Skip to main content.

This page’s menu:

My Computer History

I remember fondly back to the old days when my parents got me my very own computer. It was a dual floppy disk machine, as my parents believed that I would never need a hard drive. One floppy drive was occupied by DOS and the other contained the desired program. Frequently, classic games like Oil's Well (1990) and The Chase on Tom Sawyer's Island (1988) filled that second floppy drive slot.

When I was twelve, I became a Boy Scout. In process of time I completed merit badges. With my parents both in the computer industry, naturally the computers merit badge was completed early on. The merit badge required learning basic programming skills. I learned the QBasic programming language and enjoyed every minute of it. Before too long I was programming in my free time and released my first major program to my parents, Mike's Calculator 1.0. It was a simple program but it was a stepping stone for so much more.

Since those humble beginnings, I have come a long way. I remember, QBasic was not extensive enough for me anymore, so I informed my parents I needed to learn more. I had no idea which programming language I wanted to learn next. So, my parents purchased a book to learn C++. My C++ book included a sample Microsoft C++ compiler, which sadly was version 1.0 and had a lot of features disabled. It took immense effort to get anything to run. My dad even decided to help me take the quizzes in the book. So, he started to read the first question to me. It was something like, "What is a variable?" Needless to say, at that time I hadn't even covered variables in math. However, I was providing the absolute perfect book answer to my dad. After a few questions, he was pretty amazed until he looked at the screen and saw I was reading the answers from the included CD.

For Christmas that year, I received a Visual Basic programming book. It included a "primer" version of Visual Basic. From the moment I started reading the book, I fell in love with how easy it was to produce graphical programs. I read the massive book in under a week, and soon received my first copy of the full Visual Basic environment. This became my main programming language for many years.

With the start of High School, I could not get into all the classes I wanted to. The basic programming class was the same time as my band class. So, I had to decide what I would take instead of programming. The person read to me "Food, Jewelry, or Computer Applications A." Needless to say, I took the computer class which was mainly typing and an introduction to Microsoft Word. For a guy in my position, it was an extremely easy class which gave me time to sleep, complete math homework, and fix the classroom computers when requested.

Later in High School, I took an Advanced Placement Computer Science course. I was nerve wracked to begin in. All of my programming experience had been on my own, how difficult would it be to do it for real? Additionally, I knew the class was in C++ and with my early struggles with the older Microsoft compiler I was greatly worried. It turned out that all my stress was unmerited, and the class was pretty straight forward. I completed all of the projects, many ahead of schedule and had a great time. At the end of the year, I completed the AP Computer Science Exam. I remember I had to give 3 or 4 people rides to their cars after the exam, and we were talking. I mentioned "shoot, I accidentally made an error" on a certain problem. Everyone else in my car said, "You had an idea of how to solve that?" Well, it was not much of a surprise when my score came back 5 out of 5.

It was interesting, when applying to college I had no idea where I wanted to go, but I knew exactly what I would be majoring in. After much consideration, I enrolled at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT seeking a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Throughout college, I refined a lot of my programming style and worked on other languages such as Java and C. I graduated in April 2008.

During college, I served two internships with the Wal-mart Information Systems Division. I greatly enjoyed this opportunity and it introduced me to the working world and provided many various applications and tasks for my knowledge.