My journey and love of computers, started when I was around eleven years old. I had Sinclair ZX-81 (and a wobbly 16k ram pack). I remember spending way too many hours typing in programs from magazines (only for the Ram pack to wobble and I had to start over), just to get a small car game to scroll up the screen. I solved the wobble Ram pack by wedging a large lump of Blu Tac between Ram pack and ZX-81, not an offical solution but it did the job.
A couple of years later I changed to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum with 48k of Ram. And spent just as much time playing games like Manic Miner, Jet Pack, Underworld etc. I eventually got back into writing programs getting little characters to move around the screen or spaceships to fire little bullets (graphics were way better on the Spectrum and colour too!) or writing little programs to do my Maths homework. I dabbled a little bit with Assembler for the Spectrum (using Zeus) but at the time I didn’t really understand it, so stuck to Basic. At high school we had BBC Micro computers and I wrote a lot of programs for the Maths and Design Technology teachers.
Fast-forward a bit to the early nineties and I’m introduced to the IBM (286) computers (they were more likely to be clones, but close enough), this re-ignites my love for computing, things had really moved on spreadsheets, documents, Paint, and CAD to name a few, initially on MS-DOS, but moved to Windows 3.11 with Networking and a Novell 3.xx server. Eventually Windows 95 came out and was that for me was a game changer for me. Visual Basic for DOS (QBasic I think it was called) was OK, but Visual Basic on Windows 95 was mind blowing (at the time).
Towards 1996/7 I enrolled on a computing course with the International Correspondense School (ICS) for their Visual Basic 5 course. They sent you books to read and work through, and at the end of each phase you had to submit a test paper (via fax, different times) and then send them a 1.44MB floppy disk with an application you had written based around what you had learnt. And from this point on I would embark on a journey that has allowed me to work with some incredibly talented people that I have learnt so much from and have been able to work on some really cool projects.
When Visual Basic 6 came along I decided to do a Microsoft Certified Solution Developers qualification (MCSD), being a self taught developer, I thought had better get something to prove I knew what I was talking about.
When VB.Net first came out I wasn’t keen (2002, VB 7). It just didn’t feel the same as VB 6 and was a very different product. But in 2003 I landed a Hedge Fund project and I knew for this project to be a success, I had to move to VB.Net (and at least I was going to get paid to learn it)! It wasn’t until 2006 that I dropped VB.Net in favour of C#, this was the start of a whole new chapter for me. I had moved from writing desktop applications to ASP.Net and Web forms. It was also around this time I upgraded my MCSD and earned my Microsoft Certified Application Developer qualification (MCAD).
Having spent some ten years developing insurance applications in Web forms and MVC and JQuery. I discovered AngularJS (version 1), and that changed everything. Up to this point I was a Microsoft Developer, and if it didn’t come out of Microsoft I wasn’t going to use it (short sighted I know). But Angular really caught my attention and for the last few years I have worked solely on Angular and Typescript applications and love it.
Some of the projects I have worked on have been around Manufacturing systems, Legal Indemnity Insurance, Roster systems for Security Guards, Hedge Fund Management systems, Oil and Gas rental tracking systems and Satellite communication systems to name a few.
What a journey this has been so far…