I first started programming in 1988 on the commodore 64. Back then, I wrote my first game, a choose your own adventure text game, which I distributed to a friend on a 5 1/4″ floppy disk. This was the start of a passion/career for myself in the technology field. I have a Network Administrator diploma, IT certifications, one year of General Business and some Electronics Engineering.
Today I enjoy programming in c/c++ or c#. I usually write higher level apps using the dot net framework and then couple that with low level libraries. I have a number of areas of interest in programming I focus on, 3 main ones in particular. These areas of interest are information theory (entropy coding, image compression etc.), compiler/language syntax creation, games programming. I started programming and learning compression software since 2001, doing lots of research into the subject and producing my own compression techniques, that have not yet been released. I have also been working tirelessly on my own programming language in an academic and practical way from the ground up. What I find interesting and fun about this is that you come into so many pitfalls that force you to understand why languages are engineered the way they are. Similar to reinventing the wheel. Lastly game programming is a huge passion of mine, which I deeply enjoy and love. Graphics (opengl, direct 6,7,8,9 – not yet 10 or 11) programming and artificial intelligence, are areas I enjoy coding in games.
The way I approach learning when I’m working on something new or have to research, is, I usually have one fallback rule and that is I get my information from the source. An example of this would be programming assembly, I find it confusing to follow tutorials online because of skewed perspectives, so I have read all of Intel x86 developers manuals, basically really boring but to the point instructions and the interpretation is raw. I also have done the same thing when I was learning DirectX (starting with 6) and OpenGl. I find this method of learning to be in the end, the longest, but this also gives me a fresh start to my own ideas and thoughts on a particular subject, not something I picked up along the way, which may or may not be correct. So yes, I do a lot of reading, lots. I find theory to be more justifiable than practice, sometimes a deep understanding of how something works is more valuable than just simply trying to make something work.