Over the last little bit, I’ve seen some of my Real Studio brethren posting their stories, so I thought I would do the same.
I started in the early 90’s with QuickBASIC. I wrote small apps just for fun, such as a chat bot that would respond with random phrases. There was no real meaning to my work, and I suppose that’s what made it fun. I didn’t have access to Visual Basic in any form, so I played with QB.
Shortly after Windows 95 came out, my mother bought us a nice little junker that could (barely) run it. I got my hands on a copy of Visual Basic 3.0, and began filling my world with 16-bit goodness. I wrote small programs for America Online (punters, file servers, scrollers, etc.), and never released any beyond a small group of friends. I progressed over the years, eventually ending up at Visual Basic 6.0, where I began to take contracts for development. I worked on some simple messaging apps, some more advanced Access-driven apps, and wrote add-ons for some proprietary industry-specific software.
Looking at the demise of Visual Basic 6.0 and being thoroughly unsatisfied with .NET, I saw a post about REAL Software offering free Real Studio 5.5 licenses. I decided to give it a whirl, and truly liked what I saw. It something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Visual Basic (OK, they were quite a bit alike back then…sue me). The differences made it a dream come true, so with my next paid project I switched. The first application I developed was a transponder app for an IT Support company to keep track of what customers were online, what their IP addresses were, and launch VNC if needed. It worked well, and my future was set.
Sometime in 2003, I made the decision to begin selling some of the things I was making with RB. GraffitiButton was the first of these products, and is still around today. I put, over the next 8 years, a lot of love in to those products, and they have done well. I never would have released any such beast for VB Classic or .NET.
Looking back, it’s hard to see when it happened. I began doing a lot more paid development, mostly small contracts as I held both full-time and part-time jobs. Now, I’ve devoted all of my time to my work with Real Studio, and am certainly seeing the fruits of that labor. I love Real Studio, quite honestly, and wouldn’t be where I am right now had I chosen a different path. The people who I have met and worked with over the years are amazing, and they do amazing things. I’ve praised many of them in blog posts before, but it won’t hurt to do it again:
- Aaron Ballman
- Bob Keeney
- Steve Garmin
- Christian Miller
- Norman Palardy
- Dave Wooldridge
- Will Brokenbourgh
- Charles Yeomans
- Paul Lefebvre
- and a few others who either aren’t still around, or I can’t seem to remember.
Thanks guys, you’ve done a lot for me (and the community) over the years, and I’m grateful.