My name is Dave Glick and I live in Northern Virginia with my wife, son, and dog. I’ve been developing software in one form or another for most of my life, starting with a programming class given by the dad of a friend when we were in third or fourth grade (unfortunately, my budding geek cred was unappreciated on the playground at recess). I can still remember sitting in their basement and pouring over sheet-fed printouts of BASIC code from my Guess The Number game trying to figure out why the computer always chose the same two numbers. I’m sure I learned a valuable lesson about properly seeding random number generators or something, but what I managed to take with me was that debugging code from a printout is a royal pain.
I started programming as a job in high school. After school was out I would drive over to a local ISP and code up web pages for their clients in between answering support calls. I learned most of what I know about Linux and Unix while grepping log files and rebooting servers trying to figure out why the old lady on the phone couldn’t get her thirty images of cats emailed to her entire extended family. Believe me, every horror story you’ve ever heard about technical support calls is probably true. In any case, I managed to do a good enough job that they took me off of the support desk to work on web projects exclusively. I stayed with them through college honing my skills and earning some spending money. At one point, they even got me an on-site contract with a hot events management startup in DC during the frenzy of the first dotcom boom. I remember there was an office there where the door was always closed. On the wall outside the door there was a little white board with lots of tick marks. When I noticed the number of tick marks were always varying, I asked what was going on. I was told that one of their best software guys was in the room and the ticks represented how many hours he had been in there without stepping out. When I came to the office one evening and there were seven or eight ticks on the whiteboard, I couldn’t help but wonder if the guy had expired out of frustration while looking at printouts of code. I never did see him the entire four months I worked there.
Once the dotcom bubble burst, web work was a lot more difficult to find and the ISP I worked for was having problems of its own competing against the rising popularity of cheap and available broadband. I ended up getting a job in one of the thousands of small defense contracting companies in the Northern Virginia area. I’ve stayed in that industry for almost ten years now while completing an undergraduate degree in Computer Graphics Design, a graduate degree in Software Engineering, a graduate certificate in Web-Based Software Engineering, and an MCSE certification. I currently work for Data Research and Analysis Corporation developing cross-platform networking and distributed modeling and simulation tools using .NET, Mono, GtkSharp, and XML.
In doing the research for starting this blog I noticed almost every blog author I respect has a paragraph or two in their introductory posts about why they blog. For me the answer is simple, I do a lot of cool stuff and work out a lot of hard problems that people never see. Though my Google-fu is pretty strong, I’m always frustrated when I have a problem and can’t find any mentions of it. I always end up thinking “well, someone must have run into this before.” Hopefully I can spare others some of that frustration by publishing things I learn about and work out.
I also want to educate and inform about my chosen architecture stack. I’ve been doing development with .NET, Mono, GtkSharp, and XML for a while now and have come to appreciate the simplicity and power that these technologies provide. Unfortunately, the area of cross-platform and Microsoft-independant .NET development doesn’t get as much attention as I think it should. I’m hopeful that I can add my voice to those already out there and help continue to make people aware that there is .NET life beyond Microsoft (though I don’t have anything against Microsoft, and I like a lot of what they do).
Okay, But Seriously, Why Do You Really Blog?
I can’t deny it’s also good for a little ego boost :)