Jul 132012
 July 13, 2012  Posted by at 5:45 am Uncategorized, WinRT  Add comments
Iris Classon

I can't believe I didn't even know how 'code' looked like a year ago, today I can't imagine myself doing anything else. It is, as we say in Norwegian 'kanon' (Kanon = cannon AKA awesome)

Yesterday was a very special day for. Exactly one year had passed since I wrote my very first line of code, one year since I saw code for the first time in my life, one year since I completely and utterly fell in love with programming. It was love at first compile. I just knew me and this was meant to be!- And I have never looked back since. Learning everything from zero worried me, I was really clueless and was scared that I would never get even close to becoming a decent developer,- starting so late and without any previous experience with computers at all. But being so foolishly in love, I ignored those feelings, and promised myself to give it everything I had for at least two years, and see how far I could get. The good thing about starting at zero is that it is easy to measure how far you have come.

Here is my first year: (short summary)

July 2011: I make my first hello-world, a WPF app. I have no idea what I am doing

My first few lines of code- yes, I am not kidding haha πŸ˜€

August 2011: School starts, I make my own virtual zoo in a console application and I am so proud of the result. I get a key to the school and come in at 8 am and stay until 10 pm every day. I set up a website and forum for the class, and a newsletter, so we can share code/solutions.

My first notes from school

Working on my first console application- learning to pseudocode

The site I set up for the class

September 2011: First group assignment, we make a small CRM windows forms application. I start attending all .Net related events, such as Swedish .Net developer user group (Swenug). I join the school board.

The CRM program

Late September 2011: I make a WPF application using MVVM called dietitians dining tool. I join up on Stackoverflow and start asking questions and reading answers. I do get some down votes in the beginning he he. I start on my first windows phone application. Every night I fall asleep with a new programming book next to me.

WPF application, Dieatitian dining tool

October 2011: Second group assignment, we make a social mashup tool in WPF for mail, Facebook and Twitter. I start attending the classes that second year senior students take, and I ask the teacher for extra assignments (which he gladly gives me :P). The second year students take good care of me and share what they know, Jonas A. tells me about Pluralsight and I start watching tutorials every day, about two hours a day at least.

Our WPF social mashup tool

November 2011: After hardcore studying and coding, I feel confident enough to take my first Microsoft Certifications. I succeed, and I am thrilled!

70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework
Because of complaints from some of the senior students I am no longer allowed to sit with them during their evening classes. I ask my teacher if I can do internship a day a week instead and he is very supportive.

December 2011: Third group assignment, we make an image editing application. The group work is great, and we are extremely proud of the result. I spend Christmas vacation working with Silverlight and studying (to my parent’s frustration). I pass my third Microsoft exam, 70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development. I start my internship at Squeed, but change to DotNet Mentor after a few weeks as the projects they are working on are more suitable.

Our WPF image editing application

January 2012: I’ve joined up in about four user groups by now, and in school we have started with web development. It all makes sense to me, and I am so enthusiastic about it I find it hard to stop. I read a lot of books, watch even more tutorials, and write twice as much code. There is no stopping me, so I go ahead and book myself in on my third exam and pass it. 70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

February 2012: I want more challenges, and since I am ahead of the class the school allows me to go out on early full-time internship with a second year student. We get our own office at the school and we have a great time, Daniel W. is very skilled and patient and I learn a lot from him. We plan and hold a lecture for the class, he holds one about MVC4 attributes, and I about how to debug using firebug and web developer plugin in firefox. DotNet Mentor offers me a position as a fulltime consultant, and I am the happiest girl in the world! Of course I say yes!

The team at DotNet Mentor

March 2012: Me and Daniel W. attend a windows phone hackaton event, and win the competition with our Shake a Kitty app that we made in a few hours. We win a 3D computers screen (Daniel get the screen) and a ticket to Scandinavian developer conference (I get to go). Att Scandev I get to meet some Pluralsight authors I have been listening to, and it is a wonderful experience meeting so skilled developers. Later that month I take my fourth certificate: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4. The Shake a Kitty app is published, and seems fairly popular.

The shake a kitty app

April 2012: Time for final assignment before the class goes out on internship. It is an individual assignment this time, and I make a MVC4 Mobile first ajax based application. The app is a cooperation portal where you can add friends, chat, create groups, share files and ask questions and get answers on the forum. The app turns out great, and I am very proud. At the end of April I start fulltime at DotNet Mentor.

My MVC4 app, main page, logged in as administrator

The app on an IPhone

Mai 2012: Work borrows me a Mac as I am keen to learn how to use one, and to try to develop iPhone apps. After a week with the Mac I get my first iPhone app published, and at the same time also an android application. I used Appcelerator for both apps.

The android app

The iPhone app

June 2012: Pluralsight contacts me and invites me to NDC, Norwegian developer conference to do a video interview with me. I am thrilled, and soooo happy! NDC turns out to be some of the best days of my life and I get to meet the awesome Pluralsight team and help them out at the booth, I get to go to all the private dinners and meet all my heros – great dedicated developers with brilliant minds. And they are all so kind and welcoming, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

From NDC Eating dinner at a Mongolian. From the left: Paul Betts, Chris Hardy, Iris Classon (me), Phil Haack, Scott Allen , Sondre BjellΓ₯s, Bodil Stokke, Jon Galloway

Pluralsight dinner at NDC 2012. Jaipur Indian Restaurant in Oslo, Norway. β€” with Megan Russell, Miguel A. Castro, Shay Friedman, Iris Classon, Hadi Hariri, Aaron Skonnard, Scott Allen, Udi Dahan, Guy Smith-Ferrier, Sahil Malik, Steve Woolley and Aaron Holt.

Late June 2012: Once I get home I start developing Metro apps, loving windows 8 and Metro. I’ve attended about 5 presentations on the subject, – and a 12 h virtual training session.
I get invited to an App Excellence lab in Stockholm where I get to show my Metro app and receive one-on-one advice from passionate Microsoft devs. The lab was truly inspiring, and the Metro app is turning out great. I am dead set on getting a Windows Store token.

Sampling colors for my Metro app (it looks completly different now btw)

Loving win8 and VS2012

July 2012: I start answering questions on Stackoverflow (just a few really, I’m still scared haha) and MSDN and started blogging more about programming sharing example apps that I’ve made. I attended the three day Microsoft seminar SommarKollo and liked it. On my one-year anniversary as a developer I take my fifth, and my first Pro Certification, Pro exam Designing & Developing Windows Phone applications.

The journey of Iris Classon continues πŸ™‚ - and I don't mind a bit of a walk. The way I see it, I got my heels on and I am going from a party to another.

And here I am today! It has been an amazing year, and I’ve given it all I have. I have never worked so hard in my life, but I’ve never had so much fun either. I feel blessed getting to meet so many fantastic people, and I keep meeting people like that every day. Now and then there are idiots that try to put me down, but I don’t care about them. They got issues that do not concern me. I know I have the support of the devs I admire, and I never feel alone,- and that’s what matters. What I do hope, is that I can inspire others and give back to the very helpful community.

Now starts the second year of my journey, and I have no plans of slowing down. Let’s see how much crazy stuff I can do during my next year as a developer! It is going to be such a great ride πŸ˜€ !

  81 Responses to “My first year of programming July 11 2011- July 12 2012”

  1. Hottest developer ever!!!!

  2. Thank you, although I’m not sure about the title, I’ve seen many pretty devs out there πŸ™‚ But thank you for the compliment πŸ™‚

  3. Send them our way. There’s way too much testosterone here. Too many cock jokes and poop jokes. I haven’t seen a female developer for 7 years and only 1 in 10 years. Maybe they’re all in Norway, Romania, France, Denmark, Australia and Sweden.

  4. Gosh, your post makes me feel so inadequate! πŸ˜‰ LOL

    I’ve been a developer for 6 years and my accomplishments pale in comparison to how much amazing stuff you’ve done in your first year. This post inspires me to push harder and know just how much can be accomplished in a short amount of time with focus and love for your craft. Thank you for sharing your experience and wish you continued success in our community!

  5. I’m inspired by your story. Thank you for it.

    I have been doing developing for 3 years:
    1 – I was reading books.
    2 – I used to be a junior developer.
    3 – Now I am senior developer.

    After reading this story I about to try hard. I hope I’ll reach even more.

    P.S.: I want to code with you πŸ™‚

  6. Well done πŸ™‚ You’ve learnt more in your first year then some people do in five. I thought this was a very motivating blog post.

  7. Comic Book Guy – maybe there aren’t any female developers where you are because when you’re shown one, all you can do is reduce them to an object, rather than congratulate their achievements as a person. It’d certainly put me off wanting to work with you.

  8. so proud of your achievements my friend, you aim high and work hard to reach your goals. So proud of you and I’m excited about the future ahead πŸ™‚

    Keep on rocking my lovely nerd!


    Pixel Nerd πŸ˜‰

  9. There is something I like to call “The programmer’s gene”. Some people were meant to write code and it comes naturally to them. Judging by your achievements in the past year I think you have the programmer’s gene πŸ™‚ Keep it up !

  10. Wowsers!

    Just finished reading this and feel thoroughly inadequate. I started about six months before you from the same blank canvas. Totally nowhere near matching your achievements, many congratulations.

    I blame my daughter for holding me back, how very selfish of her πŸ˜‰

    Keep up the excellent, inspiring work.

    A jealous Mr Dean.

  11. Nice job. I have always said, do what you love and someone will pay you for it. The hard part is finding your passion, and it looks like you have found it. The rest is easy. Now it’s about having fun. You’ll never stop learning because the technology continues to outpace you.

    Learn. build. Share.


  12. Way to go, Iris!

  13. Simply inspiring. Way to go Iris. *wink*

  14. Amazing accomplishment in just one year! You just go girl! πŸ™‚

  15. Hi

    I am feeling very inspired by going through ur matter and happy for you at the same time. I am a .net dev and really want to start developing mobile apps but could you please share how you did you manage to work on so many platforms within so small timeframe.

    Thanks and best wishes. πŸ™‚

  16. Great!
    Very Nice!

  17. Hottest developer ever!!!!

    … and here we have the reason so many women shy away from development … grow up … leg humpers ae an unwelcome breed in tech … more so every day.

    Keep up the good work Iris and inspire your geek sisters to do the same πŸ™‚

  18. Wow! It was a pleasure meeting you at NDC. I had no idea you were a first year programmer which is a testament to your dedication and hard work. So impressed!

  19. Impressive and inspiring story! Great passion, intelligence and creativity … congrats on year 1!

  20. The best way to learn software development is to write working software. You’ve written a lot of non-trivial apps already and it’s only been one year. The most important thing for you is to just keep up the pace and keep trying new things. Congratulations on your anniversary, I just had my 15th year anniversary from when I started coding and I can tell you it only gets better every year!

  21. Congratulations on your first year of writing software. Fantastic article. I wish I had kept a log over these past 22 years. The interesting thing is you have more modern tech under your belt than most folks I know that have been writing code for a decade. It is so great to see someone passionate about programming. Being able to create something that people use every day is extremely fun.

    This has been one of my wallpaper images for a while. You may like it.

    Taken from: http://visualstudiowallpapers.com/

    Again, congrats on your first year and I wish you the best in the rest of your journey!

  22. Quite impressive and inspiring, nice πŸ™‚

  23. So why did you pick up software development if you hadn’t seen a line of code before?

  24. Awesome! really inspiring and iconoclastic (because devs like you shatter the long held and common misconception that girls tend to stay away from programming and nerd stuff). Keep it on!

  25. I think i just fell in love :))
    Great story i’m sure next year will be even better πŸ™‚

  26. Wow impressive work, when you like what your doing you can move mountains.

  27. Congratulations from Italy! πŸ™‚

  28. Clearly this is fake. There no such things as hot female developers… that’s a myth!
    I have tenths of guys in the office, and the few girls around, are…well… guys!

  29. This is an inspiring post and is proof that women like you and kellabyte – and no doubt many others – can have just as much passion for programming as us guys, if not more so. Keep that passion going!

  30. Welcome aboard ma’am.

    As some already said, I’d like to add my opinion that the IT industry needs more women.

  31. What about C++? Among .NET programming languages (VB, C#, F# and C++), did you write C++ codes?

  32. You must be photoshopped! If not will Adobe take back my copy as I have no need of it, just more images of you?

  33. All devs should be as good and committed as you, congratulations!

    BTW, will you marry me?

    …the Atlantic Ocean is not an issue anymore…

  34. Great job, keep working hard and I’m sure we’ll see your name in a book or presentation at a dev conference somewhere.

  35. Uhhh…what just hit me?

  36. wow … come on …. please stop programming….go out side πŸ˜€ live ur life happy !!!! πŸ˜€

  37. Back in the dawn of IT (1971, the RDBMS had barely been described and never really executed!) I started in programming. My first job involved programming a system that consolidated branch transactions onto 8 in. disks. The disks were then delivered by motorcycle to the home office every night!

    In your career you will again and again tackle new systems. You will find that its the ability to produce quickly in a new system that is most important. The tech is always changing.

    Imagine being handed the documentation for .NET on Friday and being asked to produce useful code on Monday. I’ve faced that situation with each new generation of systems tech, as will you!

  38. Congratulations on all your success! You are truly an inspiration!

    I’ve been writing code since I was 13 (professionally for 5 years now), but never was I able to gain as much as you in such a short period of time (area in which I grew up and lack of funds to seek out resources). In a way, I am a little jealous that you have been able to gain so much in such a little bit of time, but you, Kellabyte and @DelightfulDev serve as inspiration for me to accelerate my learning.

    Again, congratulations!

  39. It was love at first compile …


  40. wow…..

  41. Truly inspiring. Thanks for reminding me to go take those exams πŸ™‚

  42. Wow. Marry me please.

  43. Kudos thats a lot toget done in a year. Better than me who was messing about half of the time at college πŸ™‚ Quick question, what color sampling app is that your using?

  44. I am a programming book, you can fall asleep next to me!

  45. the world certainly needs more hot coders like you. πŸ™‚
    hope you continue enjoying coding throughout the years.

  46. Wonderful skill acquisition.

  47. Why was my comment deleted?

    It said: ‘Can’t anyone see that this is a Microsoft ad from start to finish?’

    It’s all just a little bit too good to be true, isn’t it?

    • Ah Yah, I deleted that comment because it pissed me off to be honest. This is not an ad, I’m not paid or sponsored by Microsoft and I have done everything I wrote about in the post. If you don’t believe it then it’s you problem – but I don’t have to take shit like from you. Ask anybody that knows me, I am a hard worker and I’ve worked pretty darn hard to get to this point. One of the reasons I’ve made it this far is because I’ve ignored people like you and seeked out support from people like the ones that have commented above.
      Call my boss at http://www.dotnetmentor.se and ask if you think this is fake, or why don’t you ask me yourself, Im on twitter like the rest of the world. Im quite open and honest about me, my journey and skills,- If you have a question ask. But don’t accuse me for being fake, or any other shit. Thank you.

  48. Awesome very inspiring to say the least.

    You have just motivated me to do start working better, learning something new everyday and get those illuded certifications (you learn a lot from them). Kudos to you!

    You just made my day. πŸ™‚

  49. seriously what color sampler is that you were using in one of your pics with the metro app? Link Please

  50. Like your comment 46


    PS : Can you please delete my comment 48, tks, cheers !

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