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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What jobs did you hold before you got into software?

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Ben Halpern

For me:

  • Maintenance/janitorial
  • Dish washer
  • Grocery store worker
  • Painter
  • Grounds crew
  • Nightclub security
  • Callcenter agent
  • Misc entrepreneurship
  • Marketing director at a startup 👈 This was that first "career" job where I knew I needed the change 😄
_hs_ profile image

Nightclub security... Oh boy what out :D.

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Ben Halpern

I’m from Canada and the worst clientele in that industry are NHL stars who think they’re above the bar rules 😭

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Justin Hunter

Inventory for car dealership
Taco Bell
Satellite tv store clerk
Ice cream scooper
Grocery clerk
Call center agent
Call center supervisor
Business analyst

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Shannon Crabill

Painting, like houses? Or an artist?

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Ben Halpern

I would have loved to sell art, but it was houses. Ladders and windy days! 😬

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Mohammed Samgan Khan

You have done things Man....

gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes

Marketing director at a startup

Yeah, marketing will do that... 🤣

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Burdette Lamar


  • Paper boy.
  • Bag boy, stockman.
  • Infantryman.
  • English instructor.
  • Mathematics instructor.


  • Documentor.
  • Applications developer.
  • Libraries developer.
  • Tester.
  • Test automation developer.
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Scott Yeatts

+1 for another Infantryman turned coder 😀

molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her) • Edited
  • Hay Baler
  • Horse Groom
  • Horse Instructor
  • College Course TA
  • College Course Grader
  • Dorm Front Desk Worker
  • Proprietary Options Trader
  • Aviation Law Consultant
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Ben Halpern

Here's an old pic of me in my jump crew days 😄 (In my above list I just lumped it in as grounds crew)

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Molly Struve (she/her)

OMG yes!!!! Damn you were good at carrying poles. I remember feeling like a turtle putting the standards on my back to move them all over the ring. 😂

Thread Thread
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Ben Halpern

Do you go to shows with "horseless horse shows"?

(These are my long-hair-don't-care days)

Thread Thread
molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her)

That hair!!!!

You bet, the horseless horse shows are always WAY more entertaining than the real thing. As a kid I could jump 4+ft, as an adult I can hardly throw myself over a 3 ft jump. Lost some of my spring/everything kinda tightens up LOL

torianne02 profile image
Tori Crawford • Edited
  • Gym Security
  • Cashier
  • Server
  • Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer
  • Receptionist @ Gym
  • Head Athletic Trainer in ECHL
  • High School Athletic Trainer
  • Junior Recruiter

looking for first software engineering role now

felipperegazio profile image
Felippe Regazio • Edited
  • microsoft office "teacher"
  • service desk support

then i started to backpacking thru all the south america, and had a lot of crazy jobs, and some cool jobs as:

  • truck cleaner
  • computer support (hardware, formating, virus removals, etc)
  • truck charge unloader (i dont have sure how to write it sorry)
  • truck recovering (i worked with some guys who were recovering broken trucks)

then i came back to home, started to study development really hard (i was always studing software development, since i was 12 i think, but was always for fun), so I got the courage and started doing some freelancings, then everything has change.

now, some years later, im working as front end developer in a place which i really enjoy :)

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson
  • Rabbi
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Tech Support
bvmcode profile image
bvmcode • Edited

In order

  • corn picker (during HS)
  • dish washer (during HS)
  • grocery clerk (during and after HS)
  • Storm chaser/NSSL research assistant (during college)
  • Research/teaching assistant in Oceanography (during college - MS)
  • Collections (after college, it SUCKED!!)
  • Logistics Analyst (still with this company)
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Developer! (10 years later)
starkgoesgreen profile image
Samuel ⎊

Mechanic ⚙️🔧

cecilelebleu profile image
Cécile Lebleu
  1. Startup misc assistant (video and audio editing, customer service, even some super basic coding here and there)
  2. Baker & Barista
  3. Designer, still going! Type and brand design are my favorite areas. My plan is to join both design and development together.
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

If tech does me wrong, baker/barista would be my go-to skill.

khophi profile image
KhoPhi • Edited

Reading through the comments, and oh dear, some seem to have held all possible jobs before getting into software. I'm jealous of the experience gained throughout those jobs. Priceless.

I, on the other hand, started with software, and transitioning into photography/videography

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Alexey Voinov

Oh thanks. I thought I'm the only one here, who started with software. :)

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Brad • Edited
  • McDonald's Team Member (not even kidding)
    • Worked night shifts till 4AM
    • Learned about work life balance. (I'd have 20 hour days most of the week)
  • IT help desk
    • Worked at school
    • Learned programming in free time
    • Dealt with PHD professors who didn't know how to use PowerPoint -__-
  • IT Analysis Intern
    • Worked over the summer, got extended another 3 months
    • Learned how business IT actually works.
    • Learned it wasn't that much fun, I really wanted to go into programming/software development.
  • Software Engineer
    • Learned everything else I know :P
karlredman profile image
Karl N. Redman

Do tell: what is the story for transitioning from McDonald's Team Member to IT help desk? Why IT?

bradtaniguchi profile image

I worked at McDonalds to help pay the bills, but the job was across town making things very difficult once my school schedule changed to take over the entire day.

Luckily, while I was complaining about my situation to a classmate he told me he worked in an IT department on campus and could talk to his boss about getting me a job.

I knew enough IT to get the job, since I would work on old out dated computers at home all the time. (Just like the ones on campus 😉)

The fact I got the job came down to networking, a little off-hand knowledge and luck.

Thread Thread
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Karl N. Redman

That's a great combination of self learning/interest and luck. Beautiful.

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Shannon Crabill • Edited

I had a fair amount of odd, non-tech/non-software jobs.


  • Babysitter
  • Receptionist. This was at an optometrist office where I did some insurance billing


  • Digital Printing Technician
  • Designer at the Department of Student Affairs
  • Student Ambassador (volunteer)
  • Visitor Services Operative. I worked at the International Spy Museum for a season.


  • Mystery Shopper
  • Production Assistant. I did behind the scenes work for a Nickelodeon event for a day!
  • Graphic Designer. Mostly one-off contract work, backfilling for someone's maternity leave, etc
  • Retail Associate. Funny, I was almost 30 before I had my first retail job. A friend had a pop-up shop last holiday season and I worked Black Friday while she was out of town.
karlredman profile image
Karl N. Redman

Mystery Shopper has got to be kind of the programming mindset! my guess. All of these things you list seem to have been preparation for development (working with people, understanding production systems [production assistant], and the creative aspects overall.

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Casey Brooks

Most of my jobs were summer jobs during college, which took me all over the USA and the world:

  • Yard work for a neighbor (high school; Michigan)
  • Summer camp counselor (college, between freshmen/sophomore years; Arkansas)
  • Summer missionary (college, between sophomore/junior years; St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Data entry and labor for a small decorative concrete flooring business (college, between junior/senior years; Texas)
  • Software dev intern for Logos Bible Software (college, between senior/super-senior years, and part-time during fall semester; Washington state)
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Christopher C. Johnson

I was a cashier at a Cracker Barrel then I had a couple of ISP call center jobs.

olisun profile image

I was in finance for 20 years and then my company got bought and I was eventually laid off. I was the Trading Operations Manager for an Investment Management firm. I retired for a while but decided to pursue a second career as a web dev.