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View Thread: Roll call - tell us who you are!
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    My name is Lonnie Allen Watson, I have been into computers since I was a teen in the late 70's. Had a KIM 1 DL trainor as my first computer. Never really went to school anywhere other than high school. Worked for a number of years prior to graduating highschool with a firm that created electronic gadgets for profoundly disabled folks. That firm went away when the feds grant money supply dried up in the early 80's. Worked at a small computer store for 10 years until the CompUSA's of the work forced mom and pop out of business. That was however where I learned a ton about computers and software. Along the way there I taught computer graphics at a local technical school. Towards the end of the computer store days I was rented out to a small firm that sold touch screen systems to restaurants and other hospitality outfits. POSitouch was their product and I worked there for 3 years pretty much assisting them and their dealer network on installations all over the world. Lived out of a duffel bag the last 2 years of that as I traveled alot. I decided to leave there to preserve my limited sanity.

    I then took a desk job as an administrator of a small operation that was administering the mental health benefit of a local commercial health plan. The firm was in startup mode when I was brought on really as a result of a friend of mine and an interview that went amazingly well. Soon after being hired I uncovered the fact that the application that was being bought by the firm was in fact a piece of vapor ware and was never going to be able to do what the firm needed. At this point we are 5 months away and we have no claims processing system in place. After another false start with a firm that went OOB 2 weeks after we inked a deal with them, the firm decided to write their own system and we plunged headlong into development of the bare minimum system that would do claims processing under the really crazy rule sets that were being imposed by the commercial insurer.

    That Application was written entirely in VB6 and it was my first exposure to a project of what I would call enterprise scale, Me and 3 other people wrote the application from the ground up and it worked. Right out of the gate. To this day I still dont have any idea how the hell we did it.

    After that firm was shut down for 'Political Reasons' read the commercial insurer became uncomfortable with our ability to show them where they were messing up. I went into a partnership with my curent co-workers at Tidgewell Associates, where we act as consultants and software developers for clients in need of the kinds of things we developed for the health plan. County Governments for example administering Medicare and medicaid payments for their members.

    ALong all of this I managed to go back to school to 'Get the Paper' but all I really got was my Wife and a big student loan. (I guess I made out on the deal)

    I live in Northern Rhode Island, with my wife Sally and our cat Toby, and dog Sara, where I pretty much eat, sleep and drink computers.

    Currently I work with VB.NET and C# with some Java, Perl, PHP, Python, C/C++, ASP, ASP.NET thrown in the mix for good measure