Alex Maestas

Software generalist, code janitor, with a unique perspective of online abuse

Alex Maestas is an autistic, nonbinary transgender, plural person; this is our professional website.

When we were growing up, we would always install MacsBug on our Macintoshes and produce backtraces on every crash (without really understanding what they were at the time). Now, we’re the kind of person who casually patches and/or disassembles their software. When one of our partners needed a program to keep track of her medication, we chose to make it in Factor. Software maintenance, retrocomputing, and preservation are keen interests of ours; our living room is furnished with a Macintosh SE/30, and we now understand how to use MacsBug.

Our college curriculum had our past self writing a compiler for a reasonable subset of C; while we were working at the campus computer center, we wrote and released some Ruby bindings for a library. In 2015, we started using Org mode to maintain our Emacs configuration in somewhat of a “literate programming” style. In 2019, just for fun, we learned OCaml and made a command-line implementation of an out-of-print tarot deck. We have experience debugging the interactions between a Tcl interpreter and a networking stack. We’re highly adaptable in the search for practical solutions to complex problems.

Everyone has those dark, scary corners in their codebase or infrastructure. That thing written ages ago, in some unusual language, and nobody touches because it just works (mostly). We’re not afraid to shine a flashlight in there, figure out what it does, why it does it, and how best to replace it. We try to document systems in terms of block diagrams and message flow; we also greatly enjoy the challenge of creating clear written communication. We’re looking to work with a team conscious of technical debt, ready to manage complexity, and eager to create interesting software.