Hello! My name is Steve Hill, and I’m a technology enthusiast, geek and software developer from the UK.
I’ve been developing professionally now for more than a decade, and so far, the technology choices I’ve made seem to have worked out for me. I’ve been working with PHP in commercial environments for almost 15 years, and I was messing about with side projects for a couple of years before that.
I picked up Ruby in around 2006, along with everyone else that was inspired by the “Blog in 15 minutes” example. It took until 2016 before I was able to start using it on commercial projects, but I’ve been fortunate enough to act as a Technical Reviewer on several Pragmatic Bookshelf titles as a result of my early interest.
In 2018, I started using Go; this is a language I’ve never felt fully comfortable with, and I never expect to. It’s not that it’s a bad language; it’s capable of some incredible performance that would be hard to achieve any other way. I just don’t like it as much as PHP, Ruby, or pretty much any other language.
Since I started my career working for small organisations - including, in some cases, where I was the only person writing code - I was also forced to learn the ops side of things pretty early on. So yeah, I can build you a new server. I can provision it with Ansible, or do it by hand, and I’ve lately been dabbling with Terraform.
After initially hating the concept of containers, I began to see their advantages in around 2018. Docker has flaws, but being able to package up an application and all of its dependencies in one image has definitely been a game changer. I use Docker daily in my current role at Divido, and we’re also soon to adopt Kubernetes, so I’ll be learning how to use that in the real world too.
If you’ve read this far, you might think I’m a bit one-dimensional, only interested in technology. That would be unfair.
Outside of the world of tech, I like to read - a lot. My bookshelves are crammed (and that’s not an exaggeration - trust me) with titles spanning pretty much every genre imaginable, although I’m definitely most at home with science fiction, fantasy or a good thriller. Once I graduated from what I’d now describe as “kid’s books”, one of my first proper reads was Lord of the Rings… I blame Tolkien for capturing my imagination. I’ve read pretty much everything Stephen King has ever published, and I’ve been a huge Terry Pratchett fan for what seems like forever. Peter F. Hamilton is my go-to author in the science fiction world, though I have read a lot of Stephen Baxter’s work too. I’ve even dabbled with the more military-focused fiction, with Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy being favourites there.
I’ve been trying and failing to learn guitar for far longer than I want to admit, but I’m still not ready to give up. Being so terrible at it makes me not want to try in front of people, so that makes it hard to find time to practice. Catch-22, I guess.
I watch a lot of TV; science fiction is again a favourite (my wife tells me that all my shows are the same - they’re all set in space - and she’s not entirely wrong). Babylon 5 takes the crown as my all-time favourite, but 24 is probably a close second.
I also play a lot of video games, though not as many as I’d like to. My current top platform is PC, but I’m very happy with my Xbox One X too. I am incredibly enthusiastic about vintage gaming platforms too; I have a nice collection that includes Commodore 64, an Amiga (or maybe two), a Spectrum, a couple of Sega Megadrives, and a few other bits too. I was an early backer of the ZX Spectrum Next on Kickstarter, and I’m very happy with it, though I haven’t yet found time to put it to good use. I’ve wanted to make a video game for the majority of my life, and one of these days I’m going to sit down and do it - I dabble with both Unreal Engine and Unity.