Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to the "How I Got Started in Programming" interview series

In 2008, Michael Eaton started a blog meme with several questions related to the topic 'How did you get started in programming.' The questions spread like wildfire, reaching far and wide. You can find a lot of the answers by doing a google search or starting at Michael's blog and following the links. While the initial meme was great, it suffered from the fact that it was written. You can't see the organic nature of someone telling their story live: the body language, the flow of a conversation, etc.

During my initial pair-programming tour, I began the practice of interviewing my hosts and posting them to the journeyman blog. One of the questions I usually started with was 'how did you get started in this?' This is a question that I've asked people over the years, even before the tours, and I'm always fascinated by it. Once I started video-taping them, though, it really took off in my mind.

All of this has led to the idea of coupling my journeyman tours with interviewing people on how they got started in development; since I'm already going to be traveling around and meeting a lot of new people, why not just collecting everyone's story. One thing I loved about the flow of Michael Eaton's meme was that it was open to everyone; it wasn't just about the 'big names' in the field. That's my goal, too. While there will be some people in there who have recognizable names, I'm planning on interviewing everyone I can.

Fundamentally, most everyone likes to tell their story, and, just as important, most everyone likes to hear the story of others. Just like pair-programming with many different people in many different environments gives you a sense of the underlying concepts that span the specifics of software development, hearing how other people got started allows us to find underlying commonalities between ourselves and others.

So, that's the goal of this venture: tell your story, listen to others', understand that we are all in this together.

If you would like to be interviewed, please contact me via the contact information on the side bar.

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