The Journey Begins

I find it fascinating to hear different developer stories as to how they got started developing software. It seems as though everyone’s story is a bit different, but many of them share similar themes. Back when I began my career, the web was very new to most individuals. It was not a given that this thing called the web would survive past being a trend. I was attending University and my friend, Tim, mentioned something about a possible job at the company he worked for.

My Entry to Dev

I was largely still working minimum-wage jobs with very little appeal in the work I was doing. So when Tim mentioned it was working on computers my ears quickly perked up. I was studying computer science at University, so the idea of working on computers was definitely something which appealed to me. As I inquired more about about the position, he invited me to come tour place he worked. He told me more about the position and I asked for his help in preparing for an interview.

Web Development?

At the time, web pages were still a little bit of a foreign concept to 99.9% of the world. I knew of them, but I had never made one purely from a text editor. Tim quickly provided me with a large book on HTML, as online tutorials were almost non-existent at the time. I went home and started building a web page, so I could at least act like I was somewhat knowledgeable come interview time. I interviewed and was offered the position as a part-time employee. And so began my journey into what would become web development.

My First Dev Mentor

As business picked up at our little company, I began to learn more through little client projects. Progress was much slower at the time and we hired a new programmer named Robert, who temporarily moved from his home in Germany to work with us. I quickly became friends with Robert and he taught me so much about web development. Come to think of it, Robert was my first mentor in programming. He had completed a Computer Science program at University and was much more adept in the programming world.

The demand for web sites quickly accelerated and our business went from making interactive CD ROMs to web sites it seemed like overnight. The early foundations of the web including HTML, Javascript, and CSS were forming. It was slow enough were I had some time to learn, which was a huge blessing since I was new to programming. I had taken university level programming courses in Pascal and Cobol, but this was completely different. There was no mainframe to work on until we would use FTP to upload our project.

Robert began introducing me to Javascript to produce basic animations and to detect actions for buttons. He was way ahead of things when it came to web development. I knew he was extremely knowledgeable as a programmer, but I had no idea how much he already knew about web development. Robert became a great friend and his mentorship was a huge part of me advancing. Thanks Robert!


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