Five Questions: Greg Robinson
Five Questions: Greg Robinson
For the inauguration of this feature, I had a little e-mail chat with
Greg Robinson, who is a Project Manager at Custom Data Systems. You can read a formal case study of their
application at Microsoft's site,
but this column isn't about the application (interesting though it is),
but about Greg. Here are the questions that I asked Greg to chat about:
- How long have you been developing software?
- What one software tool would you most hate to do without?
- What one software technology do you most regret investing time in
- What keeps you writing code these days?
- What software accomplishment are you proudest of?
And here's what Greg had to say in return:
"I started writing code in 1996, Academically only. I have a bachelors
Degree in Economics which served me well for 8+ years, until I got bored
out of my brains.
"My father has his own software company and has a masters in Computer
Science. After seeing how much fun it was through him, I got the bug and
started taking night classes at a local community college. I needed 10
classes to complete a certificate in IT. I went to class at night and
studied when I could, while still working 40+ hours a week.
"I completed 5 of the 10 classes and was offered a job writing Cobol by
a Corporate 200 company. I jumped all over it even though I took over a
50% cut in pay. I needed to get in the industry somehow.
"The rest is history. I did Cobol for one year. I was promoted to their
Desktop group and wrote VB5 and 6 for a year.
"I was than offered a job with start up company as an IT consultant.
One of the owners taught 1 of the 5 classes I took at the community
college. I was employee number 3. I walked onto my first project not
knowing the first thing about web apps. 6 months later myself and the
4th employee completed a pretty impressive web portal using ASP.
"I did 2 more projects with this company (www.amentra.com), the last one
being my first .NET project.
"I then went off on my own for one year. I was then offered a job with
my client, CDS, which I accepted. I now manage 3 developers (and write
code all day myself) and I could not be happier.
"I could not live without the VS IDE. Well, I guess I could but life
would be hard. I was groomed on windows and the mouse, so I am not a
keyboard programmer nor am I any good from the command line.
"I truly love my work. I love the challenges, the frustrations, the up
and downs and the high you get when you write some great code or figure
something out. I truly am amazed I get paid so well to do this! I am
living proof that hard work pays off. I also found the right mentors
early in my career and fed off their energy and knowledge.
"I would not say I am most proud of any one software product. I am proud
of all of them. Some were more challenging, but in the end they were all
great. Each one taught me something new which i carried to the next
project. As long as I am learning I am proud and happy!
"I am often asked if I would go back to Cobol. My answer is always the
same, code is code is code. I truly love writing it, so yes, if I had
to I would."
I expect that most developers will see a little bit of themselves in
that story. Want to share your own experiences? Write me at
MikeG1@larkfarm.com and let me know.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.