About

Me, v2.0

So you’ve come here to find out about me?  Well, OK then…

Starting with the basics, my name is Kieron Thwaites, and I’m a 30 year old (at of the last time I edited this page, which was January 2015) male living in the most awesome place on earth — Cape Town, South Africa.  Most of my friends call me “Ron” for short though (and the friends of the opposite gender have since expanded this to “Ronny”) — it started back in ye olde high school days, and has stuck ever since.

Online, the most common handle that I use is the one of “Ron2K”, which I’ve used since 2000 and which I use the most.  However, I’m using this handle less and less these days, preferring it to the alternate handle of “Kelerei” instead.  The origins of the Ron2K handle should be fairly obvious (well, I hope!), while Kelerei was my attempt to create a name in the Thalassian language (the language of the blood elves in World of Warcraft lore); predictably, this is the name of my World of Warcraft character.

Bio

I grew up in Durban, South Africa, and spent the first 18 years of my life there.  I then spent one year at the University of Cape Town, studying a degree that I absolutely hated, and then moved back to Durban and to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, studying a different (but equally hateful) degree.  It was towards the end of this period where I met up with Jeremy Thurgood, who was doing his masters in electronic engineering at the time — and between the two of us, we realised that tinkering with code was more my thing.  We’ve remained extremely good friends ever since.

So, after deciding “well, bugger that” as far as university life went, I enrolled at a private college in 2005 and completed (or rather annihilated) a one year diploma in software development.  Said private college then took me on as one of their tutors, while I continued working part time towards the elusive degree in computer science.  I finally obtained this towards the end of 2009.

Near the end of 2006, I got my first break as a junior software developer.  In 2010, realising that the career path for software developers in Durban had limited opportunities for personal growth, I took the plunge and moved back to the Cape — and haven’t looked back since.

Work

I still write code for a living, and currently work at a smallish development house in Rondebosch, servicing several clients.  The work is varied, there’s lots of it, I’m being exposed to bleeding-edge technologies, and there’s a great sense of fun (we work in a large, converted house that has a swimming pool!).  To sum up in one word: perfect.

I also used to administer on a technical level the forums of the PCFormat/G3AR magazine — a task that would definitely be categorised under work and not play! — but I recently stopped doing this.  It was a task that I had performed for around five years, from around the latter half of 2008 to June 2013.  If you’ve come here with a question around those forums, I’m afraid that I can no longer help you.

Play

Although I don’t have that much spare time, I definitely know how to make use of the time that I do have!

I don’t have that much interest in spectator sports (sport is something one does, rather than something one watches), with a notable exception being F1 racing.  Rather, I partake in activities such as playing table tennis, foosball, ultimate frisbee and just going for some runs around the neighbourhood and/or some random beach somewhere.

I also have a bit of a musical streak.  I have been trained to play both the piano and the pipe organ, and contribute towards my church’s band (more recently, arranging new music for what can only be considered an miniature orchestra: flute, treble recorder, clarinet, saxophone, horn, trombone, drum kit, djembe, piano, synthesizer, choir and strings).  I’m also an amateur trance DJ (which includes a stint on UCT Radio back in the days) and have briefly experimented with trance music production in the past as well.

As I write code for a living, it would make sense that I use computers for fun as well, and these include gaming (I was one of the co-founders of Durban’s FRAG LAN), networking, and just plain general tinkering. I started raiding in World of Warcraft towards the end of 2011, ended up as de facto raid leader around a year later, and currently am leader of the entire guild of around 600 people.

I also have a love for the outdoors, and will quite happily go hiking in the mountains, or even just head into the mountains with just some food and a sleeping bag and sleep under the stars by myself.  (Yes, I’ve actually done this — most memorably, a night alone in the Drakensberg’s Lower Injisuthi Cave at a point in my life when I really needed the solitude.)  Some of my favourite memories have been made in some very remote, far-off corners of Africa’s southern tip.

When all else fails, I’ve been known to simply jump in the car and drive somewhere just for the sake of driving somewhere.

More recently, I’ve become far less anti-social than I have been previously, and have consequently been dragged along to various places in Long Street on dark and mysterious Saturday evenings…

Personal

In terms of the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’ve come out as INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging), which is globally extremely rare (estimated at around 2.1% of the world’s population) but which seems to be more prevalent amongst us software developer types.  In a nutshell, this means that I know what I know, and perhaps more importantly, I know what I don’t know.

At one point in my life, I considered personal relationships a major weakness of mine (read my earliest ramblings for the gory details), but in July 2013, I got together with a very special young lady who has changed me totally in just about every way conceivable.  It’s been an absolutely amazing journey with her, and one that we both want to continue for the rest of our lives, reinforced in January 2015 when we became engaged.

That said, I usually don’t get to know well people that don’t take the time and effort to get to know me — but those that do take the trouble will find a very intelligent and interesting person on the other end.  Or, at least, I can only hope…

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