My Career

This is a picture of my keyboard. Yup, it has no writing on the keys. A couple years ago, I learned that software engineers were starting to use these, to deepen their typing speed (which speeds up our productivity). I decided to dive in and bought one and it worked, my already ridiculous typing speed increased. Plus it just looks cool on my desk.

As a child, I had no idea that Computer Science was in my future. I played instruments in many bands, and generally didn’t take school too seriously. I sucked at math and science and was moved around a lot into new school districts, making for an erratic course of study.

My interest in school dramatically changed when I took a logic class as a Freshman in college. It was one of the few classes available when I registered and I had no idea what it was. It came ridiculously easy for me. My own professor used to throw logic at me during class, curious if I could solve it in my head and I could. I was just as surprised as everyone else! I would answer and everyone would stare at me, where to me, it felt like what is 2+2? It was the first time that school suddenly fit me.

In November of that year, I had to miss some school due to an injury and when I met with the college professor over the work I had missed, he stated that I had to go into engineering. This was most unexpected advice as I was a theatre arts major!

I took a leap of faith and took a programming class the next semester and was blown away. After writing my first program in Pascal for an address book, on a Unix mainframe, I knew I had found my home. I loved every minute of it. It turned out, I didn’t suck at math, I just needed better teacher’s that were accepting of different approaches to solving problems and ended up taking Calculus and Linear Algebra. I was proof that schools are difficult on girls when it comes to the math and sciences through a unseen bias, that teaches in the way that generally boys learn it.

I dove into Computer Science classes and loved every minute of it. With my erratic schooling growing up, I had to take some classes to cover everything, but I didn’t care, I wanted that degree more than anything.

I graduated with my computer science degree, cum laude from California State University, East Bay in the bay area. I got a job as a software engineer at GTE Government Systems. It was a fantastic job where I wrote code that controlled equipment, including large antennas, my favorite thing! I became a Technical manager early in my career and had a steady receipt of company awards.

Around my 20th anniversary at GTE (which had become General Dynamics), my family was hit with a deeply traumatic event and I had to stay home to take care of our family in our recovery for 10 years. When I finally came up for air, I decided to start 1 Happy Place, and switch my career to the web world, which had grown up while I was off controlling equipment and I wanted to try something new. In fact, when Rich and I would eat our bagged lunches together, we would go and sit on the grounds of the nearby Netscape company, which had nice picnic tables in a forest, the first browser.

It has been such an interesting journey to move from the corporate world to the do-everything-yourself world of running my own business. I have enjoyed the challenge and working with amazing clients from all over the world. It has allowed me to continue to stretch my computer science knowledge and continue to watch how all this affects our everyday life. I still to this day, am so grateful that I accidentally took that logic class back in college that lead to this fascinating and fun career.