Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή…~ Hippocrates
(Life is short, the craft so long to learn…)
I wrote my first line of BASIC on a Compaq Portable (8086 processor!) when I was 12 and have been fascinated with software ever since. My grandfather gave me that first computer when I was in sixth grade. It looked like an oversized beige suitcase, weighed around 30 pounds, and had only 128kb of memory. There was no hard drive. Instead it booted an OS from one of two 5.25″ floppy disk drives and ran software from the other. The software I received with it was DOS 2, Wordperfect, and Lotus 1-2-3. The DOS floppy included a BASIC interpreter and the BASIC API came printed in a small beige two-ring binder.
I read the binder during that summer between sixth and seventh grade and began writing small programs. First I wrote some fill-in-the-blank / Mad Libs style games and then moved on to more advanced programs such as racing and role-playing games. By exploring the API, I taught myself fundamental code constructs such as if statements and loops. That lead to checking out books on HTML, Pascal, and C++ from the local library before I found a couple of programming courses in junior high and high school.
Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning. ~Bruce Lee
When college time came I collected a Computer Science degree, an English degree, and a minor in Publishing and Printing Arts from Pacific Lutheran University in 2003. My good friend Brant and I built a hybrid artifical intelligence / natural language processing system there called ELLES.
After I had spent four years in IT and six years in the software industry, I went back to school and earned my Master of Software Engineering.
In 2008-2009, I worked on the team behind online health management tool, Heart360, which received a Microsoft Health User’s Group 2009 Innovation award (Winner for Best Use of Microsoft HealthVault Applications). Some of my writing has been given attention as well. In May 2013, my post, An Extensible FizzBuzz, was chosen by a panel of moderators at JavaRanch.com as the winner of their 2013 blogging contest. It was featured in the July 2013 JavaRanch Journal and author Mohamed Sanaulla contributed additional work to the code.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle
My primary professional interest has always been web application development. I have worked in LAMP stacks, Microsoft/.Net stacks, and a couple different enterprise Java stacks. Databases also interest me and have been a natural part of web applications anywhere I’ve worked, so I have done a small amount of database design and architecture.
When I’m not thinking about software engineering, I enjoy sci-fi (particularly Philip K. Dick) and spending time with my talented wife and three children.
My latest professional interests extend beyond specific technologies or platforms to software engineering in general. I am open-minded toward the idea of software as an engineering discipline and a true profession, but I most resonate with the Lean and software craftsmanship movements.