ParudaMost of the netbeings who know me know me as Paruda, the technical administrator of Stick in the MUD.
Paying the Bills
So what do I do? Ah, such a complicated question. I guess the answer I give usually depends on who asks:
I prefer the word engineer to the word developer, but while I do have an engineering degree, I've never considered it worth my while to officially register with Ontario's licensing body for engineers, so I'm not a software engineer. I suppose there are worse things in life than not being allowed to call yourself an engineer.
So what's a UNIX software developer do that's so special? It's probably more a philosophy than a strict technological thing these days. Many of the things I call UNIX things are now Mac things, Linux things, and even Windows things, although in the latter case we don't talk much about those.
UNIX things are things that can be and are done naturally in a UNIX environment. Some examples:
All of these can of course be done these days without using UNIX or UNIX-like tools, but where's the fun in that? The great thing about UNIX is that you (well, I) get to stitch together solutions to problems that can all intermingle with each other effortlessly.
How to turn into Paruda
So how did I get where I am? Hmm well, I'm a graduate of the
University of Toronto (metallurgical engineering, the perfect degree
for someone who has taken a sacred vow never to reside outside of a
big city). That was hell. Met some great people, though, so I guess
it wasn't a total waste of time. And they had great computing
facilities, which allowed me to learn something outside of a degree
I wasn't all that interested in. Unlike most institutions, they
gave all the engineering undergrads year-round access to some wicked
UNIX servers and workstations. And hey, if you're one of those
great people who's just happened to stumble upon my web page, give
me a shout. I'd love to hear from you.
What did I do between then and now? My last job was the Chief Macintosh Gruntologist (hey, we didn't have titles so it's up to me to make one up) at iSTAR Internet. Or is that InfoRamp.... Or HotStar.... Or InfoWeb.... Who the heck knew? Such was the nature of the Internet business at the time: mergers, buyouts, and strategic alliances. What started as a pretty cool tech support job for a quality service provider turned into an assembly-line counselling job for involuntarily displaced customers, trying in vain to soothe their anxiety about their good local dialup being swallowed up by a big company run by clueless salesmen.
Stuff On Paruda's Radar
Paruda, also known as Derek England in what some people call real life, is a Unix geek in Toronto, Canada. When not applying his geeking skills to working for the man, he likes to draw cartoons and serve as overbearing overlord on Stick in the MUD.