Who is Gavin Pickin, and why do I care?
I am a New Zealand born ( KIWI ) Web Developer / Application Programmer, living and working in Bakersfield California.
I am Senior Programmer, and part of my job includes researching new technologies, tools, and deciding what we use, what we implement, and solve problems as we go along.
I decided its about time I give back to the community, so I decided to share some of my stories, and learning experiences, so others can learn what not to do, and sometimes what they might want to do.
What technologies do I use?
Where I Started
After High School, I headed to Auckand University, fighting the trend to go and do computer something... 90% of my friends went that route. I started doing Accounting, Management and Psychology, but when I was enjoying Business Applications and Calculus, and sleeping through Accounting and Management classes, I turned to the dark side. After a couple of classes where I made fools of the professors (unintentionally of course), I realized it was 1 - Fun, and 2 - I was good at it. My 2nd year I made enough contacts that I got hired by 2 competing University Computer Departments, Computer Supported Learning who used ASP and Commerce E-business Team, who was using Macromedia Products, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, and eventually ColdFusion. Eventually I had to make a choice, after I chose the Commerce E-Business team, they hired a Major Contractor (at some ungodly rate I might add) to take on a huge project, using ColdFusion, the decision was obviously a good one.
That contractor bought a lot of experience, methodologies, and frameworks into the mix, and guided me and several other grunts, as we learnt ColdFusion and took on this project. It was a great experience, the contractor loved having someone like me on the team, as I learned quickly and produced quality code, although he didn't like me pointing out some possible improvements in his plan / code, I guess I should have learnt that lesson when I frustrated the Professors lol. I had my own Freelance company on the side, and in 2000, I packed my bags, and headed for the real world experience waiting for me in the sunny state of California, USA.
Where am I today?
13 years later, and I am still in Bakersfield, California. Why oh why Bakersfield of all places? I had family here, my Aunt grew up here, and when she visited New Zealand, she met and married my Uncle, and they moved back here. They had a daughter, and when they came to visit, I got on really well with them, and they invited me to come to the USA, and I wasn't going to say no to that. In a small pond like New Zealand, those with desires for greatness always leave the nest, with intentions of heading back to New Zealand with "Big Country Real World Experience"... although few actually return.
I worked for a small company from 2000 through 2006, growing it from just me in their development team, to a good sized dev team, with project managers, sales and support people, and a few programmers to fill my shoes. I take some pride in how the company grew, although, I strived for more freedom, more learning experiences, and financially a better future.
From 2007 through current, I have been working with an established company, with an ownership agreement, so it was a great move for me, financially and as a developer. I have had the chance to grow, and work on a lot of varied projects, and with our profession, there is always more to learn.... and you'll hear about it, on this blog, hopefully I get the time to keep it up.
I plan on being a bigger member of the community, and you'll find me on IRC, Twitter, Google+, other peoples blogs, and here, chiming in, and causing trouble. I hope you guys enjoy the blog, and feel free to reach out and say hi.