- First time seeing programing
My first exposure to programming was when I was 5 years old. Watching my mom write BASIC on a ZX Spectrum +2 and then seeing a clock appear on the screen. I was mesmerised.
- First PC
When I was 10 we got our first PC, a 486 running MS DOS and then later Windows 3.1. Right from the beginning I started exploring any part every part of the system I could trying to figure out how things worked.
- Reverse engineering Batch scripts
While opening random files, I discovered that .BAT files were just text. I started reading them and trying to figure out what they did. I then started writing my own scripts to do things like open games and applications.
- Started learning HTML, CSS and PHP 4
While in high school I got a couple of copies of .NET magazine. Included on the disks that came with the magazine was a copy of Apache, PHP 4.0 and MySQL.
After printing out the PHP 4.0.4 manual I started teaching myself PHP. And started building sites on my local system using tools like PHPNuke, PostNuke and Mambo. Despite not having a proper internet connection at the time.
- Discovering Linux
By this stage I was fully invested in Open Source and wanting to explore more, I got a copy of SuSE Linux 8.0 Professional and started teaching myself how to use Linux.
In the process I created my own local webserver using Apache, PHP and MySQL and Bind for DNS.
- Going into business for myself
I started my first company DataPoint doing basic web development and hosting.
It was also during this time that I started learning JQuery and combining that with the Views module in Drupal to do complex presentation that wasn't available at the time.
- Taking on more complex projects
Finding I had a talent for being a "Glue Engineer" and fining that managing web hosting was taking too much time, I started Codaptive with a focus on more complex projects.
At this stage I got to work on projects for the Penguin Random House, the South African Government, North-West University, Nestle to name a few.
- Joining TradeSafe
I joined TradeSafe as its CTO and tasked with the continued development and operation of the platform and its eventual transition to a more modern technology stack.
TradeSafe now processed 100's of millions of Rands in transactions each year.