I am largely self-taught in terms of technology though I was exposed to computers very early on, much earlier than many of my peers. At the age of 11, I took summer programming class at the local university where I learned how to program on a Honeywell mini-computer.
Growing up, I had a Commodore VIC-20 (with a cassette tape drive for storage) and a Commodore 64 with only a floppy drive. My first taste of the MS-DOS operating system was with an Amdek-brand 8088 computer with an amber CRT monitor. I typed out course notes in one of the first software suites on the PC, pfs:FirstChoice, then printed them out on a Panasonic dot matrix printer, and sold them to classmates.
I was first exposed to the Macintosh environment in college. I learned on a Macintosh SE with a single floppy drive containing the operating system (6.0.x), the applications, and a shareware memory booster called RAMDisk. My first personal computer was the Macintosh LC, which I eventually boosted to 10mb of RAM and a 40mb hard drive. I eventually upgraded to a 14,400 baud modem. I had a Personal LaserWriter printer.
My second computer was a Power Macintosh 6100. I would eventually max out the RAM and replace the hard drive. I would eventually double my speed to a 28,800 baud modem. Before leaving college for my first apartment. I had the opportunity to be part of a pilot project for Ethernet access in dorm rooms, so I tasted what counted as serious speed for a good year or so before dropping back down to accessing the internet over a phone line.
It was while I had Ethernet access in my college dorm that I would teach myself HTML and image maps as well as the configuration and operation of email, web (MacHTTP) and mailing list servers. That experience would eventually land me my first tech job after college.
During my last year in college—and for a little over 2 years—I worked as a sales rep in the campus computer store, selling Macintosh computers.
Among my many jobs, I had the opportunity as a contractor to provide technical support to network of 60 or so Macintosh computers and the apps running on them. I also had an opportunity to work with Novell NetWare.
In the years since, I have had the opportunity to work with and / or manage applications such as:
- Lotus 1-2-3
- WordPerfect (DOS and Mac OS)
- Aldus PageMaker
- Adobe PageMill / SiteMill
- FileMaker Pro
- Quark XPress
- MacWrite Pro
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop (since version 2.5)
- Adobe InDesign (since version 1.0)
- Apple Keynote
- PaceWorks ObjectDancer (I worked for the company)
- Adrenaline Charts & Numbers (I worked for the company)
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint; on Windows and Macintosh)
- FirstClass Bulletin Board Software (BBS)
- pfs:FirstChoice (office software suite)
- Windows 95 / 98
- Windows 2000
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7 (including as a dual-boot option on my personal computer)
- Windows 8 (including as a dual-boot option on my personal computer)
- Windows 10 (including as a dual-boot option on my personal computer)
- Mac OS (version 6.0.7 through to 9.x)
- OS X (version 10.0 through to 10.11)
- macOS (version 10.12 and higher)
- Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS
- Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS
- iOS (starting with the version that shipped with the iPhone 3G)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Salesforce.com (I was an administrator)
- RedDot (CMS)
- VisualStudio Team Foundation Server
- Adobe TypeKit
For the last 15+ years, I have managed my own servers on the Internet, whether in a shared hosting context or with a dedicated virtual private server. I have worked with the following open source software packages, all self-taught:
- TypePad (content management system (CMS))
- WordPress (CMS)
- Typo3 (CMS)
- Joomla (CMS)
- MediaWiki (software that powers Wikipedia)
- phpBB (software for creating forums)
- MySQL (database)
- PHP / phpMyAdmin
- Apache (web server and various modules)
I have also managed servers for some employers that used many of the same technologies.
I am currently learning the Swift programming language with the Xcode integrated development environment (IDE) from Apple as well as Java with the open-source Eclipse IDE on macOS. I will look into React, Node.js, and/or Angular for web development.