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Issue 10.1 ('Reporting')
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Meet Bob Keeney

Making a living with Real Studio

Issue: 10.1 (November/December 2011)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Bob Keeney is a software developer who runs BKeeney Software, a software consulting company. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, Carol, a database administrator (otherwise known as the "Data Goddess.") They have two children, Dylan is twenty and attends Kansas State University, while Devin is in sixth grade.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 10,483
Starting Page Number: 24
Article Number: 10006
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Excerpt of article text...

Tell us about your background. How did you get into computers?

I grew up in Northern Illinois, in farm country. I was alway interested in math and science. I ended up going to an engineering school in Chicago called the Illinois Institute of Technology. I got my degree and I spent 15 years doing industrial controls. I did a fair amount of traveling. In engineering school we had to take some programming courses like assembler, Fortran, Pascal, but nothing major. But computers back then were pretty boring because they all had the silly DOS prompt interface.

In 1986 I had to do a newsletter for the fraternity I was in and for years we'd had someone on the school newspaper who had access to typesetting equipment. But we didn't have anybody that semester so one of the upperclassmen said to me, "Hey, there's these new computers in the computer lab I think they're called Macintoshes or something like that. But it looks like they've got some really cool stuff on them." That's what started my love affair with Apple products.

At one point—I don't remember when—I started getting this idea that there were all these people bashing on the Mac because of lack of software and they had it wrong because I thought, "What a great platform to start programming for!"

So I learned Think Pascal, and eventually Codewarrior, MPW, and a few other things. I continued to do that but as an electrical engineer it didn't mean much since I didn't use a Mac at work. Then I got married and my wife, who was a programmer as well, gave me permission to change careers. I wasn't very happy as an electrical engineer. It just wasn't every fun most of the time. So I switched over and did a year's work with Visual Basic 6. My son was born and was able to stay home with him and be the primary caregiver.

At that time I started doing temporary contract work for a local company doing C++ work on the Mac. At one point they wanted to do a prototype of an application they were looking to do. We used REALbasic 3.5 to create this prototype. Ironically I wrote an iPhoto-type prototype that was done about a month before Apple introduced iPhoto. After that project I was hooked on Real Studio and started doing programming for myself.

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