About Me

Who I am and why I am doing this

My name is Thomas Gideon. I have been writing on this site, in one form or another, for almost two decades. I have also published podcast episodes here over the years. I write and speak about the practice and profession of programming and the intersection of society with technology, especially from the perspective of a creator of technology. I advocate for free, open, and interoperable software, devices, and systems.

I have been programming since 1985, my first language was BASIC. I started as a professional in 1995, moving through Visual Basic to ASP then started broadening to other languages, mostly focused on web applications and services. My current favorite language is Rust, which I have been writing in since 2107. I have enjoy writing a lot of Typescript for my current day job since the end of 2021.

My broader interest in the impact of technology on our lives started when I first felt overwhelmed by technology news, a few years into this century. I started writing, then podcasting, to help make sense of what I was reading and seeing. I published my first podcast episode in 2005. My podcast has tailed off lately, the habits I developed through it still help me to make sense of how technology continues to ramify through our lives.

I am more and more convinced that as a creator of software, I own responsibility for the effects it has on those around me. I feel that free and open software and systems are necessary, though insufficient, to practice responsible software development. My interest in free and open licenses started the same time I started writing, for similar reasons.

Many of the popular technology news websites at the time covered free and open source software, primarily Linux. A good friend in college introduced me to Linux years before. That was a copy of Slackware on something like forty 3.5 inch floppy disks. A few years later, I was finally hooked. I have used Linux daily ever since, except for a brief infatuation with a certain vintage of Apple laptops that I thankfully outgrew. I rarely advise others to use Linux but I do encourage everyone to examine their choices of technology and at least learn what options are out their.

I created the current version of this site in 2021. I adopted a static site generator, zola, which I felt was better suited to how I use this site. Previously I used WordPress but the effort to maintain it was greater than the benefits I realized from all of its features. I have always self hosted this website and in recent years, have taken to self hosting more and more of my own services.