I've been programming for most of my life - starting with the first pocket-calculator that allowed to be programmed using a basic dialect - a Sharp PC-1245 with unbelievable 2.2 KB (sic!) RAM (here's a picture). I must've been 12 years old back when I got my hands on that calculator (at least that's what the calculator's production date gives me), but I don't really remember.
When I was 13, I found a C64 under the x-mas tree and started programming with Basic and, not much later, Assembler. The Amiga turned up a whole new world a couple of years later where I still used Basic and Assembler.
With PCs coming up, I tried various basic-dialects and moved on to using C (and a little C++) with Borland- and Watcom-compilers, programming for DOS and OS/2 only.
In the 90's I finally entered the Windows world and started with Office in general, focussing on MS Access and not much later VB6 and SQL-Server.
With the .Net Beta 1 being released, I started playing around with that too, but for my first "real-life" application I had to wait until mid 2003. While I also do C#, I actually prefer VB.Net (or do I?).
While I started playing around with WPF/Silverlight in 2008 (or was it 2007?) I really started with it in mid 2009, so I'm still more of a freshman there.
At all times, communities have been a great way for me to to learn from others and to also share/exchange my personal experiences. In the mid 80s, I loved the bulletin boards (mailbox-systems) such as Fido, ZNet and the German MausNetz. In the late 80's a friend of mine and myself were invited by a student of the University of Wuppertal where he introduced us to the Word Wide Web, browsing to some Hawaii site on one of their Unix X-Windows systems. Not much later I discovered the NNTP newsgroups which then replaced the bulletin boards for me. Nowadays, the MSDN forums (such as the WPF-forum) is the place where I spend quite some time, asking and answering (or at least attempting to answer) questions; the NNTP-newsgroups seem to finally have been replaced by the web-forums for me as well ...
For my contributions to those communities, MS awarded me as a "Microsoft Most Valuable Professional" (MVP) between 2002 and 2005.
In 2000, I started my own business - IntuiDev IT-solutions -, based in Germany. Today, while IntuiDev is the main focus, there's also ts-Projects (which is a German company I founded with two colleagues in early 2008) primarily focusing on tools for SAP, there's IMS (a company in Portland, USA) where I am a member of the board of directors and, last but not least, there's KursOrganizer - a course-administration off-the-shelf-software which I have been distributing since 2006 with yet another colleague, based near Munich, Germany.