About Me

It’s true, I’m a nerd. My name is David Allen and I’m a thirty-ish year old boy, still pulling things apart to see how they work. If I learn anything useful, I apply it. The blog name is derived from the word ‘synthetase’. Synthetases are a class of enzyme that use energy to produce new compounds. It seemed apt. Although, it’s mostly just because I’ve always liked the sound of the word ;)

Personal philosophy: (1) Don’t be a dick. (2) Don’t learn what to think, learn how to think.

What can only be described as an 'artistic' shot of me playing guitar :)

What can only be described as an 'artistic' shot of me playing guitar :)

I studied science for years. I have a degree (with Honours! ;) in science (I studied molecular microbiology). I’ve worked as a research scientist, teacher, lab technician and general dogsbody. I have a few published peer-reviewed papers to my name. I even did most of a PhD. It’s funny, in a way, how pulling things apart for science just didn’t cut it for me any more. For various reasons, including an attempt to restore something of my sanity, I decided to leave science and shift my career to my other great love: computers.

Now I do front-end development, working on various websites in an attempt to break into the industry (portfolio here). I also solve Project Euler problems in my spare time. In some ways, it can be more rewarding, because you get to actually make stuff, rather than just figure out how it works and leave all the practical applications to someone else. My first project was an academic resource for science students, called howtoscience.net which aims to help science students improve their report-writing skills.

You may notice on these pages that I like to make stuff. This is really what the site is about. It’s something of a record for me of what I’ve done, so I can look it up later when I inevitably forget the details. Hopefully, some other people will learn a few things from my mistakes as well.

About This Site

This site is powered by Jekyll, a free and open static site generator. Common layout elements (menu structure, header, footer, etc) are written in HTML; and individual pages are written in kramdown and assembled with the layouts by Jekyll into what you see now. CSS styling and JS functionality is then applied as per usual.