Who is Joe Curtin?

MLOps, DevOps, aspiring writer


I’m Joe Curtin. You don’t know me yet, but you might. I’m an Autistic Individual who has been through countless gauntlets. Growing and adding more operational knowledge on how to behave and function in a diverse and inclusive environment. Through my scintillating existence, I’ve found Software Engineering to be a creative and consistently reliable output for the (un)natural entropy collected through order and disorder of systems I observe.

This website will primarily be about my interests in various technical domains. Most commonly Machine Learning Operations, Development Operations, and Observability.

If you're looking for friends who like to talk about interpersonal dynamics of atypical and typical neurotypes. You’ll be able to find them on Twitter ( #ActuallyAutistic )

Please bear with me, while I refine and redefine my writing style through an iterative process.

Here is a story about my Learning Path

Over ten years ago, I started writing HTML and CSS in Notepad. Before the days of FireBug, all we had was source-code to look at to learn from and create new ideas with. For my class project, I built an E-commerce website that would sell Chinese Food online. Complete with About Us, Contact Us, Menu, and an Index page. It was ready for release, but I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it so thats where that project ended.

Around the same time, I started learning Action Script 3 by Macromedia. The AVM2 came along and I fell deep into the rabbit hole. Spending hours designing factorial algorithms and understanding trigonometry so I may render graphics on-screen rather than having to embed massing data-files into the SWF.

I eventually found employment with a company in Washington DC that would alter the direction of my life away from Video Games and towards Databases and DevOps. My hobby and love of writing video game-game engines used to fan the flames of my creativity was isolated. I would eventually become limited by my communication skills and without a mentor in that area(one of the side effects of being Autistic), I was unable to find a learning path to sustain my interests and merge my career path. The final nail in the coffin came when Apple said they’ll never support the AVM2 on iOS and development for the product was dropped entirely.

I found myself knee deep in Java J2EE work, learning how backend and frontend web applications work. This was around the time SenchaJS was called ExtJS, just about the time where jQuery became a huge hit among engineers and the FrontEnd Renaissance began.

After my first Autistic Burnout, I took about a year off figuring out and understanding which technologies I should learn to further find ways to integrate into technical communities. At the time, I wasn’t aware of how silent my existence was. Not many people took time to talk to me and I thought that was normal. I spent the time learning Python, Javascript, and diligently completing my work.

It worked well, most technical hurdles were figured out and presented to me in the form of Jira Tickets. I could read tickets from the back-log and complete them in record time. My main output was Python and Cycling and talking to people about things they seemed to want to talk about. It was a picturesque life and I came near to cycling my first 100 miles. I was considering whether or not to compete for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Forces beyond my understanding persuaded me not to and things went downhill for a while; I felt rail-roaded for years trying to understand why I was being pushed in a direction that was asymmetrical to my interests. Then I fought an invisible enemy. Without the tools to communicate given to me, I forged a language without even realizing it.

You don't truly know know someone, until you fight them.

- Seraph

Being Autistic, there is a lot of oppertunity for us to experience Evil. I’m not sure why I’ve had to get used to some of the evil that has been sent my way. My main response to it now is to ignore it and only address it when nessicary as it doesn’t surve any beneficial purpose to syndicate.

Evil is not prejudiced, that evil just needs an opportunity to work through you. It made me realize that I had a lot more work to do that all of us, no matter what we look like, we all have a common enemy. And that is evil. If we don't understand that and come together, then evil will win.

- Ruby Bridges

With countless gauntlets behind me, I looked hard at my failures and tried to learn as much as I could from them.

I’m now at a point where I can write and contribute what I've learned to society. Hopefully, influencing other Autistic Indivduals to reconize that what they are is what they make of themselves. That the words people use to correct us, don’t have to be interpreted as chains and that we don’t have to be a Titan from Ancient Greece or an Evil God from Ancient Egypt. Instead, we can find ways to provide value to our communities and the only limitation between us and them is how we speak. We can change the way we speak by finding the community we want to be apart of. The good news is, NeuroTypicals are well intentioned and are willing to change the way they view us. We just have to tell them how to view us. Keep searching for your community.

"Hmm,” said a small voice in his ear. “Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There’s talent, oh my goodness, yes — and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that’s interesting. … So where shall I put you?”

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.

“Not Slytherin, eh?” said the small voice. “Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that — no? Well, if you’re sure — better be GRYFFINDOR!”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Its about ... time I get back to technology.

Books that have changed the way I think

Atomic Habits by James Clear
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Measure what Matters by John E. Doerr
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Tao Te Ching