Who I am

My name is Matthew Wilkes and I make thingssome times. I work for the Third Sector from Edinburgh as a software developer. My main interests are:

  • Software for charities;
  • Data and systems architecture;
  • Open source software;
  • Linux;
  • The web;
  • JavaScript;
  • Future technologies;
  • Deflated software;
  • Lefty politics; and
  • Social justice.

Although I list JavaScript as my main interest I’m really into programming as a whole. I spent nearly 10 years in .NET, working with Oracle, SqlServer, and hosting stuff on Azure, along the way there was intermittent PHP (for my sins). Through out all that I maintained an interest in Javascript and what you can achieve with it. I am by no stretch a front-end UX master but have always appreciated the flexibility and madness that is ECMAScript.

Over the last couple of years I have been working a lot with Node.js and Angular which even though can be often be frustrating, I find greatly satisfying. I freely admit that JavaScript is a nightmare language that encourages lazy coding, bad practices, and hacks; but like with any language when treated properly it can be really powerful. Innovations like TypeScript certainly help. All that aside, I want to do more serious programming and hopefully this site and my push to do more will see me doing a lot more proper programming. Who knows, I may even finally do something substantial in C.

Why the site

I’ve owned the domain name for 15 years and have never successfully kept a site going. I seem to be getting a bit more active in just doing stuff and often want a place to write it down or share it. In an attempt to beat imposter syndrome I’m going to put as much of my stuff online to get more confident about my work. This means using GitHub a lot more for my latest attempts to learn stuff.

I’ve been writing software for a living since 2006 and programming since 2001 so I think sometimes have nifty ideas that might help someone out there. Not looking to make this site/blog/project list super famous or anything but at some point someone out there might stumble across I problem I’ve solved and benefit from it.

I have recently been attempting to live almost entirely in a linux terminal, only surfacing to use Google Chrome. I hope to document a bunch of the useful stuff I have learnt on here. This will include configurations, and plugins for all of the stuff I use such as vim, WeeChat, and mutt. I’ve started doing this as a way to challenge myself but to also master some truly powerful tools. With fewer distractions and having an environment setup exactly how I want I will hopefully be more productive. Valuable seconds are wasted by moving your hand to a mouse.

Where to find me

I never if ever do social media but can be found on:

Site tech

This site is being hosted using GitHub Pages so is a pretty simple Jekyll setup. I’m using Material Design Lite as the basis for my stylings and my editor of choice is vim which is obviously heavily customised. You can see my dotfiles here. The banner images are randomly selected from Unsplash which is a fantastic resource for free to use images. If you are using a decent browser to view this site you will have noticed that I’m doing some pretty heavy CSS filtering on them.