Hi there, thanks for finding my blog. I'm a fullstack software engineer with over 15 years experience delivering consumer facing and large scale enterprise applications. I have experience working with a variety of database, server and client side technologies. I've been especially focused on writing clean, easy to understand code, documentation, test driven development, refactoring, and continuous integration. I'm passionate about ongoing education to learn new technologies, tools and languages.
I discovered software development during first year at university. Students were not required to pick a major until second year so first year was all about discovery. One of the courses I picked was an introduction to computers. It covered several areas including hardware, networking, programming, and theoretical computer science.
The programming section of this course was taught using Karel the Robot. This is an ideal introductory language because the syntax is very simple and the scope of what Karel can do is limited. It's a great way to learn the fundamental concepts of programming including variables, loops, control flow and functions, while not getting caught up in complexities of compilers, data types, memory management, and garbage collection (plenty of time for that later!). I enjoyed the programming section of this course so much that I would stay up all night perfecting my homework assignments and even adding extra features just for fun. At some point during first year I learned that people actually get paid to do this and decided to make computer science my major.
After graduation I landed a software development job at a big box retailer, working on their e-commerce platform. It was at this point that I realized my formal education had been long on theory but short on the practical. To my great surprise, no one needed me to determine loop invariants, compute a proof by induction or perform a Big O complexity analysis. What was required was the ability to work on a large multidisciplinary team, use version control, work with databases, keep a large codebase organized, and reproduce pdf design comps in HTML and CSS with pixel perfection on all browsers prior to box model standardization. Fortunately I had several wonderful mentors to guide me through the on-the-job learning process.