Year -5 to 0:
When I started coding back in high school I didn’t know where it would take me. It began with text based card games, simple turbo pascal visual games, and of course your classic text adventures. During college I had a dream of being a video game programmer. While doing so and working with some amazing people I quickly realized that this industry was not for me. Not to fear though as there was a programming language that I had fallen in love with making desktop applications; C# and the .Net Framework.
Year 1 to 4:
Being an assistant manager at GameStop wasn’t the life for me. As soon as the very first job offer came my way, I snatched it up immediately. I’m rich! I thought. This is the best career ever!
While the former might not have been completely accurate, the latter was. Working on professional printer software might not have been the coolest thing to work on, but I was learning fast, gaining respect from my peers, and met one of my best friends who would eventually introduce me to my new best friend and girlfriend. During the span of the four years I got some very exciting opportunities to travel overseas to Romania to help train developers on our products, which was simply amazing. A true experience that I surely will never forget and would love to travel to again.
After going to a few developer conferences and seeing that these things called smartphones weren’t going away anytime soon, I saw the potential for something great. I started developing immediately in my off time and simply fell in love with the idea of small, bite size applications that focus on doing a few things really well. I had a feeling this was going to take me somewhere, and as they always say all good things must come to an end.
Year 5 to 6:
When people ask me how I got my job making awesome mobile apps for an awesome company in Seattle my answer is pretty short: “I got it off twitter.” Well sort of. I followed my boss on the social media platform and he followed me based of my podcast, and he happened to win a contest the podcast held. I had been to Seattle for a conference and became infatuated with the city and when I realized the company was close to Seattle, I had to give it a chance. Within a few weeks I was uprooting my entire life once again for a huge move across the country to live in one of the most wonderful cities I have ever traveled to.
I don’t think I could ask for more; I had free control over the design, technology, implementation, and just about everything I was doing. Going from a huge company to a smaller company was just what I needed. Getting to throw out an idea and simply just implement it and iterate quickly was great. Great and also a lot of long hours, but that is the life of a developer really. In two years I worked on some really cool projects and ideas and worked again with some really amazing co-workers. Riding my bike and bus to and from work was a great balance of exactly what I needed in my life, but I still wanted more and something a bit different.
My lust for C# and the ability to create mobile applications for Android and iOS in C# led to a series of blog posts, creating some really cool controls (with this awesome guy and now using this awesome mvvm framework), and helping developers out on forums and chat rooms. I have always enjoyed being extremely active in the community my companies are close to. From forums, blogs, twitter, to even chatting with customers one on one, I simply love it- especially when people are using and enjoying the products I made.
Now, this leads me to the largest career change I have made since I started this journey. That same company whose products and community I simply love and use each and every day has presented me with an opportunity of a lifetime. As I read through the developer evangelist role I kept saying “yes, I love that”; “yes, I do that”; “yes, I want to do even more of that” to every line. I have found that Xamarin makes the best cross platform tools for mobile development, of course all in C# and .Net (the loves of my life). I now have the chance to do everything I am already doing in my spare time and do it all the time every day with Xamarin supporting me the entire way. So here is to me hopefully talking to you soon at a developer conference, webinar, drink up, forums, and everywhere else!