James Padolsey

Software Engineer, Author, Founder

πŸ“ Active Blog / Old Blog (pre-2020)
πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ Dancing AI Sprites
πŸ”— Links to other things
πŸ“§ Email me

2024 Status:

In the past I worked at companies like Stripe, Facebook and Twitter (cv). I am now focusing more of my work towards projects that use Generative AI: building proofs-of-concept, doing independent research, and working with organizations who are either ready to implement or cautiously exploring applications in this new landscape. Contact me here if you want a consultation.

The recent past: After I completed my book in 2019, I pursued a break from tech and started a degree in paramedicine with St George’s University. However, in December 2019, I suffered a stroke which has left me partially disabled and unable to continue that tangent of life. My experience of this brain injury and the subsequent challenges – not to be taken lightly – have helped to channel my ambitions and regulate a gentle return to technology, but this time, on my terms. I am most lured by the scale and high leverage that can be achieved by tiny but marvellous ideas in tech. Some noteworthy projects from my past, if you're interested:

πŸ“— "Clean Code in JavaScript"

A few years ago I wrote a book about "Clean Code in JavaScript". It's a slightly opinionated and heavy exploration of what we even mean by β€œclean code”, but oriented towards JavaScript and its surrounding eco-system. I was always bothered by the elusive fuzziness of the term β€œclean code”, and wanted to reflect on things I’d learned in the previous decade. Buy it here: "Clean Code in JavaScript"

πŸ’Ύ Historic Code

I've contributed to various open-source projects and created a bunch of useful utilities over the years. Take a look on Github. I've also written blog posts ranging topics from JavaScript to more opinionated pieces on software architecture. You can find an archive of these posts here. I also have contributed heavily to StackOverflow in the past.

🧠 Disability

My recent brain injury has left me reflecting on the ableism normalized throughout workplaces and wider society. I am, as such, actively trying to advocate more for disability rights and topics like chronic illness and mental health. Please read my article, β€œDisability: Models, Cultures, Perceptions and the Path to Inclusivity.”

πŸ“š A Book Like Foo

A Book Like Foo is a book recommendation platform. It will discover books tailored to specific tastes and themes, selected from hundreds of thousands of titles. It builds recommendation from a graph database containing millions of books and co-affections between those books. It uses a modified collaborative filtering approach giving (sometimes) surprisingly solid results. Also see its cousin Love Your Shelf and Break The Bubble.

βš–οΈ "Parse The Bill"

ParseTheBill makes proposed legislation (parliamentary bills) in the UK more accessible for engaged citizens and advocacy groups who want to stay informed but don't have time to read full legal texts. It's very experimental. Read more about its implementation here.

πŸ“œ The Minimalist Wiki

The Minimalist Wiki (wiki.grok.foo) uses existing Wikipedia articles, ChatGPT 3.5-turbo and MidJourney to generate simplified and ~mostly aesthetically consistent imagery. This is an experiment to see if educational material can be automatically generated to tailor to specific audiences and aesthetics.

🐽 Pippy: A Disability Chatbot

Pippy is an AI chatbot that helps disabled UK residents navigate and advocate for their disability needs in workplaces, schools, and social contexts. It also helps people fill out their PIP (disability benefit) forms and discover resources, charities and communities.

πŸ€– Grok.foo

Grok.foo is an experimental tech wiki for multiple audiences; young, old, professionals, students – even caters to the grumpy cynic. It was generated with LLMs.

Contact me here.