In my time I have seen nearly every side of software development. I have done phone support, testing, requirement writing, wireframes, flowcharting, development, and deployment. I have seen each area both succeed and fail, so I have good ideas on what works and what does not. I can take all these different perspectives on the process and avoid or solve issues before they happen. I may not have liked doing phone support, but it gives great insight into how the end-user sees things.
- GIMP Image Editor
- Visual Studio
- Eclipse IDE
Outside of coding, and if you read the above my fondness for video games, I have quite a diverse bunch of interests. I am a huge sports fan. Hockey is my favorite by far for playing, watching, and attending. I also play softball 3 to 4 nights a week in the summer. Sticking on the athlete path I also enjoy exercising. I prefer straight weight training, but some cardio circuits and yoga is necessary from time to time. Hiking is also great way to exercise and see the sights. I also enjoy traveling. I recently spent 2 weeks in Ecuador and it was awesome.
Back on the geeky side of town I enjoy sci-fi in both film and print formats. Star Wars is amazing and at one point I had read every book they had written. Possibly stemming from my Star Wars love is my interest in theoretical physics. I especially like the books by Brian Greene because they cover high level physics in a format that I, not a physicist, can follow. I also enjoy comics with Batman and The Punisher being two personal favorites. My taste in music covers the entire spectrum with no real favorite genre. I really enjoy the Gorillaz, Daft Punk, and Beethoven.
There is one inspiration I can point to in particular that lead me down the path I am currently on. Video games. My fascination with video games started with the Atari 2600 because the game Pitfall Harry had my name in the title, which at the time was rare to see anywhere. Swinging over pits and jumping alligators turned into jumping on Koopas as Mario and so on. I knew I wanted to be involved in the creation of these worlds, so I found that my best approach would be as a programmer.
In high school I had to wait until junior year to start taking programming classes, but it was worth the wait because I loved it. I continued into my senior year of high school and about this time two things happened that reinforced my choice. The first was I got the book Masters Of Doom which is about the creators of the game franchise Doom. The book was about how they got where they were and all the hardships they faced. The second was the game Half Life 2 came out for the PC. It totally blew me away. I saw that with a computer you could create anything. Everything I would do from this point on was to become a programmer.
Getting into the game industry is hard. It is highly competitive and not an area that people up and leave very often. I pretty quickly decided that I would not be going straight into the industry. I would work as a programmer while I built up more game specific knowledge. This plan got derailed many times and I got stuck in the corporate grind. My focus also shifted to just being a programmer and with the rise of web and mobile applications I decided to change my end goal a bit. This all leads to now as I pursue the goal of owning my own wed design company. My ideal job is working remotely on a flexible hours schedule. That way I can enjoy life and work.