Tim Berners-Lee is the founder of what we know today as the Internet (yes, it’s true – not Al Gore, sorry to disappoint). He published the first web page August 6, 1981 at the CERN facility in Switzerland – two years and nine days before my birth, and even today helps define the standards of the Internet as the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). You can Google him or reference Wikipedia to learn more about him as I will not give him due credit. Needless to say without him (and a long line of others) I would not be in the career I’m in today – because it simply would not exist.
At any rate I thought it was an appropriate reference for my first post. So, a little bit about myself and why I started this blog:
Dream. Develop. Direct.
I began programming at the age of six – my father brought home an IBM x286 PC and a pulse-dial 14.4 modem. Since we lacked GUI’s, games, and Facebook there was not a whole lot to do. But, lacking alternative entertainment and equipped with a 45-page DOS 2.0 manual that highlighted all of the commands in DOS I quickly found that I could instruct the computer to do what I wanted to do… indeed, I discovered BASIC.
A few years later (and hundreds of vested hours) I was implementing the first token-ring network at my father’s insurance business. At 14 I created my mother’s first company website (with 3d Flash animations – Macromedia Flash was free back then). At 15 I was conducting data analysis on mailing lists, at 16 converting DOS applications to VB for scientists at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and working a side job as Systems Administrator of the VA Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
So in short, I got an early start to programming. I graduated High School at 17 years old and enlisted in the United States Navy on July 2nd, 2001. My next four years were a challenge but also offered more education and perspective than I’d received in my previous 17 years. I was honorably discharged on July 5th, 2005 at only 21 years old with four years of active duty service – most all of which was during wartime and more than 75% of which was served on-board the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), an Aegis class Guided Missile Cruiser.
When I left the Navy I thought I would most certainly jump right into a job programming desktop applications – after all I was good at it! But, I quickly found that my age and lack of a college degree proved to be major hurdles in my career ambitions and I would not yet realize that dream.
Instead I began my own online web development business, Coleman e-Solutions (motto: “The `e` stands for `efficiency`”) realizing that I would have an opportunity to prove myself to my clients before I ever actually met them in person. This proved to be successful and I spent the next 3 years developing my portfolio which eventually allowed me to launch into my corporate career. I haven’t looked back since.
Today I am the Vice President of Web Technology for Sandow Media and my focus is on managing the development team. I believe that my career is a direct result of preparation, focus, dedication, reinvention, and determination and in general follows a basic pattern after which I’ve titled this blog:
Dream. Develop. Direct.
My intention is to offer my own insights and experience to others in hopes that they lend to advancements in their own careers, and contribute to the development of the companies they work for. As such my posts will be diverse – career advice, the interview process, resume writing, or in reference to specific technologies. I look up to people such as Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Matt Cutts, Jeff Bezos, Andrew Jassy, and Adam Selipsky (and by no means in any particular order). This is certainly not an exclusive list but those are the individuals which have most recently influenced me. More importantly, all of them are in one way or another creating new opportunities for me today – allowing me to grow, advance, and sometimes even maintain my own career.