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It was an honour and a surprise to be asked by DJ-Adams to Blog It Forward.

My name is John Patterson I am freelance SAP Consultant from Australia, for the past 15 years during my time working with SAP software I have worn many different hats with many different titles, but the title I am most happy with is developer, software development is a passion of mine.

Spring has definitely arrived in New South Wales, I live in a northern seaside suburb of the city of Wollongong approximately 70 km’s South of Sydney’s CBD. Below are a couple of shots I took whilst out and about today.

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The first one is from the end of the point near my house looking up to the top of the escarpment.

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The second shot is from the reverse angle, from the top of the escarpment looking out towards the point. My house is in the middle, hidden in the trees.

I got my first PC when I was 10 years old; it was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum similar to the one in the picture below.

  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/ZXSpectrum48k.jpg/320px-ZXSpectrum48k.jpg

Like a Commodore 64 you plugged it into your tv and loaded programs using an attached cassette player. On Sunday nights I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime and record a pirate radio show which used to broadcast machine code for games and utilities. I remember my parents buying me a Computer magazine which had the source code for Pac Man, the program was thousands of lines of Basic. That night I diligently entered each line of the code and played that game till I mastered it.

I am a big fan of Blitz (fast) chess, I like to play a couple of games before coding to get my brain warmed up.

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I find there are a lot of parallels to chess and software development, to do both well you need to have a good memory of previous battles, be able to look forwards and anticipate change, and learn to fail fast and recover quickly.

What was your dream job as a kid?

Thats easy, train driver, I think my 2 year old son has the same dream, his first word was Thomas as in the Tank Engine.

 

What one invention from the future would – or wouldn’t – you like to see here now, and why?

Many come to mind, like Sleep In A Can, Beer Zero and that Lotto prediction app I write in the future, but I will have to choose Teleportation, would definitely make commuting to and from work a lot more enjoyable and on days like today there would have been somewhere in the world with decent surf.

If you had the luxury of choosing 5 conferences to go to this year, what would they be, and why?

  1. InnojamAU – I went and I really enjoyed it, the new format of using design thinking and distributing developers across teams made it a level playing field for techies and non techies alike. This year there was a real buzz in the air, I dont think anybody wanted it to end.
  2. SAP TechEd Bangalore – planning to go, I have been to quite a few SAP TechEd’s in the US and in Europe and last year I decided my liver needed a break and went to Bangalore, I found it to be a lot more developer focused, I learnt alot more than in any of the previous years.
  3. Google IO – I wish I had of gone, last year I went to the Google Developer Day in Sydney and found it really inspiring, alot of smart people building incredible solutions, lot of knowledge sharing without hype. Google IO I can imagine would be all that and more.
  4. SXSW – original music, independent films, emerging technolgies in one conference, Austin Texas is an amazing place, would love to go back
  5. YOW2012 Australian Software Developers Conference – for developers by developers, priced accordingly, off to a YOW night this week, hoping to fit the conference in.

I’d Like to “Blog it Forward” to:

Peter Chapman

Sarat Atluri

Simon Kemp

And their questions:

What do you think are the key elements for a successful <x> project? Choose one of Mobility, Cloud or In Memory

Will you encourage your children to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in computers?

Plus I too would like you to answer one of the questions I answered

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8 Comments

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  1. DJ Adams

    Hey John, great to learn more about you. That’s quite a view you have there!

    It’s funny to hear of others cutting their teeth on Atoms, Spectrums and the like; because there was no ‘net at the time, I guess naturally we felt pretty isolated, and except for the magazines (like the one you referred to) we didn’t really get a good picture of the rest of the world’s experiences similar to ours. How that has changed now for beginning programmers!

    Nice choice of conferences; my son Joseph and I attended Google I/O last year, it was an amazing experience, definitely worth the trip. I used to attend O’Reilly’s Open Source Conventions (OSCON) which were also great, a real feeling of building the future. More recently I went to Strata (which this year is coming to London – bonus!) which has that same feeling of excitement, uncertainty and boundless possibilities.

    cheers

    dj

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    1. John Patterson Post author

      Hi dj

      “Excitement, uncertainty and boundless possibilities” definitely what i look for in conferences and projects. Both OSCON and Strata have interesting lineups, will keep an eye on for next year.

      Thanks again for passing the baton on, I enjoyed blogging about something other than code.

      Cheers

      JSP

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  2. Susan Keohan

    Hi John!

    Beautiful pictures – it must be tough to live with that view!

    While I do love the teleportation app, sometimes it would just be nice to crack open a ‘Sleep in a Can’.  I am not 100% sure what Beer Zero is (beer with zero calories?) but I did find a reference to ‘Beer Below Zero’ which I would be willing to try.

    I think SAP owes a great debt of gratitude to the Commodore 64!

    Sue

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    1. John Patterson Post author

      Thanks Sue,

      You were right Beer Zero is beer without the gut. Thinking about it, if it takes 80 calories to melt 1 gram of ice, ‘Beer Below Zero’ might just be a winning formula. 

      JSP

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  3. xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct)

    Hi John,

    You are so fortunate to have this view! The place with the best view I ever lived (and best air also) was in Zefat. It’s a mystical city in northern Israel. I saw the Galilee and the mountains surrounding it every morning.

    Thanks a lot for joining,

    Moshe!

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  4. Suseelan Hari

    Hi John,

    Good Day!

    Nicely Said, I liked the way you have presented your skills and knowledge.

    Keep up good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog. Keep sharing and motivate others.

    All the best! Once again thank you so much for sharing this blog.

    Outstanding blog!

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

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