My name is Aaron Young and my business card says that I’m a Senior Programmer Analyst; but I think it should say “I get paid to write code… AND I LOVE IT!”
I'm from Bristol, England and I moved to the U.S. in 1998 after meeting my then soon-to-be wife, Debra, online.
I've had a passion for programming since I was 8 years old when my parents bought me a Commodore 16 for Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_16); Little did any of us know, they were putting me on a path that would shape the rest of my life...
I quickly got bored with the games that came with the C16 (on cassette tapes - remember those?) and I decided I wanted to write my own stuff. I bought every magazine I could find looking for examples of code that I could spend hours typing into my trusty 16KB behemoth to make wondrous things happen.
I remember my first ever complete program; I was 9 years old and it was the lyrics to "Jingle Bells" scrolling across the 13” TV screen (no monitors!) with custom-made candy canes and stocking characters to the festive 8-bit sound of Christmas music - I was hooked.
I went through a variety of hardware growing up; a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 + 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum#ZX_Spectrum_128) and a Commodore 64 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64).
While in high-school I got an Amiga 500 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_500 ), my first power-house (it had a 3.5” Floppy Disk Drive!) and I learnt AMOS, a basic-like procedural programming language. I wrote many programs; fruit machines, a scrabble game (with A.I.), arcade-style shooters, you name it and I had created a version of it!
When High-school was ending I had to make a decision about college and my future; would I pursue Computer Science or my other passion; Art & Graphic Design?
Up to that point, programming had been a hobby; there didn't appear to be a huge future in it. I hadn’t seen a PC as we know them today and they certainly weren’t common place.
So, I decided to pursue Art...
My first day of college, I attended my introduction art class and... I hated it.
It was a disaster, I didn't like the professor (and she didn’t like me), I was unprepared and I felt out of place; at the end of the day, in a snap gut decision; I decided to change from Art & Design to Computer Science and the rest, as they say, is history!