Jeff & Trina Watching the Solar EclipseSoftware development has always been an interest of mine.  It is the perfect marriage of analytical science and creative art that fits my personality perfectly.  From a science perspective I love the precision that is required to manipulate electrical impulses deep within the silicon-based chips.  It almost borders on black arts where we can force a hardware device to carry out our instructions with just a few clicks of the mouse or keyboard.  It can also be very frustrating that the computer follows our instructions implicitly without questioning them.  It takes a level of abstraction in our thinking to arrange our instructions logically.  For many, thinking sequentially and thoroughly can be a challenge in and of itself.

In the early history of personal computers software development was a necessity.  There were few applications available so if you wanted something specific you had to write it yourself.  I was fascinated by programming languages and collected them like other kids collected baseball cards.  The first programming language I learned was Advanced Cobol, a result of that being the only class that had an opening.  From there I moved to BASIC (yeah I know, kind of backwards).  Through the years I have written in Pascal, Assembly Language, Fortran, JAVA, JavaScript, C, .NET, Smalltalk, and LISP.  Each language had it’s own strengths and weaknesses that I had to manage.

In the end I learned to appreciate the value of a good development environment and what it could do.  I understood how a compiler could make or break your code and I even wrote a couple myself when I couldn’t find anything that would work otherwise.

I’m now living through another development revolution as mobile computing and touch interfaces abound.  I’m encouraged by the advances being made and enthusiastic that I am a part of the revolution.