My Sevent Things post

January 3rd, 2009

Interesting meme running round on the net, mostly via Twitter, where you tag seven people, and those who get tagged are supposed to share seven things about themselves. In turn, those seven people should tag seven other people, and so on, and so forth. I was tagged by Chris Cornutt aka enygma, the unstoppable force behind PHPDeveloper.org and Joind.in. Just to slightly correct him, I didn't actually create the image on the Framework Apocalypse t-shirt, I was smart enough to get someone to draw it for me. Prepare yourself for seven things you might not know about me:

  1. I got paid to write my first computer program when I was 12 or 13. My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20, which I got when I was 10 or 11. My mother was teaching computers and math at a private school in Toronto, and they needed someone to do up a salary grid for the teachers' pay. Written in Apple BASIC on an Apple IIGS, complete with user input AND verification of the data they entered.
  2. Although I have a diploma in computer science from community college, I also have a diploma in civil engineering
  3. . When it was time to go to college, I listened to my father who told me there would always be work in construction. When I graduated, the construction industry in the Toronto area went into it's worst slump in a long time. I remember sending out almost 100 resumes (this is pre-internet days, so all by mail or fax), hearing back from 3 places and getting hired by 1. After a summer of working for minimum wage and 60 hours a week, I decided to go back to school and study what I really enjoyed, which was computer programming.
  4. My wife and I met at work. We were both working at a small ISP, she in sales and me doing phone support. I was totally oblivious that she was interested in me and until one of her co-workers pushed her into asking me out for dinner after work one day. 10+ years of marriage later, we have two little girls and enjoying watching them grow up.
  5. My mom and sister blog, making us a truly wired family. My mother talks about all her experiences at her blog Teachers At Risk. My sister, a stay-at-home mom and frustrated writer, shares her progress on her novel over at her blog.
  6. I used to own a comic book store. Back in the mid '90s, my sister and I started up a comic store at a strip mall around the corner from where we lived. It lasted one year and we burned through all the money our father had given to us. In the end, it was a totally bad location despite what we thought. I worked Saturdays and Sundays in the store and there were days when nobody came in at all.
  7. I learned German on Saturday mornings for seven years as a kid. My parents are both of German descent, and they sent my sister and I to German heritage school for many years. My oldest daughter goes to the same school now, 20+ years later, at *her* insistence. I understand German better than I speak it, and often just use it to yell at my cats. But it's starting to come back despite all my best efforts to bury the trauma of never being able to watch Saturday morning cartoons.
  8. I'm writing a book. Inspired by P?draic Brady's self-published book about Zend Framework, I've started working on what I believe is a much-needed subject: a guide to converting legacy applications over to using the CakePHP framework. I've already got the outline for the book done, the introduction is written and the first two chapters half-written as well.

So, who shall be my next victims? I've tried to think of people whom others haven't talked about yet at all, and the list is pretty small. Although some of these people aren't really close friends, I think they are all the type of people you should all get to know better.

  • Felix Geisend?rfer, CakePHP guru and co-owner of an awesome consultancy based out of Deutschland.
  • Jan Lehnard, CouchDB evangelist and reluctant PHP coder (as far as I can tell). Always super helpful when asked for help, and the master of the human helicopter presentation technique
  • Jeff Graham, who works at Activestate and promotes Komodo, OpenKomodo and PHP as well. I've met him at a few conferences, genuinely nice guy and he's Canadian on top of it.
  • Derek Martin, former co-worker at an adult dating web site and co-contributor of our Zend_Service_Audioscrobbler component for Zend Framework.
  • Ed Finkler, the awesomely talented developer behind Spaz, a Twitter client written in Adobe Air. I'll forgive him for using Code Igniter

Looks like mostly everyone else has already been tagged. So spread the meme and the world know a little bit more about yourself.