I’m a software developer who has focused on Borland Delphi for many years and am now working in Java technologies. Originally from Manchester in the UK, I now live in Cleveland, Ohio in the US.
I’ve spent a lot of time programming after starting with a Commodore 64 when I was 10 years old. I moved on to an Amstrad CPC 6128 where I marveled at the wonders of its floppy disk drive started writing in Z80 Assembly Language using Maxam.
Soon my brother bought an Amiga and since he was in the Royal Navy, he was away a lot which gave me plenty of time to get acquainted with it. I soon started learning about 68000 Assembly language by writing mini-demos and games. I wrote a few articles that were published on disk magazines that were in circulation at time as this was before way before the internet and bulletin boards were out of my reach as I had not phone access.
I then started working on a PC with a C++ compiler where I got interested in both real-time and photo realistic 3D graphics. Once I graduated from University, I took a job at an accounting firm and on my second day there, I was given a copy of Borland Delphi and told me to go learn it which I did. I got pretty good and went on some consulting gigs as a Delphi programmer. As I was away from home a lot, I would spend time reading up on Java which was new at the time. I took the odd job using C and even VB (shudder) but luckily, I got to play to my strengths with Delphi. I moved over to the US in 1999, and have been here since. I worked initially as a Delphi programmer with a consulting firm for 5 years and then went in-house where I’ve been since 2004. Over the last several years, what had been a casual relationship with Java turned in to something more serious and I started spearheading our shift to Java technology full time.
The last several years have shown me a couple of things. Firstly, I was so lucky to work with a solid stable workhorse like Delphi for so many years. It really is a pity that there is no Java equivalent for Delphi and the eco-system can be so fragmented. However, I also learned that working in one isolated technology can limit your skills. I also found out that I really had a lot more to learn about programming. I think my skills have matured and grown in the last several years as much as they had in the rest of my professional career. Not only from a programming perspective but in terms of the development process, thinking about coding, using OOP correctly, and writing proper code. As part of this growth, I have consumed a number of books that really should be read by programmers old and new :
From the technology aspect, having had to learn it all myself, I try to write about it for the benefit of others in a way that I think I would liked to have read about it. One thing that I think is lacking is documentation that actually tells you something rather than just dropping hints on how to figure out your own solution for common problems. While I focus on the core Java EE technologies of JSF, JPA and CDI, I’ve worked with and learned about plenty of others that I have so little time to write about but Wicket and Spring are my two other favorites.
Hope you enjoy the site, and you can contact me here.