How I Got Started In Software Development

This post is another development meme that I’ve seen crop up on a few blogs I subscribe to – the basic gist being that you answer a bunch of questions about the origins of your interest/career in software development, and then pass on the meme to others who you’d be interested in finding out more about! I was passed this meme by Scott Lovegrove, so thanks to him for this!

1. How old were you when you started programming?
My first experience with “programming” was when I was in Sixth Form where I wrote a basic Fantasy Football application using Microsoft Excel macro language (if you can really call that programming!!) , so I must’ve been about 16.

2. How did you get started in programming?
Subsequent to my brush with very basic programming in Sixth Form, I didn’t really get started until I started my degree at University (Computing/Software Engineering Management).

3. What was your first language?
Hmm…excluding Microsoft Excel macro language, the first language I coded with was C.

4. What was the first real program that you wrote?
Wasn’t everybody’s first application Hello World?! If I remember rightly, my first university program was a nightclub admission application – tracking the movement of clubber’s from entry, to the dancefloor, to the VIP area…something like that anyway!

5. What languages have you used since you started programming?
In no particular order: HTML, javascript, XSLT, XPath, UML (if modelling languages count?!), C, Java, C#, ASP, ASP.NET, .Net 2, 3.0 and 3.5, Perl, PHP, SQL (for both SQL Server and Oracle), and both the BNF and VDM specification languages.

6. What was your first programming gig?
My first programming job was my placement year at IQSystems Services Ltd, working as a Junior Software Developer on the IQUtopia product – a patient management solution, designed to support care provided outside the acute hospital environment..

7. If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
Sure thing, I love it!

8. If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. 9 times out of 10, the solution that you are looking for has already been considered in depth, and will be out there should you need it. As Scott said, Google is your friend. This applies to software design, as much as it applies to implementation so consider reading up on design patterns too!

9. What’s the most fun you’ve ever had… programming?
I generally get a kick out of solving complex business problems with software (rather than solving technical problems with software), so I think I’d say any of the examples where clients have turned around and thanked me for my efforts an input. I guess apart from that, I’ve generally had a lot of fun “playing with” the .NET 3.5 extensions over the period where it was in beta…particularly Dynamic Data, ADO.NET Data Services (Astoria).


So to continue this meme, I need to pass this on to other developers…

I’m not sure if any of my colleagues have a blog, but if not, they could start their blog with this! 😉

I would nominate: Rowan Dennigan, Tom Dudfield and Dave Masters.


About craigcav

Craig Cavalier works as a Software Developer for Liquid Frameworks in Houston Tx, developing field ticketing and job management solutions for industrial field service companies.

Posted on September 1, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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