Hack the Planet to Save the Planet
I started building web pages as a job when I was a teenager – back then, it was the dark days of the browser wars as Netscape and Microsoft jockeyed for supremacy over hypertext. I quickly learned the then cutting-edge Macromedia Flash and built all sorts of hideous nonsense I’m ashamed to remember. From there I learned server-side programming – Perl, ColdFusion, ASP.NET and PHP among a handful of others.
I quickly staked out a niche in ad delivery – simple tools websites could use to place ads on their site. Then I turned 18. I became concerned about what I was going to do – did anything I made really matter? So, I decided to quit my job, and go to university.
At university, I studied global politics and cognitive science. I became fascinated both by the intricacies of human thought, psychology and of course the possibilities of artificial intelligence, but I was equally fascinated by the nature of serious conflict. I became invested in a variety of social causes and brought to bear my tech skills to help where I could how I could.
I also helped out other non-profits in my home town – building business-critical tools so they could expand their service offerings or drive down costs to winter the recession.
There and Back Again
Most recently, I made a foray into the legal field. At law school, I quickly discovered that while I loved the idea of solving people’s legal challenges and helping the most vulnerable cope with the legal system, the nature of legal practice just wasn’t something I could sustain over a career.
So I went back to the drawing board and returned to my “roots” – information technology. So I’ve returned, the prodigal son, to web development.