Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How I Got Started In Software Development

How Old Were You When You Started Programming?
Have I even started really programming yet? I guess I got my first taste when I was around fifteen, The year of Windows 95. This was the birth of Windows Explorer... the predecessor to FileManager. My programming experience back then was fairly basic. I mostly spent a lot of time creating 3D virtual environments in 3DSR4 before it was 3D studio max, and Lightwave 3d v5. I also wrote simple scripts in the 3D environment simply because it was another way of creating models on a more precise scale.
How Did You Get Started In Programming?
My good friend Tom Zymescal (Tom... Tom... Tommmm) He taught me everything from the dark side of chatting in ICQ/Message Boards/IRC, downloading/uploading online, and of course my first OOP language.VB5. Even then, the programs I wrote were not “real world” programs, but simple applications that automated some tasks in windows. In high school I took a C++ class my senior year, but didn't really learn anything significant. After that I went to college for a single semester majoring in computer science and deciding that it was not for me. So I picked up my life and headed some where different where no one knew me or could judge me. I headed to a place were the Windows logo that I grew up with (since 1988 when I got my first computer) was born... Microsoft land (Seattle,WA) It wasn't till after arriving that I realized the playing field was much rougher and more competitive than Houston, TX. So I went to school at night while raising a family to learn C# in The .NET Framework. It was then that I got a rude awaking about how much I needed to learn to be any good... so after school it was time to get a J-O-B! It was then that I learned how to really program. And it was a rough start, writing the most knotty coupled code that was very low in cohesion. It wasn't till I discovered free seminars, meeting expert Microsoft Developers, blogging, and continuing to learn that I realized that I was finally becoming a good developer. ;-)
What Was Your First Language?
My first programming language was LScript for LightWave3D . My first professional language was C# My first Object Oriented language was VB5.
What Was The First Real Program You Wrote?
Man, I can barely remember that far back. It was when I was working in a call center while going to school at night. I built a C# windows application to help Customer Service Representatives manage their callers better! This got me noticed in the company's software developer department. They still use the code that I wrote to this day. ;)
What Languages Have You Used Since You Started Programming?
What is this? Some sort of interview? The programming languages I’ve used professionally are: C#, C++/CLI,JAVA,Javascript,VB.NET, IronRuby, IronPython.
What Was Your First Programming Gig? a small Internet hosting company were I spent many hours building web sites and managing hosting accounts. They're actually still around. ;)
If You Knew Then What You Know Now, Would You Have Started Programming?
Well I definitely would have finished my computer science major, but yes, absolutely! I love to write code and write about code.
If There is One Thing You Learned Along the Way That You Would Tell New Developers, What Would It Be?
Learn to write and communicate well. Software development is mainly about ideas and being able to communicate your ideas well. It will definitely get you places. Also, compromise your ego. When you have an open mind and can come to grips with the fact that you don't know everything you actually open yourself up to learn more.
What's the Most Fun You've Ever Had ... Programming?
My work on the Media Center product during my days at Microsoft. And building prototypes for start up companies looking to get their ideas out on the market. ;)

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