I’m a hack. Not a hacker…a hack. I’m not particularly good or experienced at software development and this is my professed career. I have spent a lot of time doing that job (the past 9 years) but never in a very determined or focus way. I’ve claimed the job title of “consultant” and in that I was decent and successful because I’m smart and courteous and I could communicate effectively with normal people (the business) and the nerds (the developers). This is a valuable skill in its own right, but even in that job I claimed to be and at times thought I actually was a developer or software engineer.
If I wanted to really pile on (and why not, this is a confession) I could add in the 4 years of college where I “studied” Computer Science at UNC and graduated with a BS. I’m official…but that’s about it. I say “studied” because I didn’t too much of that in college. I spent most of my time occupying various administration buildings, playing ultimate frisbee, and looking at all the pretty girls walking around campus. Occasionally I would crack a book or start on a project only to realize that I was woefully behind and then promptly revert back to a general malaise of procrastination. I was overwhelmed by a combination of harder classes and distraction. Added to that, I was never particularly passionate about computers and software…nothing compared to my classmates who threw themselves into their classwork and spent late nights at hackathons and discussed the latest tech news in CS club meetings. At best you could call me a brogrammer, a “sociable programmer”. Just way more on the sociable side.
Sounds pretty bleak, right? I should probably give up and just go back to smiling and clenching my teeth and being a pretty face as a consultant. I’m good at it, I would continue to be successful at it, and I could probably have a nice little life laid out for myself. Except for the fact that I want to BUILD STUFF. I have ideas. Like the Over Under Game. And I can’t make these ideas a reality without computer hacking skillz. Well I guess I could pay or otherwise convince skilled developers to do the work for me…but I have no money and I’m not a particularly compelling orator and I want to build the stuff myself, dammit!
And so that’s what I’m doing. I’m going back to basics and relearning all the scattered knowledge I’d gathered about web development in the corporate .NET world. I’m not relying on big bloated IDEs to hide away the details of what I’m working on anymore. I’m managing every detail…from the command line. I’m bound and determined to be a true developer and to use those skills to make cool things…and maybe make a living along the way.