Ah, the first post.
Well, first of all, welcome to my readers coming from my Mac Game Programming blog: Make Mac Games. Thanks for checking out this site and giving it a chance.
So what’s this all about?
For years, I’ve been consulting to the corporate world. I started out working for a Chicago engineering firm writing software for utilities such as electric companies. Much of this time was spent travelling to various nuclear power plants, programming applications to help streamline business functions, and doing a fair amount of learning.
About eight years ago, I relocated to Boston where I discovered the large focus of financial companies in the North East.
I spent a little over one year working at a software vendor developing financial software. Primarily we built portfolio management or stock and bond trading systems. This was extremely valuable experience for me. I was exposed to the joys of developing and fine tuning “off the shelf” software products and managing the nightmare of deploying to all the variant Windows systems that exist in the corporate world. Here, I also jumped on my first opportunity to build, lead, and manage a small development team.
This is where things changed. Part of building a small development team included hiring contract programmers. Part of interviewing and hiring contractors is knowing what they are paid. Knowing their hourly rates compared to my team leader salary and how much more work I was putting in than they were started me down the path of the next seven years to present day.
So seven years later, I have a five year old consulting company that has been very successful. In those seven years, I have had approximately two months of down time between contracts. One of those months was over December immediately following the stock market disaster of 2002. The second month has been this past month and was by choice.
Before the end of my contract in November 2002, I was developing a server application in C++ to run on Sun’s Solaris (UNIX) operating system. The department I was working with shared an aging development server with several other departments. I decided to try and replicate what I needed on my IBM Thinkpad using Red Hat Linux in order to speed up development time and the lag I was experiencing using remote terminal sessions. I was familiar with Linux on the server side by then, but had never used it for desktop use. I spent several months customizing, learning, fixing my user experience until one day I just about threw the lap top out the window with frustration over things just not working.
So on a whim, I visited the newly opened area Apple store and took an Apple Titanium PowerBook home with me. The next few months of development were sheer bliss. I was able to do all my C++ work and add a Java Swing application to the mix all developed on my PowerBook and deployed to Solaris. I had become a switcher.
Fast forward through three more years or so (not sure the math is right, but who’s counting) and several contract gigs ranging from small Windows-based Visual Basic applications to huge ASP (Active Server Pages) web sites and the transition into .NET development with both C# and VB.NET. All the while I’ve been happily using my now aging and well used PowerBook and my incredible PowerMac dual 2GHz G5 in my home office to run my business. They’ve provided everything I’ve needed and more for daily operations as well as a great platform for doing UNIX-based work for clients that have included php and MySQL websites.
Ok, so what’s the point?
Over the past year, I’ve gotten the itch to build software for the Mac. I’ve looked for consulting opportunities to gain experience with Cocoa or Objective-C but have not encountered any. So, I’ve set off to create my own opportunities. But, what to build? I honestly was pretty happy with the software I was already using.
This is where Make Mac Games came in. In June I started writing about developing video games for the Mac. I have plenty of game ideas and there seems to be market demand for games, so this was my direction.
But a funny thing happened to me since I started writing about my pursuit of Mac game development. New needs, ideas, and opportunities have arisen. Some directly related to blogging, some related to running a MicroISV, and yet others related to my normal everyday technology-centric life.
These ideas didn’t fit into the games realm, so it was time to start a new blog. A blog focussed on these new ideas as well as lending time to my company’s core business of consulting and custom software development.
Welcome to my new company blog.