My name is Jason LaPier. I’ve been an IT professional for eight years, primarily doing system administration (Netware, Windows, Mac, and Linux), but also doing quite a bit of network administration and web development. I’ve loved PHP since the first day I created a file with nothing but
<?php php_info(); ?> in it. I wrestled with Cold Fusion when one of my jobs required it. I’ve worked with MySQL, postgresql, Microsoft SQL, Access, and FileMaker Pro databases, and I’ve off and on dabbled in Java, VBScript, perl, python, and most recently, ruby.
In late 2001, early 2002, I found myself “between jobs” in post-9/11 NYC, and I used some of my free time to delve into PHP and mysql moreso than I previously had. The result was a Tech Support ticket tracking system called TicketLogger. It reached a completeness level of about 90% by mid-2002, when I found myself a job at the University of Oregon, three thousand miles away. TicketLogger, sadly, has never reached full potential due to many factors, although it is still in use today by the Plainedge School District on Long Island.
I began to toy with Ruby on Rails in the summer of 2005. I was at first impressed, but was a little deterred by the unfamilar syntax of Ruby. Having a crush on Python at the time, I set Rails aside and began to explore Django and TurboGears. I even thought I might better check out Symfony as well, being that I was so familiar with PHP. I found that each of those frameworks had something good to offer, but after a few months of experimenting, I kept thinking about Rails.
I decided that (in my inexpert opinion) of the frameworks I tried out, Rails had the best combination of maturity and modularability. I checked the pickaxe book out of the University’s computing documents library and read a few chapters of Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby and before I knew it I could no longer imagine a life without Ruby.
I currently work for an outreach center as part of the College of Education at the University of Oregon. I’m the Network Manager for my center, meaning my job includes system administration, user support, hardware support, database administration, web design and development, etc, etc. After getting sick of supporting poorly written FileMaker Pro databases (written long before I got here), I convinced the center to let me rewrite our internal applications in Ruby on Rails.
Not that I don’t have enough to do already…