How did it all start?
I took my first course on IT when I was 15. I learned about MS-DOS, Wordstar, Wordperfect, Lotus 1-2-3 and Dbase III. After that course I was hooked. Windows 3.1 was out, and I had to learn everything about it.
My first job
I started my career by developing software for IBM Mainframes for the banking and insurance industry. Procedural programming languages like COBOL and RPG were used and the interface was a command line terminal running on a Windows platform.
After 4 years I felt I needed to evolve. The multimedia was everywhere, and I felt that I needed to move away from the procedural programming. I heard about OOP, videos and images, the internet was booming and HTTP and HTML was something that all developers needed to know.
A natural evolution
A wrong decision…
After 9 years in developing, I thought the natural course of action would be to progress my career down the line of consulting. After all, that was theoretically the path everyone seemed to be taking, and professionally it made sense, as it was also financially more rewarding.
It just seemed natural, so I gave it a go… I enrolled in a consultancy project, preparing the path for the developers. We did no development whatsoever, and our mission was to try to understand what the requirements were and how to overcome those.
It didn’t take long until I realised that I couldn’t just leave developing all together. I just liked it too much…
Sometimes we just need to take a step back
I went back… back to my career, back to my home town and my family… and back to University.
I decided to finish my studies. It was time, as I was over 30 and I needed a diploma to progress in my path.
During my time at University I started exploring several and different technologies, and ended up steering towards the open source world. Linux was uncharted territory and PHP was something I always wanted to work with.
I ended up working in the pharmaceutical industry, eCommerce and eventually developing my own projects on the side.
Today I consider myself a full stack developer.
I think that I have a very good analytical mindset and above all I consider myself a senior developer, not in a specific language, but rather in a multitude of technologies.
I don’t think a language is bad or good, but it all has its pros and cons that can be used to our advantage. Ultimately I am not a fanboy of any specific niche and like to keep an open mind.
That being said, I try to keep up on any new technologies that appear. I spend my free time perfecting myself and allocate at least 10-20 hours a week in either personal projects or taking online courses.
I feel that we, as developers, can not get too comfortable in a single language or technology. We need to constantly improve and evolve, learn and practice, every day, every time.
After all, coding is not a just a job… it’s a way of life.