Our Column Five team is made up of some very unique people, coming from all walks of life. They’re creative, well-rounded, and work extremely hard. Each week, we profile one fascinating staff member to introduce you to the people behind the scenes of our work.
Hometown: A small town in South Wales, U.K., that you’ve probably never heard of and definitely couldn’t spell.
Started November 2011
Senior Software Developer
What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I was born in the U.K., but I’m an Australian citizen. I also lived in Boston before moving to Southern California, so my accent is a charming mess of dialects. Before working for C5, I lived (in reverse order) in New England, New South Wales, England, South Wales. The pattern was completely unintentional, I swear. I’ve also lived in 10 cities over 3 continents. I’m pretty sure it’s 10, though I can’t shake the feeling I’m missing somewhere. If you’re that 11th city I’ve forgotten, then sorry; it’s nothing personal.
You have a newborn son who is eligible for 3 passports. When will you start training him to become a spy?
I already have a selection of baby-sized false mustaches, so he can have a different look in each photo. He inherits our U.K. and Australian citizenships and was born in America, so in working for MI6, ASIS, and the CIA he’d be a very cost-effective agent, as he could spy on himself.
What is your favorite travel experience?
My wife and I spent two months in the Himalayan region a few years back, and the highlight of that trip was a 23-day trek to Everest Base Camp. The whole region is stunning, and the scale of 8,000-meter peaks around you is something I couldn’t even begin to describe. It was an incredible place to be, and the sense of calm I felt there is something that will remain with me always.
The conditions there also taught me I’m capable of so much more than I thought. Inside our tent at night it would drop to about -15°F, and at over 5,000 meters you have about half the oxygen compared to sea level, so just walking makes it feel like someone ripped out one of your lungs with a claw hammer.
Why do you love David Bowie so much?
Bowie is a god. And I mean that literally, as in “Odin, Bowie, Jesus, Buddha, Apollo, Ra.” For all other artists who’ve been around as long and are still recording, such as Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones, you know exactly what to expect from their new material. But with Bowie, each album is fresh and diverse.
If you weren't a developer, what would you be?
I write a lot. Currently, I’m writing a young-adult novel, an urban fantasy trilogy, a P.G. Wodehouse-esque short story collection, a punk comic series set in near-future LA, and I also have a screenplay idea I’m kicking about. It may sound like a lot of projects, but it means I have something to write whatever my mood.
We asked Stuart to share some of his favorite C5 projects:
Some snapshots from Stuart’s adventures…
Camping at Everest.
Walking in the Annapurnas.
A drink and chicken noodles, shortly after being stopped and questioned by the Nepalese army.