Many years ago, I had my "origin story" on the now sunsetted Stack Overflow Careers page.  Since it's gone now, I'm posting it here for posterity. Keep in mind this is outdated since 2013.

I've been dabbling in programming since I was a kid. I remember typing code directly from Byte! magazine into my TI-994A way back in the 80s. I wasn't a very good typist and never got the code correct! So frustrating!

My first big success in programming was for my World History class in high school. Say what? I wrote a program that charted the paths of the major European explorers to the "New World". My history teacher was amazed. My classmates thought, "dork!" I didn't show off my mad programming skills much after that.

Since then, I've continued my self-training with Visual Basic, VBA, Perl, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, ExtJS, jQuery, etc. I used my skills throughout my telecom career to automate my own manual processes. Eventually, everyone realized I did great work, faster than anyone else. I was soon stripped of my mundane tasks and told to make tools for everyone else in the department.

I'm now an application developer for a major SS7 hub provider. I develop automation systems that help users be more efficient and accurate. My systems range from automated network research tools, charts and network metrics, to full-blown network routing and administration activities. I strive to make applications that empower my users instead of replace them.