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About Joel

Joel and AkiMy name is Joel Goodwin. That guy to the left is actually me, accompanied by Aki, the special woman in my life. Although I have spent several years in denial, I have come to terms with the fact that I enjoy both software development and mathematics. By this point, if you haven't already hit the Back button on your browser, then you're welcome to read more below.



I begin. I live somewhere called Port Talbot along the coast of Wales, UK. For a good 18 years, I exist there, and to the surprise of all, barely pick up any of the Welsh language. I do, however, seem to understand computers.


At the end of secondary school, I am faced with a choice of art or science. Although I choose science, this conflict is never resolved. I then proceed through tertiary college with a double dose of mathematics and a shot of physics.


I leave Wales and journey to Reading University, England. Although I do not speak Welsh, I have the speed of the language, which invariably means no one can understand a single word I say. This may have influenced my decision to take a mathematics degree.


Degree complete, I am still unsure of my path and decide to persist with mathematics. I seem to be good at it, so why waste such talent...? I remain at Reading University to take up a PhD. However, nothing quite prepares me for the brick wall that scientific research frequently becomes. Despite such headaches, I learn something about my skills regarding teamwork, organisation and writing. As a result, I finally start to think of a life outside the academic world.


My PhD is not finished, but my grant certainly is. I move to Wilco International, a financial software house. Like the Army, with Wilco you can see the world. Unlike the Army, there are no firearms involved.


I complete my PhD in the evenings, while working during the day on an intensive Euro conversion software project. I graduate in December, while preparing to work over the New Year conversion weekend.


Become a trainer with Wilco, they show me some more of the world. For 3 weeks, I stay in Hyderabad, India, which is very enjoyable. Except for being ill for a couple of days, of course. Mousse, don't eat mousse.


I move to Tokyo, Japan, for Wilco. I'm not really training anymore, as they let me loose on client projects again. Finding Japan to be a nice place to live, the original three-month secondment turns into a more permanent arrangement.


Big work year, lots and lots of overtime. And Aki.


Interesting contrast to the previous year: Looking for a new job, redundancy, blah blah, boo hoo. At least I realise that I actually like software development, something I had forgotten after all of the spec writing, team leadering, project management...


Start at BGI as contractor, become permanent. Not much else happened. Surprisingly boring year, really.


Having quite enough of the trend of This Year being the same as Last Year and so on, it was time to start thinking seriously about what I want to do and where I want to go. This year was the one where there was a lot of travelling, a marriage, resigning from a job without having another job to go to, and leaving Japan. Also rebuilt this web site, my software web site and started a Japanese web log.


Oh no, another one of "those" years. If I tell you that the most notable achievement was being congratulated on eccentric e-mail broadcasts at work, I don't think I need to say anything else, huh?


Got a better job working on derivative pricers. Trips to the Lake District, Venice, Dublin and Barcelona. The beginning of my writing career; Hammerport was born.


Changed job, left derivatives to join a program trading desk. Moved into Epping Forest. Got my first short story published. Went to Scotland, Jersey, Malta. Gained weight.


I could mention The Cotswolds, but this year was all about Kai.


A full year with Kai; he gets cute, Aki returns to work and the days grow shorter.



How I Waste My Time

I am a fiction writer who spends some of his spare time during the day working as a software developer in the City, powers I gained through a curious genetic accident involving a radioactive spider bite. I use my special abilities wherever they are needed but, naturally, with great power comes great responsibility. Currently, my powers are in the employ of Sanford Bernstein who hang out in Mayfair. Oh yeah baby, it's the most expensive spot on the Monopoly board for me.

So what else do I do with my time? Obviously, spending it with Aki, that goes without saying but I've decided to throw away one sentence on the subject anyway. Japanese is one of my interests. Everyday conversation was fine but since passing the Level 2 exam), my great skills have atrophied to the point where I can't actually remember where Japan is anymore.

My main time-killer is writing. Generally stories. Some software-relevant writings are on Electron Drift, but my main project - updated weekly - is a patchwork of short stories: Hammerport.