I started playing with computers when I cut math class to play Space Invaders in the computer lab next door, and a fine computer lab it was – we had both an Apple IIe and an IBM PC with dual floppy drives! I was the quintessential geek – only one girlfriend during high school, but I was the Rubik’s cube champion of the school.
College turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion and defiance of other’s expectations. Although I had a National Merit Scholarship, I dropped out after three months, a decision I later came to regret. Twenty-five years later, I rectified that mistake. Through a combination of challenge tests, certification exams, prior learning assessments, and one online class, I was able to finally get my Bachelor’s degree. All but the one online class were pass/fail, so it’s sure a good thing I got an A in that class! I considered going on to an MBA, but I came to realize that the doors that it would open would not lead me to a place that I want to go, so that’s on hold unless something changes.
After I dropped out of college, I was able to find a job working with computers and accounting that launched me into an IT career. I worked my way up the ladder, reinventing myself several times along the way. After starting out with accounting and clerical work at a home health care agency, I moved on to a local computer store and consulting practice. Over my years in consulting I transitioned from desktop support to network engineer to enterprise software developer. I also became a pretty good Linux sys admin and web developer on the side.
About twelve years ago I was the principal investor and technical lead for a dial-up ISP. Unfortunately we outgrew our cash flow and became one of the early casualties in the dot com bust. During that time I also spent some time consulting as an enterprise software developer to bring in extra cash to fund the business. When the business died, I was able to continue the consulting work and eventually transition to a permanent position. Ten years later, I’m still there.
Along the way I became known as a technical fire fighter of last resort. People would bring me the really hard problems which I was usually able to solve. I’ve also learned how to translate from geek speak to English and business for the rest of the world that isn’t technology obsessed.
Over the years, I’ve developed an interest in business as well as computers. I like to understand all the moving parts and look for areas of improvement. For many years I avoided the sales and marketing aspect, but over the last year, I have turned my focus to that area and now find it fascinating.
When I’m not working, you can usually find me at home with my family. I’ve been married for ten years and am the proud father of two wonderful daughters. Rochelle is almost five, and Chantelle just turned two. I was deeply into online role play games for a number of years and later online poker, but my wife persuaded me that she wanted to see more than the back of my head, so I stepped away from those pursuits. I do still enjoy watching the occasional NASCAR race or football game, but more and more, I’m looking for activities that involve the whole family rather than the solitary pursuits. We recently got a bicycle trailer, so now I’m dragging the kids around the neighborhood in their cozy little trailer. It’s good to be a dad.