At My name is Siraaj Khandkar. I am a domain modeler1 inspired and shaped by a series of small, profound realizations about building, that I picked up from:

  1. my art teacher (there must be harmony)
  2. Unix (do one thing well, then compose)
  3. Richard Feynman (do not fool yourself)
  4. Python (strive for readable, practical simplicity)
  5. Erlang (state is data)
  6. OCaml (make illegal states unrepresentable, modularize)
  7. Distributed systems (time is an ordering of states, transactions are data)
  8. compiler construction (every program is a compiler (a network of translations))
  9. Andrew Thompson (go for it - write that unreasonable thing, but write it fast)
  10. Richard Hamming ("It's not the consequence that makes a problem important, it is that you have a reasonable attack.")

It is not always clear to me how to harmonize these lessons. The overarching one is that human alignment is paramount. It is top priority to understand who you are building with and for. The toughest domain of all - humans - too complicated for deterministic modeling, yet yearning for a relief from looming uncertainties.

Aside from computering, I generally love a life examined (preferably over tea) and to exert myself in fresh air, for which I opportunistically maneuver around relentless injuries with: running, cycling, XC/Nordic skiing and hiking.

In 2021 I moved with my family of 6 (myself, Anisa, our 3 boys and my grandmother) from NYC to southern New Hampshire, where we can enjoy the above activities daily, see trees instead of brick walls out of our windows, yet still be within earshot of Boston.


Despite identifying as an introvert, I actually enjoy people very much and one of the things I miss most from NYC is its lively tech and intellectual meetup scene.


I hope to contribute to the New Hampshire scene by organizing a meetup for hackers2 - hackfreeordie.org3, where we started with lightning talks inspired by NYC Hack && Tell and now looking to expand into workshops and full-length talks. Join us on Discord!


I'm thankful to have stumbled on a group of local Extropians, whose company I now enjoy and value immensely.


I like to occasionally invite local runners I find on Strava for joint long runs.



Gerald Jay Sussman's The Legacy of Computer Science where he shows why programming is so much more than tuning a machine. It is a fundamental improvement to our intellectual toolbox for representing and refining ideas:

An immensely empowering framing, with which you realize you can understand anything by (re)building it.

A related talk is Benjamin C. Pierce's Lambda, The Ultimate TA:

The main ideas in both talks are precision and feedback. Since you cannot say "you know what I mean" to a computer4, you're forced to express yourself ever more precisely and thus find holes and blind spots in your own understanding.

The feedback comes at you fast.

Programming Language

OCaml. It is neither the only one I love, nor is it one I currently use, but it is The One if you insist that I pick one.


A vocation once known as "programmer", a name long felt inadequate by many, but with none suggesting a satisfactory alternative, until ... @whitequark:

at some points i called myself "developer", "programmer", "software engineer", "toolmaker", but none of these quite fit, not even "toolmaker". leaving aside the question of whether software engineering even exists, my actual job is domain modeling, the rest is incidental

a tool is what you get when you fill a domain-shaped mold with metal, plastic, or machine instructions


A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.



Which is a very different machine than a human, and thus the notion of "shared experience" is not applicable5.


No. Machine Learning doesn't change that.