Sunday, August 25, 2019

Why is my avatar a wasp?

The Joyful Programmer's avatar
People have asked me why I use this wasp as my avatar, and I have explained it numerous times. With this new blog, I decided to give the full explanation here instead.

Back in 2011, my wife took me out to lunch to a local sandwich shop. Outside the restaurant, there was a large, green metal garbage can with bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets flying around it. Being the nature lover that I am, I start taking photographs.

When I got home that evening, I started reviewing the photos I took. I quickly started thinking about their lifestyles, their communities, their organizational skills, and many other aspects, as though they were alien life from another planet. How much do we really know these creatures? Well, I certainly didn't, so I started researching them. Some of the information I found was very poetic and symbolized some fundamentals about myself, and later my brand, The Joyful Programmer.

Wasp generally have a close-knit community. Each member of the wasp  community protects it, builds upon it, keeps rift-raft out of it, and structures it. This is the type of community I want for The Joyful Programmer, where the community as a whole builds upon the community for the greater good, not just a single leader doing all the work.

I looked through all the photos again to find the one I wanted to use as my avatar, and the following one is the one I chose:

The original photo used to create The Joyful Programmer's avatar
The original photo used to create The Joyful Programmer's avatar
I took the image into my favorite image editing software, rotated it, cropped the wasp I wanted, and colorized it to make it stand out more.

This image, as-well-as my avatar I created from it, speaks volumes to me, and it was another "happy accident" (as Bob Ross - "The Joy of Painting" used to say) that made things better and changed the course of my life.