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How old were you when you first started programming?
I first started programming when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I actually had a computer for a few years before that(a used IBM-XT that we got at a yardsale), but I had never learned to program on that computer. I started programming when we got my first windows 3.11 based computer, which was a Packard Bell Pentium 75. I was a bit late to the game!
How did you get started in programming?
My mother took an electrical engineering class at the local community college and in the back of her electrical engineering book was a bunch of BASIC programs that you could use to do different calculations in electrical engineering. I started punching these programs into Q-BASIC and quickly learned what each of the commands did. I mixed and matched until I had something working and my love for programming started there.
What was your first language?
Hmm, already answered that: BASIC.
What was the first real program you wrote?
Hmm, I guess that depends on what you consider a real program to be. I had a number of programming assignments in middle and high school that forced me to do things like path finding, sorting, shuffling, etc… But I don’t consider them to be a real programs. My first real program was a desktop automobile insurance risk rating program. The application was written in Delphi and was probably one of the worst designed applications in history. I had no business writing an application that big, but I did, and it was used by hundreds of service reps in about 15 states. To this day I still chuckle a bit when I think about it.
What languages have you used since you started programming?
BASIC, Pascal, C++, Delphi, Java, Ruby, VB.net, C#
What was your first professional programming gig?
It was for a now defunct company called Evolution Technology. They wrote insurance rating software for Automobile and Homeowners companies.
If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
Oh definitely, the more I know, the more I enjoy programming.
If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Focus more on application design, this will translate between languages. You may think that the current language you are working in is the be-all end-all of languages, but it isn’t. I have only been programming professionally for a bit over 8 years and I am already on my third language.
What’s the most fun you’ve ever had … programming?
I enjoy almost all of the programming I do in my free time. Exploring new technologies is the most fun for me, but honestly I can’t spot a single instance that is the most fun for me.
Who are you calling out?
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