I spent a long time avoiding working in tech, to be quite honest. I grew up around computers. My school had a Commodore 64, my dad had one of the first Macintoshes, and I even wrote a couple silly programs on it. When it came to high school, I fooled around with the school computers a bit, but I was also more interested in theater.
After I graduated, I knew I knew tech, but I wanted to see if I could make a go of something else. I did theater for almost 5 years, trying to see if I would be any good at it. I was ok, but it turned out that everyone else was light years better than me. And clearly, I wasn’t going to make a great living at it.
So, I switched focus and started working on an MIS degree, with a minor in Computer Science. But I could never get any internships or even jobs. Oh, I got the odd “fix my computer” gig that everyone gets from a friend of a friend.
All this time, I had been working for Denny’s as a server and a cook on the graveyard shift. One of the guys I had met that way was also going to the same college. He was about to graduate and move on to a better job. We got to talking, and he thought I would be great for his current position. It was as a systems administrator for a collection agency.
I met him there, and the interview with the owner was pretty short and sweet. “I trust L”, the owner said, and I was hired. I spent 5 1/2 years there, a lot longer than anticipated. Just as I was about to graduate college, the tech bubble burst and sent everything into a tailspin. I had a job, so I stayed put.
Job seeking during this time was rough. But I’ll talk about that another time.