It’s Alive!

This blog has been dormant for a few years. This has mainly been down to a lack of time, but also a touch of burnout with writing purely tech-related posts.

Since the last blog post I’ve been learning the programming language Rust (which then got me interested in trying out OCaml), and I’ve been heavily involved with Python microservices based around Django REST Framework or Flask. I also spoke about neurodiversity at PyConUK 2016, with particular reference to Autism, Aspergers, and ADHD in STEM fields. The talk ended up very popular, to my great surprise (but also excitement) and I hope the subject will be picked up by others.

With my parallel career, I qualified as one of the first snowboard instructors in the UK to be licensed to teach disabled snowboarders. For a time I was one of only two instructors teaching the discipline in the UK, and still form part of a very small group of such instructors a few years later. Given the qualification does not have a route for advancement at the moment, I have taken the decision to follow the adaptive ski qualification progression with the aim of taking it to the top (Level 3, ISIA) level. This supersedes my original plans for Level 3 Snowboard, given the L3 Technical exam’s freestyle requirements are unlikely to ever be attainable by me. I still plan to take the L3 Teach exam for snowboarding, as it has more relevance to me and counts as an ISIA module for the adaptive ski.

I’ve also been more vocal about my politics. I’ve always been very political, although never subscribed to any particular party and have been a floating voter since my first election in 1997. I nearly signed up with the Pirate Party UK last year, but disagreed on some fundamental issues outside their core areas of privacy and civil liberties. Plus I don’t see them as a particularly active force in the UK, especially given our antiquated FPTP election system. Instead, I joined the Liberal Democrats the week after the EU referendum. The decision was easy in the end: I subscribe to their core values, there are no deal-breakers with their manifesto, they opposed the Investigatory Powers Bill, and have been very active in championing the views of the 48% of voters who cast a vote for Remain in the referendum.

This blog is going to expand to cover snowsports, politics, and anything else I find of interest. Tech is more than just programming languages and frameworks, and to limit my view to just that had served a purpose at the time but feels restrictive now.

No matter what technology you use, or how you get down a mountain, or what political views you hold, I hope you find the change interesting.

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