Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Unexpected opportunities, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
(offbeat dramatic music) - We were at the SD West conference, which was the last C++ Conference standing for a long time. And they had set up interviews for me to ask the questions of a number of industry luminaries who were going to be speaking at this conference, and so I got the opportunity to interview some of my childhood heroes from the C++ world. I got to interview Scott Meyers, who was just delightful guy, I loved talking to him.
I got to talk to Herb Sutter, and most importantly, I got to talk to Bjarne Stroustrup. Now for those of you aren't aware, Bjarne Stroustrup is the guy who invented the C++ programming language. This man has made more contributions to computer science in a day than I ever will in my life. Yeah, kind of a fanboy over here, just a really delightful, nice guy. And we got to talking about a bunch of things, and I asked him at one point about, does he ever really stop to think about, understand the impact that he, C++, etc. had.
And, like so many of the great ones, Stroustrup actually downplayed his contributions, but one of the things he said during that whole spiel, during that whole discussion, is he uttered the phrase, the more you know, the more you know you don't know. - In early 2012, I had a chat with a college professor. He asked me to teach a college class that was called Web II. And I said, Okay, so what's Web I? It's mostly Dreamweaver stuff.
I said, okay, so what's Web II? This is 2012, he said, "Half CSS and half Flash." Well even in those days, Flash really wasn't a thing on the web. So I was like, well, I'm probably not your person, I don't know Flash personally. And maybe you really might want to start teaching some mobile stuff. So I had this moment where I realized that we had all these colleges and universities that are so behind in their technical curricula, they just aren't keeping up with the field. But yet, I knew that I could bring curriculum to these colleges and universities, and that maybe I could actually make a go of things and actually be a teacher first, and do a little bit of web development on the side, and just do a complete switch.
So I sold my business, I had a five-person web development company, I sold it to my partner. I sold my house, and I moved to Boston. - The thing that I always tell people is, have fun, put your knowledge out there when you go places, be sure to smile every now and then, and you'll be surprised that, if you're a smart, energetic engineer, there's always going to be somebody that wants to hire you, whether it's for a corporate job, for a freelance job, for a speaking engagement, whatever. But let people experience you.
Be your own person, smile and have fun at it, and you'll be surprised. 'Cause I get job offers all the time. I'm always surprised by the number of people who somehow find me, and sometimes it's through LinkedIn, sometimes it's through, the other thing that I found is that people scan meetups. The final one was conference talks, as well. Apparently, some people have some sophisticated algorithms to find people. - So when I started out, I was a mechanical engineer, and I actually made a transition very early in my career into aerospace where I worked for about seven years, and that transition just happened because I randomly found an aerospace company in Las Vegas where I was living at the time, and they had some job openings, and I applied and I got hired the same day, and that was unexpected.
It gave me an opportunity to learn a really wide range of engineering skills while I was at that company. Everything from guidance navigation systems to all sorts of simulations, and my work with electrical engineers and software engineers, and I picked up a wide range of different software development skills while I was there. And towards the end of my time at the aerospace company, we knew that they were going to be downsizing the company and that the entire department that I worked with was going to be eliminated.
And so at that time, I made the decision to try and start my own consulting business, and I knew that I wanted to be able to work remotely, so I started learning iOS. And for a year, as we were waiting for our department to be eliminated at the aerospace company, I conducted self-study and I learned iOS app development, so that as soon as we did get laid off at that company, I was ready to hit the ground running and I started my own consulting business doing iOS development.
(upbeat dramatic music)