The Knitting Developer

A knitting, development, and general geekery blog.

The Knitting Developer - A knitting, development, and general geekery blog.

Code Camp: How I Became a Computer Scientist

Despite growing up in a house full of computers, I did not always think I’d be a software developer. Sure, I played MMO’s and role-played in the Dragon Inn chat room. Also may have messed up a computer once or twice trying to erase a virus that I’d accidentally gotten after visiting some sketchy site….allegedly. I just didn’t have a clue about writing code, or developing anything.

My dad has always been a computer guy. I remember being real little and just watching him as he put together the next latest and greatest machine. I loved getting on our DOS machine and attempting to play Lemmings and MYST. Dad is also an avid gamer, I loved sitting in the corner of the room watching him play Doom, Half-Life, Warcraft, and just about any game that came out from Valve and Blizzard.

By the time I was a senior in high school, it never really occurred to me that I could be in the technology sphere. If anything, I figured I might do IT as a backup plan if nothing else worked. I was a poet, and a wanna be artist. I love the structure and design of buildings. I’d decided to try and be an architect. To me architecture was the best mix of art and engineering that I could be a part of. It was everything I thought I wanted in a career.

My second year out of high school I got into the University of Houston’s architecture program. It was intense, and a lot more art lessons than I realized. Despite trying my hardest, at the end of the first year my professor’s review of me could pretty much be summed up in her last words to me: “You should probably consider a different degree”.

I was crushed, but I knew she was right. I wasn’t naturally talented enough, and I didn’t quite have the same grit as other students. As I looked towards different degrees, I thought about business and decided against it. I also took an intro to Computer and Electrical engineering and realized that no matter how hard I tried, my grades were too poor to officially switch into the Engineering College.

The day I decided to switch over to Computer Science, I called my dad. I’ll never forget the joy in his voice as I asked “What would you think if I went into Computer Science?” and he said “I think you’d be great at it”. To this day, whenever we talk about a software development or systems administration (his profession), he gives me this I-told-you-so-grin.

Switching into Computer Science was the best decision for me and my career, and I love my job as a software developer. It’s everything I ever wanted in a profession: problem solving, bit of art, great design, and engineering. I took the long way round to get to where I am, but I’ve never been happier.

A Little About Me

Knitting and Software Development. You might would think these two are about as distant from each other as we are from Titan, but I’m here to tell you that this is mistaken. Thanks to social media sites like Ravelry and crafting supply shops such as KnitPicks and WEBS, knitting has become as much a technical revolution as a social one.

I’ve been knitting for over 5 years and crafting all my life. Right alongside my history of crafting is my love of computers and gaming. I started as a video gamer with my SNES and MS-DOS games, spent my hormonal years through MMOs, and now spend most of my gaming time on board, card, war, and roleplaying games with friends.

I try to incorporate knitting into all parts of my life, even the gaming parts.

Knitting became a huge part of my life shortly after I left for college. It all started with a girl knitting on the bus between classes. My short conversation with her was all I needed to become interested in the craft. Not too long after I got off the bus I went to my nearest Hobby Lobby and bought “Knitting for Dummies” and some yarn. I had no clue what I was doing.

After I got tired of banging my head against the proverbial brick wall with knitting needles in hand I decided to call my mother. My mother had never knit before, but she was sure that between the two of us we could figure it out. Figure it out we did, and ever since it has been the corner-stone of my sanity (or whatever is left of it). Knitting is my meditation and sanctuary from a busy lifestyle. Between going to school, working, relationships, and black swan events life can get overwhelming. When they do, I can sit down with my knitting and meditate on what my next action steps will be. Whenever I think I have it figured out, I put my crafty friend down to pick up another day.

My greatest accomplishment thus far as a knitter. The Evenstar Shawl, knit as a wedding gift.

Programming came much later in my development as an adult. I’ve always been around computers and loved working with them, but I hadn’t been exposed to much software development growing up. It took me a while to come around to it, but once I got into the development community I was hooked. I love the ability to solve problems and attempting to make a task simpler or more convenient. I am enthralled with the idea of meshing my crafting life with creating applications that can be used by myself and other crafters.

This December I expect to be graduating with my B.S. in Computer Science. My degree has been hard-earned, and I will accept it with pride come the end of this semester. My hope is to take the most interesting parts of my education and experiences and provide them to you. This will be everything ranging from tips I’ve picked up while doing assignments, inspirational and thought-provoking topics through classes and study, and just progress reports on personal projects I may be working on.

This blog won’t just be all work though. In the midst of knitting/crafting updates and programming developments you can expect articles on all things I find interesting in the geek-verse. Gaming updates, television shows, and much more can be expected on Saturday morning.

The dream is to make this blog into an interesting and reliable read that crosses the boundary of modern and past hobbies. Feel free to join me on this adventure by either subscribing through email or RSS, following me on twitter @knittingdev, or any other form of social media as I get them set up.

Thank you, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.