The Faces of Point2 – James Townley



Title: Software Developer
Started at Point2: February 2005

James originally started at Point2 as part of our Customer Care team. His love of technology quickly shone through and he joined our development team a few years later, proving he really is a jack of all trades.

He shows that ability outside of work too – dabbling in guitar, DIY home projects (most recently roofing a shed), sailing, and being a dad to one very active toddler to mention a few.

We asked James a few questions about himself. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your favorite type of music?
I tend to enjoy upbeat folk/indie music the best, though I enjoy music from most genres.

What is your favorite book of all time and why?
1984 by George Orwell. I believe this cautionary tail is very relevant to our lives today and the story teaches so much.

What is your favorite movie of all time?
Princess Mononoke was a interesting take on finding balance.

If you have an hour of free time to spare, what do you do with it?
I like to play some music on the guitar or penny whistle or play some video games.

What kinds of food do you like?
I am quite fond of foods I am unfamiliar with.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled?
I lived briefly in a small town in Northern Ireland. In this town everybody lived in fear of persecution by local paramilitaries. The paramilitaries were founded to protect Northern Ireland and counter act the IRA. Since their founding they became armed hate groups that everyone wished would go away, but were too scared to say so.

As an outsider, I was deemed a safe person to vent these frustrations to, in this position I learnt much about people. The dichotomy of religious fueled political revenged based hate juxtaposed in one of the most serene landscapes made this one of the most interesting places to visit.

What do you like best about your job?
Working with smart people to solve difficult problems. “This isn’t rocket science, it’s way harder.”

If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or historical, who would it be?
William Dampier – A distant relative of mine and an explorer. Some of his earlier journals seem to describe a coast very similar to Canada’s, and he may have been the first to find it (at least from the British exploration period).

What are the words you live by?
I try to live in a way to respect the people around me, so I try to work under the premise that you should treat others as well as you should be treated. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Commonly known as the Golden Rule.

This is complemented by many other creeds like Wicca rule of Three which is all kinds of neat because in mathematics the Golden Rule and the Rule of Three are the same thing!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Do you speak any other languages, and which ones?
I speak Python and Scala and a bit of C.

If you could own one piece of famous art, sculpture, memorabilia or historic artifact, what would the item be?
Excalibur, need more be said?

What are some things on your bucket list?
I would like to eat sushi at Jiro’s Sushi in Tokyo.

What was your last Do It Yourself project?
Roofing a shed, rather dull really.

What athlete or sports figure do you most admire?
Parents, keeping up with young kids requires incredible physical and emotional stamina. Parents everywhere I salute you.

What online sites do you visit?
slashdot, xkcd, ted, google, stack overflow, github

If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The sum total of all human knowledge, but I have no idea what my superhero name would be.

What is something about you that few people know?
I love sailing, and feel quite at home in a sailboat on the open ocean.

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