Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

35 years old. Started out in Florida in the honors program at my state college on full+ scholarship, got a mix of Bs and Ds the first semester, went downhill from there. Mine was mostly a motivational problem though, I hated that you had to go to classes you weren't very interested in to graduate... so I just didn't go to those classes. Unfortunately they are required to graduate, and at some point they dismissed me. After that I got an AA at a community college with fairly high grades, and went back to my original college. I eventually withdrew from school to prevent being kicked out for academic reasons so I could have a shot at coming back at some point in the future.

During college, I was also working full time at a local police station. Started out in the records section, then moved to the forensics section helping with their computer stuff. Eventually I became a forensics technician with a specialty in computer forensics (at this point I was done with school). This was probably the job with my highest job satisfaction, I felt like I was contributing and making a difference. CSI was very big at this time, and even though people mostly dislike police.. they like the civilian forensic technician who is trying to help them. Unfortunately it paid pretty poorly (~36k), and so I took a job as a full-time computer forensics (no field work) at a sheriff's office about 8 hours away for almost double the pay (55k). I worked for a child pornography task force, and at first I thought I could handle it... but it got pretty depressing sometimes and I ended up dreading going into work. Luckily(??) I ended up getting divorced around this time and couldn't afford to live alone so I quit and moved back in with my parents at 27 years old.

At this point I realized I needed to do something else altogether, and I had always liked programming. I had enjoyed writing a few scripts to parse files out of unallocated space and also some report-writing software while I was working in Forensics. So I got a job as a programmer working for the state (~36k). It was pretty boring... I still liked the programming part but we were doing nothing but maintenance and the actual work was not that often. So after a year there I started looking at jobs in California. I found a job on craigslist in San Diego and did a webcam interview, flew there with two suitcases and started working in early 2008 (55k). 55k in California wasn't very much though, I was riding the train/bus to work for a long time (1hr+ commute). Eventually I started doing freelance work in addition to my main job. Once that happened I was able to ship my car out, fix it, and trade it in.

In late 2010 I got a job at Sony (~80k) and stayed there until early this year. Consequently I broke the six figure mark early this year (34yoa at the time), although I was close by the time i left Sony (over if you count bonuses). I could probably make in the 150-200k range now I if I hunted around for a while, but I like my job (almost full control over technical stuff) and while more money is good it's not my primary focus anymore.

Anyway, that's my life story. I'm not sure exactly what anyone can glean from this.. I still have problems with motivation. I want to start a startup but can't seem to trust my own ideas enough to steadily work on them.

Also on the college front.. I've thought about going back to finish (just to get it done), but I don't see the point anymore. I don't think I had the right mind-set going into college, I was pretty poor socially and I didn't drink back then... all bad things to enjoy college properly.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact