Oct 27 2008

How Did I Get Started In Software Development?

Tag: UncategorizedSymon Rottem @ 11:09 am

Huh.  I’ve been so tied up at work I’ve been missing many things going past, including that I was called out by Ken Egozi on the topic the subject of this post describes.  Unforgivable, I know, but I figure better late than never!

How old were you when you first started in programming?

I was 12 years old – the school I was attending had some Apple II+ machines it was deprecating and my parents bought one.  Best thing ever for games (Oh, Ultima III – you ate soooo much of my time!) but it was a nice little starter for development too.

What was your first programming language?

Like so many others, BASIC was my first foray into programming.  My parents, in a bid to have a life in the presence of 3 kids under the age of 12, decided to dump myself and my brother at the local library which had a sort of evening crèche for desperate parents. Luckily for us the library was also running a BASIC programming course where they took us kids through the basics (pardon the pun) and that’s what got me going.

What was the first real program you wrote?

Real program?  What’s that?  But seriously…I put together an application for tracking all my books – which ones I owned, where they where and who I’d loaned them to.  A lot of work for bugger all result, but it was really the exercise that it was all about…

What languages have you used since you started programming?

BASIC, C, C++, VB, VB.NET, C#, Turbo Pascal, Delphi…and a few proprietary ones as well.  Personally, so far C# is my favorite.

What was your first professional programming gig?

I was hired by a company that provided interactive voice response systems and I was responsible for developing the logic that ran the services.  Pretty simple stuff really, but it got me to start thinking about optimization (and not a moment too soon…premature these optimizations were not!) and gave me a chance to start earning money.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Absolutely.  Hell, if I’d known some of the stuff I know now I’d have started sooner!

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.  I’ve spent significant periods of my professional and hobbyist development life developing in isolation…and it sucks.  Having a team of people around you who you can bounce ideas off is invaluable.  Preferably make sure the people you surround yourself with are smarter than you as well.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had programming?

I don’t think I’ve had more fun than I’m having now.  Certainly there have been more care-free times in my professional development career, but the tools, technologies, techniques and opportunities at the moment are better than ever.

Who am I calling out?

I’m going to throw this one to Roy Osherove and Udi Dahan.