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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
photo by: craiglea123

Comments (11)

  1. Hi Sterling,

    I was so excited when your post showed up in my reader. You’re posting again. I knew you had (and probably still have) a busy schedule, but it’s great to read your writings again.

    What wonderful accomplishments you’ve had. Number 5 is VERY impressive. You must be so proud of yourself. It makes me proud of you, my cyberspace friend. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  2. Hi Barbara. Thank you for following the feed. It’s been way too long between posts, so I need to focus on #8 and be more consistent with my own projects. Thank you so much for always supporting me and this blog.

  3. Welcome back, Sterling. I keep hearing more and more good things about OS X, and more and more bad things about Vista. When my computer becomes obsolete, I might be making “the big switch.”

  4. @Hunter Nuttall – I think that after a week of using OS X, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t switched earlier. The Parallels or VMWare solutions to run virtual windows on your Mac also makes the switch easier for those who need time to ween off of their windows software.

    @Amy – Thank you for your encouragement. I completely agree with you.

  5. Pingback: 8 Random Business Bits About Me | Big Bright Bulb

  6. Hi Sterling,

    Thanks for the mention, and adding your bits to the meme. You’ve been up to the eyebrows for this web stuff for ages! Such a neat thing to know about you.

    As for #8, I know what you mean. Between writing for the blog and other day-to-day work, it’s hard to find time for strategy and non-critical projects.

    Your idea to schedule the time is a good one, and I’m following your example. I had written a project in my planner, but now I’ve assigned a range of hours to it…hope it helps, and thanks again!

  7. @Crystal – Thanks for the meme tag. I broke the rules, and didn’t pass it along, but it was fun writing.

    Good luck with your project. I don’t know how you juggled everything while going to school. Now that class is out, I can’t imagine how productive you’ll be with your projects.

  8. Sterling – I thought you’d fallen off the face of the earth. Then I realised I’d actually moved you to the wrong folder in the reader – sorry.

    It sounds like you’re really passionate about computers, which is great. Knowing what you love doing is half the battle. I’m a little envious though – your first computer was an Apple. I still don’t have one of those now. Everytime I change my laptop, there always seems to be too many bills coming in to justify the extra cost.

  9. @Cath – I actually did fall of the face of the blogosphere for over a month. But thanks for checking back in.

    I did start with an Apple. But it only lasted for a year or two. After that it was Microsoft for a couple decades until last year.

    And true, knowing what you love doing is half the battle. Now I’m working on finding a scalable business model around doing what I love.

  10. Hi Sterling,

    This was a great story, I started something like you by messing around with computers, I started with a Commodore Amiga as my first computer. Then it went to a Pentium 2, where I started doing a little html. Javascript has open up a new life to the internet. Local Online Advertising

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