Living Comfortably in Chaos

Sage Gerard working on a cabinetMy name is Sage Ger­ard. I sound like Dr. Reid from Crim­i­nal Minds and look like a lum­ber­jack with an inter­mit­tent fash­ion sense.

I imple­ment­ed Classflow’s authen­ti­ca­tion and con­tent cre­ation GUIs, freed up Crick­et Wire­less sales staff with a self-ser­vice plat­form and nur­tured a new gen­er­a­tion of microser­vice inter­faces at Data­trac Cor­po­ra­tion, a logis­tics com­pa­ny. Today, I work with Evi­dent to help you reclaim con­trol of your per­son­al infor­ma­tion and define the future of authen­tic­i­ty on the Inter­net.

My hob­bies include wood­work­ing, hunt­ing, video games, cook­ing and of course, cod­ing. If you see me in front of a text edi­tor, please remind me to eat.

A little more about me

  • I grad­u­at­ed sum­ma cum laude with a BSc in Com­put­er Sci­ence from Ken­ne­saw State Uni­ver­si­ty.
  • I am in the 99th per­centile on Code­wars.
  • My CLI tool ProC­SS (now Aloe) is the first stu­dent project list­ed in the first issue of KSU’s new CS depart­ment jour­nal.
  • I am one of the Mis­sis­sip­pi Busi­ness Journal’s Tech21 in 2011.
  • I have pub­lished projects on GitHub, PyPi and NPM.
  • NASA Aero­space Schol­ars accept­ed me for a rover design com­pe­ti­tion in Huntsville, AL.
  • I led the win­ning team in the iOS devel­op­ment com­pe­ti­tion at Mis­sis­sip­pi State’s first Broad­en­ing Par­tic­i­pa­tion in Com­put­ing pro­gram.
  • I made the cam­paign graph­ics for a U.S. Con­gres­sion­al Nom­i­nee dur­ing the 2012 elec­tion sea­son.

I am pas­sion­ate about soft­ware archi­tec­ture because I enjoy bring­ing order, or help­ing oth­ers cope when they must live with­out order. But this to me is not the same as mak­ing the com­plex sim­ple. I expect every­one to explain things sim­ply; that’s not enough. What I want to see in more engi­neers is the abil­i­ty to move for­ward when sim­ple is not an option.

What you get here

Talk is cheap com­pared to action, but code is where talk and action are the same. As a coder, your lit­er­a­cy launch­es rock­ets and treats dis­eases, so your abil­i­ty to under­stand and com­mu­ni­cate to an arbi­trary degree means the dif­fer­ence between life or death, for humans or their ven­tures. So for me the hall­mark of a great coder is the abil­i­ty to find com­fort in chaos, par­tic­u­lar­ly in a storm of human motives and bleed­ing-edge tech­nol­o­gy. If I throw you into a tumult, will you fig­ure things out? I want to help you say “yes” by plac­ing this blog on three pil­lars:

  1. Empa­thy. Empa­thy makes or breaks you as a com­mu­ni­ca­tor. You should know how soft­ware influ­ences, or is influ­enced by, human behav­ior. Tech­ni­cal apti­tude does not excuse social inep­ti­tude, because the dif­fer­ence between solv­ing prob­lems and­solv­ing prob­lems well is how you under­stand peo­ple.
  2. Prac­tice. I expect read­ers to under­stand con­cepts I bring up in arti­cles. This makes it eas­i­er to exper­i­ment with exist­ing con­cepts with­out spend­ing too much time writ­ing tuto­ri­als.
  3. Agnos­ti­cism. “I don’t know and nei­ther do you” is the answer to life’s great ques­tions. This is espe­cial­ly true for inani­ty like “what’s the best pro­gram­ming lan­guage?” Your God is con­text, not a lan­guage, not a opin­ion leader, not a frame­work, and cer­tain­ly not fash­ion. A great engi­neer does the right thing, not the pop­u­lar thing.
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