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My Background

Me on Mt Evans, CO - July 2001
Me on Mt. Evans, Colorado
July 2001

I was born in Indiana and spent my first ten years growing up in the small town of Westfield, Indiana. My father owned and ran Snyder Motor Service at 18318 US 31 North, just north of town. Growing up around the garage was fun. I had the chance to see and do many different things.

In 1983, two significant things happened: My brother and I went to a computer summer camp called "Kids and the Apple" taught by a Jim Barrows, a local school teacher and we moved to Arcadia, Indiana. It was at that computer camp where I found my calling: computers. I took to it with great eagerness learning both Hi-Res and Low-Res graphics.

After starting at Hamilton Heights my fourth grade teacher, Ron Stone, noticed me working on the Apple Computers and learned Apple BASIC by watching me. I was one of the youngest kids to get a computer permit, showing that I had earned the trust of the faculty and that I knew how to use them. I can still remember, Mr. Stone pulling my mother aside telling her that we HAD to get a computer. A couple years later, I was given the chance to enter my school's Gifted And Talented program.

After graduating high school in 1992, I started at Purdue University in the department of Technical Graphics (now called Computer Graphics). While at Purdue I got back into programming again, taking a course in C programming as an elective, I also bought my first personal computer. It was Tom Woody, one of my best friends from college, who introduced me to the Internet and showed me the ropes to my shell account. The Internet that I am referring to was before the World Wide Web we know and love today, HTTP was just starting to catch on. Before I got into browsers, HTML and the like I was into FTP, UseNet News, and Gopher.

The web gave me the perfect way to merge my education/creative sides with my more technical aspects. I was one of the first students in the program to make a web portfolio (seen here). By graduation, I had earned a reputation for being good with computers, some of the professors would ask for my help in troubleshooting their systems. The Computer Graphics department staff is simply top notch. If you are interested in learning about computer graphics, I highly recommend this major.

I invited Ron Stone to my college graduation in May of 1996. It had been over 10 years since I had seen him at any length and it was funny how quickly we fell into the old pattern. This time I was teaching him HTML! Teachers can have a huge impact on our lives, he has shown this to be true many times over in my life and I cannot thank him enough.

In July of 1996 I started work for Datastream Systems, Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina as Webmaster. Datastream's web site started out with static HTML and no JavaScripts being hosted by NetDepot in Atlanta, Georgia. Though the years my skill set grew and evolved and my web sites grew larger and more complex as more materials and requirements were added. In late 1997, Datastream got its first T1 line, and we moved the web site inside.

Moving the web site inside was a great learning opportunity. At the time we were a Microsoft shop so I taught myself VB Script and Microsoft Active Server Pages. I started out with fairly modest stuff, database queries, parsing forms, selecting, inserting, and deleting records. I later grew to learn more details of the NT operating system and Internet Information Server, and how to run a web site with them.

In 1998, I created my fourth Datastream Web site. This web site was submitted to the Atlanta Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). It not only won an Award of Distinguished Technical Communication but also went on to win the Award of Best of Show for the Atlanta 1998 Online Communications Competition. Later, it earned an Award of Merit in the international competition. One of the reviewers for STC was stunned to find out that web site had been written entirely in Notepad! The Documentation department supplied the content for this site while I handled the design, content layout, programming, databases, and server setup for this site. I could not have done it without help from the talent that is Datastream's Documentation team.

During my first two years at Datastream, I took the site from static HTML in only English to the award winning web site implemented in 8 different languages using database driven content.

In late 2000, after programming and deploying the fifth Datastream web site, I changed departments to the new "DotNet" team, which was working on the company's web portal product. In DotNet, I was able to bring my considerable experience in client side web programming to the development team. It also gave me great experience writing Java Server Pages (JSP) and a chance to use Linux/Apache skills. I also helped the other developers in the team with insights and tips on how to get around the stateless nature of the web. I also was given the opportunity to work with XML and XSL while assisting the development team with the dataBridge module.

After completing DHTML research for the DotNet team's new product, I was laid off the first of October 2001. This marked the end of a wonderful five-year career with Datastream. While there I learned a lot, met many great people, and grew from a simple HTML/graphics person to a strong web designer/developer with a diverse skill set.

Since then I have moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado where I now own a condo out here. Glenwood Springs is a wonderful town and I am happy to call it home. I now work for WestStar Bank where I continue to work in the world of web developement.

I have continued evolving in my craft and expanding my horizons. Recently I've pursued photography, offroading, some art, and learning XHTML.


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