Since February, part of my About page reads like this:
Who exactly are you? Where do you work? Do you, in fact, work?
What does it matter to you? Really? If I have any occupational biases relevant enough to a particular post to actually skew the writing, I will be sure to mention them in the respective posts in the interests of disclosure. Other than that, I believe that the text and the opinions pushed in them should stand on their own. You’re getting my unfiltered opinion here, and not anyone else’s. (I make no attempt to be “neutral” or “objective”, but it’s common courtesy to be fair, so I strive for that.)
I still believe everything I wrote in that paragraph, including a few things I didn’t write. I believe that people’s opinions, shaped as they may be by occupation, are commonly a result of a personal opinion which also leads the person towards a certain kind of occupation. I believe that people whose personal opinion is so thoroughly shaped by occupation (hello, music, film and oil industry executives! how are you doing? I’ll be here all week, try the seafood) often also come off as fake, arranged, forced or in some way conniving. I believe that you’ll never get the unfiltered fact as such, since for a person X, anyone you will get (person Y) to reinterpret person X in the context of her remarks will by definition bring non-introspective influences to the task.
Most of all I believe that of all the things that may influence a statement of opinion or idea, personal opinion is only one of a set of possible factors. You are not required to reveal exactly what happened prior to or during writing of a certain article, to state known and subconscious influences (unknown unknowns, as it were), partly because you don’t know or can’t accurately summarize them all; but mostly because though they may be pivotal in some cases, they are frequently not meaningful to disclose.
With that in mind, it is also true that of these factors, and with these beliefs in mind, occupation is perhaps the least fleeting. A job represents stability and a long-term phase. It’s not unreasonable to hold that it may be a factor that changes so little and so slowly that it is hard to discern, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Which is why I am disclosing, in loose terms, my employment situation, despite my personal averseness towards discussing these sorts of things here since I regard them as the sort of metadata that clouds the actual posts.
Since sometime this spring (and for some definitions, it is still spring; it’s even fall in some places), I have been employed at a minor software company within one of the major metropolitan areas in Sweden (where I live, as you know). We put out something that isn’t quite enterprise software (it definitely isn’t shrinkwrap-ware), and it is my duty to make sure that the product does what it does and, even more importantly, to make sure that in some ways, it should be easily distinguished from typical enterprise software.
We program in C#, for .NET 3.5, and I enjoy doing so because I am not at the mercy of some big up-front UML diagrams or “non-agile” models grounded in getting something wrong in its entirety and very thoroughly before you take measures to fix it (or even begin to detect it). I’m not about to start telling you what the product does. Partly since it’s fairly dull to some people and really exciting to some (it is complex in most senses of the word); partly because it takes forever to describe it accurately in reasonable detail and it’s actually quite hard to sum up; partly because actually, I’m not really supposed to. The sector is one of the world’s largest and certainly on a macro scale something you can read about for several pages in any newspaper on any given day; at the same time, it’s not something I’d ever write about here (or have, or am planning to).
There is virtually no overlap between what I do at work and what I write about here, save for the notable exception of the grunt programming work, and the parallels I can draw between for example Objective-C/Cocoa and C#/.NET. But I’ve been able to do that for a long time; I’ve been using both of them more or less constantly during the past few years, with and without professional engagement on either end.
I hope this helps provide some context.