My name is Mikael Lofjärd, and I'm a
29 30 40+ year old software
developer/architect working at 11K. I currently live
outside of Stockholm, Sweden with my wife and two daughters.
I grew up in the town of Varberg, on the west coast of Sweden. Here I got my first taste of programming at the age of 10 (well technically I was about to turn eleven in a few months) when I managed to get my hands on a copy of the freshly released Visual Basic 3.0. I was completely amazed with the fact that I could now create my own Windows programs. Without any internet or books at hand I tried to make due with trial and error but, suffice to say, my programs never really did anything advanced. They where however my own creations and as such I was immensely proud of them.
A few years later, a few of my friends had gotten their first dialup internet connections and I started taking an interest in how to make websites, even though I had no internet connection of my own yet.
My programming interest really grew into a full time obsession when I started high school (school year 10-12 in Sweden) since, for the first time, I got to select for myself what I wanted to study and thus ended up hanging out with a bunch of like-minded people. From there on out its been an amazing journey of discovery and learning.
I had my go at college but it turned out it wasn't for me. I made a lot of really great friends and I enjoyed all the programming courses, but I somehow felt that all the math and technical engineering courses didn't really bring anything to the table that I would have any use for in my future profession. Thus I dropped out after just two years.
Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't go to college. Education is very important when looking for a job these days. What I'm trying to say is that I found that most of my required courses didn't interest me, and when I'm not interested in what I'm trying to learn it doesn't matter how much I study because I'm never going to get it anyway.
It turns out that it was the right decision for me, because in all my years of working as a programmer I have only used ONE thing I learned in college and even that wasn't really critical to the task I was doing.
I currently work as a software architect/developer at a small consulting firm here in Sweden and it's a job that I really enjoy.
I tend not to think about the future to much, and I'm currently very happy with where I am in life, but you always need something to aspire to and so I shall at least try to explain what I want from life.
Regarding my personal life; we've been thinking about getting a house for a while, but at the moment we're thinking about maybe saving up some money and move to the west coast (to be closer to my relatives) in 5-10 years. Somehow that plan always seems to change from week to week.
Professionally, I couldn't be happier about where I work or the people I work with, but one can never know what the future holds.
If I was to work someplace else the most important thing for me would be the people I work with. I may aspire to be the best in my field, but if I don't work with people who are better than me then I'm not interested.
The moment you think you know something is the moment you stop learningSomeone smarter than me
I'm not sure who said that but I strongly agree with it. I can learn a lot from reading blogs and technical articles (and I do) but learning something without discussing the meaning of it with people who you look up to, doesn't really amount to much in my opinion.