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Ken Darling
Ken Darling

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The Misadventures of a Programmer 000

The Start

A bit about me, I have been a developer I guess for about 15 years, the 1st 10 or so was all in VBA (for those of you who don't know that is the scripting language for Microsoft applications). Doing varying projects in Excel and Access, over those 10 years or so, mind you all these projects where "off-grid" projects (meaning they where not sanction nor supported by IT).

After getting my foot in the door, while still finishing my Bachelors in CIS, I always seemed to be cherry picked for roles on elite teams or maybe I am just delusional, I don't know...

Getting Laid Off

The last role that I had at this company was in finance, tasked with streamlining and automating various tasks and presentations. About a year in, it was decided that the entire finance department was to be transitioned to Jacksonville. I had until December to find something new.

I was lucky that my manager at the time was trying to work something that so that his team could remain doing other functions. He was success fill at doing that, but around October the recruiter I was working with presented me with a possible opportunity, in a proper IT department (so I thought) as a programmer in VBA mostly Access. After a 2nd interview I was offered the job.

A New Place

From going to a large corporate job to a small ~50 person corporation was a big change. I come to find out that the only database that they use is a tangled web of access database, poorly written and maintained by director of operations, as well as locked in to windows XP (we are talking December 2014) because of an application written by a third part that could not, would not run on Windows 7.

At the new place employees who have 10+ years of tenure get the week between Christmas and New Years. During this week is where I made my 1st big jump from VBA to, and with in that week I rebuilt that app, so that we could start rolling out 7 Machines.

From there I started to write more and more in VB.Net. The CEO wanted a program to manage Purchase orders that we where making to vendors, with an Approval system before sending them to the vendor. a quick aside her, mu manager had been proposing getting a proper server to put the file server on and a number of other things, the current servers with old over powered desktops. So while building this approval app, it was using access as it database and it was slow. So I was asked what would make it faster, And that's how we got our SQL Server.

Before i joined the team mt company had farmed out a Web project to a 3rd which was written in C#/MVC which up until this point I have 0 experience with and wanted to dump this on me to maintain an update. I was able to convince them to give me classes for both. The switch from VB.NET C# was easy and all new apps have been written in C# and expending on using OOP, and more reusable classes. MVC for some reason just didn't stick.

A Clear Path

That get me to about current, earlier this year, I approached my manager with some data about average salaries based on title, location and experience to show that I was way under average and would like a raise to be around the average. The amount of back and forth an waiting was ridiculous, but in the end worked out. Along with the raise is what seems like a path to Senior and/or Lead role, which I think can move to a manager role. Upper management said that they want to heir a Junior Dev, which I would be helping to heir and mentor (which makes sense as I am currently the sole developer at my company)

With the discussion of a junior get me thinking of how to best to grow the team with tools accountability and a whole bunch of things that I never thought about being a team of one. With All of that said, I am thinking about documenting my way forward, attempting to and a few levels to the current IT process of where I work currently.


I am a programming with Impostor Syndrome, mucking my way programming, and getting a team to mentor, and implementing new tools and processes along they way. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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