My Story – Part 2

The Commodore 64 will always have a special place in my heart.

After months of self-loathing, by best friend was telling me about how great his job was at this company ‘Andersen Consulting’ (now called Accenture) doing technology work. Then it dawned on me, shit! I always liked computers too. I used to own a Commodore 64 & loved trying to program on that. It will always have a special place in my heart as it was the genesis of my interest in tech.

Quickly, I signed up for a graduate computer science program at DePaul University. I got a job at a help desk troubleshooting both software/hardware problems. It was fun & my colleagues loved me! What a difference from the hate I felt before. And I wasn’t working 70-80 hour weeks!

Comeback kid

The skills I learned there were so valuable, that within a couple months, I signed up with recruiting firms & quickly got job interview w/ ‘Andersen Consulting’ too which I nailed! If there was a job for just interviewing, I’d probably do that.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my journey to becoming a software engineer. At Andersen, I started off at their help desk but got bored & they transferred me to become a consultant/programmer. They put me through some Java/VB training and then did something remarkable. Everyone that took the coding training had to become an instructor to train new employees. How cool was that of a way to reinforce when you learned?

Afterwards, I was put on many projects then moved on to various other companies’ b/c I didn’t want to travel which Accenture began requiring.

Redemption

Through the years, I mostly worked with intelligent great coders and bosses but there were bad ones. I experienced some good times learning new technology on both easy & very tough projects. Projects no one knew what was going on but said nothing. Then there were the ones that even if someone knew how to code really well, they either didn’t want to help me get on board for whatever reason or they were horrible at explaining things which just made it more confusing. And then there colleagues that shared the knowledge wealth with no hesitation. Like mentors. I’ve always appreciated them & vowed to be like that.

So – It’s been a hell of a journey and what my goal is now is to offer services that help developers navigate through the career hurdles by sharing my experiences, proving courses & learning tracks that keep them up on the latest technology they need to know.

To be self-sufficient w/ a community here. To be strong when they get bosses that hate them for no reason. To know just because they may have not done well in the past, that can change. To be good at helping others and not selfish with their knowledge. To not envy others that might be good at coding drunk while it may be challenging for them.

I want to share that important information that you don’t directly get from your job but only through years of experience. That’s what I do as a coach and author. So while I’ve gone through some hell, I’m in a good place now and in great demand by recruiters/employers. So despite that hell, it’s put me in a better place to help newcomers avoid the technical & social pits falls I’ve experienced. And that’s a good thing.

That’s my story and why I’m here. I hope you join me on the journey.

Have any good to bad or bad to good experience you want to share others can learn from that you can summarize in a few sentence? Please post a comment.