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Oh! This is a good one.

I had a few forays into programming—websites when I was younger, and some computer science in college. I learned to program in that context, but never really felt like a "real programmer", whatever that is. Basically I didn't think I could do it, hence dropping CS.

When I rediscovered the craft, I got into Ruby programming. Basically I wanted to make a web app and someone told me I should check out Ruby on Rails. Not a lot of extra context and fewer other popular frameworks at the time (I didn't shop around, I didn't really know how to).

In the past I had failed to build things because I tended to skip some steps and then not have any idea what I was doing. So I convinced myself I'd stick to Ruby until I really could program, then I'd move on to building the project I had in mind.

I felt like a real programmer when I found myself capable of building a crude prototype for the app I wanted in pure Ruby. I used a text file as a database. It didn't have a server, it was essentially statically compiled from the text file, but I could write to it from the program.

I didn't really have an idea of how it would fit together in a "production" context, but I had done it. I had built a true database backed application which rendered dynamic HTML and I had done it from first principles of learning the programming language.

I truly felt like a "real programmer". Actually, I think I felt more like a "real magician".


I finished my High school as a Computer Technician, programmer oriented, but i started working repairing PC, tech support until when i was working on a Rental apartment company in 2004, i saw my boss' wife that she was struggling with files and folders from the apartments and decided create an intranet using what i had there, an old pc with a IIS, ASP and Access, the old PC is what i was using for work.
Now i'm working as a full time programmer.


🔥🔥 that’s awesome. I love ruby but unfortunately I use Java 😭


Well Ruby has a way of kicking you in the teeth over some wacky scenarios. Enjoy some safety in types while you have it.

Word, this is prob a sub topic, but do you ever see anything replacing java?

Yeah, plenty.

Kotlin and Scala come to mind for obvious reasons. Swift, Elixir, Go, Rust, lots of newer stuff which can take Java's place in a lot of contexts where it's popular.

There's a long way to go, but I think Java will gradually trend down and have a lot of different languages take its place. And it will keep evolving and have a place forever. I haven't followed closely but Oracle v. Google can't have helped Java's place in the world.

via Stack Overflow

It seems like JavaScript is the only language with any kind of true moat on its popularity right now because it runs in the browser. And that will go away with WebAssembly.


On 2009 in the company where I worked we made a system for sending bulk SMS, it was used by companies for notifying the customers about new deals or remember about payments.

The business went really good and we had more clients, and we were connecting to our gateway for sending SMS through a HTTP API, and that was not good enough, so I got the responsibility of changing that and instead of using the HTTP API of the Gateway send the messages through SMPP, so I had to change all of the process, pack the messages into the protocol and send them through TCP.

The things got better and after that, because the messages were sent one by one it was needed to change to send it on parallel, so I move to multi-threads.

It was awesome, I started working on PHP (I was a junior) and then I ended working with Perl, Bash and AWK. I was 20 years old. Then Facebook appeared and the companies move away LOL.


Haha! Nice that would be an amazing accomplishment for a junior dev!


Yeah! After that I got courage for many things!


Setting up addresses and data bytes on dip switches, using another computer to generate a 50ms programming pulse to burn a UV EPROM to make my Z80 based (wire-wrapped!) serial printer buffer hardware work. Way too long ago. 😎


Throwback to when I was 14 years old, year was 1999, and I had a great time building websites and meeting likeminded people in online communities. '99 was the year I first got involved in the start-up of a hosting company.

Said company evolved slowly, but in 2002 we had a full suite of hosting offering. Back then, web hosting was all the craze, but we realized that Counter-Strike server hosting could be a huge opportunity for us.

We would be one of the first in the world to launch such product, and was definitely the first in Denmark to offer CS server hosting. I was in charge of building that product. So everything from the ecommerce to admin panels was on my task list.

What was really interesting—and it was one of the first magic moments for me, making me feel like a "Real Programmer"—was the entire system we build out to support near-instantaneous booting of CS servers. Our customer would set up and configure their CS server in our web interface, a cron job would listen for "orders" or configuration changes and a Perl app would boot up and properly configure their CS server instance.

Just like magic. Or so it felt 😁

Classic DEV Post from Aug 6 '19

What to put in your portfolio as a beginner web dev

Trevor Montgomery profile image
I’m a motivated web developer with a passion to learn more. I’m a long time student of fitness, and my goal is to change the unhealthy stereotype of tech through a movement called #TheFitDevProject