What’s in a name?

I’m originally from England but, paradoxically it seems, I don’t like tea. I certainly don’t have tea in my leg, nor a leg made of tea. No, no, tealeg is just my username. It was proffered to me by the IT department of Rentokil Initial PLC, my first place of work after university, in 1998.

The handle tealeg consists (boringly) of my surname followed by the first letter of my forename, but this combination has the rare advantage of being both easily pronounced and somewhat meaningful when broken down into the words “tea” and “leg”. Thus I have clung to it somewhat and carried it with me wheresoever I might roam in what was once known as “cyberspace”.

At some point along the line, people I knew online started to refer to me by that name, quite naturally, and when I started remote-working, way back in 2008, it became more prominent as my colleagues tended to interact with me primarily via chat clients and git repositories.

What I do

I am Head of Engineering (Developer eXperience) at Upvest. This means I lead a collection of teams (we call such a collection a “tribe”), who use engineering, writing, media and communication skills to craft the experience a software developer has whilst utilising a software product. DevX is a role I’ve slowly evolved into over a long career in software engineering.

I started programming, as a child, in 1983, and have made a living from it since 1998. My primary technical focus has, in recent years, been on backend systems and libraries. Up until 2017, I was more of a “full-stack” developer, but as software engineering has become more and more specialised I’ve largely been working in organisations that develop cloud-based micro-service architectures. I’ve used a great many languages and platforms, but today the majority of my work is developed for Linux in Go, Python and Common Lisp..

Where I do it

I live and work in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany.

Free / Libre and Open Source Software

I have been involved in the Free / Libre and Open Source Software movement since the early 1990s. For details of my contributions see here.

Previous Employers

For a list of my previous roles, see here