What's in a name?

Welcome :) !

As the first post on this site, I thought it was important for me to explain why this site was created and the reasoning behind the name.

I have been writing on and off on other digital mediums and writing some internal developer articles, and penning my thoughts over emails and other media. But there was no centralized place where I could share my thoughts, experiments, experiences, research, etc - especially around technology. Thus, this place to be a centralized repository of my tech ramblings and ruminations.

Second, the name of the site. tintinprogrammer.com. When I was wanting to choose a name for this site, many thoughts were going around in my mind as to what would best describe the purpose of this site.

The main theme of the site is going to be about programming and technology. Thus, the second part, programmer.

Coming to the prefix, Tintin. This is after one of the cartoon characters which has deeply inspired and influenced me. For those who do not know about Tintin, please visit tintin.com or look him up on Wikipedia.

To me, the personality of Tintin is quite inspiring. Essence of it is beautifully put on Wikipedia.

‘Tintin has a sharp intellect, can defend himself, and is honest, decent, compassionate, and kind. Through his investigative reporting, quick-thinking, and all-around good nature, Tintin is always able to solve the mystery and complete the adventure.’

‘He is also modest and self-effacing…and is the most loyal of friends…‘

Some of the beautiful traits which I have come to like and try to live by are….

1. Tintin never lets down his friends

Never! When someone trusts his help/friendship, he would never let them down and go to whatever extremes to help them. Examples - Tintin in Tibet (saving Chang), The Blue Lotus (to save the Professor’s son), The Calculus Affair and The Prisoners of the sun (rescuing Professor Calculus), Tintin and the Picaros (Madame Castafiorre). Similarly, if given a problem to solve and trusted by my peers and senior folks, I try my level best to help them on the problem/task, even if it meant going the extra mile.

2. Tintin is honest and justly bold to do the right thing

Tintin is an honest person and whenever needed, never shies away from giving back to the bad guys when wanting to do something good. The punch to the aide-de-camp in Ottokar’s Sceptre. In that whole episode of Otttokar’s Sceptre, the theme was him doing the right thing to ensure that the King continued on the throne. All throughout he was as honest as he could get.

Honesty is something so very important to me. And I firmly believe in being justly bold to state things which I feel is correct, unless someone can convince me otherwise. I take this approach to programming as well. Being honest about the findings, shortcomings, right decisions and always stand my those. This aspect of doing the right thing has often brought me at loggerheads with some persons who want to get things done, and not bother about doing the right thing right. As a result of this kind of perfectionistic thinking, there is always a tug of war between time and the problem at hand.

3. Curious and adventurous

Tintin is very curious, adventurous and a keen investigator. His curiosity often lands him in trouble from which he adventurously comes out of.

As a programmer, I feel that a programmer’s geography of adventure is the codebase and business systems which they have to deal with. Also is the added adventure of interacting with various people of various nationalities, mindsets. Sometimes it gets real exciting.

I have seen people who think twice about doing something which may break the system. I am an antithesis of it. I love to do things which pique my curiosity and enjoy the adventure of wading through the code bases and exploring dark corners of the codebase cross-cutting various abstraction boundaries.

4. A thorough researcher and a keen investigator

Tintin is a good researcher and a keen investigator. His research has often helped him to solve the mystery. He spends time in the library and with books to know more. For instance, in Ottokar’s Sceptre, he solved the whole plot based on a reading in the plane en route Syldavia.

Research is my second nature. I love to read more and more about the domain of the problem, the technology platform, and so on until I am satisfied that all the pieces of the puzzle fit in. I have an eye for detail and am overall a detail oriented person.

5. Loves traveling and forming relationships

Needless to say, Tintin loves traveling and visiting places. Tintin makes friends very easily amongst the people he meets on travels and those relationships he values so much. Like the Maharaja of India (Cigars of Pharaoh, The Blue Lotus), the Emir (The Land of Black Gold) , Skut (Red sea sharks, Flight 714) , General Alcazar. to name a few.

I love visiting people and making friendships. I feel more than anything, it’s the relationships which we build in our lives is the most important thing. And as a programmer, I get to interact with a lot of nice people who are beautiful in their own sense of terms. I love to form and sustain long lasting friendships in a spirit of honesty and well-wishing.

6. Kind heartedness towards animals and less privileged

Not just his friends, but Tintin also stands up for exploitation or mistreatment of animals or unprivileged people. Like protecting Zorrino from the hands of the ruffians in Prisoners of the Sun. Tintin also likes animals. It’s hard to imagine Tintin without Snowy and he did not think twice before jumping on to save snowy when he fell into a Himalayan river (Tintin in Tibet). And he was compassionate to the poor imprisoned Gorilla (The Black Island) and gave him kindness. Or affirming the soft nature of the Yeti and shunning the demonizing attitude which public have of him (Tintin in Tibet)

I feel these attributes are what makes one a human being. It is important to be compassionate even in the realm of problem-solving. Without compassion, one is not a human being, forget about being a programmer. In the workplace, I try my best to protect some of my fellow workers from being made scapegoats or being exploited. I try to help them, code for them, communicate for them and at times, speak for them , even if it meant I am not in the good books of the powers that be. And being kind to animals is also my second nature. Find it so difficult when someone treats them cruelly.

7. Modest and not the bragging kind

Tintin is modest and self-effacing. Does not like to brag about himself too much…

I also believe in being so. Being simple modest but have a high thinking.

8. Always helpful

Tintin is ever helpful. Be it helping his landlady Mrs.Finch or returning a brief case to Professor Alembick (Ottokar’s sceptre), Tintin is always a person who is interested in serving/helping people.

I also love to help/serve people. And my fellow programmers who work with me in whatever little ways I can to enrich their life/job.

9. At times, guided by intuition

All logic and research apart, Tintin at times goes by gut instinct or what some may call as intuition. Example,in Tintin in Tibet or Flight 714, Tintin was guided by what some scientifically unexplainable thing said within himself - be it searching for Chang being sure he is alive or guided by the ET voice which asked him to do such and such a thing.

Similarly, though I like to reason and research a lot, at times, go by gut instinct or by what my inner voice strongly feels about it, despite common logical reasoning not pointing towards my actions.

The list could go on…. but in totality, Tintin is a person who is overall good hearted…and wants to do the right thing.

In essence, the theme which I want to represent through this site is a Tintin-ish approach to programming/software development and problem solving, trying to encompass the various traits which I love about him in the adventures of programming.