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How I Got Started in Software Development?

An interesting thread is going around asking how you got started in Software Development. It seems fun and since Mads tagged me, I thought I’d fess up as well.

How old were you when you started programming?

I guess I started programming when I was about 15 or 16 on my Pentium#3. It was nothing too wild. My big project was something I did for the Tech fair at college. At that time I have play with flash action scripting to design slid shows for the tech fair.

How did you get started in programming?

I was always interested in computers growing up and after much begging, my parent’s got me a Pentium#3 in 2000 when i was in 10th. I played tons of games on that thing, but I did begin to get interested in making them do more. When I had the chance to actually learn some programming at College, I knew I’d like it. So the Pentium#3 sparked the interest, and 1st Sem labs got me started doing much more than the very basics.

What was your first Programming Language?

My first programming language was C++.

What was the first real program you wrote?

Real? I guess that tech fair project was real as we have successfully executed the slides at the show.

What languages have you used since?

C, C++, Assembly, FoxPro, Visual Basic, ASP, C#, Vb.NET, ASP.NET, JavaScript, VB Script, XHTML, CSS, PHP, Objective C, Java(BB) and probably a few others I’ve missed.

What was your first professional programming gig?

My first programming job was with a Software development Company. I got a lot of experience there doing everything from requirement analysis, to managing projects, to programming and database management. It was a very interesting job and I stayed there for almost 5 years. I joined them as a trainee and left as Team Lead.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Probably. I still find software development challenge and rewarding. However, I was highly skilled in kicking a soccer ball as a freshman in high school. I was terrible at soccer, but I could shoot hard and place the ball well. If I knew that kicking field goals might make for a nice living, I might have worked in that direction a bit. With a bit of luck (ok, ok, a ton of luck), I’d be about to head off to training camp for my 15th NFL season with the San Diego Chargers. If that had not worked out, I’d probably fall back on Software Development.

What is the one thing you would tell new developers?

Read other peoples code and let them read yours. Reading code is an obvious statement as everyone has searched for a code sample of something or other. However, reading beyond a short snippet to see a larger picture and to learn new ways to do things, not just specific functions. There is just something about a reading through a well thought out project to see how the developers made it work. Also, don’t be afraid to show others your code. Ideally, you can check out ego at the door while you show your code to the other developers. While you might not like the feedback you get all the time, you will often learn new ways of looking at something as well as better ways to do things. Its all about continual improvement!

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had … programming?

Actually programming is my hobby. So every time i do programming i enjoy it. So it is difficult for me to point one. Probably building my first web site. I made a website, sumitgarg.net back in 2007. It may have been the simple website without any extra-ordinary functionality, but I had fun building it and running it. I planed for this website in 2007. At first, I just developed a simple website without any idea about blog. At that time, I thought I’d make a static 4-5 page site, so just to have a online portfolio. It just keep growing and growing and I never really planned it all out. Next, I added a database to allow my friends to log in to website and communicate with me. Shortly afterward, Blog was added. It went on and on. It was fun as I never knew what it was going to need next and often my friends would work with me helping me to see the best way for the site or admin features to work. My favorite feature was setting it up to integrate twitter and facebook widget. Its really nice to see all your friends contacted through one single website. Now i could see all activities at one place.

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