On my Twitter page I wrote : Once a television director. Now a Drupal developer. Always an optimist. That pretty well sums up where I come from and where I am today. I would add this: a wondered father of two teenagers. A very special school if there is one.
And how did I get into Web development? Well, it's a long story.
After several years of wandering in science and engineering, I received a Bachelor of Communication with a major in television from the University of Ottawa. I worked as a television director for about 8 years. Started out as director of a French programming at Skyline Cablevision in Ottawa. I'll never forget the advertising awards show we edited LIVE as it was being aired, inserting slides, music and subtitles on the fly. Everybody initially thought I was crazy. In the end, the guys & girls pulled it off and it was a riot!
I then found myself in Toronto for a few weeks filling in for a director who was on holidays. I ended up working there twelve years, mainly at TVOntario where I directed several TV series including Nature Watch, a coproduction with Japan's NHK. Today, it all seems so very far...
In 1990, I bought my first PC, a Mac Classic fully loaded with 4 Mb of RAM! And there, as Obelix, I fell into the magic potion that was Hypercard - a precursor to the hyperlinked World Wide Web. This was the beginning of multimedia, before the advent of the Web, before Netscape and way before Flash. In those days, BBSs were at the forefront of electronic communications. Along, with three colleagues from TVOntario, Don Presant, Ted Brunt and Dave M (sorry man, I could never spell your last name), I took part in the revolution that would see some 600 employees being interconnected to each other via the Loop, TVOntario's FirstClass bulletin board system. Like any other revolution, we soon needed more guns. In came Michael Lucas, aka cd\ and then Brian Elston. It was the Wild West, the Electronic Frontier. The rest is history.
This amazing adventure ended in 1998 with a Milia d'Or in Cannes and a MIM d'Or in Montreal for the design and production of Lost in the stars, a bilingual edutainment website beautifully illustrated by Marc Bishop. In an email, Douglas Adams, the president of the jury, wrote 'When I saw the 3D constellations, I new you HAD to win.' What extraordinary times!
Speeding up a little, I moved to Montreal, worked at Zaq Technologies, Ingenio (Loto-Quebec), INIS and the NFB. In 2007, I wrote and designed Mission Gaia, a multiplayer game on sustainable development for the Montreal Science Center.
In 2009, paralysed by a herniated disc, I discovered Drupal, an amazing open-source platform - not being able to run away helped :-)
Since then, it's been more Drupal everyday as a freelance web developer or as an apprentice/hired gun with the friendly guys at Whisky Echo Bravo.
Today, I guess I'm writing the next chapter of this story. Hypercard has been replaced by Drupal. Only time knows for sure where this is going to take me.
As long as it's fun...