Paloma Creek High School

Career Day – May 17, 2019
Computer Programming

I'm a computer programmer, also known as a developer. I started programming early in the 1980s. In the 1990s, I created a database program for the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce to manage their membership, which also supported the Chamber's first-ever website. I'm now retired, officially, but I spend a lot of every day programming, because I wrote my own little program to create websites for local businesses.

Computer languages I've used

Database Management Systems (DBMSs) I've used (I started out as a database programmer)

Favorite Operating System

Back in the 1980s I used DOS. In the 1990s I started using Windows. In the 2000s I switched to Linux. Did I mention that Linux is free?

Favorite Language

My current favorite computer language is Ruby. I don't use Ruby On Rails, but I have nothing against it. Did I mention that Ruby is free?

Favorite Hosting Service

For hosting websites, I use the Unix and Linux servers at Pair Networks, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Favorite Domain Name Registration Service

For registering Internet Domain Names, I use Pair Domains, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Current Project

Using the Ruby language, I wrote my own computer program to create websites. Here's the main routine:

  require Dir.pwd + '/site_specs'; include Site_specs
  Site_specs::Page_list.each_key do |page_name|
    p = page_name )

Of course, there is more code in the routines that are called by this routine, namely

When I use this little program, it takes me about ten minutes to create the structure of a website. It takes me five minutes to register an Internet Domain Name, and another ten minutes to set up the routines to upload the web pages from my computer to the web server in Pennsylvania. So I can put a website "on-line" in about a half-hour. Currently, I'm maintaining 32 websites that I created for local businesses like Bravo Pizza, Garcia's Mexican Restaurant, Jeff's Auto Works, and Paso Robles Youth Soccer.

Of course, after my half-hour's work to put the website on-line, there is one thing still missing — the website doesn't have any content. The content, such as photographs and text, has to come from the customer by email. I don't take the photographs, usually, and I don't write the customer's "copy" – like the menu for a restaurant.

Types of Programming

Tools of the Trade

Learning computer programming is cheap. No classes necessary. Everything you need to know is on the Internet.

Program Storage. You can store your programs on an Internet hosting account, so you can access them from home or away—library, coffee shop, friend's house, vacation, etc.

Computer. If you don't have a computer and cannot borrow one or use one at the library, and have to buy one, you can get a used one for about a hundred dollars.

John N. Joyner