I've been working with computers since the original TRS-80 Model I (1978). I started programming in BASIC, went on to GW-BASIC, Pascal (Borland), and Assembler. I glanced at C, decided it looked ugly, and have avoided it since. My first introduction to relational databases came from an old DOS version of Q&A, after which I graduated to MS Access 95/97. My next job had me in charge of redesigning the entire Access side of an AS/400 database, including ODBC and coded Excel manipulation. As I'm sure you can guess, I had to learn very, very quickly.
While I do have 2 degrees in the computer field, I am completely self-taught in everything but assembler.
I run my own company, offering services for building or repairing systems, software assistance and tutoring (Windows platforms, IE, Office, several minor apps), databases (Access, SQL Server), networking, web design (including ASP and VBScript), and custom programming using VB6. In my spare time, I play a disturbing number of games (or is that a number of disturbing games? I ferget...), and lend my expertise to just about anyone who asks.
I also tend to be mildly <cough> offensive because I have little to no tolerance for stupidity, and there are a lot of stupid people in the world. Knowledge and intelligence are not the same thing.
If you would like to speak with me outside EE, routinet-friggin-hates-spa
Recently, I went through some on-the-job training for Linux (Fedora Core 4, so far), PHP, and PostgreSQL due to demands of a new client (deja vu!). I find it to be the most fascinating work I've had in a very long time, and am on my way to becoming a huge Linux fanatic.
Putting my new Linux skills to work, I was hired for a web site redesign/administration position. After 2 months on the job, I've discovered the joy that is MySQL and its associated management apps (phpMyAdmin, and http://www.sqlmanager.net). The first phase of the resdesign has been completed after reworking damn near half the site and updating the database engine. I've had very little time to frequent EE, and even then I've only been on long enough to post a question (or three).
Still working with LAMP, still loving it. The site redesign has turned into creating and running three commercial sites with more plans on the horizon. I still consider myself a total newbie with Linux, a bit of a novice in Apache, but feel my skills in M & P are getting much stronger. I still have no time to RTFM, but I'm learning new things every day, and that's damn cool. I just got a new upgrade for my main personal box. After appropriate second-handing, I'll have an extra Win2k and an extra Linux box for experimenting.
The second revision of my site engine has been completed, and the third is in design. Written using LAMP, it contains its own custom CMS, custom HTML template system, on-page HTML email generation, and some basic search capacities. The longer I work with it, the more I despise IE. The third phase of the design will shift the majority of the 'work' to the database side, meaning we will be able to distribute the actual code to the site (PHP/HTML/CSS) without compromising our proprietary engine. Applications are never done, they only cease to be improved.