... I remember, as a young child - old enough to read, but still viewing the larger world through a lens of magic - one fateful day, I resolutely decided what I "would be when I grew up". That day was the day I realized that someone was paid money - as a job - to draw comic books - and THAT was my destiny.
I held fast to that choice for a number of years, until college actually, when I discovered computer programming. And so, faced with choosing between the art degree I had worked toward for so long, and changing majors to computers, I decided neither one would do. Two bachelors degrees later, I stepped into the workforce knowing, although it stung to forgo my comic book artist dream, that the challenges in the tech field would be far more rewarding.
Roughly 17 years, 21 weeks, and 6 days ago, I watched some guy with a funny accent live code a blog in like 5 minutes. I became instantaneously enthralled with this "Ruby on Rails" framework, but most especially, the Ruby language. The first official 1.0 release of Ruby on Rails wouldn't happen until later that year, but I was hooked. As a side project, I built my first Rails app - a drag and drop photo scrapbooking web app. My young hubris was sure it was a million dollar project. It never made a million bucks, but it was an impressive demo of my work, especially considering the draconian state of cross-browser compatibility at the time (Internet Explorer 6 still had a large share of the market). And so, in January of 2006, I jumped headlong into the wild west of professional Ruby on Rails development. Here I am 17 years later, I'm still glad I did.
I've learned a lot since then. Being a part of that early Ruby community opened me to a slew of new ideas and technology - agile methodologies, extreme programming, test driven development, pair-programming, among many others.
While it may not have the gravitas of drawing Super-Peep KAPOW-ing an Evil-Doer on the comic page, I do get to use technology I'm passionate about to craft things that make a difference.