About Me

My ugly, close upI suppose to make this page worth reading you should know a little bit about the person behind it. So who is this Robert Gonzalez? Well, let me tell you…

A little bit about Robert
Robert is a man with a background in business administration, business management, web application development and computer technologies. A husband and father to five wonderful children, he is also a family man. He likes to create and produce things which has led him into a stronger, more passionate pursuit of web development.

Robert is a web development geek that likes to work late into the evening. He gets really weird late at night (or early in the morning as it were). He starts looking for things to keep him awake when his many projects weigh him down. He like to start development projects while still learning the development environment he is working in. He likes to watch his programs work right the first time. He apparently likes writing in the third person narrative and now it appears that he likes to blog.

A little more about me
OK, enough talking about myself as though I were standing right next to me. How about the important stuff?

I finished high school in 1992. All items before this time have been erased from my memory banks (except the football, wrestling and girlfriend parts). I attended the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo for two years right out of high school. I studied Mechanical Engineering and was in the process of transfering to the Manufacturing Engineering department when I left school to pursue other matters.

I was married on June 3, 1995 and my life hasn’t been the same since. Marriage changes a person… in a good way. When you are in a covenant relationship like that you begin to have to see things through another person’s eyes. My life became about my wife that day and I thank God for it. Whats more, we began having children right away. We now have five children (as of June 29, 2005) and wow, that’ll really change a life. Now I get to live not only for my wife but also for my kids. Note to self… self who?

Through the years I realized that I would love to spend more time with my family. I also realized that I had a strong desire to be in business for myself. So I began writing web pages in 2000. I say write rather than design because I have all the visual design skills of a mustard filled sneeze. After writing web pages for a few years I began to want to do more with my pet project, PurelyAuto.com (formerly eAutospot.com). Since I had yet to develop my skills as an application developer, I had to learn web scripting. My first experience with web scripting was with Perl and CGI scripts. I then moved fairly quickly into PHP because Perl always seemed like a cryptic language to me. I learned early on that PHP, while a very strong scripting language, was a whole lot more powerful when coupled with a database backend. So I learned SQL (namely the MySQL database). Then, at work, I had to learn ASP (VBScript).

Because the company that I used to work for was a Microsoft agent of doom I also had to learn SQL the SQL Server way. I also learned my way around an Access database while working there. Because Microsoft and the development community are kind of depricating classic ASP, I spent some time learning ASP.NET using C# (because it is the closest thing to PHP 😉 ). I also picked up a little HTML, CSS and JavaScript along the way. I am now beginning to step into learning a little bit of Python and Ruby – and I am loving the object based nature of those languages – while honing my PHP development skills.

All in all, having a family, coupled with an intense desire to take care of that family, has pushed me to the point of staying up until 3:00 AM writing code in a hope that one day I can generate enough money from my projects that I might be able to fund my larger projects. Then I would hope that some mega giant corporation would buy me out for millions of dollars so I can spend the rest of my life enjoying the company of my family and not my family of the company.

As of September, 2006: I managed to turn my hobby into my full time work heading up web development at an alarm company in Concord, CA. I have taken the fullest advantage of working in a real IT environment and have learned quite a bit of Linux, Apache, MySQL and shell scripting. I can manage my way around a server without a GUI pretty well and I am pretty adept at emergency situations and troubleshooting.

And as of September 2008 I am now a Zend Certified PHP 5 Engineer. For some reason, that has made me want to seek certification in the entire LAMP stack. I may try MySQL next.

Why a blog?
Blogging caught my attention about a year ago. I had read a blog from a developer and thought that it would be a great way to share information across the Internet without having to develop, or dedicate a site to, the information framework. From that beginning I found a strong desire to use blogging as way to express the thoughts, ideas and opinions I have in a fairly non-confrontational medium (not that I mind a good confrontation now and again, but it seemed nicer this way). From that I have formed several blogs.

A quick note on blogs and blogging software
I originally started blogging on Blogger.com, then realized that I really don’t like Blogger’s technology. I found a few C# apps, a few PHP apps and after testing several of them I came to the conclusion that the best blogging software around is WordPress.org’s blog application. I have installed it on several of the websites that I manage and I use it extensively. It is also what drives this particular section of this website.

Some parting words
So there you have it. Almost everything you’d want to know about in a little blog entry. Feel free to comment if you want to or you can email me if you like also.

Socializing with me
If you ever want to know what I am up to when I am not totally neglecting this blog…
http://twitter.com/RobertGonzalez/
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Gonzalez/537350026
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/robertanthonygonzalez

6 Replies to “About Me”

  1. I like you already. Good words. I’ve got a few children myself. I graduated high school 20 years before you in 1972. It seems that the young people of today are so smart. And, you seem to also be among them.
    Good job!
    Cecil

  2. Hi Robert,

    You can count me as one of ur fans,as i read all of ur replies that u give to every one in php professionals google groups.

    Even i have mailed you regarding which books to pref for learning adv. php

    You are my inspiration.

    Thanks,
    Rakesh

  3. hey Rob, you did not included where is your family came from?…my family came from Spain/El Salvador/Guatemala and presently living in Malta NY an American citizen believer in JESUS… it is good to know that someone gives glory to the Lord in what he does….

    Wonder if you can give me a tip in a website that I am designing… and updating records from a very busy bakery….

    If you do, then I will share my taughts as I am in a designing state… although I completed to insert/remove/update records… now I am into updating the orders which when taught it can be a bear…

    Will appreciate your feedback if you can coach me into this…

    Thanks and hope to hear from you

    Mirna Jaime

  4. Hey Robert, wanted to see if you or anyone you know would be interested in permanent PHP developer opportunities in Downtown San Francisco. Please give me a call at (415)343-6065. Best Regards,
    Erik

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