Hello! My name is Gary, and I'm a 39 years old, living in the high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I'm basically a self-taught Visual Basic programmer, and I've been programming for around 7+ years. I program, primarily, in VB.NET 2008, but am competent in VBA, VBScripting, VB6, VB.NET (in general), .NET Framework 2.0-3.5, ADO.NET, SQL, HTML, and C#. I totally LOVE VB.NET!
In the beginning of my programming career, while I worked for Boeing in Seattle, I took a Visual Basic 6 course, and had an enthusiastic instructor named Rod that was a former C programmer. He was pretty excited about Visual Basic, and he used to use the phrase "VB rocks!" He was a very inspiring instructor, and really encouraged me, and got me excited about programming. I completely remember what it was like when I first started learning how to program... Every little thing was the coolest! A simple little message box was so awesome! Or a form with labels and textboxes that you could
enter data in. Or being able to change the colors of labels, or make the text flash on the screen by showing and hiding the labels using a timer... Awesome! Everything has been exciting all along the way.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a programming job right away. I started to learn programming while working as an Administrative Assistant at Boeing. Although it was a little out of the scope of my job, I started to use the programming I learned on the job. I've worked a couple Admin jobs since, but as you can imagine, I didn't really feel like that was my "niche".
I'm currently working as a programmer for a small printing company. My primary job is writing programs that parse data sent to us by our clients. I also do some SQL database work, and develop databases and various utility programs for internal use.
One of the things I really love about the programming community is that it is very supportive. I've worked in the IT field a little bit, and I found that knowledge was sort of "proprietary", if that makes sense. In other words, there just didn't seem to be a free flow of the share of information between IT techs as there is in the developer community, and maybe it was just the group of techs I was around... However, in the developer community, it always seemed like everyone was so willing to share their knowledge, and help in any way possible, and I have continued to experience that through the years. I've been very fortunate to be able to draw from the programming community when I've needed it. Therefore, I truly feel like I want to return something to the programming community, and help as many of those younger programmers as I can, and hopefully inspire and encourage some along the way!
Along the way, I've read quite a few programming books that were very helpful, and keep them around as resources now. For those that are interested, and for those that it may help, they were:
Visual Basic .Net Step By Step 'Very good book for beginners!
Visual C# .Net Step By Step 'A more or less intermediate book.
OOP with MS VB .Net and C# .Net 'A very essential book.
ADO.Net 2.0 Step By Step 'Another essential book.
ADO.Net Core Reference 'Didn't complete, but a good reference book.
ASP.NET 3.5 in VB 2008 'A pretty good web book for beginners.
Doing Objects in Visual Basic 'Very good OOP N-Tier book.
Crystal Reports.Net programming 'A very good book as well.
Pro VB 2008 and the .NET 3.5 Platform 'An AWESOME book by Andrew Troelsen. (a must have).
Pro WPF with VB 2008 'A good WFP book for beginners.
Hopefully I'll catch you in the zone!
2008 - 2010 Microsoft MVP!