An Introduction

Hello, it's hard to imagine that you've landed here on accident so it seems only right to introduce myself.

My name in Shawn McCool and I've been involved in software development for some 21 odd years.

In the early 2000's I spent 4 years administrating Linux systems for a large web application.

I love Linux. My love for Linux started in the mid-90's when video game emulation was (just barely) more advanced on Linux than Windows and I felt compelled to be on the cutting edge. As time wore on I began to appreciate the power of being a programmer on a Linux system.. I had the power to change everything about the way I interacted with my computer.. true sorcery.. Later I came to appreciate the fact that Linux is software that is owned by all of humanity. Yes corporations dip their filthy toes in, but our legacy is protected by the GPL (open-source license). I want to use and work on tools that --while not always the best in every way-- have a meaningful relationship with the world that I want to see.

About 5 years after that (2009) I started working for myself and have been the author of my own paychecks ever since. Work flexibility is important to me as I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2 and even though the medication helps tremendously I can still lose some sleep at nights due to racing thoughts. I have a strong belief that the 40 hour work week is generally unethical because I have extremely progressive values.

My family (2 children, 1 wife) and I live in Utrecht, Netherlands. We moved here from Nashville, TN in the USA in 2011 to raise our kids in a place that better fit our ideals. NL is not perfect, but --for us-- it's an improvement. My Dutch sucks and that's infuriating at times. Sometimes I feel like maybe I don't really care that much about the language and that's why I find it so hard to learn. I don't know. I go back and forth on it.

I became gently well known during the rise of the PHP web framework Laravel where I wrote an article "CodeIgniter is Dead" which proved to be accurate before going on to spent thousands of hours in the Laravel IRC channel teaching developers. I created the Laravel Podcast, (the community portal), and my colleague and I created the conference Laracon EU. Finally I have spent some amount of time the past 10 years traveling and giving talks at conferences.

My focus now is entirely on reactive systems. These systems are called 'reactive' because the react to things that happen. The things that happen are modeled as 'events'. I love everything about event-driven systems and create many projects using event-sourcing, cqrs, etc including web-applications and video games.

In my focus on event-driven systems I created an Event Sourcing Video Course. It was a pretty massive effort that took me over a year to build. The course includes almost 4 hours of video and a fully functioning example web-application. I would do a few things differently now, but I'm really quite proud of it. Some companies use it to onboard employees etc.

In addition to this work I spend time on game development projects. I have been interested and active in amateur game development for some 28 years. I have a number of small videos of my projects on my YouTube channel. I have some gamejam examples lying about as well.

In connection with my game-development interests I also have just regular gaming interests. I have a massive collection of NES, SNES, PS2, PS3, PS4, PC, blah blah blah games. I got really into gaming as a kid and started consuming everything that I could. Now I have a very strong knowledge of what's out, what's been out, and the surrounding culture. Some of my recent favorites include Torment: Tides of Numenara and revisiting X with the Mega Man X collection (despite the input lag).

But video games are just a piece of the puzzle. I love playing board games with my wife, kids, and friends. I started a board gaming group in Utrecht, Netherlands that has been running for years now. I have a fairly strong collection of games that I'd happily sell to you at good price. My cabinet is becoming unmanageable and there's great older games that we just don't play anymore. Lately I've been enamored with Wingspan. It's definitely one of my favorite games in years. I also have some experience programming the rules of some games as event-driven systems.

I'm an avid reader. I love Science Fiction and am always working on reading a new novel or listening to a new audio book. I read non-fiction sometimes. My favorite series from the past year are The Culture and The Book of the New Sun. Good stuff.

My Gmail address is 'shawnmc' so grab me there if you want to get ahold of me. I can also be reached on Twitter.