I was first exposed to computer programming in 1983 at the university. In those days accounting majors were required to complete 2 programming classes. They were labeled “introduction to computers”. The first class was programming in FORTRAN and the second was COBOL. By the second class, I was hooked and changed my major to Management Information Systems. I went on to complete an associate degree in programming from the local junior college. I then completed a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a second major in Operations Management (OM).
Early Computer Programming Experience
Around 1986 I bought a Commodore 64 and the next year a Microsoft DOS garage clone. During that time my manager gave me a computer saying “You are the only one who knows what to do with this”. That was my initial exposure to Microsoft’s Disk Operating System (DOS).
During this time I started programming using Ashton-Tate dBASE II and later dBASE III.
I went on to program use most of the dBASE dialects until the end of 1999.
First Contract Work
In 1988 I created a debt collections application using foxBASE+ running on DOS.
Linux Through the Years
Around 1998 I became aware of Linux and bought a boxset of RedHat 5.2.
I’ve been using Linux in one capacity or another since 2000. I’ve used Linux for my desktop operating system and to build Linux hosting test servers.
Recently I used an old laptop to create a complete Linux PHP hosting system that runs Apache, MySQL, PHP, Domain Name System (DNS), Let’s Encrypt Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and Postfix + Dovecot mail server that runs out of my home office using my home office business Internet connection.
My Move to the Internet
I started teaching myself Internet programming in 1999. The Internet was nothing like it is today. It was the wild wild west.
My first website was built using the PERL programming language and an early version of what I believe was MySQL. Around 2002 PHP hit my radar, however, it was not until 2004 that I started looking at PHP in earnest.
From 2007 to 2019, as a freelance PHP developer, I supported an Internet retailer. I was exposed to a wide range of things like Linux hosting management, Domain Name Service (DNS), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), payment gateway creation and management, email list building using the email list provider’s Application Programming Interface (API), and Payment Card Industry compliance (PCI).
I have switched gears from being a freelance PHP developer to teaching others what I’ve learned through my travels.