8 Random Business Bits
One of my favorite bloggers, Crystal of BigBrightBulb, tagged me for the topic of 8 random facts about myself. Following her lead, I’ll keep it mostly business related.
- I love running a web firm because it allows me to wear many different hats. My strength is with the code, data, servers…you know, the geeky stuff. But I also love being creative and designing graphics for websites or banner ads. And I get to play with marketing and advertising all the time. If I get bored of one type of “job”, I can move to a different one.
- Using computers is the only thing that’s ever come naturally to me. I started using an Apple computer during my first semester of the 6th Grade. Within 3 months of first using an Apple, I wrote a program, entered it into a contest, and ended up winning 1st place for the State of Hawaii.
- My Uncle Steve, a systems analyst at the time, reviewed my code that won the contest. His comment on my code was “this is what we call spaghetti code”.Yes, my program ran fine, but the underlying code was a stinkin’ mess.
I guess that’s what happens when an 11 year old starts banging out code with no formal training. And I guess the contest judges paid more attention to the program’s execution than to it’s code.
- The scary thing is I don’t think I really started learning how to write decent code until decades later when I started working with the Apache OFBiz software. I learned a lot by reviewing their elegant code and framework.
- In the late 90’s, I was one of the world’s top webmasters in the tiny niche of IBM AS400e web solutions. I was recognized by IBM as the first in the USA to commercially deploy their net.commerce software and firewall services on an AS400e server. No one else was doing it, so local IBM partners would call me for support.
At the time I was the webmaster for ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer for home fitness equipment. Brands I setup eCommerce for include HealthRider, NordicTrack, Reebok, ProForm, Weslo, & Image.
- My favorite language to develop in is Java. It has the most solid, well-built open source applications to work with. But, I work with any language a project requires. Some of the languages I’ve worked with include PHP, Perl, Oracle PL/SQL, Flash ActionScript, & Ruby On Rails.
- In April of 2007, in the middle of a demanding project (over 200 billable hours for the month), my laptop’s Windows OS became corrupted. I was tired of having to reinstall Windows every few years, so went out and bought a MacBook Pro. Within 15 minutes of using it, I felt like I had finally found my computing soulmate.
The OS X interface is beautiful and easy to work with. It made we want to spend time with it, and I believe it has helped my productivity. I also love that it’s built on Unix. Through the terminal shell I can setup web application development environments that are very similar to the Linux servers I host my apps on.OS X offers the best of both worlds: Slick & easy interface, or powerful command line access.
- I have to keep reminding myself to treat my own business like a client from time to time. There will always be other projects to work on for my clients, so I constantly put off working on my own site, blog, and projects. I’m starting to schedule time for my own projects so I can make progress each week.