I learned to play Go in 1984 when my thesis advisor took me to the Go club in Zurich, Switzerland. I immediately started programming it. After a semester project, a diploma thesis, and a Ph.D. thesis, the result was the Smart Go Board for the Macintosh. I took a break from Go programming to work on PowerPoint (1991-99), then returned to work full-time on computer Go. Further details at http://www.smartgo.com/anders.html.
The first version of SmartGo for Windows was released April 2002. SmartGo 2 was released in January 2006 with a cool new UI, more games, many new features, and the ability to switch on-the-fly between English, Japanese, and Korean.
My current AGA rating is about 3 dan.