About Me

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.

12 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Pingback: 5 Corollaries of Highly Effective Programmers | Caffeinated Coder

  2. sachin

    Hey bro.I know some basic programming(C++ and some Java and flash) and I am learning mfc now.
    But I want to know what I should learn to get to the core of it.
    Like to build anything I desire.Where dya think I should head?

  3. ry

    I know it’s fun to be a programmer…and you’re too lucky that you learn to make a program at your younger age….but what about like me???i don’t have any background when I’m in high school and I only encountered it when I’m in college….I was 1st year college now here in Cebu and I find to make a program very hard…Can you please give me some of the technique to make this programming easier??

  4. Vijay

    Hi Ben,
    You are so much proficient in Programming and basic languages, even then you were not selected in Google. It is beeing discouraging to the people like me, is it soooo tough GOOGLE.

  5. Geet

    Hey Ben, I just read your experience. Congratulations on your success! It must be awesome to work for Microsoft! I got a mail from a recruiter recently. The next step is resume review. I am waiting for them to contact me.

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