On [Who We Are], Craig says, "I figured out I was getting pretty old when I realized that 2000 was the 25th year I had been paid to work in some aspect of software development"
...and in early 2000, *I* was carefully memorizing 'public static void main( String...' (now where do the square brackets go? With the 'String' or with the 'args'??) for my Intro to Java course.
Three weeks ago, I was bored. I had one project that was stagnating, and was looking out at the next one that didn't look like much fun. (Which explains why the first one was stalled... if I finish it, I have to do the next one!) And now the formerly stalled project is looking great with the addition of Matt Raible's DisplayTag and an updated stylesheet. (For some reason, the users think it *runs* faster if I change all the colors...)
Phoenix Java Users Group meeting on 7/13 (my birthday!) involves a random person sitting down next to me, introducing ourselves by first name, and him knowing me from struts-user. And being "honored" to meet me in person. Can you imagine?!
In late 2001, I was asked to put information from a database on the web, including a few forms to allow updates. By this time I had been working with Java for a couple of years in class projects, but "Servlet" was still a foreign word. With no real deadline and complete freedom to pick anything I wanted, I spent hours online searching and participating in different forums and lists. And any time I asked for advice using 'Java' and 'HTML forms' in the same sentence, I got a resounding chorus of "Struts!" in reply.
That first webapp went through quite a few iterations as I tried and discarded various things. I kept coming back to Struts, and eventually things fell into place, thanks mostly to the helpful community on the struts-user list. As I gained more experience, asking questions on the user list naturally transformed into answering them, which I've been doing ever since. I accepted an invitation to become a committer in June, 2005.