Over the years I’ve occasionally been involved in the interviewing process, here are some of the ways I’ve been impressed.

Fundamentals

You know the basics of computer science and by the basics I mean you can converse intelligently about things like bits and bytes, branching and iteration in your language of choice, and which programming languages you’re familiar with would best suit a specific task.

I know a lot of people aren’t classically trained computer science graduates, but if you came to the field without a basic understanding of what I consider the fundamentals then I’m just going to be disappointed…


You’re a software engineer, you’re at an interview, what telltale signs should you be looking for that may indicate a questionable employer?

1. No interview room has been booked in advance

Companies are in business and they survive (usually) by making money. Well, if they’re not ‘disruptive’ startups, quangos, or a department of the civil service, but hey I digress.

Making money is generally associated with having at least a modicum of organisation and an offshoot of this is being able to furnish the interview process with a room in which to hold meetings.

I’ve been there. Admitted to a building, met the interviewer in a busy corridor, been led on an impromptu tour of said building looking for a vacant meeting room. Booking failure mode engaged.

Whilst this failure could…


Will an enforced return to the office lead to a tsunami of resignations in the software engineering workforce?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Many things have changed over the last year or so in the world of software engineering. It was already easier to remote work, as a software work unit, than in many other professions and forward looking companies had already begun to cast their net wider for better or locally unavailable talent by allowing fully remote employees to join the party.

The current pandemic has already undoubtably accelerated the inevitable move to remote working. With the IT infrastructure now available and the imperative…


Have you ever had those times when you’re too lazy to manually beep out all of the swearing? I may have a ducking answer.

ElectroBOOM

I was watching a recent video from ElectroBOOM’s channel on YouTube where he constructed a “&#!$%ing Button” to bleep out and censor a range of swearing and profanity.

As I have little to no electrical knowhow when it comes to actual physical electronics, I wondered if there was an easier solution for us software, rather than hardware, engineers.

High Level Software

So’s not to waste time mucking about in low level languages¹, and having seen a recent video on…


When the notorious Time Lord prepared the Ultimate Sanction was he using the work of the mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose?

The Ultimate Sanction

Facing what looked like inevitable defeat in the final days¹ of the Last Great Time War, Lord President Rassilon planned for the Time Lords to ascend to “creatures of consciousness alone” to escape the fall of the universe.

Rassilon proposed a method whereby a paradox so severe could be created that it would subsequently cause a violent and catastrophic spatial-temporal rupture powerful enough to rip apart and obliterate the Time Vortex itself.

Mapping this onto our current understanding of…


The ongoing pandemic may have influenced your memory when it comes to the daily commute. Don’t let it.

The Rat Race

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
- Lily Tomlin

Commuting is something, particularly if you work in an office, that you might previously have taken for granted. Now, after a year of primarily remote working, you may have forgotten what a drain on your own time and resources it really is.

Pre-pandemic, it was a trade-off between the desirability of a job versus the amount of unpaid overtime you’re going…


If we assume that consciousness arises as a natural consequence of complexity, then true conscious AI may already be in existence.

Since electronic technology came into existence progress has been both rapid and substantial. From the early days of huge computing machines occupying whole warehouses, requiring continual maintenance, generating enormous amounts of heat, and guzzling vast amounts of power — we now have pocket sized what are effectively supercomputers running on just a trickle of energy.

Computers entered the mainstream decades ago and rapidly came to fill every niche that they came across. Everything from washing laundry and air-conditioning offices…


Do we have to wait until we evolve into a state where we can rediscover the necessary technology? Will someone save us?

A Set of Simulations

You may have noticed a theme in some of my articles — that of being inside some kind of large scale simulation that appears to be startling real. So real in fact that it is utterly indistinguishable from actual reality, you wouldn’t even know that you’re in it.

I’ve considered that such a simulation may be the unavoidable ultimate state of humanity, or perhaps a choice we will make in the future.

We may indeed have chosen to…


The perennial software problem that has divided engineers for decades.

A Line in the Code

There are two types of people in the world of software engineering¹ when it comes to a legacy product- those that are prepared to rewrite and those that are not.

Sometimes people, usually managers in this case, just want to hang on until the dear end come what may and keep on patching away until they are left with the software equivalent of the Ship of Theseus.

Let’s talk, briefly I hope, about the common pros and cons of a rewrite and understand why a ‘progressive rewrite’ is never a…


Aced the interview, hit the target salary, pocket full of shares? Here are some vital tips for your new ‘office life’.

Office Working 101

The world of software engineering can be fun, exciting, and challenging — but it can also be humiliating, frustrating, and overwhelmingly disappointing.

It’s a rare event when an employer manages to align the stars just right for your first day — bringing a desk, chair, and computer into the same region of local spacetime is of a similar difficulty to finding a workable solutions to Einstein’s field equations where spacetime is made entirely of quark muffins and neutrino unicorns.

Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.

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