Thursday, November 13, 2008

How I Did I Get Started in Software Development?

It was a while ago, but Rob tagged me with this topic. Here goes:

How old were you when you started programming?
I guess my first actual coding took place on some old 8086 machines in my high school "computer" class. These machines did not have hard drives, so we had to boot to DOS via floppy every class period.
What was your first language?
BASIC on the previously mentioned machines.
What was the first real program you wrote?
A CRM package for a manufacturing company written in ASP 3.0 and SQL Server 7.
If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
Most likely. You never know what will happen if you make different decisions. But all things equal, programming has offered me many opportunities.
If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Always understand who writes your paycheck and ask yourself before every design decision: Does this provide value to our client? If it doesn't, then you should be asking questions of your team, project manager, architect, and even CIO if necessary. Most software development problems can be traced back to a point where the interests of the client and the efforts of the developers diverge.
What's the most fun you've ever had ... programming?
Watching my newly developed code run in a production environment, helping to solve business problems. That probably seems like a weak answer on a software development blog. But true to my blog title, it's the business result that matters, not something like a new language feature in C# 3.0.