Cal Land Engineering

Crew-Chief Land Surveyor

I was hired as a Chain-man in a land survey team.  I quickly demonstrated competence and quick learning.  I was shown how to plot the points captured in auto-cad and began to draw the topographic maps of our surveys.  Eventually I was made the Crew-Chief and ran the survey team.  I plotted and constructed topographic maps.  I also passed a nuclear compaction gauge course and as shown how to conduct soil compaction tests using a nuclear gauge.

Robert Wheeler a Civil Engineer there who hired me, is one of my choice references.  I went to school with him, and have worked with him on many occasions.

I left Cal Land Engineering after training up 3 chain-men with the thought that I would certify into Surveyor and join the union. I wanted to learn, more of the auto cad drafting I had found fascinating I wanted something more technical. 

What I learned:

  What I realized was I actually loved math.  In school I was slow at math because of my processing was slow due to my meticulous need to work the problems out on an easy answer first to ensure I was approaching the problem correctly.  Slow math meant lower grades, lower grades meant you were not good at math however that is wrong.  Speed does not dictate knowledge.  I love math. I wish I understood this back in school.
I realized I wished I had gone more science discipline in school.

Albertsons

Deli-Clerk

 I felt like this would be a good temporary job to hold while launching myself into the next schooling.
When I got there was a shortage of Deli workers. I found out later that Deli had the highest turn around in the department. Its a dirty job. Lot of grease lots of chicken blood. We had a very understaffed department and we were doing 4x the work with constant overtime due to not having enough people to cover the shifts. It was pretty satisfying getting so much done with so little. Our department bonded quickly over that winter. (College town Grocery store due to UCI being across the street).

What I learned:

Although this was certainly not the line of work I was looking for, I learned how valuable your co-workers and managers can be. Good co-workers and good managers can really get the most of a situation. When everybody wants to do well for those around them they can get a lot more done. When your managers display a personal level of care they can really make a work place hum. People don’t tend to work for companies they tend to work for people. I learend a lot about training, professional attitudes and managing people as I trained a lot of people in that department. 

Mislabeled, DropOut Inc.

Marketing

Mislabeled was a start up company. It was online tool for recording and publishing music. It was DIY for garagebands.  You could record, host, promote your garage band from its platform. While there I was part of the marketing team that would from grass roots promotions for the site from record shops, venues, weekend fairs, internet presence. We scoured anything we could to get users to sign up, and create mailing lists and beta testers.
I loved this job, it was first hand look for me at software development.  Unfortunately the company was unable to secure a VC and had to cut staff and then eventually fold. What an exciting time though my first look inside a start up company, short great explosion.

What I learned:

I left the grocery store to do this. I would have kept doing it if it were up to me.  Danny if you happen to be reading this I just want to thank you for the opportunity I loved it. After this opportunity dissolved I had to get my old grocery store job back. This was an exiting time for me. This is what peeked my interest in software development. I got a good look at it, still wasn’t sure if it was an attainable goal for me.
But the guys there I loved, and I enjoyed every minute of it and if that was what a start up company and software development was.. I wanted that.  I wanted that.

Barton Group

IT / Clerical

This was a family business. It has changed over the years. My mother began to manage vacation rental properties for people in La Jolla.  At her place was bed & breakfast as well but eventually went back to just vacation rental management. I helped her set up everything online.  I helped connect printers, fax, scanners, computers.  Helped her create email, and calendar’s and online schedules where you can keep track of booking mostly through google business suites.  I did most of the IT for her and was on call for anything she needed.  She has been doing this for the better part of 20 years now, where I have come in and helped when and where I can.

What I learned:

This allowed me to put some of my tech curiosity to work. Furthering this feeling that what I really wanted to do was something in the technical area. I wanted to either build computers or build programs. This is when I first started to play around with JavaScript on a hobbyist level.

T-System

Medical Coding / Billing

At the start of October the following year I had taking a certificate program for medical coding and billing. I had then done my internship for 3 months here at their Cerritos offices. They did medical billing for E.R’s. I was very excited about an opportunity here and to put my new found knowledge to test. I had a great internship and there was a delay in hiring me as I later found out they went on a hiring freeze. When I interviewed for a position and was hired I was nothing but excited. I was to be in a new department that had to follow up on insufficient data cases and manually search for data that would help resolve insurance coding. In about 2 weeks there they had already had me training temp workers that they were hiring. training them to use LaserFiche the program they used for inputting data.
Our area was about to be saturated with laid off medical coding and billers.

What I learned:

four days after being hired, that Friday they had a company wide meeting that came out of the blue. They told everybody that the company was in the process of automating the jobs and they would only be retaining about 20% of the present company. I was absolutely gutted. It was pretty shocking seeing as I was just hired.  This is when I decided I would put my free time into code. Slam my hobby time into learning code. Almost every job I had with in a month I was person that would train new hires. I think there may be something there to my interpersonal skills.

Barton Group

Web Developer

After T-System, the plan was stay home with my new born daughter and watch her, while continuing to tinker with JS. www.AtHomeAwayFromHome.com the Barton Group wanted me to remake and upkeep their website, design logos, create business cards, as well as add upkeep any new properties they add to their online presence. This is what I have been up to while now diverting my focus on getting my foot in the door in software development. My primary passion and goal.

Asurion

In Home Expert Tech

Currently I work evenings for Asurion.  I am an ‘Anywhere In Home Expert Tech’.  I go to peoples houses through Verizon who’s phone is broken.  We deliver them a replacement phone and assist in setup and recover of data.  It takes a good deal of personable skills to put people at ease when a stranger comes into their home and begins work on their technology.