What year did you start in tech?

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Let's have a little fun with a trip down memory lane: think back to the year that you first started your career in tech:

  • What year was it?
  • What was that first role?
  • How did that role help you grow into who you are today?
  • Include a Giphy to symbolize the year

Here's mine:

  • My career began in 2001
  • My first role was an apprenticeship at my local school district, in a help desk capacity
  • Accountability. Ironically, I didn't have much of that as a teenager when I started my career, and eventually I found myself without that first job. It was hard, but valuable lesson early on that I look back at with appreciation.


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  • 2012
  • I coded alone for 3 months working on a side project and then joined a small grocery coupon startup as an intern on a 3 person dev team. Details
  • I LOVED every minute of that first year and that sentiment continues til this day.

It was a while ago. I am not sure what year

I'd previously been a museum assistant (stores) at the Museum of London and I fixed some database stuff there

Then I was unemployed for a bit and on benefits. After a few months they will start hassling you so I went to the job centre in Stratford London (where the Olympics were years later. I lived on the site of the velodrome for a while) and got a job at North East London Polytechnic selling floppy disks to students. I was on the pay roll for Central IT ( or whatever the dept for IT for the entire place was called) so this is definitely an IT job

Only trouble is, as I knew how to program and stuff within a few months I was on programming advisory telling PhD students how to fix their stuff

I think that was the second summer of love, 1987. There were raves.

There was no Internet. There was no web. I'd learnt C the previous year. I'd only been writing programs for 6 or 7 years

  • Also around 2001. I'd graduated in Accounting the year before and hated it.
  • I got some part-time work with a management consultant building MS Access databases and doing financial modelling in Excel which would come in handy a bit further down the line.
  • What really changed things up was starting at a graduate fast-track IT program. It was designed to hothouse grads from other disciplines into IT as the local economy was starting to boom in that area. We'd probably call it a bootcamp these days. We learnt VB6, SQL, (classic) ASP, Flash and Javascript. That probably dates it more than any GIF I could post.

The first day I started on the program, the internet went down. Then word started to filter through that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. You can probably insert the date yourselves.

After a few months in the bootcamp we were released into the wild knowing slightly more than we had at the start. The after-effects of 9/11 started to be felt jobs-wise though as a lot of US foreign investment in Northern Ireland software companies started to dry up. I got a job as a junior dev and watched every day as more and more of the offices in our business park started to empty and close down.

Fast forward through a couple of bouts of redundancy and subsequent self-employment and I got a job as a data analyst in a bank in early 2007. Boomtime (pre-crash and pre-Credit Crunch which is a story for another time). And I was right back to building Access databases and Excel financial models, just like I'd started out with back in 2001.

"Ka is a wheel" - Stephen King.

  • 1989
  • Speech application development in BT (UK) as a fresh graduate.
  • Understanding just how much impact software did/would have in the world
  • Duaran Duaran!
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Joe Mainwaring profile image
Software Architect for HighGround & YouEarnedIt. ProductHunt Maker. Open Source Contributor. Vinyl Hour Curator. Aspiring Nomad.

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