Hi. My name is Harrison
and I am a professional nerd.
My addiction to code started when I was 4 years old. My uncle thought it would be a good idea to show me how to use a computer and play games on it. This went fine for a little while, but then I became curious about what happened inside the tempting metal device. Little did I know that this machine, this “computer” was merely a gateway drug. I became fascinated with the circuit boards and little programmable robots run with click-and-drag flowcharts. It was only a matter of time before I inevitably made my way onto the harder stuff: KPL.
For those lucky few who don’t know KPL, it stands for Kid’s Programming Language. It serves no purpose but to educate and introduce you into this insidious world. You’ve got your IFs and your WHILEs, but it’s not enough. It leaves you wanting more flexibility, more usefulness, more power.
By my first year at university I had already spent a year on C++ and by the time my year in industry rolled around, I was in too deep. You name it: C#, Java, HTML, SQL I was programming with the lot. Every twist and turn designed to create the perfect game or the perfect AI. “Just use a controller” they would say, but no. Mario must be trained to play by himself and I can achieve it all with my own personal brand of Neural Network! These were dark times indeed, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Software Cornwall had list of tech companies that would give unfortunate souls like me a home.
Who are these people? Facial Recognition Experts? Perhaps they could help me with my programming addiction, I prayed.
Though nervous beyond belief at my first shot at an entry into this career, I put on a suit and took the nearly 2-hour journey from Plymouth to Falmouth, only to find my way to their old address. I was lost and confused and the weather was threatening to rain. “Never will I find a tech company to call home” I cried. But in a panicked phone call where I even forgot to leave my name, my interviewer rescued me from the nearby McDonalds and took me to their new offices. There, in the warm, I was greeted with smiles and lots of lairy green details highlighting the room.
The interview went well. They asked how I’ve coped with my addiction over the past years and I spoke to them honestly. They promised to help me refine my code into something manageable. They said they would pay me for my work and provide relief in the form of business events and days on-site. They would train me such that I can finally become a useful and productive member of society. I was home.
To this day, some of my code has been used in almost every product the company ships. We have self-service checkouts that don’t need ID. We have door entry systems that only need a smile! It’s been used in England, China, America and a bunch of other countries in Europe. I do my best to make every piece of code written a work of art – even the PHP. I love my job and I love this county. Only in Cornwall can us code monkeys be shown the human touch needed to become a true professional nerd.