Always a Developer
Telling your own stories is a great way to reflect on how you got somewhere and share any value knowledge learned along the way. I began my journey in writing code probably much earlier than most. I took it all the way through childhood into my career. In fact, I can trace it back in my mind to a memory of me asking my parents about how a URL should be formatted to correctly pull up a website when I was about 9 years old.
I became fascinated with computers and I wanted to understand how they worked. I was only trying to understand computers for the sake of my own curiosity and then once I understood them I could move on to something else (little did I know how deep the rabbit hole would go). From there, my curiosity grew as my dad started down the journey of creating a dynamic website for his business clients to submit service requests. To be clear, he is not a software developer, but was able to learn enough of what he needed from books and the internet to make what needed to be made. I found the concept of creating a website to be so fascinating, the fact that you could just write some words into a text editor and that would somehow translate into a usable interactive application caught my attention.
Intro to Web Technologies
The Next Big Game
It was since that project and year that I haven’t stopped dreaming up ideas for cool software projects to create. I ended up getting really interested in the idea of making an iOS app that would go viral. I had saved up enough money to buy a MacBook Pro and a year subscription to the Apple Developer portal. I learned quite a bit about Objective-C and developing really basic 2D games, but didn’t come to the point of realizing that dream. My interests instead took a twist towards the Jailbreaking community and tweaking my iPhone to it’s extremes. I even got so interested as to start developing my own iPhone hacks to utilize for myself. One of my favorite projects I created was an SMS Gateway, which essentially allowed me to process incoming text messages and reply to the message with some logic in the code. I ended up using it to create a basic rock paper scissors game, as well as blackjack.
My First Job.
A few years later I began my first job at my dad’s company with my role being a mix of IT and Software development, where six years later I am still employed. Though I learned a ton about software through my own creative outlet in high school, my real experience and skill sets began to grow massively as I learned and honed my skills 40 hours a week. I began to learn the value of using software libraries over developing everything from scratch. I learned different architectural design patterns, mostly by doing it the hard way first, before coming across better ways on forums or framework documentation sites. I even began learning more skills in the deployment and DevOps side of application development as my rudimentary local to ftp deployments became to risky (especially since at the time I wasn’t even using any versioning mechanisms, yikes!) My development practices got to the point where I was using containers, continuous integration, deployment channels, bundle optimizations and scalable server architecture. I hadn’t realized how fascinating the process of getting code from developers to the production servers could be until I started digging around all the services AWS had to offer and experimenting with them.
Fast forward to now, I spend most of my free time either exploring new languages, frameworks or just new cool developer technology. I also try to find problems that don’t have any software solutions or that could be bettered with some form of automation or technology. My creativity especially gets sparked with my two kids. Dealing with the daily routines and struggles of having young children reveals endless new inventions that could be made to ease the life of parents. Point being made, it’s hard for me to be in most situations without finding a way to mentally bring technology into it. Be it psychological training or a deep rooted passion for creating, I feel like I will always be a developer, whether it remains in software or goes to something entirely different.
To all the software developers out there, what gives you your passion?