Info Support is a heavily Microsoft-oriented company, with Java in a strong second place and still gaining momentum. Most people choose one of those tracks and specialize in it; we’re a company with a strong focus on technology expertise, and I daresay we have a few of the country’s best Microsoft and Java specialists on our payroll.
In this environment, I am a bit of a maverick. I started out as a C++ developer on Windows, in the NT4 era. This was followed by a period in which I alternated between .NET and LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) development, and since then I have moved to Java for a while. It is no secret among my colleagues that Linux is my primary love interest, but give me an interesting problem to solve and I will happily take up whatever platform you want me to.
While this versatility makes it difficult for me to really focus my energies into a single specialism, I find that experiency gained in one area often proves useful elsewhere in unexpected ways. When working on a Windows C++ project, I use Perl and other Unix-heritage tools to automate the development process; when building a PHP app, I take inspiration from the .NET and Java platforms to design a structured application framework. I think every developer, of any specialism, should take a little tourist trip into one of the other platforms every now and then, just to make sure that “the way we do it” does not become “the only way to do it”. Variety is the spice of life!
In this blog, expect posts from me about Java, Linux, open-source software and whatever else takes my fancy. I can get seriously nerdy at times, so expect me to dive deep into the bits & bytes every now and then, but I might also pontificate about software architecture, development practices, the pros and cons of different open-source licenses (OK, I guess that still qualifies as “seriously nerdy”) or The Meaning of Life. When I do, you’ll find out here!