So JP had to tag me... then the Los Techies crew had to invite me to join Los Techies. This sucks for someone who "claims" to be quite a private person. Thanks JP for putting me in the spotlight, and thanks to all the techies who thought I was fit to join. So here goes...
How old were you when you first started in programming?
I was in grade 11, so I guess that would have made me 15.
How did you get started in programming?
Hmm... Kind of by accident. I took a C++ course in high school as an option and I found that I actually liked it. I didn't actually think I was capable of becoming a software developer, but I knew I liked it.
What was your first programming language?
What was the first real program you wrote?
In college I signed up for a curriculum that focused more on electrical engineering than software development. However we got a little bit of exposure with different programming languages like assembler and C.
The first actual program that I finished was in my second year of college. We wrote a piece of voice recognition software using MatLab. It was actually a tonne of fun, because it required us to utilize what we had learned about digital signal processing as well as how to pick up a brand new language and learn how to get something compiling with it in a short bit of time. This was probably when I realized I liked staring at code more than I liked staring at circuit diagrams.
What languages have you used since you started programming?
Assembler, C, C++, C#, T-SQL, VB, VB.NET, MatLab. The languages I would say I'm ok in are C and C#.
What was your first professional programming gig?
Right after college I got scooped up by a company called DataShapers, where I got to work on a project called Incentus. It was a Gift Card, and Loyalty Management system. I was hired to build embedded gift card applications for different point of sale terminals.
I was quite fortunate that I got to work on such a sweet project right out of school. I was exposed to things like chip cards, 3DES encryption, SSL/TLS at a raw sockets level written in C. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by one of the best while I was there. Thanks Mr. Mark!
If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Actually listen to your elders, and follow through with what they tell you. At the same time, question everything they tell you, and decide what's right for you.
"Listen to your elders, but question everything they tell you."
What's the most fun you've ever had programming?
The Nothin' But .NET boot camp (times 2)... seriously, it blows my mind!
Who am I calling out?
Adam Alinauskas (whenever he gets his blog back up)