This is as much for me as anyone. Age 23, in 2009 I finished my Computer Science Dimploma, a 2,5 year education run with topics such as:
Information technology in organisations
Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
I did my Specialisation in "Programming Handheld devices"
A C# .NET Application for Windows Mobile
and a final examination project in Platform migration of CMS & Intranet.
Converting an organisations ASP intranet and database to ASP.NET
Back in 2009, at the height of the "the worst economic crisis since the great depression of 1930" not a whole lot of jobs were available. So I choose to stay in school and start a Prof. Bachelor Degree in software development, to be finished 2011.
So I'm currently looking for work (which btw is the reason I have time to do build websites like this)
While I went to highschool, besides playing with the Source engine (HL2) I had other interrests, things like "Wardriving".
Basicly its some of my friends and me driving around looking for unprotected wireless networks and mapping them using GPS.
The best tool for this job is linux, and a program called Kismet. An open source wifi signal sniffer. It is completely passive and only listens to trafic that is being broadcast by every wireless network device.
At some point I decided that using linux was a pain in the ass I could live without. Kismet has a TCP server that you can talk to, to get all the information i recieves and i built a program in VB6 to read it all and map it out. It became an open source application I called KisWin. I don't think I ever used it, as when I was done coding it I was used to using Linux. Great excersize.
Back in 2003, Valve got hacked my a german dude who stole all thier source code and all of the content they had for the sequel to Half-life, Half-Life 2. And the code for an unknown program called "steam". The game was release a year later on Nov. 16th 2004.
Using this leak me and huge number of hl2 developers jumped at the chance to start creating new things with the brand new engine and map editing tool that was also leaked. I managed to build up quite the rep. as a frontrunner in using all of the new features in new and inventive ways. Our group at www.HL2World.com put together a map pack and fixes for the leak (as the leaked maps weren't finished or playable to some extent)
I' made 25 tutorials for others to learn the basics and advanced concepts of level building for HL2, mainly how to use technical challenging functions and how to put them together to build great things. One such thing was one of the first pilotable planes. (this is way before Gmod made a mess of it all turning it into childsplay)
Once the game was released and modifications with the SDK made possible, I ran into a wall as to what the source engine was capable of, and started experimenting with coding C++ modifications to bring greater things to the map editing tool.
Never finished www.hammermod.org ....
How many of you are familiar with the games, Half-Life 1, Counter-Strike? Some of you? good.
After playing these games, and watching people create custom content like 3D models, new weapons, new maps (levels if you will) i thougt that I would have a go.
Between the age 16-18 i taught myself level design using the map editor that came with HL1, going by the nickname "TAz00" i browsed the internet and found all the material I needed to become better and better. Driven by creativity and the need to build cool stuff that others might find interesting aswell, I would make custom maps for LAN events and different gaming clans.
All fun and games.
The only picture left from that time is a picture of a map called MW_Lionsgatebridge that i built for a HL1 modification called Earth's Special Forces (ESF) built on the popular cartoon Dragon Balls. (its alot easier to make good looking maps these days :)
There once was a time before I started an actual IT education, when my interrests were vested coding small semi malicious programs for my own pleasure. Exploring the makings of a simple botnet. This was around the age of 16, where i would cut my teeth on coding Visual Basic 6 applications that would call home and allow me control any given pc (for all intents and purposes fully within the law) Simple programs, yet funny and at the time challenging. This was my first coding experience, and those first source codes are long gone.