Stephen's Thoughts, and Other Nonsense...

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About Me

For something different, I have written this page in the form of an interview... with myself...

How can you be contacted?

The best way to contact me is via email, at Alternatively, I'm on Twitter, Google+, and GitHub, if you'd like to find me there. Also, you can find me (and my public key) on Keybase, if you'd like to send me something cryptographically.

So, who are you?

I am a senior PHP developer at Tectonic. I live near Canberra, which is the capital city of Australia. (You'd be amazed at how many people don't know this fact!) My job at Tectonic involves spending a lot of time working with Laravel 5, and unfortunantly a lot of time with Javascript too. I'm a huge fan of PHP and Laravel is pure awesome. Before moving to Tectonic at the start of 2015, I worked for Intersect Alliance as the Product Manager and Development Team Leader.

I studied a Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering at the University of Canberra, and have been interested in, and involved in, the internet for many years. I taught myself PHP when I was finishing school, and kept the love of the language throughout Uni and then onto a full time job as a web developer at a local web host. It's been a fun adventure, and there is always new things to learn and new tools to use in this industry!

Who are you outside of work?

The biggest thing that defines me is that I'm a husband and father, to a beautiful wife and energy filled son. I'm also a Christian, a geek and a musician. I spend a lot of time playing around on various development projects, and I play Baritone Saxophone in In Full Swing. I also run a small jazz band called Last Minute Jazz.

I've been known online as Valorin for years, and before that I was Olorin. I've also used SRC occasionally...

If you could only keep one piece of technology, what would it be?

My Kindle. I love reading, and the Kindle is pure awesome. Sure a phone, laptop, or tablet, can do a lot more, but nothing quite beats reading - and nothing beats the Kindle when it comes to reading books electronically. That screen is amazing, and the battery life is epic. That said, I just got a Pebble Time, and it's pretty awesome too!

Who is your favourite author?

Easy question... J.R.R. Tolkien.

I am also a huge fan of David Dalglish. Check his stuff out, it's awesome!

Let me guess, your favourite movie is 'The Lord of the Rings'?


What did you think of 'The Hobbit' movies?

When you don't compare them to the book, they are good movies with two exceptions:

  1. They should've been left as two movies - they felt too stretched in some sections, and the flow wasn't right.
  2. Legolas should've been a cameo as the gaoler who fell asleep with the keys. It would've been a perfect mirror of the scene in LOTR when he drank Gimli under the table.

Have you ever won anything?

Until recently, I would've said nope... :'(
However, I'm very excited to say that I am one of the winners of the Pebble Timeline Challenge!

About my website is the latest evolution of my website (obviously!). It all started many years ago on a free web host somewhere, and I'm sure I'd be ashamed of it now. I eventually managed to convince my parents to buy me a domain name and web hosting, and was born on 17-nov-2003! went through many iterations and design changes, as well as a few custom CMSes and some trips between Wordpress and Zend Framework. As is pretty typical for web developers really.

I had every intention of keeping my primary website as forever, but then I got married and everything changed... Well, one critical thing changed. My last name changed from Rees to Rees-Carter.

I had never been able to secure the domains I wanted for rees, but with the change of name came a new opportunity, and was mine!, like, has gone through many iterations and changes. It is currently powered by Laravel's Lumen, with Materialize as the front-end framework.