Larry Clarkin tagged me for this meme. Seems like a fun one so I am going to oblige.
How old were you when you started programming?
I was actually a late bloomer. My brother started programming in Basic when he was 9 on his Activision system. He tried to get me interested several times in high school, but I was too busy making my hair big and hanging out at malls. What? I was a girl in the late 80's, what do you expect.
After my brother graduated from NIU, and I was still floundering in Community college deciding what to do with my life, he sat me down and asked me if I REALLY wanted to be a school teacher and have kids. I was unsure. He then challenged me to take just 2 programming classes at said community college and see if I liked it. I did, and I did. I was actually a natural.
What was your first language?
Pascal was my first, followed by Fortran
What was the first real program you wrote?
Wow, I wrote lots of dinky little programs in the various Computer Science courses that I took. The first one I would consider REAL, was when I wrote a compiler in IBM 360 assembly language. I know, IBM - gasp! Followed by an operating system that I wrote in the same class. That was SO COOL! Also, made all of those S0C errors I used to get in COBOL make WAY more sense.
What languages have you used since you started programming?
::takes deep breath::
What was your first professional programming gig?
OK, this is where I gain a +4 bonus on Charisma checks. Since I was a Comp Sci student taking honors physics, I got the hookup. My first internship was working with an experimental multi-core processor for Fermilab that had a proprietary C++ based language. I was testing out how well the processor and their language could handle making calculations against the output of the Tevatron particle accelerator. Oh yeah, I had way more street cred back then 🙂
If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
Oh yeah, I would have started sooner too, cause I have loved my career in IT. Well except that getting into it sooner might have changed the course of events that got me here, and might have prevented me from ever getting to Microsoft. Plus the dotcom bust might have affected me a lot more than it did. Ah, messing with the time space continuum.
If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Similar to Larry, it is WAY more than just writing code. I don't think it was EVER just about code, but with the changes I have seen in the industry, anyone who thinks they can get by with their slick coding techniques and complete lack of presentation, negotiation and compromise skills won't last long/
What's the most fun you've ever had ... programming?
Wow, I got lucky. When I was a consultant with Software Architects, I got to work on a lot of really great projects with fun and amazingly talented people. I think the most fun I ever had, was when I was working on a compact framework project back in the .NET CF Beta days for Ace Hardware. I was working with Jim Morrison (yes that is REALLY his name) who was the lead architect, I was the lead developer. Our group was a lot of fun, and Jim and I put in some crazy hours, but I learned a lot and it was my foray into the .NET world. And hey, I got to play with barcode scanners and pocket PCs!
Who am I Calling Out?