I am Jayke R. Huempfner, a young and enthusiastic hobbyist programmer.
My day job is currently in the transportation industry (although I've mostly had call center experience before), so I only have my spare time to build this website, work on other projects, and engage in my interests.
I've been doing computer programming / software design since 2008, while I was in 8th grade, when I purchased a book which taught me how to use Visual Basic and which included a copy of Visual Studio Express Edition 2008. I've encountered and attempted to understand code prior to this, but this book is what opened the door for me to begin programming in earnest.
Through high school, after picking up programming through Visual Basic, I joined onto the Better Explorer project and worked on that for multiple years; volunteering my time with this was a treat for me, as I worked under Dimitar who ran the project and was a professional programmer. With Dimitar's guidance, I was able to pick up C#.
During my time in college and afterwards, I began dedicating my time to larger and larger projects, such as building my own game engine, a calendar program, and a digital system for creating and editing Pathfinder RPG character sheets. Not all of these projects ended up with a final releasable product, but with every project I poured time into, I learned something new that I never experienced before.
Currently, as mentioned, C# is my programming language of choice, and I often use it in combination with WPF to make desktop Windows apps. C# is great in my mind due to the various features included with it, and how many areas of programming it's available for: desktop, mobile, game development, web (via ASP.NET), and even more. I particularly enjoy building desktop apps, but unfortunately WPF is a Windows-only system. I have a goal to learn a cross-platform system, particularly Avalonia UI (or .NET MAUI as a backup), but I haven't achieved that much so far.
Looking forward, my goal is to continue working on my current projects and start putting out releasable products, such as SSUI, Pathfinder JSON, Dj Blue, and more. My next goals are also to branch out into other areas of programming, particularly a cross-platform UI system and more with web and mobile development.
Art/UI Design History
While I've had art classes and such all the way through high school and college, I haven't had much of a formal education beyond that on art or design.
In reality, at this point of time, I wouldn't really consider myself an artist or media creator. I have aspirations to do more with creating multimedia projects or other things, but for right now, the art that I've mainly created and interacted with the most is UI design and icon imagery.
From a young age, I was fascinated by the various different interfaces that could be found in various products, even back in the days of Windows 95. Comparing the design of toolbars and other UI elements in different applications, for example, or the design of the UI that allowed end users to customize the program's UI were things that fascinated me. A huge inspiration for me growing up was Word 97, where nearly every aspect of the UI could be customized: the menus, the toolbars, the right-click context menus - even down to changing the text and icon of toolbar and menu items. A lot of this customization was direct too; when you opened that "Customize" dialog window, you were then able to start drag-and-dropping menu items and toolbar items directly, not via the dialog itself or some other indirect method. This absolutely fascinated me as a kid, and still stands as a big technical achievement in my eyes today.
This fascination stuck with me as years went on, seeing how designs change (or didn't change) through Windows XP, Windows Vista, and so on. Even nowadays, I sometimes download random programs just to poke around with their UI and notice the differences - both good and bad - in compared to other, more established programs.
Office 2007 marked the introduction of the Ribbon UX, and the vast amount of documentation Microsoft put out about the Ribbon was probably my first proper look at UI design and the thoughts and considerations that went into it. In hindsight, it's a bit funny (and equal parts sad and understandable) to see how rigidly Microsoft had set out the guidelines for how a developer should introduce, create, and use a Ribbon, and then see Microsoft break these guidelines themselves as the years went on. (Side note: for those more curious about the design of the Ribbon and all that led up to it, the video "The Story of the Ribbon" by the lead designer Jensen Harris will bring you on a lovely journey. Unfortunately, Microsoft took down most content from their older MIX conferences, so now the video can only be found via archive links (like the one above) or low-quality uploads on YouTube. This is disappointing as I think this video in particular is an amazing aspect of figuring out the thoughts behind creating a new UI design.)
Between studying these various programs' designs over the years and beginning the process of creating my own programs, I've started learning more and more about UI design as I go.
As a part of this, I ended up creating my own UI library that follows my own principles, and started creating my own icon set to complement my library and software.
Other Things About Me
I like learning about things, and exploring things. I've picked up various topics over the years, including astronomy, anime (and anime reviews), video production, city and highway design, and more, all as only an amateur enthusiast. There's a lot of our world to dig into and explore, and it fascinates me to see something, wonder "why is it this way", and then later figure out the answer.
I'm most active on Twitter.