I was recounting this story to some folks in my office the other day - we were talking about our pathways into programming.
Even though I've written code for a long time, I didn't know I wanted to be a developer until I had to get my first job.
(In fact, it took me a while after getting the job to realise that it was something I wanted to do... but I digress).
Having given up on the idea of doing a Physics PhD (a decision I'm still happy about), I took a Master's in High Performance Computing that finished in 2001. It was kind of the middle of the dot-com crash, but people were still hiring anyone who could program like crazy.
As the end of my Masters approached, I started Googling around for software companies to approach (Google was maybe, like 3 years old back then? Linkedin was waaaaaay off).
I found my way on to a site that was kind of like a classified section for the software industry in Ireland. A random selection of ads for products, services and companies.
There appeared to be a Login button at the top. I clicked it, and was presented with a form.
In my naivete, I tried to log in.
well whatdy'a know! I'm in!
I was presented with an interface that allowed me to create an ad. So I did! I advertised myself as a graduate programmer available for hire.
Two days later I get a call. It's from the guys who ran the website wondering how I placed the ad...
They were pretty interested to find out! For some reason, they wanted to talk to me about offering me a job.
Perhaps, knowing what I did about their "security", I shouldn't have accepted. But that's another story...
How about you?