I have a veritable explosion of work at the moment. Trying to wrap up a few things before Monday, because I am heading to LA and SF for about 10 days, and while I will be working mobile, it is always less productive than when at my larger monitor at home. The new year has started off well with regard to work, that is for sure. I am really looking forward to going back to California, which will always feel a bit of a homecoming. After all, I lived there for about 13 years, and it is true to say I would not be doing what I am doing now if I hadn’t. It is really funny to think how small events can completely reshape your life over the long haul. It was early 1995, and having returned from living in France 18 months earlier, I was working in a planning office in SOMA doing things as various as model building, light graphic design work, and mac support. I was invited to a dinner party and struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. After explaining to her the type of work that I did, she told me that she thought I would be great in the field of “Quality Assurance“. I asked her to explain what the hell that was and she told me it was basically testing out new software for bugs and quirks. Further, she told me that her boyfriend, who worked at Apple, was trying to hire a few QA engineers, and that I should send her my resume to forward to him. I told her, right, pull the other one, but she assured me she was serious and I promised to send her my resume. I went home thinking that I was not even sure what she was talking about, and as excited as I was by the prospect of working for Apple, I really felt that I had no relevant experience — so I didn’t send the resume.
As fate would have it, I ran into her on the street a few days later. She asked why I hadn’t sent my resume and I admitted to her that I didn’t have one with the appropriate experience, and surmised that it was probably a waste of time anyway. She told me to just put one together, listing exactly the type of work that I had told her about, and she would forward it, what could it hurt? Reluctantly, I pulled one together and sent it off to her, expecting that to be the end of it.
One week later, I had a job at Apple Computer.
I worked there for a couple of years, and learned a ton about QA, the software-making process, Apple, and the industry. This led me to many other technology driven jobs and pursuits, in companies large and small and places far and wide. It is amazing to look back on the last 17 years and see where it has all led. And all from a simple conversation one evening with a stranger at a dinner party.