re: What's your coding origin story? VIEW POST


I was a Geology major and graduated with a BS degree in '95, so primarily self-taught from the git-go. First "real" job out of college was working for an Environmental Consulting company doing emissions testing at power plants, which led me into technical report writing, which led me to finding all kind of inefficiencies with the process. I was all about making things more efficient.

An aside, there was one guy doing all IT-related things there and we were on Windows 3.1 and had just converted to Windows 95. Lotus Notes was leveraged. We even had a single computer in the Library (yes, there was dedicated room with a bunch of industry-related books in it) that connected to the internet using a company AOL account. We connected through dial-up. Think about all those old-school modem ring tones you used to love. I digress, but oh, the memories...

During that time, Excel worksheets would be used to log test results, which were created "new" every time. Just think of all the time wasted...These results would be given to support staff (me) and I would create reports from the data, then pass that off to data entry staff to pretty everything up.

I learned about Excel VBA Macros from a co-worker who was also tinkering on his own at the time, and knew a heck of a lot more than me. I was fortunate enough to have him there able and willing to guide me along. He taught me a lot. I discovered that if I just record macros, that the code could repeat everything I just did manually. Woah, this is powerful stuff, Awesome! I then learned that I could manipulate this code to make it do different things. I studied the code the macros output and this is how I learned how to code. I did this for about a year and consumed about 50% of my job. At that point, I realized that this is really what I wanted to do, so I looked for full-time opportunities of being a programmer, which was in 1998, put my resume on and was hired 1-week later by a consulting company. As they say, the rest is history...

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