Goodbye Microsoft, hello MAMP
After 22 years using and developing personal and professional solutions on the Microsoft Windows stack. In the future I am only going to use the MAMP/LAMP stack for my personal projects as this is the clear winner for current and future technology start-ups.
I still feel that Microsoft has a strong financial future ahead of it with a strong presence in the Enterprise space. I hope that Satya Nadella, Bill Gates and Scott Guthrie can change this round leveraging the great work they are doing with Azure, Xbox and the bold steps they have been attempting with Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone.
After a childhood of playing with the usual assortment of 80's computers including the Commodore 64, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro. I remember my dad pulling me in to the local electronics store stating that he had seen the future and it was Windows 3.1. What I saw was a beige box with a graphically rich (for the time) computer that could run multiple programs at the same time!
Not long after this encounter, our first Windows 3.1 machine appeared at home complete with a copy of Borland Turbo C++ and a second green-screen monitor for debugging!
Over the following years we progressed through each released version of Windows, Office, Turbo C++, Turbo Pascal, CorelDRAW and lots of other interesting applications combined with the rapid advances in computing power and capabilities, building our own PCs from OEM parts, building a token-ring network in the house, joining the dial-up internet revolution followed by the transformation brought by cable broadband. And during all of this I learnt all sorts of things from dip switches, BIOS settings, registry setting, lots of operating system hacks to get all of this stuff to work, programming and computer graphics amongst a 12 year obsession before heading off to Glasgow University to study for a Joint Hours degree in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.
My dad and my uncle are both professional software engineers and during all this time they designed and built amazing systems for a range of companies, many are household names. During most of this time, these system were built on Unix system however, the price of these were way outside the reach of a household income. One of the highlights of my teens was to go to the Met Office and get to get up close to the Met Office Cray C90.
At Glasgow I spent three wonderful years learning a wide range of topics covering the hardware to the software that makes up a modern computer systems and getting the chance to use and program many Windows, Apple Mac (pre OSX) and Unix systems from Sun, Digital Equipment Corporation, Silicon Graphics and NeXT.
After leaving University I got a job for BT Syntegra where my professional software career began and like lots of people working in the UK IT industry, I progressed through Office development using VBA, building VB6 winform applications and while this was fun, I jumped at the chance to adopt .NET from beta 2 and J2EE 0.something on Sun-Netscape's iPlanet Application Server during the .com boom.
During all of this time, while I have interacted and used lots of non-Microsoft technologies, 95% of the time I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I could about the Microsoft ecosystem and during all of this time it was right space to be in to have a strong value in the UK job market.
Four years ago I bought my first Apple MacBook Pro 17, the machine that I am writing this blog post on. I love this computer however, if I am being honest I have used it as a beautiful Wintel PC. However this is coming to an end as my focus turns to becoming a true cloud expert, leveraging modern continuous delivery and development techniques all built on the LAMP stack.