User:Dmclean

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I am a software developer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

http://www.stsci.edu/

I have been interested in computers since the second grade (!). I took my first programming class - Fortran 4 - in summer school between 7th and 8th grade (1976). For eight years after high-school graduation, I was a soldier in the US Army working in a very technical communications specialty. During that time, I took several programming courses and became moderately fluent in Pascal. For the last year and a half of my enlistment, I worked as a project manager and programmer on a small software project related to my specialty. I leveraged that experience into a civilian programming job with a government contractor and started attending night school, earning a bachelors degree with a double major (computer science and mathematics) in eight and a half years.

Since January 8th, 1988 I have worked exclusively as a programmer. I have used quite a few languages, many of them proprietary, on many different operating systems. I have used nothing but Java since 1999.

I have a number of personal interests including Storing and processing imprecise data.

About Computer Programming[edit]

Non-programmers sometimes wonder what programming is like. Today, I am thinking that it is like playing Fizzbin with the universe - except that the universe cheats.

Another day, another perspective. I am reminded of the game Jenga, but played with an impossibly tall stack of irregularly sized and irregularly shaped pieces. For optimists like myself, this immediately brings to mind the conversation between Phillip Henslowe and Hugh Fennyman from Shakespeare in Love. Though we should keep in mind that IT projects have something like a 74% failure rate. (I don't remember the exact number, but it's in that neighborhood and has been verified by more than one study)