What we have here, is a failure to communicate!

February 15th, 2009

It's not easy being a Scotsman in England. Some of the locals have difficulty understanding my accent. I'm living in Oxford now, but it was the same in London. Recently, I had trouble ordering a coffee...

Me: Hi. I would like a tall white Americano to take away please.

Coffee guy: (shouts) Tall black Americano to go.

Me: Sorry, white.

Coffee guy: (shouts) Two Americanos to go.

Me: No, no. A white Americano.

Coffee guy: Both white, or just one?



Ubuntu, you've done it again

January 14th, 2009

I may have spoken too soon regarding no having internet access. I just plugged in my Sony Ericsson phone via USB, switch it to 'phone mode' and Ubuntu instantly recognised the phone as a modem.

I did have mobile internet working on an older release of Ubuntu, but not without scouring the internet and typing magic incantations in to the command line. I love it when computers 'just work'!

I'm tempted to try it again in Vista to compare, but I really should get back to the packing.


I've moved to Oxford

January 14th, 2009

As of tomorrow (Thursday 15 Jan) I'll be living in Oxford. Let me know if you need my new address. My landline number will change, but you can still get me on my mobile.

I wont have Internet access at home for a while, so I apologise if I can't answer emails until then.

Now back to the packing!


My CV / Resume

June 19th, 2008

It seems it is a good time to be a Python developer, after my last post I received a number of good leads. All before I had finished my CV.


Looking for a Python Role In London

June 16th, 2008

Its seems I'm on the job-market again.

I'm a software developer with over 10 years experience. I'm looking for a role working with Python, which has been the focus of my career for the last 18 months. Prior to that I worked with a mixture of C/C++ and Python. Ideally I'm looking for something in web development as I enjoy working with HTML / CSS and Javascript, but I'm open to other fields that may interest me. I have experience working with Turbogears and Django, as well as many other Python modules and technology.

I enjoy developing software outside of a work environment, and have created several games, applications, web sites, and open source Python modules. My blog is probably the best place to find out more about my spare time projects, see my Python articles for more information.

I'm also an author, having written a book about game development with Python. So I like to think I am a good communicator.

I'd like a full-time position, but I would consider contract work. I'm based in London, so anything in central London would be ideal. Please get in touch if you have a suitable role or would like to know more. I'm available for immediate start.

my email

Mobile: 07722 531972

No recruiters please. And by no recruiters, I mean no recruiters.

Update: I have updated my CV (willmcgugancv.pdf)

Career ponderings

March 14th, 2008

I have a new job. I wasn't even looking a new position, I was actually quite settled doing contract work for chessclub.com (working on a wxPython client for their Internet chess service). My new job is working for a startup, based in London, that is creating a big site with Django. I'm not sure if I can tell you much about the site itself yet, but I do think they have found a niche on the internet that isn't fully catered for.

Starting a new job has made me consider, what I laughingly call, my career. I started out in games, writing really low level code in assembler and eventually moved in to 3D graphics. Working in games can be a lot of fun, but I found that I was solving the same kind of problems over and over again. Partially because even cutting edge games must perform the same kind of tasks as ancient (> 10 years old) games, and partially because C++ doesn't deliver what it promises in terms of re-use of code. I also found I disliked working on massive projects because its hard to feel any sense of ownership in the project when you know you are a small cog in a big machine. Fortunately I manged to change the direction of my career by getting in to Python.

What I've realised recently is that my hobby projects drive my career. I got my first job in games by writing a 3D graphics demo,  subsequent games jobs were off the back of an AI life demo I wrote, and I'm sure that one of the reasons I got a job with chessclub.com was that I had already written a chess game in my spare time. Even this new job was probably helped by my most recent hobby project. So I would encourage anyone to take up some hobby projects or work on open source. I would also encourage programmers to go in to some niche technology area, rather than whatever technology is the most commercial at the time. Sooner or later any skill will become mainstream and the job market will be saturated. Better to have less common skills so that you will always be in demand. Seems to have worked for me so far.

That my self-indulgent post for this year. Back to the usual geeky stuff next post.



February 20th, 2008

I'm going to Miami for a few days, so mail will go unanswered until I get back on Tuesday. :-)


I'll be back

November 15th, 2007

I'm going away for a week on holiday. I will be back on the 24th. All mail, death-threats, wealthy Nigerian widows and Viagra special offers will go unanswered until then.


Happy New Year!

July 5th, 2007

What do you mean its not the new year? Yesterday was 32 AW, today is 33 AW. That's After Will. Which also makes it my birthday.

Last year was pretty good, career-wise and on a personal level. I use the term 'career' rather loosely because it implies some kind of direction. I don't learn skills because they are commercial - it's just blind luck that I manage to make a living out of them. And it seems like the skills I do learn can be a little niche, but that can often work to my advantage. For instance, my first 2 jobs involved writing software polygon rasterizers for games, at a time when 3D graphics cards were becoming popular. Even Python is a little niche, it certainly was when I started using it. But I'm now working full time with Python, and writing a book about it. I'm confident that it is a skill-set that is on the rise, and wont go the way of software polygon rasterizers!

On a personal level, last year was pretty good. I met my girlfriend last year, and I'm planning to move to London with her. Which may be quite a culture shock for someone raised in a small town in North East Scotland! I suspect it will be kind of like Crocodile Dundee, only without the boomerang.

Sorry for the self-indulgent post. I don't do it very often. All the best for 33 AW.


Drum roll, please

April 16th, 2007

With no regard to my personal safety, and no safety net, I perform the amazing grape trick. Do not try this at home.

© 2008 Will McGugan.

A technoblog blog, design by Will McGugan