I wanted to design buildings, but I'm a software architect
Throughout high school, I was interested in building architecture 🏠. I started drafting classes in high school and got my first real job as a drafter at an architectural firm. I was learning home design from the best.
Then the unexpected happened:
Before the dotcom crash, the firm had a website to sell house plans.
The original developers abandoned the project.
I was good with computers and had done simple HTML websites, so the owner asked me to take a look.
I was enamored. This was the first time I saw a website that actually did something useful for a business. No longer was coding just a fun exercise — it provided real value.
I learned how to program a new language and started managing the website alongside my drafting duties. Over time, the website gained more traction. More and more, I was coding instead of drafting.
Eventually, I decided to go to school for computer science instead of architecture.
What changed my mind was not just software development's interesting engineering challenges.
It was that I could provide much more real value to a business with just text on a screen. It was amazing!
While my path changed, it wasn't as big a leap as it may seem.
Software and building architecture both require a deep understanding and passion for the principles of design, architecture, mentoring, and project planning.
The end result? My hobbies flipped:
When I was a teenager, software was a hobby, and my career path was building design.
As an adult, my career is in software, and my hobby is interior design and building.
When I'm not doing software architecture at work ⌨️, I'm remodeling my home 🔨. It allows me to connect better with the physical world.
The site actually still exists.
It continued to operate as an outlet for thousands of house plans for hundred of designers for more than 20 years. Even after leaving the company, I did contract work for it from time to time.
It still exists today, but it only represents the original architecture firm as times have changed with social media.
So that makes it the longest continually running web service that I have worked on.
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