The Evolution of Me as a Developer


This is the comical looking back of my adventurous history as a web developer, my goofs, my successes, my failures, my hopes.

The high level synopsis is:

  1. The Spark: It all started with some HTML, CSS, Java, SQL classes I took in high school.
  2. The Kindling: College programming for fun + I wrote a Paypal module for my gaming clan’s site in PHP.
  3. The Flame: My first web development job in 2006.
  4. The Fire: My first professional/enterprise job at a large company in 2010.
  5. The Inferno: I step into a senior/lead role in 2016 and start focusing on independence, people, and process efficiency.

1. The Spark

It all started with some HTML, CSS, Java, SQL classes I took in high school, with a very inspirational teacher and a nudge from my mother. I suppose this was preceded by a childhood interest in math and science though, and a desire to become an engineer one day.

The first site I make is a site about Beavis and Butthead. A passion is born. No, not for Beavis and Butthead.. that passion was already there. I’m mean for web development!

1999 Me:

The year of conception.

2000 Me:

The first trimester.

2000 me, were you ever an idiot or what.

2001 Me:

The second trimester.

2001 me, your idiocy could have never imagined this stuff ruling the world one day.

2002 Me:

The third trimester.

2. The Kindling

The spark of my high school flirtations with coding ignited during my early college years, when I found out what programming was really all about.

2003 Me:

2004 Me:

2005 Me:

The year I came out of the womb.

3. The Flame

I got my first job as a web developer. Technically speaking, “professional”, yes, because I was getting paid. But this was a start up. And looking back, I really did not know what I was doing. And so the flame was born.

2006 Me:

Fear of the unknown.

2007 Me:

The undisciplined years of youth.

2008 Me:

The first true creation is born.

2009 Me:

The calm before the storm. Boy, I sure had no idea what I would be getting into the following year.

4. The Fire

The flame turns into a steady burning fire during the years when I finally become a professional web developer for an enterprise-level corporation.

2010 Me:

The year of great humbling.

2011 Me:

The year of the first major project, and the first year I realized coding is art.

2012 Me:

The year I started treating programming like craftsmanship.

2013 Me:

The year I built my first scalable, enterprise-level application. Through some trial and error..

This was really a Renaissance year for me, finally out of the trials and tribulations of my earlier Medieval career. Good times. Throughout the year:

2014 Me:

The beginning of the PCI era. A year of great growth, to be sure.

This year’s end would be the start of my Baroque era:

2015 Me:

The Romantic phase.

5. The Inferno

The fire of the previous six years fans into an inferno as I begin to step up more of a senior/lead role. Scary, I know.

2016 Me:

The year of disappointment. I spend most of the year working harder than I ever have, and the application never makes it to production.

2017 Me:

The year of exciting changes. Also, the year my hands become tentacles and spread into every. single. application. ever.

2018 Me:

The year I officially lead.

So here I am, in the first quarter of 2018. I don’t code much anymore, and that’s a bummer.

But I do lead, motivate, and mentor a team of developers located in India. This is very challenging, especially with the whole timezone and communications barrier aspects.

And yet, I also am the champion of documentation, peer review, and scrumesque planning processes. My opinions also appear to be valued, from what I can tell.. and that is always nice. I have seen tremendous improvement in release quality and application stability over the past year. Automated regression testing is now becoming a thing.

I sometimes deliberate over switching into a DevOps role, since I appear to have an great appreciation of it. I also sort of have a passion for process. Not the ugly bloated, bureaucratic kind that slows everything down pretending to improve things, but the kind that actual streamlines getting code into production, solving problems, and making money. The sort of process that is difficult to achieve.

And yet, my heart is in the code, always and forever I think. Since the very beginning in 1999.

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