i went to college to be an engineer, came out 6 years later with a degree in discrete mathematics, & have since worked as a software developer in a corporate IT shop. i'm considering retooling once again, this time towards something like what i suppose people mean by industrial engineering.
god speaks to us from all around - that's the signal. but as the indigo girls pointed out to us years ago, darkness has a hunger that's insatiable - that's the noise.
programming for the sake of the craft used to be the whole point for me, & i very much still consider it an artisan skill, rather than a marketable skill set. however, programming is a tool, & i've been honing this tool for the better part of a decade now.
anyway, this isn't a dating website so let me set aside the philosophy & give you something useful:
my current interest: stochastic processes, data warehousing & mining, distributed &/or parallel systems.
platform/tools preference: open source, open source, open source. free as in freedom. currently running ubuntu 9.10 on this box, with an unfinished gentoo install on another. gentoo preferably but you really can't beat ubuntu for a fast installation.
python [ python is awesome... & that's "python" as in "monty", which tells you a lot right there... if you've never used python stop reading this immediately & go download & install python - http://python.org/download/. interactive with the interactive interpreter - it wants to interact with you ;) ]
scheme [ some ]
perl [ please don't use perl for anything you actually need to get working or might rely on in any way - it's designed to jerk yourself around with, willfully so. ]
elisp [ very next in the queue - i'm switching to emacs & this is how you script emacs. elisp as in lisp ]
ruby on rails [ just recently - this is awesome ]
oracle [ rdbms & app server/mid-tier stuff ]
j2ee [ the perl of web frameworks. again, don't use this if you actually need it to work. & if you do use it, don't read the documentation on sun's site - it will cause emotional problems & possibly madness. ]
.NET/ASP.NET [ only if someone's paying me ]
apache [ probably outdated knowledge by now ]
IIS [ very little, only what i needed ]
jquery [ this is awesome ]
also, i hate microsoft for the obvious reasons. IBM is the devil. oracle is the new microsoft. and i don't know what apple is, but i don't trust them either.
so, as perhaps the length of my introduction would indicate, i do enjoy talking shop. i also have a reasonable proficiency in a number of languages & technologies, although some of it may be a bit rusty to very rusty. i actually signed up for this site to answer a c# question, & from clicking around here now & then over the course of tonight, i get the sense that there are a lot of relatively fresh programmers or aspiring programmers. to any such user reading this, my honest hope would be that i can give you a correct answer that works before you get an answer that just works from somewhere else. ignorance is not a problem, it is an opportunity... at least in my experience, unlearning the wrong behaviors is far more painful & time-consuming an ordeal than learning the correct ones. i'll try to answer questions i notice but please do not hesitate to ping me directly with any question. if i don't know it, i might learn it with you, or at the very least i'll tell you i don't know & maybe dig up a link or 2 that might help.
& to those more experienced than i - if you have any kind of experience actually pulling off some kind of high-data volume mining/analytics project, or parallelizing algorithms across some kind of cluster, i'd very much appreciate any insight you might share. i'm running off 2 or 3 industrial engineering classes from school, & my math is pretty stale from disuse. i'm still sifting the marketing jargon from what the actually technologies & techniques are, another ordeal that i've found to be painful, historically.
do you have the lobes for logic, hue-mon?