Thomas GideonI am a thinker, a speaker, a maker and a leader.

Someone once called me a hacker philosopher. I kind of like that. Others have criticized my discussions of programming as being too abstract or not practical enough. I am OK with that too. You cannot swing a search engine without hitting a post about some technology, tool or practice. There are some excellent communities that are all about discussions of those exact topics. I don’t think I have a lot to add in those areas but do think that a broader contemplation of principles and concepts becomes necessary at a certain point in one’s progress as a programmer. If that makes me too contemplative for some, so be it. I’d rather think too much about software as a practice, as a craft, than not enough. The same holds for all of the rest of the topics I delve into on this site.

I am doing my best to share my thoughts and experiences here. “Story teller” may be more apt than “speaker” but it doesn’t make for as nice a tag line. Since I podcast as well as write, speaker fits well enough. I have been known to get up in front of a live audience though I do that least frequently of all the forms of story telling I pursue. I believe pretty strongly in the complement of speaking, listening. I love that saw about the reason for humans having two ears and one mouth is we should listen twice as much as we speak. At all events, speaking is really about communication. Communication requires a two way flow, so I speak but I work as hard as I can to be a good listener, too.

My first passion is making software. I list it third to remind myself that thinking and listening are important activities that when prioritized well make us more effective programmers. The main, though not exclusive, focus of my career has been coding. I have done stints as a manager and even tried out working in the public interest. I learned many things away from my editor and compiler, things that make me a more well rounded person and professional. The most important thing I have learned each time is that my true passion lies in inhabiting and exploring the realm of source code.

There are many forms of leadership. I am better at some than others. I am usually reluctant to lead but as often as not find myself in some sort of a leadership role. My most recent experiences as a leader have strongly reminded me that whatever native talent I may have for it, I still have a ton to learn to really put that potential to the best use. I try to remember that as much as I can, to help me focus on humility. I think humility is a good place to start in order to be the best kind of leader.