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Your first and latest applications?

Whenever I see a rolodex, I am instantly taken back to 1999. I was working as the IT Guy at a Herman Miller-owned dealership, when I was given a new project: our summer interns were collecting lead information from local businesses (business card fishbowls, etc.) and they wanted to keep all of that information in some sort of database. I wasn't a developer. Hell, I was only in IT because the job was available and I could operate a PC. (I went to college for Criminology...)

Not knowing what I was doing, I started looking for a logo for my project, which I immediately deemed ClientBase (camelcase and all...). The logo, you can most likely guess, was a Rolodex.

Over the next few days, I bludgeoned my way through Microsoft Access, and put together a rather decent little database, complete with a slick-looking User Interface. I delivered the project well-ahead of schedule.

The next few weeks I found myself tweaking and re-writing the application. This was only partially due to the ever-flowing "can we just..." change requests I'd get from the users. I was hooked. I had created something that wasn't there before I started, and people were not only using it... but a business was now relying on it to generate business. It was the first time I felt as though the product of my work was directly improving the company.

... and I consider that day the day I became a developer.

My latest application is a rather simple one: I am creating a simple Lotus Notes Client Application that leverages the Google Data API Java Client Library to interact with Google Calendar to allow you -- via the Lotus Notes Client Application -- to maintain your Online Google Calendar(s).

What was your first application?

What are you working on now?

And, finally, what made you a developer?

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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