I began learning the Java programming language back in my sophomore year in college in 1997. At the time it was just getting off the ground. It had new versions coming out pretty quickly and they kept deprecating api calls from earlier versions. This made it really hard to learn and to reuse code over time. Which was actually the big selling point of Java, "write once, run anywhere".
Over the years I used it here and there. I developed some Java applets for some webpages, but didn't really develop anything big using it. I kept up with it for a while, but then stopped following it closely. I came across many applications written in Java in my work places. Some were very rudimentary, but some were really well-developed and polished applications. So from time to time I would see what was new.
Since my main job duties were geared more toward system administration, I didn't do much development work. So my interest in anything to do with development started to wane. As I mastered my craft I realized how much I actually enjoyed development work and started to pick it back up. The latest craze was developing apps for the iPhone.
So I started learning iPhone programming which evolved into iOS programming in Objective-C. As the mobile phone market has matured, the Android OS has really taken a large share of the market. That peaked my interest in writing applications for both. I then looked into how to develop for the Android platform. When I checked it out, they used Java. Fortunately when I started back into it I found the basics were the same so I picked it up again pretty quickly. Of course I had to learn the new api calls and the specific ones for mobile devices.
Then recently I was presented with an opportunity to build a desktop application. I began thinking of what language I wanted to use for development. It would have to be able to run on Windows, but I don't have Visual Studio. I also didn't want to spend the money to get it especially since I wouldn't have the need for it that often. So I decided that I would write it in Java. That way I could also make sure it runs on the Mac OS.
I figured if I was going to write a full-scale desktop application I would need to read up on creating the GUI. I had previously learned that Java Swing would serve my purpose. As I read up on what would be best, I saw that they were now pushing JavaFX. At first this seemed like something just for web development, but I saw that it was being targeted for both the desktop and web.
The latest version seems pretty polished and with the JavaFX Scene Builder, it makes it a snap to set up the GUI. Now I just need to learn how to connect all the GUI elements to the corresponding Java code. It doesn't seem like it will be hard to learn. So I'm sure as I develop this application I will create posts and maybe some tutorials to help others out who are learning.
It hasn't even been two years since I left work at AT&T, but it looks like I am switching work places yet again. After 12 years of thinking I would never leave AT&T I continue to surprise myself going for new opportunities. I am not one that usually goes out looking for change, but it seems that life has different ideas for me.
I was really comforted by how secure my job was at AT&T. Although they had several rounds of layoffs while I was working for them, they usually did a good job of finding other positions in the company for most people. I also know plenty of people who still work there and it doesn't seem like the security aspect has changed much at all. So I have no doubts I could have easily just stayed there till I was ready to retire.
The job was really boring and not very challenging though. So when an opportunity that seemed like it would be more challenging presented itself, I took it. It has been an interesting time at my current place of employment, but I still felt I wasn't challenged enough and I don't think I ever really fit in. Some of that has to do with the management style and some of it has to do with me not asserting myself.
Well now another opportunity has presented itself. This time in a field I'm more interested in and one that I think I'll fit better in. I'll be working as a senior developer. This aligns perfect with some of the work I've been doing on the side. I'm happy I will have an opportunity to code everyday. I think this will help me stay in a programming mindset and have the information fresh on my mind. Hopefully this will also help me in my personal programming projects.
My ultimate goal and dream is to work for myself and have my mobile app company (Ukneeq Solutions) go big. Well it may not get big, but at least enough to support me where I can live comfortably and be able to afford a family. So as I stare change in the face yet again, I'm keeping an optimistic mindset.
With snowboarding season fast approaching I have decided to actually do some workouts geared toward getting me ready for the season. I have been working out consistently to get into summer shape, but snowboarding will use different muscles and in different ways. Since I'm wanting to do more advanced riding this year, I figure it wouldn't hurt to try to do things specifically for snowboarding.
So to get myself ready to do some awesome riding and jumps this year I have added squats, dumbbell lunges, lateral lunges, box jumps, and wall sits to my workout. Since I'm not looking to bulk up I am not really concerned about heavy weights. I'm using weights that give my legs a nice burn and do reps to get them use to constant usage.
The biggest surprise for me was the wall sits. I use to do these when I was younger and definitely don't remember them being this difficult. I started out doing 3 sets at 30 seconds each. Before I started doing them I thought to myself that 30 seconds should be pretty easy but would be good enough to get started. Boy was I wrong. My legs felt like they were on fire after about 15 seconds. I pushed through it though and now my last set is at 45 seconds. I'm trying to work my way up to 2 minutes.
Besides just doing workouts I'm also getting myself to how things feel with the board on. So I've started doing standing jumps with boots on and strapped into the board. I'm also doing box jumps strapped into the board. The box is about 2 feet tall. I figure if I can easily jump on and off the box with no momentum, I should be able to do some cool things on the slopes. At least that is the thinking right now.
Once the snowboarding season kicks off and we make some trips I'll have some snowboarding videos that hopefully will show how much the workouts and preparation paid off!
A long time ago I use to dabble in the stock market. After hearing tons of stories of people making some nice money, I decided that I would try my hand at it. I bought various cheap stocks and about 200 shares of Apple, Inc (AAPL).
Unfortunately I didn't hold on to my stocks very long. A little after I started investing, I looked at buying my first house with my girlfriend at the time. My stocks had made me a little money, and now I needed the money for a down payment on my house. At the time I didn't think much of it and was just glad I made a little money. Looking back though I'm really kicking myself for not keeping my Apple, Inc. (AAPL) stock.
The stock has since split twice. This means my 200 shares would now be 800 shares. The stock price right now is close to $700 per share. So my little investment would now be worth about $560,000. Now that would be very nice to have. Of course hindsight is always 20/20, and you can't really beat yourself up for things that you did in your past because at the time it probably seemed like the right thing to do.
Now I'm back in a position to think about investing my money and making a profit as well as set myself up for retirement. I currently have a 401K with my work, but I also want to see if I can be active with my investments and make more.
I'm not rich so I don't have a lot of extra money to just dive into the stock market. The plan is to take part of my extra cash each month and transfer it into my broker account and just buy stocks as I get enough cash. I've decided to start out buying cheap stock like I did before, probably under $10 per share. As I get more money and/or make money off the stocks I buy, I can move up to more expensive stocks.
So if you anyone sees me taking a lot of vacations and not talking about work, you know I hit it big! Wish me luck and here's hoping I don't lose everything I have.
Within the past week it seems that the keyword "breastaurant" is trending. Viewers of my blog post "2011 DFW Breastaurant Shootout" has had an increase in traffic of over 5x. I figured that breastaurants were no big deal by how many that had sprung up. I guess the success of the newer ones is causing a stir.
There does seem to be a lot of new breastaurants popping up. I guess people have finally realized that it isn't too shabby of a business model. The only thing I can hope is that they will remember that good food actually is a good way to make sure to sustain their business.
I'm also hoping there isn't a trend to get skimpier and skimpier with the uniforms of the girls they employee. There is a fine line between a fun atmosphere and just being perverted. If someone wants to see girls practically naked maybe they should go to a strip club instead of a breastaurant. I think the best breastaurants find the right balance between the girls being eye candy and it being an eating establishment.