My career in software started back in high school in the late 70's on a teletype wired to a main frame. At the time I wasn't aware of the details other than the school had a 2000th share of the processor.
I spent hours in that Computer Lab. That's what it said on the door... Computer Lab... a half empty storage room with a stand alone teletype and a chair.
I wrote BASIC programs to do stupid tricks like flip a coin 10,000 times. It was a lot of fun... didn't know I was launching a career. Computers have come a long way since then.
Joined the Air Force... always wanted to be a hero... traveled around the world 4 times... worked with VACs systems... some programming. Then one day our fearful leaders dropped $4,000.00 paper weights on our desks. The Old Zenith 150's sporting Intel 8088 processors. Back then you had to have a math Co Processor (the 8087). The rest is history. There was no internet and programming books at the library were scarce. So... had to hit the manuals and figure the rest out.
Windows had not yet come around at that point... Yes it was the days of the Command Prompt! .... eeeeewwwwww!
For most people... this was like showing Dracula the Cross! Folks feared this little symbol. So... I wrote a lot of menu programs to access word processors, spread sheets and the like... So they didn't have to look at the
For that I was considered a guru, the smartest guy in the room, a true American hero... when... in reality... all I did... was sit infront of the most expensive paper weight in history longer than anyone else!
As I progressed... I already knew BASIC... moved on to Ashton Tates dBASE. Developed a few catalog systems for training, libraries, etc. Once automated the job of an entire eight man shop... I was a real hero there.
It wasn't long before I was developing inter-related systems that cross feed information. Commanders could have relative information at their finger tips to aid in making crucial manpower discisions.
When I moved on to Niklaus Writh's pascal I wrote the DEX... a card contact system that sat in the top corner of your screen (desktop today) to keep track of contacts, things to do, etc. It was fairly simple... an image of 5 cards... using the arrow keys you could move the data which made it look like the cards were moving. Turned out to be quite attractive and a very useful tool. I loved Pascal, very structured.
Experiencing Dennis Ritchies C and of course Bjarne Stroustrups C++ was enlightening. The C style sytax was a breeze. Beleive it or not it is structured similar to Pascal. Although I liked C/C++ and I wrote a significant amount of code... I didn't spend a large amount of time there. At that time I was out of the Air Force and 4th generation languages were easier to build a lucrative career in. So I moved to PowerSoft's PowerBuilder and Tom Siebels Siebel. Unfortunately there was a lot of travel and I was raising children.
After a long time of traveling around the globe... I had my first taste of Java! It was love at first site. Learning C/C++ was a plus. Been doing java for almost 20 years now. The entire foundation that runs this application and many others is all written in java. I still code PowerBuilder but most of what I do is in Java.
Now a days... I develop customized web applications based on the T-Handle which is a frame work I built, all written in java. I have my own data center and I offer web and email services. Thanks to the web... I never really leave the house.