About

About Alex Cooper

Alex CooperI, Alex Cooper, am a team leader / programmer at a UK-based financial services company. With an A-level and honours degree in Computer Science, 11 years in the industry and expertise covering PC and network support, software building and maintenance, and a passion for all things technology-based, I like to think that I have a rounded view of the current state of the world from a technological viewpoint. In one phrase, I’m a bit of a geek!

I’ve always enjoyed the buzz from getting something working. There’s no greater satisfaction, to my mind, to building something that fits so well into its working environment that the users barely notice that it’s there; they simply work with it. That includes a new server,

Not that I’m saying that I don’t like end users to notice that they’ve got something that works well for them too – that’s always nice to hear about too!

My passion is seeing how new and evolving technologies change and affect people and the way that we work. Back in the 1990s, “the internet” was something that you slowly waited a dial-up modem to deliver to you on a PC monitor the size of a large box. Nowadays you can be on top of a hill in the Peak District and still be able ‘to Google’ (now a verb in its own right) whatever point it is you’re trying to argue with someone, right from your mobile phone (and do we get frustrated when that phone signal disappears!). The way in which we, as users of technology, interact with technology and, increasingly, the way that technology interacts with us is something that I find fascinating. The reliance on e-mail, for example, the way a two year old can intuitively use an iPad, the reported addictions that people have with social media (not something that I suffer from of course…!), the reasons why some social media users find themselves in court, the fact that everything we trusted about (Open)SSL right up until March 2014, the police being able to predict crime, government monitoring of internet traffic, government IT systems that cost a fortune and never see a launch date, etc. etc. – it’s all wrapped up in one term and, from behind my PC monitor, is something that I find truly fascinating.

 

What is the reason for this blog / website?

Now there’s a question. On the one hand I open myself up to criticism from the world at large and, certainly, ridicule from work colleagues (hi guys!). On the other, I want to start giving something back to the industry. I like Twitter – no, I love Twitter. The amount of information that’s freely available, especially about the industry in which I work, if you follow the right people is incredible. You’ll see from my Twitter account, if you choose to take a closer look, that I primarily tweet about industry news such as that listed above (as well as Formula 1, field hockey / Lincoln Hockey Club, my other passions). I got to the point where 140 characters wasn’t enough to give an opinion, hence this site.

Whether it’ll last, and I’ll find the time to post as often as I’d like to / need to I don’t know. I did start a more technical blog off a couple of years ago, and by that I mean coding examples, etc. and even though I’ve not got anywhere near it for a very long time it receives a surprisingly large amount of traffic so I’ve not had the heart to switch it off. Maybe this site will inspire me to go back to it and post more often there as well.

Finally, this site is also my guinea pig. My skills revolve around a wider field than just programming and this site gives me a tool in which to try new things out on that I can then post about later. My name isn’t exactly uncommon, and I share Google results with the singer Alice Cooper, so I’m hoping to employ some SEO knowledge onto here to see if I can learn more from doing so. Equally if I can automate some of the maintenance of this site then I can spend more time posting.