Scream to the Tune of the Background Noise.

Sometimes otherwise innocuous lyrics strike a cord with someone. This lyric is one of those for me. I honestly think the lyrics sums up a very important aspect of me. Let me explain why:

Since computers have been interconnected, infrastructure has gotten more complex, more refined, and more important. The user-base has expanded to include almost everyone in a developed nation. They interact with this infrastructure daily, miles of network cable and thousands of network devices. The infrastructure behind it is almost entirely transparent to them; it's irrelevant to their interests which lay on the other side of the connection. Even the audible modem noise has been replaced with a perfectly quiet, undetected broadband connection. It's designed to be imperceptible because just as people are uninterested in the trucks that take their physical mail, they're uninterested in the twists, turns, and devices their internet traffic goes through. Not everyone is that way, and I'm not.

I love infrastructure. I love reading network traffic captures to discover interesting bits of packets and frames, I love learning how devices interact with each other. Most of all, I love using that information to interact in different ways. I love manipulating network device rules, shaping what's allowed past and what isn't. Even the mark-up language that shapes the way webpages look is fascinating; I love to use its technologies in interesting ways.

Everything from network communication, markup language, and, more literally, modem noises is strictly background noise to people whose interest is what's on the other end of the communication line.

I love the communication lines themselves, and I scream to the tune of the background noise.

- Zachary Ehnerd