A look-at-my-new-blog post is pretty typical for a first post, but I really do want you to look at mine. It’s because my awesome wife designed it as a surprise just for me! I had mentioned wanting to start a blog and she came up with this design. It’s just another excellent example of her great sense of design and ability. Thanks Cherie!
Now, who’s Joe? Joe is a nickname and I like my privacy so I try to stay away from personal details. I’m a Christian and put God, country, and family above all else. At times coding can become consuming so it is sometimes hard to keep things in perspective.
I first got my taste of coding in the 6th grade. The school had a computer class full of Apple IIe‘s where we learned how to play games, kick around a command line, paint, and write BASIC. I was hooked. Over the next few years I used the family PeeCee to continue to write simple BASIC programs and made some databases with dBase. I picked up C, Pascal, and Fortran books here and there. High School had a networked computer class where we learned some beginner C. I took Fortran and COBOL classes in college but never had a job writing code. So over the years I tinkered with various iterations of BASIC as a pastime all the while building PCs, loving Macs, and being your basic geek.
As the internet became prevalent, I ended up monitoring Unix systems for a large internet company in their NOC. This was my first taste of Unix. After I got my head around it, I learned shell scripting and wrote some dumb sysadmin scripts. When I took a couple Perl classes I really saw the power of coding to control systems, automate tasks, and consolidate reporting. To help learn, I went back and rewrote those shell scripts into Perl. I then earned Sys Admin certifications in Solaris 7 and 8, and HP-UX 10. After a few years of playing Sys Admin I moved to a division which worked on internal tools, some of which were web based. Since I was the resident sysadmin I was given the task of setting up some servers, cleaning up some internal web pages, and eventually became webmaster to some of these servers. Then I was tasked with writing a new internal web application using Mason. After not knowing whether to choose programming or webmaster as a career, I finally found I could have the best of both worlds developing web applications.
After leaving the company and branching out on my own, I was forced to learn PHP and eventually Smarty. I tried to say I was not a PHP developer but I’ve succumbed and definitely spend most of my time writing or modifying PHP code. Some folks don’t like Smarty but after using it for a few years it is quite powerful and helps keep code and html separate.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love Wikipedia. It has to be the greatest information resource available to date. You can get lost clicking from one topic to another. It really is all there!
Having been a DOS guy way before I used a Mac and using various Unix systems over the years, my computer platform of choice is Apple with their Macintosh computers and amazing Mac OS X. If you haven’t checked them out lately, you have to see this.
…and the designer of this blog used a Mac. Thanks for the new blog!