Hi, my name is Richard Dalton, I am a Software Developer based in Dublin, Ireland. I began programming on a second hand Sinclair ZX81 in 1984, the tape recorder connection never worked so making the machine do anything involved writing a program every…single…time. I was hooked and haven’t stopped coding since.
My Primary School was one of the first in the country to own a computer (a BBC Micro) thanks primarily to having a principal with an interest in computing. In an attempt to get more time on the computer, I spent one evening finishing all the exercises in my maths book for the remainder of the year. It worked. I was excused from maths and allowed to spend the time “playing” with the computer.
In secondary school I managed to get access to the computers by teaching other students how to program. I ran an 80 minute programming class once a week.
I studied for a Certificate and Diploma in Computing at Waterford Institute of Technology, before completing a Degree in Software Engineering at Carlow Institute of Technology.
During my time in college I spent my Summers in Washington DC teaching programming to kids at TIC Computer Camp and I spent one Summer as Computing Director with the Camp.
After graduating I found myself accepting a contract position with Allied Irish Bank in Dublin and so began a life of Self Employment. Over the years I’ve worked with a range of companies from large multi-nationals to tiny software houses, from financials to pharmaceuticals to manufacturing and back to financials again, with a few stints as a college lecturer thrown in for good measure. My motivation all times has been to seek out interesting work, although the sunshine played a major part in taking up an 18 month stint in Florida in 2006-2007. In 2011 I finally gave up contracting and accepted a permanent role.
Back in the day I published two articles with the Visual Basic Programmers Journal, but in recent years I’ve favoured the simpler more direct route of publishing articles online, blogging and participating in forums.
After years of attending conferences I recently crossed to the other side of the curtain and started presenting, my first outing was at DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper Scotland in May 2011, I’ve since spoken in Belfast, Bristol and Reading.
I am one of those people who comes home from a day of programming and switches on the computer to unwind. I am fortunate be able to get paid to work on a hobby that I’ve had since I was 10 years old. If it wasn’t what I did for a living I’d be programming in any case.
When it comes to hobbies, I don’t let being rubbish at something prevent me from enjoying it, so I take photographs, play guitar and piano, and do card tricks, all very very badly.