The Programmer of the Month this time is a family man who is also a self taught professional programmer who began programming in BASIC when he was just 8 years old. He is so passionate about it that both work and play combined, he programs for almost 9 hours a day!
Here’s more about our Programmer of the Month for November ’09, Josh Metzler!
Name: Josh Metzler
Institute/Organisation: I work for ISciences
Brief introduction about yourself (under 140 characters): I am a self-taught professional programmer. C++ is my language of choice, though I do program in other languages from time to time. I love solving challenging problems (programming or otherwise). I am married with three young children.
How/When did you start programming?
I wrote my first program (with help from my Dad) in BASIC on a PCjr when I was 8 or 9. I dabbled in BASIC from then until high school, when I was given a copy of Turbo Pascal. I didn’t take any CS classes in university, as it didn’t occur to me that CS was a possible career path. After graduating and doing some volunteer work, though, I got a job with some programming as a part of it that has gradually become mostly programming. I also found the UVA online judge and TopCoder, and now CodeChef.
What do you do when you’re not programming?
I spend time with my wife and kids, read books, do work around the house, or go to church. During the summer I play Ultimate Frisbee.
What do you like most about CodeChef?
There’s quite a bit I like about CodeChef. I enjoy the challenging problems, especially in the ten day competition format. With young children it isn’t easy to set aside specific chunks of time for competitions, but I can always find some time here and there to work on a problem. I also enjoy the opportunity to help others learn in the forums, and the variety of languages available to compete with.
How many hours a day do you program?
If I count both work and play, I probably spend 8-9 hours a day programming.
What’s your favourite book and why?
My favourite book is Ender’s Game because I haven’t read any Harry Potter. I’m currently reading a terrifying non-fiction book about climate change
called With Speed and Violence.
If you could eat dinner with any famous person (past or present), who would it be and what dish would you have?
I would have pizza, but I’m not sure on the person. Maybe Richard Feynman or C. S. Lewis.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m fairly happy with my job right now, though I have some interest in working in the finance industry. I am somewhat rooted in Ann Arbor, Michigan,USA, as my oldest child is in elementary school, we own our house and like our neighborhood, and we live near my family who helps with childcare. So, I don’t anticipate any major changes in the near future.