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Technology is the one field that in an ideal scenario does not discriminate.


My first computer was given to me when I was twelve. It was a Commodore Vic-20.

I remember getting copies of Compute magazine. These magazines would have the source code for video games written in BASIC. I’d slavishly type in the code by hand, trying to get those games to work. My first exposure to the Internet was in a strictly consumer capacity. A former roommate had an i386 from which he ran a BBS.

I ended moderating some of his boards. Later on, I got involved with chat rooms. I didn’t get into programming until the early 2000’s when I was living in San Diego. I was working as a copywriter for a friend’s startup, and was surrounded by developers. My curiosity got the better of me, and I started learning HTML 4.01, along with some early CSS.

Michael’s first taste of the Internet was with the i386, a 32-bit microprocessor introduced in 1985.

Michael, we’ve had so many chats about various technologies and you’ve seen a lot of revolutions in tech. With your knowledge and experience across the computer realm…Why tech now, why web development now?

Technology is the one field that (in an ideal scenario) does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from provided that you can write clean, maintainable code that works. There is a current revolution in tech right now. It’s not based on the newest tool set or JavaScript framework. It’s based on the free dissemination and sharing of knowledge that anyone can access. I want to be part of this new and exciting world.

Currently, I like Vue.js. I’m particularly fond of its scalability. In smaller projects you can treat Vue in a similar manner that you would treat jQuery. For larger projects, you can treat it more like React by breaking down your application into components. I also like that it’s easier to pass data between components in Vue.

Michael is digging Vue’s scalability.
How can we develop things that don’t discriminate? Does that idea play into any of your career goals as a developer?

Ultimately, I want a job where I can make technology better for those with disabilities, and for our aging population. I’m currently in my mid forties, and have mild cerebral palsy. The technology we use to create websites and applications has improved to such an extent that if it’s used correctly, the web can be accessible for everyone. However, many stakeholders and even some developers don’t realize that improving accessibility is not only the ethical thing to do, it also makes good financial sense. Ideally, I would love to be that person who works with businesses and government institutions to create a better web for everyone.

What was your first project?

My first development project was the redesign of a casino website, in Northeastern Oklahoma. I was working as their overnight janitor at the time, and I’d come into the IT office to work on the project after my shift ended. This was back in 2011. Responsive Web Design had not caught on just yet, but I was able to employ the best practices of the day. The site has long since been redesigned, and I wish I held on to those project files for nostalgic value.

After his graveyard shifts at an Oklahoma casino as a janitor, Michael would work on his web development project in the IT room.
Any time for hobbies when not tech’ing?

I love playing paper and dice roleplaying games, reading science fiction, watching bad horror movies, writing and occasionally, I’ll dabble in electronic music.

Devs, keep Michael on your radar via GitHub.

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