Dennis Palmer

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I cut my coding teeth by teaching myself BASIC on a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A computer in the early 80's. My earliest memory of debugging a program was when I found that my mother had typed the letter O instead of the digit 0 in a hexadecimal string that defined the graphics of a program she copied from the listing in a magazine. After discovering Delphi 1.0 during college, I went to work on a fax broadcast system and other telephony projects. In the late 90's I worked with a few record labels to put software on their music CD's. This included Windows screen savers of album art work and a music player that scrolled the lyrics of each song across the screen -- all written in Delphi. After that, I spent about 5 years doing web development for a national non-profit in PHP (even working with a PHP MVC Framework) before discovering ASP.NET and C#. The biggest professional complement I've ever received was from my boss at that organization. After I'd been there for a few months he told me, "Dennis, you're not as much of a geek as I thought you'd be." He went on to tell me how he appreciated the way I got out from behind my computer monitor and interacted with people. I've always said that it doesn't matter how technical you are -- your success as a developer will always depend on how well you work with people. I remained somewhat proud of the fact that I had never worked with Visual Basic until I started a job where it was the company's language of choice for developing Microsoft Office customizations for the legal industry. Even though I still got lost when looking at VB6 code, with the advent of LINQ to XML and XML Literals in VB9, I was happy to be a VB.NET developer. I'm equally at home in either of the primary .NET languages. Now that iterators with yield return have been added, there's not much from C# that I miss when working in VB.NET. However, when I'm working in C# code, I miss XML Literals and the auto completion that the Visual Studio editor does. In my spare time (after the baby goes to sleep), I've been learning Erlang and F#. There wasn't a polyglot functional programming user group in the DFW area, so I started Dallas Functional Programmers.

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