7 Sep 2007 ebizo   » (Journeyer)

This is one of the most boring entries you'll every read.

An abbreviated timeline of my programming life:

  • 1978-1979 - I learned BASIC on a copy of the Dartmouth Time-Share System when my dad taught at the US Coast Guard Academy.
  • 1981-1984 - I continued learning BASIC in high school.
  • 1984 - I learned LISP on a dialup to Georgetown University, as wel as participated in the Washington Linguistics Club.
  • 1985-1989 - I got my BA in Linguistics, but didn't get to use computers at Macalester College.
  • 1991-1992 - I helped debug a UNIX point-of-sale system as an advanced user. It used ncurses and was written in C. I started reading UNIX books and Ed Krol's Whole Internet User's Guide (no Web).
  • 1993 - I picked up the first Camel Book, by merlyn, and started learning Perl.
  • 1994 - I did some work on a Washington (DC) freenet uploading text files for the Arlington County (Virginia) public library.
  • 1995-1996 - I started developing the first webpages for the Arlington County (Virginia) website while a clerk at the county public library. Most never see the light of day.
  • 1997-1998 - I learned all about information systems in library school. Never finished my MLIS degree.
  • 1999-2000 - I developed web applications for the DoD in Perl, setting up database tables in Oracle in SQL, tracking everything and managing code with CVS on HP-UX servers and Linux desktops.
  • 2001 - I took a detour at Sprint for six months, used more Perl and Oracle, and learned a whole lot of little things about other systems.
  • 2001-2002 - I was unemployed for 14 months and poked my fingers into a lot of open-source projects all over the web.
  • 2002-2005 - I went back to developing web applications for the DoD. Although there were still a lot Perl apps being maintained and updated, most new web apps were being written in Java with Servlets and JSPs. We eventually created an application with Struts, too. I created several middleware Perl scripts for porting data between systems and learned XSLT (with Java) for transforming XML between formats for loading into databases. I spent a lot of time creating and improving database tables and schemata. I took a formal course in Java.
  • 2005 - I spent two months at West Corporation learning a lot more about telephone systems than I ever learned in six months at Sprint. I learned a lot about VoiceXML, too.
  • 2005-present - I have been developing XSLT solutions for VerizonBusiness (formerly MCI). I have developed lots of amazing things with XSLT, transforming XML into other XML formats, making sure messages get from point A to point B. I spend a lot of time managing CVS and some time wring Perl and Korn shell scripts.
  • 2007-beyond - I've been learning some Haskell, Standard ML, and Python over the years, and this year started learning Ruby. I plan to develop web apps in Ruby on Rail and Django, so I have to get my Ruby and Python skills up to speed. I want to try setting up VOIP services in my home using Asterisk.

Some of my home computers:

  • Mac mini with 22-inch ViewSonic LCD
  • black MacBook
  • Sony Vaio desktop with 20-inch ViewSonic LCD, WinXP
  • Compaq Presario 15.4-inch widescreen, WinXP
  • old VA Linux minitower running recent Ubuntu, 20-inch ViewSonic LCD
  • old Packard Bell, dual-booting Win95 and old RedHat distro, no monitor to call its own

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