I’m a freelance software engineer and consultant from Liège, Belgium. In addition to running my online business, I help companies with development and product strategy.
I’ve learned my trade as an autodidact, in a way that prioritizes functional results over theory. Simply put, I learned how to code not to get a degree, but to build products, and have been doing that ever since.
In my professional life, I take immense pleasure from the practice of refactoring, taking existing code, and improving its efficiency, sheer performance and readability, without altering its user-facing function.
It might seem pedantic at first, but small improvements over a system add up to a visibly better product, and those efforts ultimately translate into more revenue, and user happiness.
A few years ago, I realized that while applying this practice to software projects became second nature, I still approached every other issue, such as health & fitness, personal finance, accountability, responsibility, ambition and personal projects like a caveman, with zero technique, without the crucial reliance on frequent testing, and constantly re-evaluating methods, tools and assumptions.
I have since opted to treat every other aspect of my life with the rigor I put in professional work, with amazing results. This website, among other things, is a collection of lessons learned along the way.
I follow the philosophy that as human beings, we’re not unlike the technological messes I spend the weekdays beating into performance & efficiency. Mostly functional systems, with undocumented features & hidden bugs.
How can this help me?
We’ve all had the ominous feeling that “something isn’t right”. You just know when something within you, the way you live, work, perceive the world, or interact with others is broken. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know it’s there.
Maybe you don’t know where to search, maybe you’re afraid of what you might find, or that once you find it, it will require too much work to correct. I know because I’ve been there several times, and I’ve had all these reactions.
Letting a problem you know exists fester is not healthy. It can have disastrous consequences. I could take the cynical approach, and tell you that I’m just SEO-ing my way to getting engineering gigs, but honestly, I’m where I am now because websites, books and blogs that tackle issues we fear addressing exist. If I can repay the favor by helping at least one person who’s got the same questions I once struggled with, I’ll be satisfied.
Where to start?
The first step in fixing a broken system is learning what’s wrong with it. The discovery is a sometimes long process, that often comes with the humiliating sting of finding out we messed up along the way. Learning & accepting hard truths is the first step. Read the following: