Coding: My History and how I ended up as a coder

Screen of code

This is what coding looks like

Early beginnings with coding

I got an early start in coding. The very first code I ever wrote was on a 48k Spectrum. As a kid I would buy the Spectrum magazines that came with pages of code you could type in to get free games. After spending the required hours hammering out procedural code I started to play with the code. At first just adapting the games I’d copied from the mags but eventually writing simple programs of my own.

The next step for me came when I built my first PC. As it wasn’t shop bought it didn’t come with an operating system so I bought the cheapest one I could find at the time (I was a kid using paper round money). DR DOS was my OS of choice. It came with it’s own version of BASIC. Using that I created my own simple menu system to optimise memory options per game installed on loading. The menu was a simple select a number system but before it loaded the game it would move drivers in and out of hi-mem based on the settings I’d worked out that worked best for each game.

This was it for many years. I tried a few IDEs that came on free on the front of magazines (by this point you got a floppy disc! No more typing it in by hand). I played with code but didn’t really get serious until…


The start of a career

I worked for several years in an engineering department. Whilst there my coding and networking skills proved useful. I created an intranet site for the company where people could search for parts by name or number and see an image of the part and detailed information about it. When this job came to an end the memory of the fun I had stuck with me and I decided to retrain and start a career as a coder/programmer.

I enrolled in a course to learn C++. Just as I was finishing the course and received my certificate I was hired as a Games Programmer…in a company that exclusively wrote in J2ME! The first three months on the job were spent writing a game whilst learning Java. It worked out though as at the end of that period the game I had written was sold to a customer. As I continued to work for that company I moved over to testing also. Testing the websites the company also created and testing the games written by the other coders.I was enrolled by the company into a short Microsoft Web programming course and once completed I began to pick up XML, CSS, and eventually was tasked with writing support software for the testing department using C#. Over the years I used more languages as necessary including PHP and Javascript. Coding has been the most fun and most challenging task I’ve been involved with in the work environment.


What now?

Web technology has grown consistently. The web is the place where all the exciting technologies are developing and being used. I’ve moved out of software testing, after 12 years as a Quality Assurance Manager for software, to return to coding full time. Focussing on web technologies I will be using PHP, CSS, HTML, and Javascript to provide web solutions and create modern responsive websites with links to social media and S.E.O. technologies.

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