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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birth of a Geek, Conclusion




















I couldn't stop looking at it. In all actuality, I couldn't really believe that I was seeing what I was seeing. And I couldn't stop looking at it. A brand new computer was sitting on a desk that wasn't there the previous day in our family living room. It was Christmas and I was so excited I simply could not speak, nor do anything but sit there and stare. That Commodore 64 was my virtual best friend for the next 4 years. I hated that I had to share it with everyone else, but oh how I cherished those times we did have together. For a while, I even learned how to create very basic programs with it.

Then, in seventh grade Computer Science class, I was introduced to the Macintosh, and so I learned how to create simple, basic programs for the Mac. The next year, my parents upgraded the aging Commodore 64 to an AMD-based 386 machine, and it lasted well into my high school years. By that time, I had moved on and was well on my way to becoming a graphic designer. I had forgotten all about my days as a fledgling computer geek. Shortly after high school, in late 1997, I became friends with someone who would become one of the most valued and most influential people in my life. We are still best friends today, and he is still very influential to me as a geek. He introduced me to many "Ways of the Geek", quite a few of which were very new to me, including a passion for coding.

After we had been friends for a few years, in 2002, my friend introduced me to the joys of web development. Back in those days, we created God-awful, table-based designs using Macromedia's Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks software. Even so, those designs were cutting-edge when compared to other sites on the web, and the entire process spoke to me as a graphic designer and geek. Of course, I would go on a few months later to build my first PC, and so the seed that was planted began to sprout and grow. A few years later, in late 2005, I would finally begin to teach myself how to hand code HTML. I still created table-based sites, but the next year I was introduced to standards-based coding with XHTML and CSS. I wrapped my head around CSS and quickly became an expert standards-based coder.

I was always thirsty for more, though. I wanted to dive into PHP and MySQL, so I did. I still don't have a full grasp of those technologies, but that is from a lack of coding with them on a consistent basis. Real life necessities such as work and family filled my free time, along with spending time with my best friend. Yet, here I am, a decade later, still harboring a craving for all things software development and programming. I love my current job as a graphic designer, but beginning later this year, in August, I will be going back to school to learn software development and programming. I have not yet decided on a track, but it will be either Java and open-source oriented, or purely .NET and SQL Server. I will say that, at the moment, I am leaning heavily toward .NET, for reasons which I will not detail here.

But, that is where this blog comes in. So, now that you know my history, as well as my future aspirations, won't you stick around and see what else is on tap? I am, after all, only just truly beginning my journey!