At the turn of the last century, the telephone revolution was in full swing, not everyone lived in New York City or other well-connected cities.

This Blog’s Author

No, instead some people lived on farms and ranches, places where the nearest neighbor might be miles away. Even more than in New York City, communication technology was vital to connect these isolated homesteads and settlements together.

While the ranchers and farmers may be rural, they were also clever and understood the technology of the day – and built their own telephone systems, using what they had (such as the barbed wire fences that were ubiquitous). By using the technology on hand, and innovating, they built the technology they needed for their businesses and social lives.

I’m not going to claim to be as clever as these ranchers were, but I do think they give us an example we can follow. They were intelligent and understood the theory behind telephone communication. They also were practical and could actually make something tangible, something real, with their hands – all while working what anyone would consider a full-time job (ranching or farming).

Who is Joelle?

Like those ranchers linking their ranches with barbed wire, I’ve reached this point by a different route than most.  My non-technology personal life is somewhat novel, as I explore the intersection of my identity – being a woman in tech, gaining many of my skills in unconventional ways, and being a proponent of equality.  I’m passionate about the idea that a diversity of experience is essential for progress – and for that reason, I support efforts to increase diversity in IT.

I’ve been involved in computing professionally for 25 years. I wrote my first program when I was 5 years old (it said my name – that’s important to a small girl!). Since then, I’ve worked in networking, system administration, information security, software development, and IT management. Currently, I work for a large telecommunication and internet provider, but the opinions here are my own and I will avoid topics directly related to my work.

For fun, I particularly enjoy the Perl programming language family (mostly Perl 5, but Perl 6 is an amazing language). The language is often under-appreciated, but I know of few languages where I can express algorithms in ways that match how I think about the algorithm. If I’m thinking of something procedurally, no problem. If I’m thinking of something functionally, again, no problem!  But I also program in C, C++, C# (see a pattern here?), BASH, and, less frequently, in a dozen or so other languages.

Like the telephone innovators I described earlier, I enjoy getting my hands on new technology, both in areas where I have a formal background (my education is primarily in computer science) and where I have lots of opportunities to learn – and to do interesting things with that technology.

I’ll be sharing some of my discoveries – you’ll find operating system tricks (primarily Linux), digital network musings, and electronics (primarily digital electronics, such as microcontrollers).  These are my hobbies – while I work professionally for a major internet provider, I do this stuff for fun! And I hope to share some of that sense of fun with others.

I believe it is important to share our passions with other like-minded people. And for that reason, I’ve established this blog. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about it!  All I ask is that you be respectful of people – this blog is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or religious intolerance.

Comment Policy

  1. No spam.  If the product is actually uniquely relevant to the article or another comment, I’ll probably allow it, but don’t be surprised if I remove a link to your dog wash business (unless of course your dog wash business is automated with Raspberry Pi computers controlling a network of intelligent robots via MPLS – in which case I definitely want to get in touch with you!)
  2. No derogatory / inflammatory comments.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and religious intolerance is not allowed here.
  3. If you are being harassed or spot an abusive comment, I’m always glad to step in to deal with the problem.  Feel free to email me at jmaslak@antelope.net.
  4. I reserve the right to expand this policy should I find it necessary.


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