Hey ! I'm a developer

This is the story of how I got into web programming and how everything started for me

4 minutes

This is the story of how I became a developer !

What is this article about ?

I’ll give you an overview of my evolution as developer. How and when I started programming and what journey I made through the past 20 years.

Education

In highschool I studied economics, I wasn't really meant to be a software developer at that time. After highschool I didn't really know what to study, and I followed a friend. Starting a multimedia education, became a bachelor in multimedia three years later in 2002. My friend stopped the courses after 3 months, I went through.

Programming

I never programmed before the age of 19, at that time it was not so common practice learning programming at highschool.

In the three years of my education I’ve learned a lot of programming languages like Java, Visual basic, C … We learned Linux, Macromedia Flash, some multimedia tools, photography, … Educated to become multimedia developers, with a very broad base … We learned things that informatics students didn't learn at that time and were “the new kids in town”, multimedia was hot, we were hot !

Web application, what you say ?

At that time there was no big focus on web languages. But we learned Flash, Actionscript, HTML, CSS, Javascript and ASP … The before .Net era. I think ( am not sure ) we haven’t seen PHP at school, and I made my graduation work in ASP with an MySql database.

Programming was done in notepad. I did my graduation work together with the guy I will later start my company.

My work

In 2002, on August 19 ( the day of birth of my sister ) I started Delta Solutions, with Steven Pauwels as co-founder. We were young, only 21 years old and could kickstart our career via the connections of Danny ( the person we made our graduation work for – still many thx for that push ). He motivated us to become self-employed, and we rented an office from a company he knew. That company tried to pick up with web technology.

New kids :-)

They were using weird unknown technologies, in fact desktop software that made a web toolkit. The young guys ( we ) knew new stuff, real web stuff and so the story started … We picked up the web work. A few years later our ways separated and Delta Solutions upped the pace exploring new stuff and new work . Many thanks to Koen and Bart for the 5 years of intensive cooperation.

The steel climb of the web

That time, in 2002 it was really hard to convince companies to work with web technology. Many companies didn’t see the potential of the web. At that time everyone wanted desktop apps ( now knowing better 20 years later ).

Technology

We started Delta Solutions with a boxed version of a program called Dreamweaver, an Adobe tool that could handle php. That time we didn’t talk about mvc, oop. We had one php page that handled everything, from logic to database communication to view processing. We were using plain javascript with iframes to prevent page refreshes, in the pre-ajax era. I was using prototypejs in 2005 before jQuery was created in 2006. I picked up with jQuery and left prototypejs for what it was. At that time I didn’t use any CSS frameworks ( bootstrap was created in 2010 ). We crafted all the styling and interactive stuff ourselves.

Evolving from Dreamweaver functional programming to pre-framework oop with own created classes to make things easier we were using Netbeans, that was in fact a Java environment. We picked up the new things after testing them, early adaptor of the things that gave our development steroids.

Nowadays we still use the top notch technologies, stuff like Vue.js, Livewire, Ionic ... still in front of the line when it comes to new stuff.

Frameworks

Around 2010 the first php frameworks ( symphony, codeigniter ) were growing interest, and we decided to give Codeigniter a try. We made a project in it, but saw at the same time that the creator of the framework was seeking a new owner for CodeIgniter, citing a lack of resources to give the framework the attention they felt it deserved. Taylor must have read this :-)

We created one project in Codeigniter, around that time we read about version 4 of Laravel and made an u-turn picking up Laravel for our next project … One of the best decisions we have ever made. It’s the summer of 2013 at that time. It was the start of real php ecosystems and tools like composer, that was another boost for our toolset and possibilities.

Laravel

Still a daily user of Laravel, and it’s ecosystem. Evolved from crafter with own created libraries to community driven development using tools adapted worldwide, tools like gulp, webpack, composer, bootstrap, vueJs, elementui and many, many more.

7 years later I still try to use top-notch technologies ? I try to pick up the new stuff that fits best. I have to admit that it became harder and harder to get the right stuff, webtechnologie and toolsets are booming, and it’s harder than ever to pick the right one … Keeping it very interesting to do my job. I love it more than ever. Hope you also do !


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