At Grapplers Inc Call me Petter. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely⁽¹⁾—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me in Sweden, I thought I would fly about a little and see the North American part of the world. So it is that (spleen or no spleen, grimness or no grimness about the mouth) I now live in Vancouver, British Columbia, via a brief stint in la belle province: Programmer, sesquipedalian, and general geek; possessor of slight alphabet soup (M.Sc., Hon.B.Sc.) in Computer Science; enthusiastically plying my trade, reading whatever falls into my lap, and refusing to accept that the personal website is all dead.

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I’m from Finspång, Sweden, a town which earned its one-time wealth by manufacturing cannon and cannonballs and now produces large turbines and expatriates (much like Lancre, it is more a place to be from than to live in). I grew up on a steady diet of Astrid Lindgren, Biggles, J.R.R. Tolkien⁽²⁾, and fantasy fiction (both the good and the majority).

In 2001, I cast my twenty-sided die and crossed my Rubicon to get out of Sweden and shake up my life. I got my B.Sc. at Bishop’s University in a little town called Lennoxville, Québec (legally, it’s not a town anymore). I also grew up a little. In retrospect, a bigger school (like a proper university) might have offered more academically—I liked most of my professors, but there weren’t enough of them to do much about the course selection—but I like to think that I needed a little university like that during my metamorphosis. On pupation or graduation, I moved on to a rather bigger town with a rather bigger university, viz. the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. It was also a good experience, although I’m kind of glad I didn’t do my undergrad there. One might drown, while the scale of the graduate departments allowed for a more personal experience.

I sort of miss Lennoxville. The summers were dreadful, but the autumns were aflame with countless millions of maples, and the winters were crisp and fresh. Better thirty above than thirty below, I like to say; and at forty below, everything is great—it even solves communication problems, since the benighted Fahrenheit scale coincides with my compatriot Celsius scale at −40°C=−40°F. (For reference, what I like to say per the above translates to “better 22 below than 86 above”, which is not very catchy.) Also, Québec has poutine as a kind of artiosclerotic apology for the language laws.

In 2007, I finished up my master’s thesis⁽²⁾ and got a real job as a Software Developer at one45 Software; briefly, as my department was spun off as eRezLife. We were a very small shop, so everyone’s finger was in every pie. Hygiene aside, I think that’s an experience every developer should have, being forced to learn the entire software stack—not only was I working on the product itself from top (HTML, Javascript, AJAX) to bottom (PHP, MySQL), but since I had some experience with Linux from running my own boxen from time to time, I also did a bunch of work on deployment and backup scripts, &c.

Probably the most interesting thing I did at eRezLife was the residence assignment module—a subsystem that allowed university residence admins to automatically assign students to residence beds, with custom weights given to various qualifications and preferences. That was a lot of fun, both due to the complexity of the algorithm and the optimisation it took (I learned my first true lesson on the cost of DB roundtrips when I improved the speed by a factor of 600 by moving some logic from PHP to a stored procedure), and for a little anecdote of the “left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing” type: We were briefly in talks with a university IT department to possibly acquire (what we gathered was) their system for doing much the same. The head of residences assured us that it was dead simple for him: the IT guys had it automated. The IT guys revealed that it didn’t actually assign rooms or beds, but automated the assignment to buildings—the residence secretary did the rest, no big deal. The beleaguered secretary told us that it took up a few weeks at the beginning of every semester. The system I produced could do it in a couple of minutes, though I suspect that with the additional years of experience I’ve gathered since then, there’s probably another order of magnitude to squeeze out of there.

In 2012, I was picked up by another small (though slightly larger) company, BAM Software and Services, which is where I’m working today.⁽³⁾ My official title is Software Developer. Due to my own interests, inclinations, and extracurricular activities, I’ve also been given the semi-official title of Security Alarmist, and I’m also the primary resource for frontend technologies (AngularJS, RequireJS, Grunt, Bower, and that sort of thing). I am also—in very concrete reality albeit not on my business card⁽⁴⁾—the technical lead for FanEx. The work is in Java (which is not my favourite but, on the bright side, is not PHP), JS, and a liberal sprinkling of SQL, where I’ve found that albeit that I am not a fan of Microsoft, they’ve cranked out a pretty decent product in SQL Server, especially in the fantastic dev tools. (If only we didn’t have to run it on a Windows VM…)

My hobbies have at various times included karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, fantasy role playing games, drawing, writing fiction⁽⁵⁾, playing computer games, swordfighting, weight lifting, board games, and chess. My hobbies at present I shan’t go into, because I update this section of the website so rarely that any claims about the present time spend most of their time being wrong. The exception is reading, which I do quite a lot.

Education

Schools
The University of British Columbia
Department of Computer Science
2005–2007 Graduate (M.Sc.):
Master of Computer Science
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Bishop’s University
Department of Computer Science
2001–2005 Undergraduate (B.Sc.):
Honours in Computer Science,
Minor in Mathematics
Lennoxville, Québec, Canada
Bergska skolan 1998–2001 High school (Swedish gymnasium; grades 10–12) Finspång, Östergötland, Sweden
Nyhemsskolan 1995–1998 Elementary (grades 7–9) Finspång, Östergötland, Sweden
Viggestorpsskolan 1989–1995 Elementary (grades 1–6) Finspång, Östergötland, Sweden

Awards and scholarships
UBC International Student scholarship Department of Computer Science, UBC 2005–2006, 2006–2007 Annual scholarship.
The University Prize in Computer Science Bishop’s University 2005
Stephen St. Clair Memorial Scholarship Bishop’s University 2002–2003, 2003–2004, 2004–2005 Awarded on basis of academic standing for 2002–2003. Renewed for 2003–2004 and again 2004–2005.
The Albert Kwong Memorial Prize in Computer Science Bishop’s University 2002 Awarded on basis of academic standing.
The U-1 Alumni Prize Bishop’s University 2002 Highest academic standing among male first-year students at B.U.
Georg Leires fond (The Georg Leire Fund) Stiftelsen för Georg Leires fond (The Foundation of the Georg Leire Fund) 2001