I've been at my job for fifteen years.
That's a third of my life. You do the math!
I've always loved computers, since the earliest days of middle school, when I was exposed to the 8-bit computers of the 1980s: The TI-99 4A, the [Atari 400][Atari400], the [Commodore VIC-20][VIC20] and [C64], and of course, at school, [Apple\]\[s][Apple2] everywhere.
After graduating from high school in the eighties, and taking a couple of college courses at [St. Pete College][SPC], I took a wide variety of [in-house software][InHouse] development jobs for local companies, did a couple years worth of [self-employment][linuxtampa] during the peak of the [Dot-Com bubble][dotcom], and as every techie above a certain age knows primally, it burst at the end of 2000. My little consulting business ended at that time too.
During a 15-year stint in Corporate America, I have learned tons about the big-corporate approach to software development, from:
* learning how to do just about ANYTHING in Java (because, ENTERPRISE!)
* writing documents that (almost) no one reads:
* High-level Design Documents
* Detailed Design Documents
* Test Plan Documents
* Release Notes Documents
* provisioning my teams' REAL development environments from
discarded rack servers and Dell Optiplex and Inspiron PCs.
* navigating the 'unofficial' social inter-departmental paths to Getting Things Done.
* and last but not least, dodging at least ten rounds of layoffs.
Don't get me wrong: there are a few things I'm really proud of too:
* Introducing [Subversion][svn] as a standards-based source control in my team (2011)
leading to company-wide adoption.
* Being the first in the company to pioneer [embedded Jetty-based J2EE
development][jetty-embed], to remove the typical compile/package/deploy/unpack/reload
cycle, and make my developers far more productive.
* Being the first to introduce both [jQuery][jquery] and [AngularJS][angularjs] as
far superior web development technologies to Oracle ADF and Adobe Flex.
* Helping a large-volume traffic analysis system based on [Oracle][oracle] scale
far beyond a billion rows per day, by replacing the RDBMS in [Vertica][vertica].
(in hindsight, it should have been [Apache Hadoop][hadoop]).
* Helping our operations team migrate dozens of applications from
Solaris to Linux.
But the software world is evolving so much faster than that.
* Git has completely trounced Subversion in functionality and mindshare.
* More virtualization choices than ever. It's not just Xen, VirtualBox,
VMWare, etc. Now we've got OpenStack, Docker, AWS/Rackspace/VPS,
Puppet, Chef, Ansible, oh my!
* Linux is far more capable than ever too, but you wouldn't know it
if your organization will only use old RHEL releases still on the 2.6 kernel.
Now, I want to improve Free/Open Source Software ITSELF.