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Homepage / Programming

How I got involved in computer programming

Matthew Mansfield with glasses

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A STUDENT OF THE ARTS AS IT PERTAINS TO SKETCHING OR PAINTING. MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME HOW TO DO MUCH OF THAT, AND A SMALL MEASURE OF NATURAL TALENT HELPED ME OUT AS WELL. MOST OF THE ENJOYMENT THAT COMES FROM WORKING WITH ART IS WHEN YOU CAN SHARE IT WITH OTHERS AND SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET SHARING YOUR WORK WORLD-WIDE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN SECONDS!

Admittedly, I was rather computer illiterate until I was about 19 years old. I wanted to get a job as a 9-1-1 operator and police dispatcher, but one of their employment requirements was that you had to be able to type at least 24 words per minute. I did not know how to type at all, so, the summer before I applied, I checked out a “how to type” book from the local library. Each day after work, I would stop by the library and work through the examples in the book at the library because I didn’t own a computer myself (or a cell phone for that matter). I taught myself how to type from that silly little book and now I can type with ease.

After working with computers at my various positions within law enforcement I acquired a love for just how helpful they are. Software solutions continued to come out that were targeted at artists and I was hooked.

Even though I may have been hooked on the potential of computers, it wasn’t until I was majoring in accounting that I took a class on Microsoft Excel, which exposed me to VBA (or Visual Basic for Applications). Once I learned that you could automate all of your financial reports using VBA, I went totally bonkers automating everything. I found, rather quickly, that I enjoyed automating reports more than I enjoyed entering in numbers and totaling up ledgers. So, I made the change to getting a degree in computer programming.

Time never stopped marching on and neither did my curiosity for what I could do with computers. My ideas became more and more elaborate. Before I knew it, I had built my own voice recognition system that automated my entire office and lab. For giggles, I gave the voice recognition program a name and a British accent and even programmed a sarcasm sub-routine so he could get coy with me at times.


My Most Recent Projects

As far as recent projects, I’ve been working on a lot of web work lately. I’ve been utilizing my server to host various websites for friends and family. My most recent projects include:

This all doesn’t seem very impressive at first click, but as the saying goes, “After all that’s said and done, there’s a lot more said than done.” In the background I’ve been managing the database(s) to support these websites as well as logo, favicon, and site design. It becomes a bit time consuming, but it keeps my friends and family happy and I don’t mind doing the work.

A few years ago, I would publish all of my code to the various projects that I worked on. There were a few reasons for that, but the main reason was collaboration. I used to create download links for all of the different applications that I had written, but my website started to get too complicated to follow. Also, it became very laborious for me to create links to my code and trying to publish pages for each project. As cloud collaboration became more mainstream, I migrated all of my data onto clouds and with every upload a link would be made automatically.

If you are interested, or curious about collaborating with me regarding a project, please feel free to contact me through my website! I would love to hear from you and learn what it is that you are working on.

 

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