(and why bother at all?)
I've been a developer for over 20 years. First using UCSD Pascal and assembler, then a brief flirtation with C before moving back to Pascal in the form of Delphi.
In the mid 90's, I also started working on websites, first just for fun using Perl, and then moving to ASP.
At the end of the 90's, during the "dot com boom", I found myself working almost exclusively on websites. Sometimes developing sites for multinational companies, sometimes for smaller clients. The problem was, that ASP was never really a "good" development environment. It did the job, but it was easy to write very messy code and when deadlines were tight, I'm afraid to say that code sometimes did get a little messy!
At the beginning of the new century, I decided to quit web development, and get back to some "real" development work for desktop systems. Back to Delphi again, which was a joy after mucking around with ASP for so long.
Not long after, Microsoft released the .Net Framework, and this because a real opportunity to start using a real development language with web sites. .net is object orientated, which makes life as a developer easier in some ways, and more challenging in others, but generally speaking, better all round.
It also meant that the same language (and more importantly, Objects) could be used for web, desktop and mobile (PDA) applications - I'm not pretending this was the first time, it's always been possible to write CGI and/or COM web applications in almost any language, but .net makes it far easier, and, in my opinion, far neater to combine the same code base for all three platforms (web, desktop and mobile).
So again I started working on web sites, but this time, more "application" web sites which were integrated with desktop systems, and usually secured or running on Intranets.
The problem of course, is that clients tend to demand that you spend time working on what they want, and you don't get much time to "play" with new ideas and new ways of doing things. That's really what this site is all about… It gives me a chance to play around with ideas.
That's not to say that this site is cutting edge.. .Simply that I can code it in any way I like, I can run it on my own server, and I can play with the server to my hearts content… If I break it temporarily then I don't have a customer screaming at me to fix it! (although, that idea has gone out the window a little as this site is now pretty busy itself! - Its uptime so far has been well over 99.9%).
So that's it really. The main idea of this site has always been to help people (myself included) save money, but the secondary idea is to give myself something to play with and test ideas on.