Oh my god. It's full of code!

Cloudspokes Rocks

So, a bit of an exiting milestone today. I am the first developer to break the $20,000 mark on Cloudspokes.com, just one day short of the year anniversary of Cloudspokes itself, and what a crazy year it has been. I feel like I have learned more in this last year than I have in the last several combined! I’ve had some really good competition, put together some awesome applications, and been blown away by some of the things I’ve seen other competitors put together. Thanks to Cloudspokes I’ve I wrote my first Python and Google apps application, broke into jQuery mobile development, learned integration with Twilio, google maps, and so much more. I suppose at a time like this, it’s a bit natural to reflect on where I came from and how I got here.

It’s funny, I’ve come this far, and I still feel like I know nothing. I really am just some chump who pretends he is some kind of programmer. I don’t really have a software design pattern (outside of scribble some shit on paper then start writing code), I don’t use git or even really any kind of version control. I never took programming classes in college, or even been part of a team outside of a small web dev gig back in my mid teens. I don’t understand machine language, and never got pointers. Polymorphism, introspection, and reflection are all concepts I barely grasp. The highest level math course I took in college was college algebra. I fell into development, just as a natural evolution of my love for computers. I guess what I’m really getting at here is ‘If I can do it, anyone can’. You wanna write code? Do it. You don’t need some impressive pedigree or a an expensive degree. It couldn’t be any easier to start than it is today. Go fire up a Salesforce dev org. Maybe get a google app engine app going. Get some free web hosting somewhere. Just… do it.

More important than anything else is just being tenacious, knowing the answer is out there somewhere you just have to find it. Then, once you find it, make it better. Make it faster, sleeker, more efficient. For all my shortcomings, these are the two attributes I claim to have that if anything in myself have carried me this far. I’m stubborn as a mule, but clever as fox. I don’t accept answers I don’t like, and am willing to try shit that seems impossible. Everything that seems nuts just looks like another opportunity to do something no-one else wants to. Perhaps because I’m not bogged down with all the traditional developmental knowledge and mentality I see things a bit different. Who knows?

I want to give a shout out to some of the people who have helped make me the developer I am. Guys like Jason Venable, Simon Fell, Jeff Douglas, Ritesh Aswaney, Matthew Lamb, Andy Boettcher, Daniel Hoechst, Richard Tuttle, and many many more. Here’s hoping one day I can be even half as skilled as you guys are. It’s thanks to guys like these, that dudes like me even have a shot; because they are out there helping us. Of course, thanks to Cloudspokes itself for pushing me to see what I can do when challenged. I never would have guessed I was capable of half the things I produced in the last year. It’s truly an amazing community and a great tool for personal, and professional development.

Looking forward to the next year. See you all in the cloud.

7 responses

  1. Thanks for the great article! I’m sure next year will bring all sorts of new challenges!

    February 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    • Looking forward to it 🙂

      February 14, 2012 at 4:15 am

  2. Congratulation Kenji!
    It was great to meet you at Twin Cities last SF User group meeting. You made an impresssion already when answering my questions on Geo Map SF issue.
    It is amazing how far you have come without any fancy computer science background. This testify, as you said, if you like to code, just start doing it.

    Keep it up! I am already a fan of what you do!

    February 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    • Thank you, I really appreciate that. I was great meeting you, and look forward to more dev groups with ya!

      February 14, 2012 at 4:14 am

  3. Congratulations Kenji on being the first to break the $20K barrier.

    Your post is excellent and I particularly like the “being tenacious” statement .. very apt indeed !

    February 14, 2012 at 3:30 am

    • Thank you, I’m glad it didn’t come off as just incoherent rambling. I felt like I had a lot to say, and I didn’t take too much time to organize my thoughts. I think one thing many of us programmers share is a certain tenacity. The desire/need to figure out ‘that damn problem’ is just too strong for us to let something go. It’s gotten me this far, and I imagine many others as well.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:14 am

  4. I actually stumbled onto this article mostly by accident. I was surprised to see my name mentioned. I’m glad to have helped out. The best coders are self taught, but maybe I’m biased 🙂

    I’m glad to see CloudSpokes has worked out so well for you! I wish I had more time to participate. I’m going to have to make some time to get involved.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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