I started programming when I was 12 on an Atari 800 that my dad bought me for Christmas. It was an 8-bit machine that had a casette drive for “long-term” storage and 8-bit graphics. I subscribed to SoftSide and would copy pages of BASIC programs from each issue, spending days debugging them. I was a nerdy kid.
I grew up in Wyoming, likely being the singular nerdy programmer kid in the state in the early 80s. We picked up from there and moved overseas to Barranquilla, Colombia, where I was exposed to a very different culture than rural Wyoming, to put it mildly. From there, I spend my high school years in Houston, Texas before matriculating at Georgia Tech.
For reasons that I will never be able to explain, I majored in Mechanical Engineering. My friends and I would actually program in our spare time for fun, yet it never occurred to me to actually get a degree in Computer Science. Not one of my better decisions.
After a brief first job of selling industrial air compressors, a GT friend of mine got me a job at a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consulting company as a low-level nerd. It was great. I enjoyed working with clients and building software to meet their needs. For about the next 15 years, I would remain in the GIS world, working for a couple of service companies and one product company (ESRI).
The tech and programming world were changing at such a rapid pace back then, and I started to long for to be more on the edge of the industry. I fell in love with Ruby and Ruby on Rails and started to look for a job there. Since I had no professional Ruby experience, the only job I could get was a very desperate startup where I owned the platform.
It was a typical startup: 80 hour weeks, always feeling behind, terrible salary and benefits. But, it allowed me to level up, mostly through failing. It was a whirlwind few years, and I didn’t get rich, but I gained a ton of experience.
That brings me to eSkookum](https://skookum.com), where I run the Product Development Practice. Mainly that consists of writing architecture descriptions, sales support, best practices, and learning from my team. I still love it and I there’s a lot of that 12-year old still in me.
On a personal note, I married my college sweetheart, Jill, and we have four kids, which is aggressive. If, according to Nietzsche, order comes from chaos, it must come later.
I still read Marvel comics almost every day and I probably could use some more hobbies.