My early software development career started in May-1988 at age 12, when I bought my first (home) computer magazine, and devoured its contents until the pages got loose. (I have a separate page dedicated to my first steps with computers.) My career got a lot more serious when hobby turned to profession with me enrolling at Berufsakademie Stuttgart (university of cooperative education) in Oct-1996, and graduating with a diploma in Information Technology in 1999. Since then, I've been working as a software engineer, and my knowledge and capabilities have increased in stages; here's a rough overview:
|stage||computing environment||languages and tools|
|youthful hacker||Commodore 64 / 128D home computer||BASIC, 6502 (8-bit) assembly|
|hobby programmer||Intel i386 Personal Computer running MS-DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.1||Turbo Pascal 6.0|
|junior software developer||PC with Windows NT 4.0, HP-UX workstation, Internet||Visual C++ 6.0, Windows batch files, Unix shell scripts|
|software developer||heterogeneous environment with multiple OS-versions||Perl, Java, Design Patterns, Refactoring|
|lead engineer||support matrix defined in collaboration with marketing||requirements analysis, scheduling, time tracking, defect handling, …|
|open source developer||highly customized systems running mostly various Linux distributions||multi-language from scripting to higher-order and functional programming, distributed version control; Wikis, forums, mailing lists, bug trackers|
It is hard to imagine a life without the free tools, plugins, knowledge and support provided by online communities. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort donated by all these volunteers. Thank you!
Since 2002, I am an active contributor to various projects. My largest open source involvement is in the development community of the Vim editor. I also publish some tools and projects that I have conceived on my own.
I already have the pleasure to work with people from different cultures in my day job, so I naturally enjoy the wealth of opinions and great talents found in the worldwide open source communities. I'm amazed at the professionalism, friendliness and passion1 that can (mostly) be found in these communities, so I'm proud and very happy to be able to give something back, too.
Ingo Karkat, 27-Mar-2009