For the past 10 years I’ve been making content on the internet. But, I’m in no way a digital native. After graduating high school, I got a full-time job driving a truck and immediately started a family. Driving that truck eventually turned into working inside the building and then I became the manager of that building. Life was good, and I was happy to have a good job.
By 2006, I knew I had to do something different. I had built my brand and I was searching rapidly to expand my reach. Seeing how the rest of the world used the internet, especially social, it became clear what that path was for me personally and professionally.
The wonderful world of open-source
Up to this point, my only internet experience was making my MySpace page as loud as possible and finding websites that explained how to get viruses off my eMachines Windows XP desktop. I had a vision to where I wanted to be, and I had to get much better with modern technology.
Luckily both Linux and the open-source world were there to teach me. For hours a day I taught myself the ins-and-outs of desktop computing. The open-source world is so bountiful and full of people willing to help I quickly grew to managing servers on my LAN then to the cloud. With Linux, apps, software and pretty much everything else in the FOSS world being free (as in cost and free as in freedom), I was able to explore endlessly.
Over the years I’ve subscribed to every newsletter, podcast and blog feed I could to learn how to become a digital native. Five years ago, I took my first professional job in tech and now I’m full-time in ecommerce and digital marketing.
This is one of the proudest moments in my life. I successfully changed career paths. I was happy working in a warehouse and I was happy with my life. But I knew I could do so much more and the things I wanted in life required me to forge a new path. I've read time and again how hard it is to change careers and I'm very proud of what I've accomplished changing careers in my mid-30's.
There are so many other people who want to transition to a new path and I will do whatever I can to help them. There have been so many people along my path that have helped me and I want to pay it forward.
The frugal life
Being self-taught, I’ve learned more than I ever could through school. That doesn’t mean my pockets are as deep as my knowledge. As important as pursuing my dreams of a tech career are my dreams of being financially independent.
Married father of 4, I dream of providing a life to my kids that previous generations of my family have not been able to sustain. I emphasize financial health in all aspects of my life and advise as many people as possible on how to live with less and be happier.
Putting it all together
Growing up with little resources and then starting my own family on tight budgets has taught me a lot. When I first started learning about tech I would go to the Washington State Surplus store and purchase old Dell towers for $30. Each tower would be converted into a Linux desktop or Kodi box. I’ve never had a budget for the latest and greatest, but I know what tech makes possible.
The best aspect of tech is democracy. It’s important to me that everyone has access to a computer and that they own that device. It’s also important to me anyone on any budget can use tech for school, work or pleasure.
So follow along with me. My blog, podcast and videos are all about exploring how tech connects people and opens new opportunities to everyone. Often tech press fails when trying to connect the latest toys or gadgets with how real people live. Well I’m as real as it gets.
Whether you're a tech or Linux enthusiast or someone looking to move into a new field, I'm here for you.