My name is David Cox
I wrote my first computer program when I was about 16 years old in the late 1970’s in high school. My school had a PDP computer that I learned to program during study halls. We stored our programs as holes punched in paper tape and interacted with the computer through teletype machines.
In those days programming was a pastime. When I went to college I studied biochemistry. After graduating I worked for a few years as a laboratory technician in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Rochester.
About that same time personal computers came on the scene and our department acquired an Apple II. I began using the Apple for some data analysis but quickly became fascinated with programming the computer.
I had also reached a crossroads in my career. I realized that to be successful in biochemistry I needed to continue my education. While exploring that option I learned that I could study computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In those days RIT catered to adults students who could attend classes at night and on weekends.
Around 1984 I took my first computer science class and loved it. By 1985 I had completed four courses (RIT was on the quarter system). I inquired about jobs for programmers at the University, explained what I had accomplished on my own and through school and immediately landed my first job as a Programmer/Analyst. I said goodbye to biochemistry and never looked back.
To make a long story short I eventually matriculated as a graduate student and completed a Masters degree in computer science. I eventually married and changed jobs a few times too. I left the university and joined the corporate world.
Eventually my wife and I moved from Rochester, NY to Raleigh, NC. And while in my new job in Raleigh my boss who was a former professor at the North Carolina State University encouraged me to work on a PhD. I had always dreamed of completed a PhD and for several years went back to school while working full-time. Luckily I had learned some good time management habits working on my Masters degree and eventually I completed my doctorate.
Despite all of this I find that I am continually learning. Computer science continues to evolve and with it computer technology, operating systems, programming languages, and the tools and techniques for creating software.
And now I am at another crossroads. Computers are not just the future. Computers permeate nearly every aspect of modern life. I create this blog site to share my experiences not only of what I have learned over the past several decades but also as I continue my pursuit of computer science and programming in the future.
I hope you find what I have to share will inspire you as you pursue your own career and dreams for the future.