Another Change of Direction

Published June 15, 2012

Reading time: 2 minutes.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this passion for showing people how to do things. When I was in fourth grade, my dad, a teacher for the blind and visually-impaired, taught me how to program on an old Apple IIe computer. Once I got the hang of it, I started teaching my friends how to do write little programs of their own in our short-lived computer club after school.

When I went to UW-Eau Claire, I got a job in the web development area. Io once again found myself helping students learn how to program. I graduated and got a permanent job there doing all sorts of application development, from ASP to PHP to Rails. And for over eleven years, I’ve been fortunate enough to hire, train, and work with some great people who became amazing software developers, not to mention great friends.

During that time, I’ve also written books and done on-site and remote training sessions.  I’ve helped authors shape their books as a book editor. I’ve even been asked to teach in the classroom at UW-Eau Claire a few times, where I’ve been able to share my love of software development with people just getting into the field.

I love writing code. There’s something pretty cool about solving problems with code, but to me it never quite compared to the feeling I get when I help someone else become a better programmer. And it seems that no matter what I do, I gravitate toward teaching. Now, whenever I am learning something new, I’m thinking “How would I teach this to someone else?”

This week, I accepted a teaching position at Chippewa Valley Technical College. I’ll be part of the IT Programmer/Analyst program, teaching people how to build better software. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity. The program they offer looks great and I’m looking forward to helping even more students become competent developers when I start this fall.

While I’ll be leaving my current day job, I’ll still be hacking on Ruby and JavaScript code, and I’ll still be writing books. But now I’ll get to put more energy into teaching, and I can’t wait to start.