re: What's your origin story? VIEW POST


Started my dark journey as a kid in the 70s. Got to turn a hobby into a career.

  • Dad brought home TRS-80s, Apple ][s and, eventually, PCs throughout the late 70s and 80s. Taught myself a couple interpreted languages, a compiled language (was an early language that used an interpreter-style language but was compiled into object code for actual running) and Z80 and 6502 assembler
  • First paid job doing inventory for a shoe store: convinced the owner to computerize his inventory system
  • Went to college. Finished with a B.S. in psychology. While I was there, taught myself C, C++ and became familiar with SunOS, NeXTSTEP, Solaris, VM/CMS and VAX/VMS while doing so.
  • Job market sucked in 1993. Temped - mostly in desktop publishing - until a customer realized I had computer aptitude
  • Got first salaried job doing OCR work for a commercial publisher of aviation-related materials (they converted relevant daily CFR content to hypertext for airlines an equipment manufacturers). Got to do some NetWare for them when their actual IT guy would go on vacation.
  • Decided I preferred the nuts-n-bolts IT work to desktop publish so went back to temping, this time in companies specializing in IT roles.
  • Eventually got a job as a lab SA with Bell Atlantic's new Internet division. Laziness led me to automating all of my day-to-day tasks, so got promoted to operations
  • While primarily a Sun shop, they also had SGI equipment. SGI account manager was impressed with what I was doing to make their stuff integrate well with BA's Sun gear, so got offered a job with SGI.
  • Left SGI for NetApp. Was a bad move because the group I joined was both unstable and underused.
  • Got an offer for an SA/engineering gig with a national ISP. Ended up doing way beyond what they hired me for. However, ISP got bought by WorldCom/MCI. In turn, WorldCom/MCI got bought by Verizon.
  • Friend of a friend was starting a consulting company and knew I was exceedingly unhappy at (now) Verizon. Offered me a gig as their first consultant. Got to travel the US and Europe working on storage and availability technologies (and writing automation) across a large spectrum of hardware, OSes and applications. Owner sold the company. New ownership created an unpleasant culture
  • Found a job through a former co-worker. While he left not long after I joined, found a group of really good technicians and managers. We've been together through three companies, now. Current focus is cloud-enablement and automation — particularly with helping customers try to move onto the DevOps path.

So, while I have coded throughout my hobbyist and professional life, I don't really consider myself a "true" coder. It's more functional/means-to-an-end oriented. My forays into coding is likely more a symptom of laziness and desire not to manually do repetitive tasks if there's a way to avoid it. As a result, much of the content I post through Dev.To is more oriented towards integration of information technologies than development of said technologies.


"My forays into coding is likely more a symptom of laziness and desire not to manually do repetitive tasks if there's a way to avoid it."

That's the central theme of ALL programming. :-D
When people ask what I do, my first answer is, "I make computers do boring stuff really fast."

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