I am from a small town in Illinois called Marion. Growing up in a rural, small town environment instilled in me a love of peace and the country, but also a desire for bigger, more exciting things. As I get older, I'm less inclined towards the city-pull that I once felt so strongly. Maybe it's because of the high levels of stress that I've already subjected myself to. Maybe it's simply because of changes in my life or getting older itself. I've also come to understand myself more-- I hate crowds.
From an early age I've had an affinity for gadgets and computers. As a young child I loved getting ahold of the TV remotes and, as I got older, learned to appreciate the family computer with all the goodness that Windows 95 had to offer. My father is a fairly accomplished artist and that's how the bread was won during my childhood, but when I was about 9 years old he decided to go to college. He studied Computer Science, and so computers and technology grew even more important in my young life. I developed an even greater fascination with computer software, hardware, and technology in general.
During Keyboarding class I would finish early and work on projects from a Visual Studio book that our instructor happened to have lying around. As I entered my teens, my interest in building computers, tinkering with software (more as a consumer), and-- of course-- playing video games increased. What did not increase was my understanding of how all these things that I loved worked. I had plans from this early stage of my life to follow in my dad's steps and go into the field of Computer Science. Considering my future plans, it's strange that I look back and consider the stagnation of my development knowledge during the middle years of my life. I really don't know if it was lack of confidence in the "proper" direction to move or all the other worries of a typical teenager that left me dormant. Most likely some combination of the two.
The good news is that I came through this quiet stage of my life and took to my general future and my future in development with renewed fervor. By the time I started college at a local community college, I had prepared myself to have an accelerated start in my programming curriculum. When an advisement error had me skipping my first pre-requisite programming class, I was able to convince the instructor to allow me to prove that I had a solid enough grasp of the concepts to skip that class and advance to the one that I had mistakenly been registered for. This wonderful instructor spent her summer sending me assignments and reviewing them-- I still look back and marvel at what a wonderful example she is of what it means to truly be a teacher.
During my second year of college, I got my first job at a technology company that has a satellite office near my home town. They allowed me to work part-time hours and, though I wasn't a developer per-se, I was a technical analyst and there was plenty of development involved and I had my foot in the door for bigger opportunities.
Since then, I've been in various positions in technology-- analyst, lead, manager, engineer. At the time of this update, I'm working as a Software Engineer at Classpass, specializing in frontend web application development. I have a passion for all things in the field of development and find joy in sharing this passion with others.