Bob: So, Dev, What's your background? how did you learn to code?
Dev: My interest in computers grew out of a childhood fascination with anything and everything technical; I'm self taught from start to finish. I seem to naturally see things in hierarchic, relational ways, and computers really just make sense to me.
Bob: Wasn't anyone else at all involved in your technical education? Most educational theories say that all learning is social.
Dev: I learned most of my craft from books, particularly those dealing with general programing "best practices" that can be applied to any project, but I also use those thick technical manuals that deal with the details of syntax and so forth, so you might say I learn from the authors of those materials. Free online manuals and forums are another important resource. When I first started out, I was inspired by a friend's father who sold me my first IBM 286, which came with a full set of humungous manuals, as most machines did back then. Plowing through those is what got me started on this path. Like many developers, I have no formal degree in CS, mainly because by the time I was old enough for college I had already surpassed the level of the required foundation classes. I also don't really think that classroom training would have been particularly useful for me. I'm more of a hands-on learner.
Dev: Nothing fancy really. The backend is a MySQL database. I didn't really look at any other options for the DB since MySQL is what I am most familiar with. The front end is web-based specifically to keep it cross-platform compatible, and was written in ASP.NET. The server logic is written with visual basic. I mainly chose these just because they are what I am most familiar with and because all these components have a good reputation as being simple, "get-er-done" technologies.