Biography

Hi! I'm Daniel, a self-taught software engineer with over a decade of professional experience in the craft. I started programming when I was just 15 years old after I was introduced to computers by my grandfather, who compiled and edited photos in his spare time. I shadowed him, learning about the capabilities of the computer and eventually I discovered a copy of Visual Studio Express on the internet and burnt it to a CD so I could install it on my own computer. Ever since then I have been teaching myself to write code for fun.

Years passed and I dropped out of my college studies to teach myself full-time using the internet as a resource. I spent my days learning about C++, PHP and the HTTP protocol as well as how to create web pages using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I created websites for my online gaming community and King's College Cambridge drama club. I learned how to host servers of various kinds: game servers, web servers, email servers. The learning never stopped because I was hooked.

I discovered that these skills I was learning were actually useful to the wider society and that there were jobs out there which required them. I learned that I could make money from my hobby and thus began my career as a professional software engineer. Shortly after I dropped out of college I applied for a Junior .NET Developer role at Netcars.com, a now defunct used car advertising platform for car dealers and private sellers. Having built up a small portfolio of projects, I had something that I could demo to the company that would prove I was ambitious, detailed, and capable of self-learning. I passed the interview with flying colours and started my first job ever the following Monday.

That first opportunity, which I am immensely grateful for, acted as a springboard for my career in software development. I worked closely alongside the lead developer for approximately 4 years, learning as much as I could from him about the .NET framework and programming in the C# language, which at the time was slowly gaining in popularity. The streamlined team and start-up environment forced me to take on perhaps more responsibility than I could handle, but I stepped up to the task with the guidance of the team lead, building web portals, web services and console applications to power the backend.

Since my first job I have specialised in the C# programming language and the Microsoft stack. I have been able to apply my knowledge in small and large enterprises across various industries including automotive, human resources, finance and food. Each business is confronted with unique challenges and I take great pleasure in approaching them as best I can. There is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing automation enable people to perform their jobs more efficiently and with greater pleasure than before.

My journey is testament to the power of dedication, curiosity and a bit of luck along the way. It has not been an easy journey but through mentoring and guidance from experts I increased my knowledge and became an effective individual contributor to many software projects, taking the lead where necessary and pushing through barriers that prevent the adoption of new kinds of applications.

Every day I learn something new. That curiosity that I had as a child hasn't waned in all the time I have been working. I'm still as excited about software as the day I wrote my first program, the obligatory "Hello, World!" app. Today I spend less of my time churning out new features and more of it building resilience into the applications we own, which is a hard problem to solve and encompasses techniques such as logging, monitoring, infrastructure and constantly refining our coding practices.

None of this would have been possible without high quality mentoring from senior and principal engineers. If you are just starting on your path to becoming a "computer wizard" and need some guidance, please reach out.

If you are a start-up or charity looking for an external technical perspective from a seasoned engineer, I am available. I can provide free one-on-one consultations, code reviews and architectural recommendations.