Run Program            

To make ends meet in college I was working at a Louisville roofing company, following in my father’s footsteps to make ends meet and to live off more than ramen noodles and flavored water. I knew there was a little disappointment on the side of my father that I wouldn’t be following him into the family trade, but he was always the supportive type who knew that one way or another I was going to make my own mark on the world when the time came. It wasn’t all bad though, as he was pretty impressed with the fact that I went on to work mental labor rather than manual, though after a 14 hour programming bender, I wish I was back up on the roof sometimes.

After I graduated I continued to work with my dad until I came a little closer to figuring out what it was that I was going to be doing with my newfound education. I would write programs at night, work during the day while thinking of programs to write that night, and repeat the process. One day while at a work site, a friend from class, one of the others who did local computer work for the other kids came up to me and we began talking about our prospects. As much as computers were exploding in popularity, the need for those well versed in them had yet to come to light, and we both found ourselves wasting our newfound knowledge.

He and two other classmates had been tossing around the idea of creating our own computer company, starting with repairs and fix-it services, but with a plan to integrate new services over time and expand our capabilities. They already had a few local businesses in line to work as a start up, and the pay was moderate, about equal to what I was making while roofing. I decided to make a go of it, as I knew that even if I failed, there was still a spot up on that roof for me if I needed it, and we branched out to start Qualia Net.

We learned quickly though that the market seemed dry because no one was really doing it as a full time gig yet. When we hit the ground, we hit it running, and soon our client roster was beyond our capacity. We wound up bringing in more classmates that we kept in touch with, and soon had a crew of over two dozen all working in specialized fields. From that point on we’ve done nothing but grow, as technology has expanded to encompass all manner of programming, we always stayed on top of everything, trying to be the ones in front of whatever curve was being thrown out next. After twenty plus years in the business now, it’s something that I always look back on fondly, that Commodore 64 that I still have to this day, that started it all, and set me on my path in life.


Bumps and Bytes            

I’ll admit, when I first walked into college I had a pretty big ego when it came to programming. You see, I was from a small town where not many other kids were into the whole computer gig, and so by default, I was the most knowledgeable kid in town. I walked into school with this same opinion of myself, and boy did it come crashing down fast. The first week of school my head was swimming with so much programming language that I could barely hold a normal conversation without dropping in some coding language. Fortunately this worked with other kids in my class, unfortunately it was about as attractive to the women in my school as having multiple sets of ears.

It wasn’t until I started to learn more, and settle into the groove of school that I managed to relax a bit, but it was weighing heavy in my mind that I knew nearly nothing compared to everyone else in class. For every barely passing mark I got, there was a whole host of people acing their tests and midterms. I thought I was dangerously close to being flunked out a few times, but thankfully I had the support of other classmates, and friends that I had made in my short tenure there, that I had a resource to fall back on when things got too out of hand. It’s easy to be humble when you have no idea what’s going on half the time.

By the time I made it into my second year, home PC’s were really starting to become popular, and all of a sudden, so was I. Mind you everyone in my class was, and that was purely due to the fact that all of a sudden the weird kids who went into building 12 became “those guys who know everything about computers”. Everyone from the popular kids to the ones hiding under the bleachers during lunch were coming up to us with questions, asking favors, and trying to get us to essentially run their computers for them. It was a pretty sweet gig mind you, we had a few with well off parents who were willing to pay for our time.

This trend continued right up until I graduated as over the next couple years computers just became more complicated, and required more finesse to work the way we wanted them to. Myself and some other classmates who did a fair bit of work for local kids and parents managed to make quite a name for ourselves that first couple years, and actually gave us the platform on which to build what would be our future business, not that it was an immediate success but everyone starts somewhere. There were still a few other things that I apparently needed to finish up with life before I made my way to the superstar status that is a computer programmer, or rather, the barely above starving artist status as the case may be.


Not a Koala            

At Qualia we’re all about bringing you the best when it comes to your home internet, networking and sharing solutions, but outside of the confines of our workspace, we’re just a bunch of nerds who love computers and all things related to them. This is why I’ve decided to take a break from writing in nothing but lingo and jargon, and speaking to our customer and friend base from a more laid back perspective. To bring you the side of myself and ourselves that’s rarely seen by our customers. Maybe we’ll have a few laughs along the way, get to know one another a little better, or just have some fun to pass the time in a little more lighthearted way.

I suppose I should go all the way back to when my love of computers first stared, and what got me into working in this field. It all began with my father’s commodore 64, the very first computer I ever got my hands on. I remember trying to learn how to use it, what I needed to do with the floppy disks, and how to even get a program to run when I first put the disk in. There also spawned my love for computer games, and I got my hands on all the gem precursors to the world of gaming that has taken over today.

I remember spending hours sitting at the screen with the original Doom, laying waste to monsters and zombies until I was more zombie than human. Learning about cheat codes was what got me into being fascinated with programming. Learning to hack your way around your favorite games took a fair bit of skill and attention, and it was always something that I took to pretty quickly. It was in learning the language that the computer spoke that opened my eyes to the vast amount of things that were going on behind the screen I was looking at, and my little brain wanted to know everything I could about it.

I wound up looking into programming at the time other kids my age were still choosing their own adventures out of the local library. I would sit for hours reading various programming text to find out how to make the machine do my bidding. I wrote my first program when I was only twelve, mind you it only made the disk eject itself, but I was on my way to learning a myriad of other things from that point. I followed up on this passion throughout my childhood years, and well into high school. It wasn’t until I started to make my choices for college that I ever thought that I would be able to do this as a career choice rather than just a hobby. So that’s exactly what I decided to do. I applied to a local tech college and managed to get in without much issues, and that’s when my real learning started in the world of computers.