I started programming at a relatively young age. In 3rd grade we were given access to some Apple IIe computers. The curriculum mostly centered around outputting our names to the computer screen. Certainly nothing to write home about, but certainly fun for any 8 year old with limited access to computers.
I wish I had made more of that opportunity at such a young age. Oh, the things I could have done if I had the inclination. If only I could have started on the path to computer science at that time…
During my career my ambition has ebbed and flowed. There were some great years where I worked my tail off. Unfortunately, there were some years that I worked a job, doing only what was required of me.
I’ve since learned how to keep my interest in technology high, and haven’t had a low spot in quite a while. I wish I could have discovered the secret to keeping my focus much earlier in my career.
During some of my waning years, I’m not sure I worked as hard as I should have, certainly not as hard as I should have. Looking back now, I wish I would have given more effort on some early projects. I consider myself a professional now, with the deepest respect for the word. Anything less than my best effort, and I feel a tinge of disappointment in myself. Work hard, always.
Learn all you can
I’ll admit it, I slept through several core classes in high school. I may have skipped a class or two in college as well. Somehow I’ve evolved into a life-long-learner. If it has to do with technology, and especially with development, I have a strong need to learn anything and everything. Sadly, this was not always the case. I feel that I may have missed more than one opportunity to learn something cool and interesting that could someday prove useful.
I regret nothing!
All that being said, I regret nothing. Every action, every decision, and every mistake has gotten me to where I am today. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m exactly where I need to be.
But, I want to hear from you. What advice would you like to give your younger self?
A Microsoft MVP, John has been a professional developer since 1999. He has focused primarily on web technologies and has experience with everything from PHP to C# to ReactJS to SignalR. Clean code and professionalism are particularly important to him, as well as mentoring and teaching others what he has learned along the way.