I started coding at age 10 by teaching myself Z80 assembly language, writing programs down by hand on pieces of paper in back of maths class.
Oddly, I didn’t get my first computer until 6 years later. In the meantime, I used up a LOT of paper, teaching myself Z80a assembler, MS Basic, then 6502/6510 assembler.
I’ve been coding ever since, and loving pretty much every second of it.
I’ve had a long term interest in Artificial Intelligence having started initially in:
- Neural Networks (simplistic equivalents of the brain’s physical componentry, neurons, dendrites, etc)
but having also used:
- expert systems (lots of rules)
- finite state machines (lots of ‘states’ with rules to change between them)
- cellular automata (similar to FSM’s)
- genetic algorithms (optimisers that find good solutions to massive problems in reasonable timeframes)
- and lately, genetic programming (AI that can create simple software).
I started my first company (using NNets to do cool things) at age 19, spent 15 or so years working in finance, and have been pretty much running or building startups my entire life. What can I say? I love creating stuff. I adore solving tough problems with code. Doing six or more impossible things before breakfast (or at the very least, once a week).
My most recent venture was Twit Cleaner (a behavioural categorisation engine for Twitter – aka an asshole detector), which I built (db, design, engine, front end – ie, all of it) and ran for four-ish years until mid 2013. Keeping that up and running 24/7 with large spike traffic while sitting on top of the stability-challenged Twitter platform was.. mostly good wholesome fun.
This blog contains interesting tech stuff, bug fixes I discover (here for reference, to hopefully save others pain), and the generally weird and geeky.
I also write about how to live better over at sidawson.org.