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.Top