Three days ago, covered in another story, my wife and I decided to call time on our years as a couple, and move forward as a team, as friends, and as parents to our kids. The following days have been, good, bad, and fucking horrible — in about equal measure.

Day 0 — the day of our big talk, I felt very sad, and quite relieved. There was relief at not having to try to make it work anymore, relief at not having ruined our friendship by raising the subject, and there was a sheer, despondent, sadness that I couldn’t…


My life has been a series of big relocations, with new careers dotted in along the way. Since school, I’ve relocated typically every 2 years, usually with a new career or attempt at a new career included for real clean slate.

After leaving school, I moved to near Brighton for 2 years, to Hull for a few months, to Colchester for 3 years, then Cambridge for 3 years, and Swansea for 1. At this point, I’d also changed career direction 3 times.

In Swansea, in 2009, I met the person I still think is the best person I ever met…


Before you rush off, this isn’t about me being brave. I’m just rattling on regardless.

The news over the last week has been awash with Covid-19, obviously, and a heartwarming amount of wholesome, helpful stories. From shops like Costa, Pret, and countless smaller, poorer, and less-able-to-afford-it local businesses offering free things to those supporting our front line against the infection, to people starting Kickstarter campaigns to feed NHS workers, or local communities forming self-isolation help groups, to small acts of kindness to strangers across the board. …


I’m at home alone. Not alone-alone, but the kids are asleep, and my wife has gone out, so largely alone, despite the nearby people (likely plotting mischief in their sleep). I don’t have anything I want to get done particularly, and in the absence of a better idea, I just went for a walk around my home town.

On Google Maps.

Not just my home town, I actually walked around some various places that meant something to me at some point. …


Of all industries, software is one with a particularly high turnover of staff. This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds. People move on for many reasons, but many just look for a new challenge every now and then, or just get a better offer. Software developers are in short supply in much of the world — we get pretty much hunted for roles, so people move on fairly often. There’s also a fair amount of undesirable roles.

Alternatively to my last post “How to attract genuinely good staff in IT”, this is my advice to the software dev looking…


Worthy of note: This piece isn’t about my current employer, who manage to be remarkably good at this stuff, it’s about my experiences in software in general.

There is a problem with IT recruitment. Companies that need good staff have to consider a million different factors, from location to person specifications, considering remote offices to remuneration packages — all to ensure they get better than average standard of staff. If you have a challenging problem to solve, and need good staff to do it, you need to attract and retain those staff, and that’s harder than it can seem.

In…


A few days ago, tasked with explaining what it is I do to someone who wants to do it, I ended up coming up with the following analogy:

“People pay me, and others like me, to listen to their ideas, come up with a rough idea of how we can build software that can do it, and then make promises we can’t necessarily keep about how we will do it, how well and how quickly”

Immediately, software devs the world over — if we assume that software devs the world over will even read this article — are divided into…


Not in reference to United States Postal Service on this occasion. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/staycurly/

Earlier, I read a quote from the inventor of a ChatBot that allows people to easily sue others in the US, who said that he hoped it would bankrupt Equifax.

It won’t, but I genuinely hope that lots of people do sue Equifax for their negligence. I hope this for a couple of reasons.

If I leaked 143 million personal records, I’d be in prison. I’d lose my job, my employability, and a significant chunk of my future. Frankly, Equifax as a company should face a somewhat similar fate.

Firstly, I believe that something like the Equifax breach is ridiculously…


Don’t worry, these cards only show the ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE last few numbers

There has been much talk lately of disruptive or alternative banking services, and you’ve likely heard of one or two. Probably the best known name in this field is currently Monzo (formerly Mondo, before they realised they’d been a bit naïve in thinking that name would be available worldwide), but others include Revolut, Loot, and a few more geo-specific ones that I won’t list. …


This articles is a reply to a story that appears on The Atlantic, YCombinator, and a tonne of other places. It argues that programmers shouldn’t call themselves engineers. This argues that (at least some) should be able to with perfect impunity.

The original article is here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/programmers-should-not-call-themselves-engineers/414271/

“Programmers, stop calling yourself engineers” comes the call of a fairly deliberately over-provoking article in The Atlantic (a publication that ranks up there with Business Insider as one of the world’s foremost creators of random crap on any subject). The article starts out by calling the term ‘Engineer’ for someone who creates software…

Owen C. Jones

I’m a software developer livng in Cardiff, UK. I write about user experience, coding, morality, politics, and other things that are interesting.

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