About Me

I’m an English programmer living in Ireland, specialising mainly in Python but with experience in a wide range of technologies. I’ve been working in IT from a hobbyist perspective since 2008, and have many related interests - including devops (including orchestration, CI and deployment), tooling, community and project management, to name a few.

As a huge supporter of the open source community at large, you’ll find that many of my projects are available for free, under permissive open-source licenses. You can see below for my primary project involvements.

Python Discord (2017 - 2018)

Python Discord is a fantastic community for budding Python beginners and experts alike to chat about Python, hone their skills and help each other out. It’s maintained by a large, dedicated staff team comprised of Python experts from around the world, and every one of them is committed to providing an excellent community for Pythonistas everywhere.

I joined PyDis (as it came to be known) as a regular user, from a post on Reddit by Joseph (the overall server owner, at the time of writing). I started helping users out and quickly found myself climbing the staff ranks to admin, and eventually took my place as a co-owner - alongside Joseph and Leon.

PyDis is one of the many supporters of the open-source movement, and as such has many open source projects available on GitHub - including a couple PyPi packages. Many of these projects are made use of within PyDis itself, such as their website and Discord bot projects.

In the last days of 2018, I decided to leave the community for mental health reasons. It’s still an excellent community full of amazing people - but sometimes you just need to take care of yourself.

Glowstone (2015 - Present)

Glowstone is an established Minecraft custom server project, which has existed in one form or another for a very long time - rising to the foreground for many people as a result of the Bukkit DMCA drama, to provide a possible replacement for it.

Glowstone has always aimed to be a free, open-source implementation of the Bukkit API - containing no propritary code and attempting to match the behaviour of the official server as closely as possible.

While I haven’t contributed any code to this project, I’ve provided my support to it in several ways:

  • Hosting services, including the Maven repo, website, forums and, previously, the continuous integration service and Minecraft testing server.
  • Taking an active role on the Discord community, dealing with automation tasks and helping out with community management.

For more information, see the Glowsone website.

Ultros (2011 - Present)

Ultros is one of my older pet projects - a multi-network, fully modular chat bot. Written entirely in Python, it began life as a simple helper bot for the MCBans IRC channel - taking care of some basic tasks, such as standard anti-spam and providing access to the MCBans API.

When I was suddenly removed from the MCBans team, the project undertook some changes and was renamed to Ultros. With the help of Leagsaidh Gordon (who joined the project back in the MCBans days, around the start of 2012), Ultros has become a capable bot and is in use by multiple communities today.

Due to lack of time to dedicate to this project, it has been stalled for some time. It’s currently in the middle of a large rewrite to Python 3, which will also address a lot of edge cases and other issues we came across in the original iteration. That said, the old version is still entirely functional and in use by a few communities!

The Archives (2018 - 2015)

The Archives was my first real introduction to Linux and the world of programming in general. A Minecraft community that originally made waves as the world’s first Minecraft server to support multiple worlds, finite liquid physics, message blocks and portals (to name a few features), I inherited ownership of this community from its original creator - Django maintainer Andrew Godwin - when he no longer had the time to maintain it.

Over the years, The Archives went through many iterations - from existing simply as a simple server application running on a VPS paid for by Adam Guy, to being located across a cluster of servers in Aythrea’s appartment, to being run across a few large dedicated servers in a datacentre in Canada. The Archives was never as large as today’s super-popular Minecraft server networks, but it still garnered an active, local community through most of its life, with several members sticking around for the entire seven years.

Towards its latter years, I became responsible for hosting all of The Archives and its services. At its peak, it included a Drupal-powered site, a Discourse forum, nine Minecraft servers, a Starbound server, a Team Fortress 2 server, an IRC server and a (janky) Postfix setup for email. It also included a Steam group, several IRC channels across four networks in total, a Facebook group, and a YouTube channel.

Eventually, the buzz around Minecraft fizzled out and users began to move on to other servers and games. The Archives closed its doors in October of 2015 - and while there are no plans for a return, the remaining commmunity is still active on its Discord server.