Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guess and Learn

By Christophe Verdier (cc)
Some rights reserved
I was thinking the other day that I pay no attention to how old I am anymore. I could say that I have to think about it when I’m asked how old I am. Today adds another notch to my years. I’ll allow you to guess my age:

I began my career in computers as a graphic designer before I was old enough to drink– although my eye for art and design is very subpar now. My first experience with a PC was on MS-DOS 6.21 or 22 then Windows 3.1. When I had my first professional job as a Layout Designer for a local newspaper, I bought my first Hewlett Packard, with all of 8MB of RAM, 1GB hard drive, 14.4 mbps modem and Windows 95. I doubled the RAM instantly and set me back about $100 – for 8 more MB of memory mind you. At my day job, I would design graphics with Freelance, Aldus Photoshop and layouts on Aldus PageMaker. Aldus was later bought out by Adobe. At night, I became an enthusiast of the Internet and Telneting into the World Wide Web. I liked the black screen and green text and I heard of this thing called “Netscape” and something called “Geocities”. So I learned HTML like any good boy did, on Notepad, or was it WordPad then on Windows 95, I can’t remember. So I created my first site, “Extofer’s World”. I switched my day job from design soon after. I since dabbled in all sorts of computer work, from data entry and computer operator of AS-400s, to Assistant Engineer and Systems Analyst, then VBA and VB6 developer, Web Developer into the arena of ASP and SQL Server (2.0 and 7.0 respectively) and then there was .Net and SQL 2000. In its inception, I did what any hardcore programmer would do and dive into C#, but I digressed, went to my comfort zone of VB.Net. I took a hiatus from full time development and into management, however, I still took the time to work with open source software and experienced the LAMP stack, and grew fond of Linux, particularly Fedora and at times, Debian. The businesses I was managing were soon equipped with PHP sites with MySQL databases. I left the world of business and management and went back to work as a fulltime developer in the government contractor sector, this time, full on C#. I commenced my track to become certified, and I became a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in SQL Server 2008 Development and a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer in ASP.Net 3.5.

Did you guess my age? Today I turn 37, and life has been good. I wound up in Colorado Springs a year and a half ago to work with a small ISV. I really enjoyed working for that company, and I still keep in touch with the people I worked with. Nonetheless, I took a turn to challenge myself, be adventurous and take a stab at consulting. I’m a contract developer for a public company specialized in virtual meetings and telecommunications and am open for other contracts. In my career as a developer, I’ve learned a lot of things, most importantly; I’ve learned that you never stop learning.

What am I saying here? Yes, I’m getting old, and it’s never too late to learn something new. I’ve set several goals for myself over the next year. One of which will benefit you – I hope. In attempt to learn something new each day, I intend to post each and every day now for the next 365 days. I diligently try to post something each week, and will continue to do so, but in the days that I don’t have a topic, I’d like to share what inspires me, a quote or video. I feel we can all learn something new each day, and by the time I’m 38, I will have learned 365 new things I didn’t know.

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