My passion is working hands on to craft engaging websites and web applications, but web development is my second career. I graduated college with a chemical engineering degree and in my past life worked for many years in the semiconductor industry as an engineer and manager. My last position in that industry was at a small company that supplied equipment for manufacturing circuits on silicon wafers. The company failed financially during one of the many down cycles in that sector of the economy and I was let go.
I live in Southern California and at the time I lost my job I had a young family to support. My options to remain in the same industry seemed narrow and would have required me to either move out of state or travel abroad extensively. I was determined to stay put where I loved, support my family, and learn something new.
I had always enjoyed working with computers and started my career in web development by selling a software package that included a primitive website builder. I soon realized that most of the small business owners who were my customers had neither the inclination nor the desire to use this software to create their own websites, so I began building the sites for them as a service. But building the websites solely with the site building software I sold was clunky, severely limited, and frustrating. To do a better job and make the websites more functional and attractive I realized that I needed to learn the underlying technology of the web.
Since then I have held several other positions in the web and software development industry. Working in this area has fueled my desire to constantly learn and practice new skills in a fast moving and constantly evolving environment. As far as the work goes I seldom look back with nostalgia on my previous career.