About Steve the Dev
Hi! I'm Steven Jimenez, the main author (and right now, the only author) here at Steve the Dev. I'm an experienced Software Engineer and early Software Architect with years of professional and amateur experience in several different languages and environments.
I first started programming as an early teenager, when my Mom brought home an old Windows 3.1 computer with QuickBasic installed. In the late 90's, this wasn't especially useful for much besides practicing programming, and I quickly learned that I had a strong interest and aptitude for development. After a couple of years, I bought a newer computer and started branching out into various other languages to pursue various pet projects. One project, written in C# and which enjoyed some limited notoriety in the Civilization IV modding community under the name Esemjay's KonverterFM, and was featured in Apolyton's ModCasts Season 1 Episode 04. Between my work on KonverterFM, its unreleased cousin C++ command-line utility, and the tons of fun I had with learning how to program in many other languages and contexts, I was hooked.
In the Military
Once I joined the Air Force, I started applying the skills I accrued as a hobbyist to automate the tedious parts of my job. The most notable project I developed from my time in the military was a system to track the analysts, aircrews, missions flown, and intelligence gathered on those missions. Written in Visual Basic, the software supported around was capable of converting coordinates between the Geodetic and MGRS systems, provided collaborative note-taking between users, and integrated with Google Earth through imported and exported KML files.
Since the Military
After leaving the military, I worked for a year as a government contractor at United States Southern Command Headquarters, where I worked with the IT division of the Intelligence Directorate to automate tasks for analysts and managers. My main accomplishment in this project was a budgeting software which standardized processes and automated communication throughout the organization. This ensured that top-level financial managers were able to more accurately track money as it was spent, generated reports for meetings, and drastically reduced the amount of time spent exchanging emails and writing reports. At this same organization, I worked as a professional tester; where I helped to write automated tests to validate iSpatial from Thermopylae Sciences and Technologies.
I also worked as a web developer in North Carolina, where I was responsible for planning and leading projects. I performed the requirements-gathering, architecting, development, and testing of the API that powers the Arts Everywhere Mobile App. In another project, I was the architect and primary developer behind a cluster of small applications which transfer orders, products, prices, inventory, customers, and other information between a Magento 2 site and a pre-existing (and custom-built) Oracle API.
In addition to my work as a software developer and software architect — both as a professional and hobbyist — I also hold a lot of niche experience that gives me a unique perspective when approaching problems.
I was assigned as an Intelligence Analyst to Air Force Special Operations Command, where I had the opportunity to work with Special Operators from the Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force; as well as foreign special operators from NATO countries. In these years, I was able to pursue everything from reconnaissance missions to hostage-rescue operations; and I derived a lot of personal satisfaction from this job. The experiences I accrued while working for years in a high-stakes environment with a low tolerance for failure has given me a strong appreciation for the value of practice and precision. I try to bring an attitude of excellence to whatever project I work on, and I enjoy looking back on a completed project to see what I can do better on the next project — I take pride in my work, but I do not put my ego into it.
In my time with US Southern Command, I needed to be able to communicate effectively with people who had very little experience with programming in order to extract technical requirements. This meant that I had to be able to extract actionable requirements from rooms full of people — many of whom would openly and vehemently disagree over the particulars of how a system should function. To be effective with this job, I had to learn how to resolve disputes, propose compromises, and distill requirements from groups of people politely and professionally. I also had to be comfortable talking in front of crowds and strangers to teach people how to use software and to report negative feedback from users in a way that accurately conveys the feedback but avoids the panic of executives.