Programming has been my hobby since the DOS era, starting with QBasic in the year 1998 with many attempts to wrap my head around other programming languages (VB, C++, C, C#) and scripting languages (VBScript, VBA, Pearl, Ruby, PHP) in the years that followed. Although my projects were tiny, I learned a lot about programming, data structures and computers in general.
After graduation I decided to keep programming as a hobby and instead base my professional career on my aptitude of natural science. So I became an apprentice mechatronics engineer. In 2008 I started working with LabVIEW 6.1 for my final exam and became hooked.
My final exam was very successful and allowed me to apply for a job as an applications engineer at the same company with which I had a contract during my apprenticeship. This company manufactures test equipment for components in the automotive industry (harnesses, powertrain, ECUs, ...). My work evolves around custom test solutions for future technology (the kind of stuff you sign NDAs for). Of course, with LabVIEW at its core.
Like me, my coworkers are self-taught programmers with varying knowledge about programming. At the beginning each machine was programmed from scratch with little code copied from previous projects. Naturally, everyone had their own "style" and spaghetti was the main dish. And then there was me, a newcomer with little to no experience and education (everyone else went to university) who dared to question things 😱
I started to collect and standardize functions that were used over-and-over again (that was before VIPM by the way). Over time this library grew and my coworkers started using it for their own projects, becoming more and more productive as the library evolved. By now it contains more than 500 public and 1500 internal functions. With the standard library in place I started working on project templates with similar results.
In 2014, when everyone was finally comfortable using project templates and the ever-growing standard library, I started working on my own piece of software that could evolve and grow with my projects. In 2017 this little project of mine has become the core of our products and is actively being developed by me and my coworkers.
With more than 10 years and hundreds of projects under my belt, I am the lead architect and core developer of this software. Most of which is developed in LabVIEW, with some minor additions in C#.
My hobby (programming) has become my profession and my profession (natural science) has become my companion. To this day, I am a self-taught LabVIEW programmer and share the enthusiasm of this awesome community