My day job is as a software developer consultant. I’ve been at this stuff a long damn time (first job as computer operator using Prime minicomputers was in 1982) and have a real-live degree in computer science from Cal Poly SLO. (In addition, I have an MBA from Cal Poly with my name on it; however, it actually belongs to a different Michael J. Harper who graduated at the same time.)
I got started on minicomputers and moved along to Unix for school work in the mid-80s. I bought a Mac 128K in 1984 and when the Toolbox and associated tools were finally made available to the great unwashed public, I started Mac development in 1987. I have spent the vast majority of my time in the enterprise software space which was taken over by Java EE in the past several years. I enjoy balancing the enterprise software development with the more interactive results one accomplishes with Mac OS X and iPhone development.
A few years ago, I started hearing about Ruby on Rails. When I had the opportunity to start working with Rails, I was hooked, especially after all the pain involved in Java EE work. I was already a believer in Ruby and Rails, but when Dave Thomas gave his deconstruction of Ruby during a Rails Studio back in April 2008, I experienced my Ruby “moment of zen.”
Around the same time, the iPhone SDK was made available to developers. As someone who spent several years in the mid-90s on NeXTStep development as well as recent time on Mac OS X development — the evolution of NeXTStep — I couldn’t resist the iPhone. I have developed and contributed to numerous iOS apps, the most notable being the TRX FORCE app which appeared in an Apple commercial in the summer of 2014.