Dexter
  • Mississippi, United States
  • Member for 4 years, 5 months
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About

After getting out of the Navy as a nuclear machinist, I went to [poor man's] school for graphic design. I quickly discovered how much I hate being forced to be creative, so I started learning computer science while working for a Dot Com company in Houston designing marketing material. As freelance work, I built a few web templates for a client for their Volusion shopping cart, and I really enjoyed playing with the ASP and SQL. They had me script and hack the templates 7 ways from Sunday implementing features not available at the time, so I had to learn Javascript and AJAX on the run.

Eventually I picked up a CakePHP book and realized the power of programming. I picked up all the books I could find on web server programming and started teaching myself web development.

I shouldn't say "teaching myself", because I learn most of what I learn by asking questions and reading articles and books written by experienced computer scientists. I enjoy my work being critiqued by others, because I feel like learning and experience are more important than getting something done quickly. Even when my project is complete, I continue to evaluate and change things as I learn more about the security or functionality of my languages. I'm still a jack of many trades. Truth is, I don't see how anyone could be a "master" of any programming language except the authors, considering how much they change!

I'm currently focused on learning how to develop web apps based on PHP, MySQL, HTML5, Javascript, SCSS/LESS. My areas of learning focus are currently:

  • Mainstream documentation methods
  • Password and communication security
  • OOP in PHP
  • Model/View/Controller/Database implementation and UI flow
  • Bitwise calculations and comparison

I'm trying to follow a learning plan from school, even buying used textbooks. It's a lot slower trying to learn this myself (I could have graduated twice by now), but I feel like I'm getting a more in-depth education by asking more questions, and I'm just about ready to start working for a team, according to a friend.

I've already gotten my first deal on my Kiosk project (Yay $$$!), which involves an administrable, web-based kiosk application that sends .mobileconfig profiles to iPads, and locks the iPad for use as a Kiosk that the client can manage, upload files, and set marketing material dates from a remote location on the web. While it wasn't a large app, it was a huge undertaking for me, because I'm working alone, other than the time I spend here on StackOverflow getting answers. I really want to be part of a team so that I can gain experience from others and focus on the developing problem-solving logic in more specific areas of code than trying to build an entire project on my own!

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