I'm a web application developer with an art degree, a most dangerous breed of pseudointellectual. I generally carry the notion that I'm pretty smart, and I do manage to make a living by writing code for web content management systems... but it's only because I found a sufficiently high-level programming language to write in. I can rationalize that this is because my ideas are too big to focus on the details, but I secretly envy people who can program in C or Java or Python (or all of the above).
No, for me, I started programming in ColdFusion way back when I was still in college and worked part-time at a little ISP that sometimes built web pages for its customers. In school I was doing computer animation work and hanging out doing volunteer TV production work at my local PBS station. I could make pretty pictures on my Mac, copy them onto a Betacam SP tape, stick it on the air-- and I even got to pull the cool little lever that did the dissolve to camera 3.
But, at my part time job, I got so I was doing more web site development than helping people get their FreePPP settings correct. After I graduated, I was hired full-time by said ISP, and in a frenzy of dot-com bubble delerium, given responsibility for two other developers, all happily using Jeremy Allaire's handiwork. Then, of course, things slowly turned to shit as things didn't turn out to be as profitable as they might have been. People got fired one at a time until it was me and the owners and the guy the owner went to church with. They offered to double my pay (which they could afford since they had just fired my roommate) if I would stay and keep building web sites.
I quit and took their clients with me. I started a little company, Gestalt, Inc. and kept doing what I had been doing, building web applications for small to medium-sized companies. That was 5 years ago. I'm now 30 years old and still doing the same thing. Isn't it silly how you can create a career out of being too busy to try something new?
So, why am I here? I have a tremendous interest in memetics and self-organizing systems. The CMS I have written and use with my customers was originally built as a platform for a self-organizing collage. These electronic collages were my senior exhibition when I completed my art program. I had to wire the art gallery with ethernet so I could centrally record all the show-goers' cross-linking activity, and dynamically update the collage's configuration based on the new aggregate gestalt. I had plans, in fact, to build an on-line version of the collage; something anybody could add things to and explore infinitely. Sort of an on-line encyclopedia. Eh. Of course, everyone claims they had ideas which later somebody else executed, but honestly that's the story. And then, I discovered I had no time as I was thrust into the entrepenurial arena-- And then E2 started-- And it's taken me this long to come to terms with the fact that while it wasn't me that did it, it didn't change the fact that I had better get my ass in here and participate.
That's enough detail for now.