My name is Michael Porter. If you have run across a “mikeporter” on the National Instruments user forums, that’s me. My first test systems were written in interpreted BASIC and ran on a PDP-11, but I have been using and writing about LabVIEW since 1986. My first development system was a MacPlus computer sporting 2-megs of RAM, running LabVIEW V1.11 .
Since then I have put a lot of study and thought into not only learning about how to do LabVIEW, but how to do it right. In the beginning, this inquiry was a simple matter of survival since there were no training courses or even texts on how to develop graphical code. In point of fact, there were very few books on good code development techniques at all for any language. The prevailing attitude at the time was that programming was an art, not a real science, and certainly not an engineering discipline. Consequently I spent a lot of time reading research papers by such visionaries as Dijkstra, Hoare, and (especially) Parnas — all in the days before the Internet. How? Well, let’s just say that I got to be very good friends with the librarian at our company library…
My first attempt at teaching what I was learning came in 1989 when I presented a paper on using LabVIEW in large test networks at the first (and only) National Instruments Users’ Symposium. Believe it or not, the big point of contention then (even within NI) was whether or not LabVIEW was a programming language. The NIWeek gatherings didn’t start until a few years later.
Over the years I have worked in many different industries and developing many different kinds of applications. Two things have remained constant: First is my drive to keep pushing LabVIEW to see what else it can do — and I haven’t bumped into a limit yet. Second is my unending desire to learn more about how to do LabVIEW properly.
More recently I was recognized as a LabVIEW Champion in 2011, and I am a Certified LabVIEW Architect and a Certified Professional Instructor. I have also made technical presentations at the 2012 and 2014 NIWeek gatherings (on XControls and Object-Oriented Programming, respectively), and have been selected to present at the 2015 edition as well.