Why were you such a late bloomer?

“1955 was the best year for geek births”

For outliers, maybe, but for the rest of us, NO!

I was born in 1955, on the same day as James Gosling, inventor of Java.

But I was not an outlier. I was pretty much a regular person from a middle class family who went to public school and aspired to be the first in my family to graduate college. Here’s the problem with being born “too soon”:

I graduated high school, college, and graduate school “without ever having touched a computer”. Think about that. Neither of my colleges even had a Comp Sci department. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, far from the leading edges of Boston and California. Nobodyknew anything about computers. They were giant machines that sent your electric bill. Period. Unless you were fortunate to be close to the geek counter culture of Northern California or had parents with millions of dollars, forget it.

I graduated with an MBA and got a job as a restaurant manager (1978 was a lot like 2009). Then I picked up a COBOL book and practically memorized it for a difficult to get programming interview. I got the job and the rest is history.

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had been born 10 or 20 years later. But it’s a wasted thought. What if I had been born 10 or 20 years earlier. I’d probably be a retired car dealer now.

The great thing is that now it just doesn’t matter. I took a while to get here, but I can’t imagine doing anything  else. Maybe that’s why I’m here so often: making up for lost time.