Josh's blog

About Me

Photo of mePhoto of me in PhD gown

Hi, I’m Josh. I live in Tasmania with my partner Hannah, and I am currently taking a long break from the workforce. I used to live in the inner west of Sydney, Australia, where I worked at Google as a Software Engineer in Site Reliability Engineering for seven-and-a-half years.

Quick timeline

Time Events
198x A Josh is born!
1990s A happy and mostly uneventful childhood in Tasmania.
2005 Began at University of Tasmania, studying a Bachelor of Computing and Bachelor of Science (combined).
2007 Got my first (casual) job doing computer stuff: Programmer at Federal Group. Despite the pitfalls of casual work, I remained in this job until moving to Sydney in 2013.
2008 Started writing the first incarnation of this blog. Later, I graduated.
2009 Honours year at UTas: Mathematics. I graduated with a University Medal.
2010 Began a PhD, again at UTas.
2012 Took 3 months off everything to do an internship at Google in Sydney.
2013 Finished my PhD dissertation and moved to Sydney, to start back at Google in my present role.
2014 My PhD graduation ceremony.
2017 Promoted (to Senior SRE-SWE).
2020 Moved back to Tassie (during a pandemic, wtf)
2021 Left Google to enjoy some time away from work

About this blog

In 2008 I started a blog. For many years, it was a WordPress blog hosted on a friend’s DreamHost account. The quality of my writing was … variable. (It still is.)

Facebook icon spraypainted with red X A couple of years ago, I migrated the blog to a statically-generated site using Hugo. I love Hugo, the simplicity of a static site, and the excellent control I had over the output. But after a while I found that needing to perform static generation was a small but significant blocker to posting more frequently. And in the meantime, my itch to post to a blog that I have significant control over has increased over time, thanks to (in no particular order): quitting Facebook, the demise of Google Plus, ongoing disappointment in Twitter, and concerns around the future of Medium. (Why not Blogger? I wanted yet another side-project!)

So, over a couple of weekends in 2019, I engineered my own small blogging platform written in Go and hosted on Google App Engine. The frontend was originally styled with Materialize, but later I wrote some CSS myself. The blog database is stored in Google Cloud Datastore. Finally, I write article content in Markdown that is translated to HTML with blackfriday.