My name is Anthony Queen.
I've been programming and working with computers ever since my uncle got me hooked back around 1983. He had bought a new TRS-80 (don't remember the model). It was the coolest thing ever though. Around 1986, I had saved up enough money to build me a JENCO IBM Clone. It was a 8088 with 640K ram!!! It was AWESOME! It even had a turbo mode (CTRL ALT +). If I remember correctly, in turbo mode, you were cruising at 10 or 12 MHz! Seriously, I was so happy with everything I could do on those machines. My, how times have changed. With that machine, I learned BASIC, Pascal, and C. I was having a ball. =)
So, after high school, I started my drafting career. "WHAT!?" you say, "Drafting?" Well, I had 4 years of drafting class in school, and was quite proficient in AutoCAD at the time, so yeah, drafting. It wasn't what I really wanted to do, but it wasn't so bad. At the time I had a serious lack of confidence in my skills. After all, I was self-taught. I came from a tiny town in Kentucky, my family didn't have much money, and my grades weren't the best in school, so I didn't go to college. Who would hire me? I do regret not finding a way to go to college.
About 9 years later, I was working for a company designing playgrounds. You know, the ones inside restaurants like McDonald's and Burger King. Well, we had a pricing application that would calculate price, weight, and shipping for the designs we were making. It was a VBA application that used an Access DB. It ran fine most of the time, but we would always find where the bugs were. Well, we started having issues with it one day and no one knew what to do since the original programmer was long gone. I took a look at the code and thought "Hey, this is pretty simple". So, one afternoon, I fixed the bugs and it ran great. My boss was very impressed and I found myself doing more and more modifications and updates to the application. That's when I knew I needed to get out of drafting. Unfortunately, there were no programming jobs to be had where I lived.
A short while later I went to visit some friends in Dallas, TX. While there, I met a couple of guys who were programmers for an engineering software company. After talking with them for a bit, it became obvious we were going to be great friends. It turned out they had a position open for an entry level programmer. They had been looking for someone who knew VB6, and AutoCAD! Their flagship application was a C++ app that ran within AutoCAD, and they needed someone to write the Data administration applications. Can you believe it? So, I moved to Dallas. I ended up learning a lot about SQL Server, and C++ while I was there. I was also very fortunate to be working with a couple of geniuses who took time to teach me object oriented programming and methodologies. After about 3-1/2 years though, the company started having some financial problems and I was laid off. Within two weeks, I had another programming job for a VERY large financial institution. When I say large, lets just say everyone who has a TV has probably seen their commercials ... around the world. It was a contract job and paid about twice what I had been making. The contract was for 6 months, but after 4, they offered to hire me full time. They did. Two months later though, we got a new CIO and a new direction. Within 8 months, the company was out-sourcing a lot of our jobs to India. I came in one day to find I'd be training a guy from India on how I did my job. Within 2 weeks, I was working for a manufacturing company (2nd largest in the U.S. in their field). I was writing shop-floor applications for their factories across the country. I even had the opportunity to share in a teaching effort by teaching various design patterns to other developers on our team.
They were good to me. Treated me like GOLD! But, a little over a year there and my Dad's health started declining. I had to move back to Kentucky so I could be close. So, for almost a year, I've been working for a financial service provider in Kentucky. It's pretty good. I like the people. The area is beautiful. I make a lot less money here than I did in Texas, but we are making it.
During my career, I've worked with a variety of technologies and languages. I've also been fortunate enough to work with some very bright individuals and so have learned a great deal. I hope that I can at least give some of that back by sharing my knowledge with others as they shared theirs with me.
SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000, 2005