Hello, there... Welcome to the "Who am I?" section, where the unbelievable webmaster of this extremely impressive website you've been visiting for a while will be talking about himself in the most valorizing, selfish and even sometimes disturbing way in a long yet amusing text [reading of this sentence over, and over, and over again is required for better understanding]. Before we start, two recommendations: when you want to scroll the text up and down, you don't need to click on those small buttons on the corner of your screen or use your keyboard, what you can do instead is to simply point your mouse cursor by the end (=lower parts) of the page to scroll it down and by the beginning (=upper parts) of the page to scroll it up. Automagically. Second, prepare yourself to read a long [sorry... loooooooooong] text. Have some tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, honey, tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, chips, cookies, cake, toast, chocolate, muesli and whatever else you might want to have ready nearby; you can even be having some whisky with soda. Open up some music [the MusicBox on my website is here only and only for this, just click on the icon that looks like a speaker on the bottom of my website]. Finally, remember that your potential comments to what I say will appear in brackets (like this) and my answers to those in square brackets [like that]. This makes this thing much, much, much, much, much and so much funnier [seriously!].

Now that you've read and understood all warnings but also started applying recommendations, I guess I can start... If you shall ever ask someone "who are you!?!" that person will probably start describing herself or himself. That's cool. But what's most interesting for me is not that (if it's not that what the hell could it be? you've asked who he was and you got your answer!), the most interesting is to call/meet a lot of people and ask them "who is {s}he?" (yyeeaaahhh right then you get everyone talking at the same time and don't understand anything) [did I tell you to ask everyone at the same time?] (nope, you haven't). As a result of that small experience, I've decided to talk about myself based on the point of view of multiple people. The first point of view will be the state's administrative services [you know, those guys who track birthdays, family links; stuff like that] (oh ok, those guys). Name: Savaş Ali (wasn't it Ali?) [noooohhh, my full name is Savaş Ali. all my friends call me "Ali", and all legal institutions call me "Savaş". some legal institutions may also go like "sir may I call you Savaş or Ali?"]. Surname: Tokmen [which actually is a very rare surname in Turkey, easiest prove is that I've never seen anyone that has spelled it right the first time they hear. Most popular mistakes when writing my surname would be Türkmen {Turkmenistan Turkish}, Toker {solid soldier}, Tokmak {hammer} and Komen {that doesn't actually mean anything}]. Birth date: 14th of October, 1984 [sunday morning, by 6:50 o'clock] (oh, the "wake up early and stay energetic all day long" kind of guy you mean) [sure]. Place of birth: Yukarı Bahçelievler (what does that mean!!?) [it means "upper corner of the neighborhood with houses with gardens"] (waow that's a long translation for a two-word word!) [well, the Turkish language tends to be a lot more compact than others], Ankara [the capital], Turkey. I guess their knowledge about me would be not much more than this.

One other thing the administratives probably know about [but I'll act as if they didn't] is my family. What a human does when just born is actually rather predictable: it doesn't talk, it cries. It doesn't walk, it crawls. It doesn't sleep at night but wakes up (cries, wakes up; that's real good news for people who want to have children!) [what, I didn't even talk about how destructive it can be!] (ok just change conversation). Some say that I was a calm baby (see that's a better thing to say) that used to not disturb much, and that I even would crawl between my mother flowers without touching any of them. When I was two years and four months old, our family got its fourth member: my brother Efe. You can see the whole family on the photo in your left, that photo being taken right before my taking the plane after then and of my summer holidays in 2007. You can click on the icon that looks like a camera [which actually stands for "photo album"] (why isn't it an album icon, then?) [because in "photo album" you also have "photo", which reminds me of a camera. and I like cameras.] on the bottom of my site and select the "Family" album to see more members of my family [grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc.]. That album also has some very nice photos from the past; I most like the one with my brother taken when we were really young. Since my mother's family is from Mersin [south of Turkey, which used to be knows for its orange gardens. now, it's more known for its Riviera that resembles those you can find at the Côte d'Azur], I've spent my childhood and youth's "school times" in Ankara and "summer holidays" around Mersin. Of course, those exciting trips have been a good chance for taking beautiful photos, and you can find most of them in the photo album [choose "Turkey" under "Sceneries", this way you'll also have subtitles describing each photo] or in Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: Turkey sceneries [where you will not have subtitles, but more photos with higher quality].

Once it reaches a certain age, one of the longest adventures that starts for most human beings is education: as of now, that adventure has been 18 years long for me. The starting point would be the Liz Teyze nursery in Ankara [don't bother trying to find it, it has closed at least 10 years ago and its building got replaced by another one]. After that, the adventure continued with two completely parallel branches: the French Embassy's primary school [which used to be called Papillon, and is now called Charles de Gaulle] (oh right like the French General) [exactly, just like him] and the Ekin primary school [with a Turkish education system]. I've attended those two schools in parallel until 5th grade -where primary school used to end [now primary school -in Turkey- is 8 years long I think]. Finally, for college and high school I was at the Lycée Charles de Gaulle [the name slightly changes] (oh, you've added a "Lycée" thing) [in French that means high school] (dude) [sweet] where I've had a lot of unforgettable years. We still meet quite often as high school friends, and most of our joyful memories when together are available on Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: LcDg (why "most", and not "all"?) [well, we don't take photos of everything. plus, there are also some photos that I keep private ;)]. Unforgettable years, unforgettable friends, everlasting friendships :)

After high school, the Most Exciting Adventure: Education [it looks cool when written like that -like a moovie or something] (grooveee baybee) [yeah!] continued at university. I've applied to various places, with the dream of making a job out of the computer world I had met when younger. In summer 2002 my choice was made: I decided to go to Grenoble, in the very middle of the French Alps, the new "Silicon Valley" in France; to study MIAS (what's that?) [well, quite simply, Mathematics, Informatics and Applications to Sciences] (hum right so it's not simply "Computer Science") [nope, that is much, much broader. I've even done some thermodynamics and chemistry!] (waow!). After two not impressively brilliant years, I've obtained my MIAS diploma [which was a two-year diploma anyway] and have been admitted to the University of Bath as an ERASMUS exchange student for the last year of Computer Science. After a wonderful [truly wonderful, not only for the academic side but also for the social emotional point of view] (details?) [sorry, private stuff again; but public parts are on the Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: University of Bath album], the year has been terminated with a grade average of 69 out of 100. After such a year, I've joined the Computer Engineering masters in Grenoble, specialized in Embedded Systems (embe... who?) [embedded systems are all those small computers doing simple yet important and most importantly real time {real time means "where the time the system needs to react to something is so damn critical"} jobs, like car computers, nuclear plant controllers, airplane systems, etc.] (oh, it's good to hear that airplanes with fly-by-wire don't run on Windows 98 or Linux!) [:lol:]. Finally, the adventure has been over, and the last figures have been: Mr. Savaş Ali TOKMEN graduated as the student with the highest grade average [in other words, 1st out of 51 students] from his University.

Once graduated, I've [unsurprisingly] started working in the IT industry. It all started in a small company, called Ciprian, where we've been two doing our second year internship. The subject was pretty interesting: designing and implementing the software part of an embedded system that generates ultrasonic waves and listens to responses in order to analyze the surrounding material; all this accessible via a Web interface over a wi-fi connection.

Once the adventure at Ciprian was over, I joined Bull. Bull is one of France's biggest CT companies, present in many sectors. While working at Bull, I became active in many open source communities and projects [this activity being, at least initially, demanded and therefore paid by the client]; I'm indeed a full project "despot" in some open source projects, project responsible in others, etc. After a few years at Bull, I ended up becoming one of the most referred experts in Java Enterprise Edition, application industrialization and application integration; including the management of politically complex environments [for example, making a project that depends on different subcontractors work at different clients at a time].

After having ended of the adventure at Bull, I have joined Swiss Re [for those of you who don't know, Swiss Re is one of the major actors in the reinsurance sector in the World as well as one of the most innovative ones] in Zurich in February 2011. I have therefore changed sector, but also changed job: I do not work in the creation of new or integration of existing software anymore but rather in the life of an application; which covers its support, its adaptation and change, its budget, the management of users, clients and service providers. I am responsible of communication [such as the Swiss Re public website, enterprise intranet, Web-based conferencing solution or the enterprise social platform], enterprise architecture [i.e. where we define who does what in the company and how things are done and the links between all these] and project portfolio and service cost management (I'm confused... what's the size of all this?) [the domains I'm responsible for cover c.a. 30 applications]. Obviously, since I'm Zurich, I did have a lot of traveling opportunities - To the point that photos are split between two "normal" albums and one "huge" album with sub-albums: Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: Switzerland (June 2008) has the photos from my first arrival, followed by Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: Switzerland (general) which contains mixed "humanless" photos from all over Switzerland and finally Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: Switzerland is the "huge" album with subalbums for each trip, with a lot of memories (so, we'll be doing a virtual trip by looking at photos, is it??) [exactly!].

One well known saying is that "if there is one thing that doesn't change in life, it is change itself"... After having spent 8 years in companies and then responsibilities around IT, I guess it is time to see and understand other areas :) So, from October 2015 to February 2016, I've spent my time as a model validator in the Quantitative Financial Risk Management unit of Swiss Re: that team is responsible, on a high level, for ensuring that the financial risk that has been quantified has been modeled correctly, and also for quantifying by how much the model's "predictions" diverge from what happened meanwhile. I worked on a heterogeneous portfolio of tasks, be it the validation of Environmental Commodity Market products [which can be, for example, a product for covering against energy production variations due to changes in wind speed], of specific market products [REPOs and similar] but also full investment portfolios. This not only has shown me a whole professional domain, but also gave me insights on how different teams can be organized. Also, I discovered a lot of London - as that's where that team is mostly based - so enriched my Ali's Homepage PhotoServe: United Kingdom album.

After having seen other worlds, back to my "usual world" - This time, with a wider panorama [it's not for nothing that I enjoy flying and seeing sceneries in their greatness!]: since the 1st January 2017, I've changed position at Swiss Re to become Head Application Management - In other terms, I'll be slowly handing over my daily application management responsibilities to my team members and move towards the strategic steering and the "how" of application management. It is for sure an exciting change!

"What do you do after the work mode is over" is the question that comes to mind now. To make it simple, I form a triangle: one edge is the one who likes being calm, relaxed and takes the time. So, that edge listens to jazz music, spends a lot of time in saunas, hammams or steam rooms, reads a lot of books, etc. [and this comes to be the edge writing most of these lines here, of course accompanied with a glass of wine]. The second edge likes to travel travel: that explains why I love to see new places [doesn't need to be very far away, "let's see what parks, restaurants and bars on that part of our city" is traveling for me], to meet the people in those places [and have a short or complex conversation in English, French or Turkish, or a short and simple conversation in German or Spanish], eat and drink whatever people tend to eat and drink there, and try to see life from their point of view. The final edge likes to have fun: this one justifies the fact that the only course I join in my sports centre is zumba and that I like to go out time to time and have fun until sunrise [and undoubtly celebrate the sunrise with energy and glamour!] (OK, and how do we combine all these?) [easy, here's an illustration: Friday evening until Saturday sunrise is for number three, then it is handed over to number one for the rest of Saturday and finally number two for Sunday] (waow, that requires some energy!) [that's indeed the base to everything].

Of course, what makes a triangle a triangle is the fact that the three edges are joined together. What is common between my edges is that they like to remember things and also to be remembered. There are two types of things that you one remembers: the first follows you with time; these are the friends you make on the way, whom you could cross when walking on the street, sit together and have a drink or some food, and even perhaps repeat different adventures with! The second are photos and videos. I am aware that people do take photos and videos of anything they see with their telephones [by the find it reached the stage where it is annoying now, did you ever realize that it is now almost impossible to watch a concert because of all the telephones filming the scene and the arms holding them?] (oh, now that you say, this is indeed annoying!), but for me it is different :) If you look at the marvelous Ali's Homepage PhotoServe, you will see photos dating from as far as 2001 (but, telephones only had black and white screens by then, right?) [indeed! the newest phone by then was an 8210] as well as videos filmed and edited in 2003. And, things do not stop here: taking and enhancing photos and videos is just half of the story, sharing is the most important part! That's why, since 2006 when I have rolled out my photo and video albums on my Web site, many search engines are also able of finding by location or person name. That's also why when you type the name of many of my friends' name on a search engine, my Web site pops up pretty high, with great pride...

I guess I'll be ending this text here. I hope it hasn't been too boring -better that you've had an enjoyable reading experience and now know much more about the webmaster of this site!

 
Last update: 29.12.2016