Software Engineer • Student @ Purdue University
My name is James Harrell. I am an 18 year old studying Computer Science at Purdue University. As a junior in high school, I became interested in programming, and started to teach myself Java. I really enjoyed it, and have been programming almost daily ever since.
The first programming language I leared was Java. I taught myself some Java because I wanted to be able to make Minecraft Plugins. At the time I was running a small Minecraft Server and was wanting to be able to add some new features to the server. I was learning about Linux, server administration, etc. Writing some plugins for the server was a good next step. Minecraft is written in Java, and so server APIs like Spigot are also written in Java, it just made sense as a first language. As I got better at making plugins, I started doing some freelancing for other servers, and have even found myself a few jobs writing plugins.
As I kept programming, I also started learning about other languages. My favorite was Kotlin. It was very easy to pick up coming from Java and it offered good interoperability meaning I did not have to rewrite all my old projects. As I used Kotlin more and more, I realized how nice of a language it was. To this day, its one that I use very frequently and like a lot.
Overall, I have had a good experience learning to program, and have found that I enjoy it a lot, which is what led me to focus on a Computer Science major in College.
Hobbies and Activities
When I am not programming, I enjoy the outdoors and hanging out with friends. I like to fish, hike, bike, and really do anything that gets me outside into nature. I earned my Eagle Scout in 2017 and have been enjoying all the fun things that we did in scouts ever since.
I have backpacked hundreds of miles across the Appalachian Trail and Colorado Trail. I've also hiked the tallest "14er" in Colorado, Mt. Elbert.
I also have co-raised 2 guide dog puppies, Luna and Coast, with my mom. We raised them for the same organization that I did my Eagle Scout project for, Southeastern Guide Dogs. My Eagle Scout project was building exercise equiptment for the dogs. I led a group of other Boy Scouts in building a series of ramps and platforms that could be placed together to make fun structures for the dogs in training to run around on.
I also like playing different sports. I played baseball until I was in high school and then I played soccer during high school. I don't play for any teams or clubs anymore, but I still enjoy throwing the baseball or kicking around a soccer ball with people.