Who is She?

| Jan 24, 2024 min read

Who is She?

So whats up with this image on the site? This is Cirno from the Touhou series of games. She is a little ice fairy you meet in several of the games who believes that she is the “strongest” despite being introduced as a mid-boss for level 1. This fan art of her by an unknown (to me) artist enchanted me when I saw it. She’s so full of confidence and so unaware of her own weakness while, in my mind’s eye, spouting off nonsense to a patronizing and exasperated audience.

But why Your Profile Picture?

tl;dr I do what I want.

Back when I worked at EDS/HPE, we were required to use the enterprise equivalent of MSN Messenger. I was fresh out of college, rebellious, but not provocative. At some point we were required to have an image in the app. Being private by nature, I didn’t like the idea of the entire corproate directory knowing what I look like. Plus, it wasn’t fair to my co-workers to expose them to my visage on a daily basis.

The corporate IT guys did the best they could with what they were given. You had to use your corporate profile image. No uploading a custom one. Oh dear, but what was this? In the settings, while profile images were greyed out, there was a field to allow for a remote image, in retrospect, probably there to facilitate subsidiary domains. Regardless, having my own server, I went about hacking together a script that not only would host my remote image, but change it on a daily basis.

I was big into Touhou at the time. Something about the indie-dev spirit and the wildly creative fan-base with virtually no limits on creative license appealed to me. I used a bunch of character images from the games as my pool of avatars. Other than the occasional inquiry from a co-worker who found it silly, no one noticed for my entire tenure there.

It’s since then become my thing. The Cirno image here specifically started when I was at Arxan and had to settle for one image since they used Slack. This is the one I landed on.

It’s how I Try to See Myself

While I may have letters after my name and a lot of experience, I’m still one man on current-year planet earth. Since one of my hobbies is just learning for the sake of it, I’m confronted daily with things I didn’t know or was mistaken about. I like to remind myself that confidence does not equate correctness. Having that image front and center every working day helps with that.

It’s how I Choose to Have Others See Me Digitally

I’m well aware that post-2020, the profile picture is often the first thing your co-workers, or even the public, see and associate with you. I’m still that private guy I was post college, even more so now with the CISSP. I put myself in the shoes of a brand-new dev who I need to ask a question: how would getting a ping from this image sit with me?

My answer is: I would be a lot less terrified of a leader who chooses to be silly over one who chooses an image that exudes power. Let me be seen as clownish. It breaks down a wall if nothing else. And if they see me as I see me, they will take my advise as a fellow imperfect human, and treat it with their own critical eye.

But also

it’s funny