λ.x (stuff-about x) me

This is the place where I render streams of bytes which represent my thoughts about stuff and such. They are my opinion, and my opinion alone. They are not opinions or policies held by current or past employers. It is what it is. My opinion.

My name is Luis Espinal, and I’ve been involved with IT Operations, Enterprise computing and other things in the software development bestiary (application and systems levels) since 1994.

From Visual Basic and Delphi to FoxPro/Visual FoxPro to C++ and CORBA and finally Java, with Rational Rose, Linux, Solaris, Apache HTTP, Tomcat, ATG Dynamo, JBoss, WebLogic, awk, Perl, shell scripts, Ant, Maven, and a bunch of other crap… err, stuff gluing some more stuff together. Software malabarism if you will. In Jan, 2011, after 12 years of doing Java, I decided to get my groove back into C/C++. Nothing wrong with Java, but I simply need to change things every once in a while.

Deadlifting, my favorite.

I make a conscious separation between my job and my career, and between my career and my life. Whenever I can (if my severely herniated spine lets me), I like to hit the gym with my wife. Dead lifts give me a lot of joy. In the past I practiced martial arts here and there (Kempo, Judo and BJJ), but hernias prevent me from participating. I still enjoy the arts even if I don’t train anymore, though.

Getting Choked

I truly enjoy my career, and I don’t think I would like to do anything other than software. Having said that, I’m pursuing (or trying to pursue) an entry into more hardware-oriented fields. This will require a change in my formal education, but the way I see it, I still have 30 years left in my career. Those 30 years will pass regardless of what I do. So I might as well take charge and make things happen.

When it comes to my work experience, here it is in a nutshell: From interesting projects to very dull ones. From working with talented people to really crappy ones and back to work with talented people, and so on and so on. Such is the Tao of the coder. Like a hamster running on top of an endless Turing machine’s tape, chasing the red pill.

My family in Yokohama, visiting my in-laws, 2009.

I like to blog about things related to the career I’ve chosen to pursue. In particular, I see it as an instrument to exchange ideas and, hopefully, continuously improve my skills.

But most important of all, I hope, at the very least, to denounce unjustifiably poor programming practices, which are not so much a function of poor training or a function of schedule or time-to-market pressures, but a function of just not giving a crap, and a lack of ethics. I truly believe so.

It’s ok and understandable when clients, employers and patrons don’t care about product quality. But engineers to simply settle with crap while collecting their paychecks? I personally find that disturbing.

We don’t need to strive to be perfect. We simply need to care and be ethical towards those who write us a paycheck. There is more to work than just a paycheck.

What’s the point of getting an education if there is no professional passion, however small, that transcends that which is material, temporal and immediate?

I don’t believe in moral or existential nihilism, and I subscribe to Kantianism and deontological formulations of ethics. Ergo, the inevitable logical conclusion is that I cannot accept anything less than due diligence from the practice of engineering software.

I hope that by writing about it, I also cater to those who care about their professions in the same way I do. So this is my blog, and that’s what I write about. Enjoy… or go somewhere else, first amendment and all that jazz most people  pay bovine lip service.

My linkedin profile, my twitter account and my stackoverflow stats.

My box.com hosted resume.

My collection of bibliographic references @ citeulike.

My almost-retired grappling/power lifting/crossfit blog (harsh language here and there).

My Facebook

The Little One That Gets Me Going with another baby girl on the way (around November, 2012.)

Yurika Hannah, our newest  family member

Yurika Hannah, our newest family member

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