in my life. I actually got to smile, laugh, and interact with people, solving a real need - joyous food and great company - without discrimination (even financial). I also was unable to find enough paying work that allowed me to continue my Open-Source endeavours and lived homeless in the streets of Sydney for a few months.
In 2015 (age 25/26), I hitchhiked 10,000KM throughout Australia, notably between Perth, Uluru, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Nullabor, and back to Perth. It was an adventure of a life-time. At some point, I desire to commence foot on the Bibbulmum Track, a 1,000KM walk from Perth to Albany in Western Australia. I plan on doing this alone to discover what doors it opens and closes for me.
In 2016 (age 26/27), I completed the last unit of my degree after a 6 year hiatus, becoming a Bachelor of Computer Science (Information Technology) graduate enabling global employment. I also gave the talk Elegantly Produce & Consume Compiled Packages at Node.js Interactive Europe 2016 and worked through some private matters.
I write, some of my favourites are:
I talk, some of my favourites are:
- Why the next big thing sucks @ Meta Refresh 2013
- A road to open-source @ Hacker Retreat 2014
- Open-Source will leave you behind @ National Institute of Design: Gyan Adda 2013
I teach, some of my favourites are:
- Organiser and Trainer @ Node School Berlin 2014
- DocPad & WebRTC Trainer @ Myplanet Digital 2013 & 2014
I code, some of my favourites are:
- DocPad: A static-site generator with dynamic abilities.
- History.js: Cross-browser stateful web applications.
I read, some of my favourites are:
The 5th most active open-source developer in Australia via GitHub
The 223rd most active open-source developer in the world via GitHub
Created 267 open-source projects via GitHub
Working with open-source every day, I'm serious about open-collaboration. I've made over 1,500 contributions to the open-source scene in the past year and had my work starred by over 21,000 fellow developers.
The 13th most watched developer in Australia via GitHub
By following someone on GitHub, you are indicating that you love their work enough to be notified of every single piece of code they publish, big or small. Having 881 followers is a fantastic testimonial of my professional taste and impact on the web development community.
The opportunity of speaking and training people around the world is one that I'm so humbled to have. I can think of nothing better than inspiring, empowering, and connecting with amazing individuals all across the globe.
DocPad rethought web development and was the first big static site generator for Node.js gaining over 2000 stars, hundreds of daily users, 200 plugins, and 100 contributors.
History.js became one of the most game changing and popular utilities for web developers. Freelancers all the way to enterprise used it to lead the way into stateful web applications. It was huge.