My name is Ben Watson and I am a software developer. Here is my computing life story:
I began programming BASIC when I was about 8 or 9 years old on my dad’s 286 using GW-BASIC and MS-DOS 3.1. I soon moved up to QBASIC was doing things a little more complicated. I think I tried designing a strategy war game at this point, but I don’t think it got very far once I realized there was a lot about programming I didn’t know.
When I was about 14 (younger?), I got a new computer–a 486 DX2/66 from Gateway. The optional software package I chose was Borland C++ 3.1. I started learning C and C++, and quickly dumped BASIC. Now, my programs were beginning to be more interesting and things got fun. Soon I wanted to program for Windows and so I got a copy of Turbo C++ and started using Borland’s Object Windows Library (OWL), and I wrote a few card games.
Then I discovered Visual Studio.
I ditched OWL for the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and have gone pretty much VS from then on. I taught myself MFC, C++, a little bit of Win32, C#, .Net, and a few other languages since then.
While in college, I worked as a programmer for the university, developing web-based language-learning tools. I also worked for a summer developing a utility for a local bank.
I graduated in 2004 with a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. BYU has a great computer science department. In 2006, I graduated from George Washington University with a Master Degree in Computer Science. My main focus was on software engineering, but I also studied user interfaces and computer graphics.
I then worked for GeoEye, a leading provider in satellite imagery. I was lead developer in my department for a large application that is used by commercial fleets to view oceanographic data as well as track vessel and buoy assets. I also developed numerous internal tools in C# to keep us running smoothly. It’s a small group, so we all did a lot.
In mid-2008 I was recruited by Microsoft, where I was happy to accept their offer. I currently work in Bing. This is a wonderful place to work.
I was married in 2004 to a wonderful and loving woman named Leticia, who I had known for about 9 years. We were great friends and decided to continue our friendship forever.
In my spare time, I enjoy doing New York Times Crossword Puzzles, playing piano, building Lego models, and reading.