About Me

About the name, Ckwop

In the UK, when you're in the final year of your high-school tuition, you have to do a week of work experience; that is, you go out to work at a real company to see what the working world is like.

I did my work experience at ICI and during the week I was there I did some work on a mainframe computer. It was named Ckwop.

When I first discovered the wonders of IRC, my friends and I didn't have our own IRC server like we do today. Our channel was on EFNET. Anyone who has used EFNET will tell you that finding a unique handle requires some inventiveness. I used the handle ckwop, because of its uniqueness, and it has been my handle ever since.

About Simon

I am 30-something software developer who lives in Widnes, as I have for the whole of my life.

My interests are wide and varied, but the focus of the site is to give express my thoughts on software development in general.

I am fan of the "Strong opinions, weakly held" philosophy of writing. My posts tend to hold a view much stronger view than I would use in normal conversation. I don't claim to be an expert in anything I write about - they're just my opinions. Buyer-beware! However, if you agree or disagree strongly with what I write, I'd like to know.

What Simon does for a living

I am the technical lead at a Warrington based payments services provider. I manage a small team of developers as well as writing software for the business.

I've been there for the best part of a decade and I am enjoying every minute of it.

What's my favourite language?

Python. Python doesn't force any particular programming paradigm on to you, it gets out of the way and lets you program. It's got a very strong user community and it supports higher-order functions natively. Its duck-typing allows you to mock classes with ease, which is good since I'm a strong believer in test driven development.

You'll see code samples on this site in a mixture of C# and Python.


I have also co-written a book on Cryptography called "Cryptography for Developers."

You probably shouldn't buy this book. The publisher screwed up the layout of the book.

Simon on the Web

You can read my posts from around the Web by clicking the links below:

If you want to e-mail me, my address is Simon.Johnson@gmail.com.

Simon in the real world

I regularly attend the Liverpool LUG, so if you want to see me in person go to a meeting.

I am also a trainee pilot with the Liverpool Flying School. If you're an aviation enthusiast maybe I'll see you on the apron!

What powers this web-site?

This website is composed entirely of static XHTML. The pages are first composed as XML and then transformed using XSLT in to XHTML.

This approach allows much of the boiler-plate mark-up in the pages to be easily maintained using only a small collection of bash scripts.

The pages are served by Apache running out of the NearlyFreeSpeech.net infrastructure.