Who is this guy?This section tells you a bit about myself. I’ve had a few emails asking about my background, so here it is.
The story to dateMy name is Dan Langille. I grew up in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. My earliest memories are of blueberries and snowmobiles. I lived there until I was 13 when I moved to Ottawa.
When I was 14, I read a computer article in an Elementary Electronics magazine and I was hooked. I started taking night-courses at the local technical college and some courses at high school. I wanted to attend McGill, but it was too far away and I couldn’t afford to live away from home. I applied to Carleton but didn’t get into the School of Computer Science. I was quite devastated. But I paralleled the degree in the Arts program. I spent just about every weekend away skiing while my classmates were coding. Despite my slackness, at the end of my first year, I was invited to join the School for my second year. By this time I’d gained a reputation amongst my classmates for being a clever bastard. Little did they know that by the end of the second year, they had all caught up to me.
My major was software development. My favorite courses dealt with abstract data types and, what we call today, object oriented programming. My Honors project was titled "Merging Priority Queues Implemented as Heaps" and was based on a program written in Pascal on a Honeywell CP6.
My first year Calculus professor, Derrick Sida (spelling?) told me his time teaching in Dunedin. His story about the students catching the train up the ski-fields fascinated me. That summer, I worked for the University as one of their "consultants"; we were the first line of inquiry for any computer related problems. It was during that time that I met Nick Briggs, a New Zealander from Auckland. His father worked in the library at Carleton. I remember him telling me about places in New Zealand that rain every day (a slight exaggeration, but not far off).
With these stories in mind, my goal was to take a summer off and head to NZ to do some skiing and come back and finish my degree. I never made it. Instead, I spent my summers working at Carleton as a consultant, for National Research Council at the high speed wind tunnel, and at Bell Northern Research on a telephone switch project.
In January or so of 1985, I sent went to the New Zealand High Commission and looked through their business directory. I sent off 19 job applications to various companies around the country. Then I headed off to Chamonix for two weeks of skiing. Upon my return, I had a job application. Armed with that, I applied for and received Permanent Residency. I received my degree that spring on a Friday, hopped on a plane on Monday, arrived here on a Wednesday, and I’m still here.
Paid work I’ve done
Since graduation, I’ve done some high-level system design but most of my time has been spent developing client-server applications. I’ve been created Windows-based applications since Windows 2.11 which is about 10 years. I started off working for a bank where I coded in C and wrote programs for foreign exchange and money market dealers. After that I started programming in PowerBuilder for Synergy. During the past 6 years, I’ve worked in various industries including the film industry, for financial institutions, fisheries, and courts.
Now I’m working for Ponte Communications working on their network security system.
Volunteer work I’ve doneI did some work for RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) where I learned to clean and tack a horse. When Peter Jackson was filming The Frighteners at Camperdown studies, I did some work for them to help them keep track of the special effects. My favorite project has been the race timing system I wrote for The Kennett Bros.
My main hobby is mountain biking. I used to do a lot of tramping and skiing, but I’ve pretty much given that up since I took up mountain biking. I cycled a lot during university. Mostly to and from uni and one summer I commuted from my place to the Ottawa airport every day. That summer, it rained only once during my ride.
Wellington really is the Mountain Biking Capital of the world. There isn’t another place I know of that compares to the wide variety and quantity of trails. Have a look at http://www.mountainbike.co.nz/rides/mtb/ for a short list.
I’m also a Hasher. My home Hash is Wellington Hash House Bikers. Although I started out a biker, I’ve also run with Port Nicholson Geriatrix Hash House Harriers, and more lately with Ottawa Hash House Harriers and recently founded Bytown Hash House Harriers.