I’ve learned about computers from my dad. He brought home as TRS-80 Model I when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and we had a series of those early computers in the house from that time onwards.

For some reason BASIC didn’t catch with me, but I did a lot of programming in dBASE and acquired an early appreciation for high-level languages and database architecture. I started my career as a paid programmer at the age of ten, making $10/hour coding mailing list management systems for local businesses.

In college I got my first exposure to the new Macintosh computers and learned how to make maps with an early version of Freehand and it’s closer relative, Pagemaker. I did a lot of freelance work as a Mac expert in those days. Font Manager, hell yes! I then returned to San Francisco to help my father launch a company using Uniface, one of the major high level database-driven development environments of the day. Although that company didn’t get far off the ground, it was my launching point for a very fun couple of years doing development, software architecture, and management consulting at Compuware. I don’t know how I knew what I was talking about, but it seems that I did, because our projects were successful and clients liked us.

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