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Denver Coder
I think it’s time for me to tell my full story. It might lose me some followers but so be it.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
16 years ago I started doing .NET development before anyone knew what it was. I got a job with Accenture and was sent to work on the Unemployment System for the state of Colorado. I was completely self-taught. My step-dad gifted me an MSDN subscription in 2001.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I started playing with this huge file, (I think it was on 4 CD-ROMs), called “.NET Framework”. I started playing around with the first version of Visual Studio building windows forms apps.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I got the Accenture job in 2003 at a WHOPPING salary of $36,000. (Even in 2003 dollars this was not a ton of money). But, I was writing software and I was happy.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I already had a drinking problem when I started but it got worse there. It seemed like every night everyone was going to the bar to drink...usually with a company Credit Card for the tab. I don’t know what the deal is with alcohol and software companies.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
One particular night I was drunker than drunk and I got into it with some guys at the bar. It was pretty bad. I was arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault. I spent 8 months in county jail fighting the case and ultimately I was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
The length of sentence was primarily due to the fact that I had inflicted “serious bodily injury”. I am not a bad-ass and I hate confrontation but I AM ex-military and I have had some martial arts training. I can usually control myself but not while drunk.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
It was like I was outside my own body and I was watching myself do what I was doing but I couldn’t stop. Anyway, I spent 8 years in prison and was released in 2013.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I was released to a half-way house. It was super hard to get a job but I would go out each day and put in like 20 applications. After 2 months I finally got a job at Carl’s Jr. and I thought that this was going to be it for me.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
Even finding an apartment as a felon is tough. Most people don’t want me in their community and I totally get it. One of the things I hope you get out of this thread is that you shouldn’t just assume the worst when you learn someone has been in jail or prison.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I eventually got an apartment after 9 months and I left the half-way house to start my 3 years of mandatory parole...ankle monitor and all. I wasn’t allowed to drive so I biked EVERYWHERE. It was pretty common for me to bike 100 miles in one day.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
Part of me wanted to just give up and consign myself to working fastfood and living in a crappy apartment. In prison, I quit smoking cigarettes and I quit drinking (obviously). But even to this day 16 years later I still have not had one drop of alcohol. I digress...
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I was starting to get depressed again. I had a suicide attempt in 2001 which partially spurred my move from Seattle to Denver. I was hospitalized at Harborview for 2 weeks and after I left my parents urged me to move out here.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I met my wife about this time and she was the light that pulled me out of the darkness. She always encouraged me to not give up and she stuck by me no matter what decisions I made, (more on that later). I had gotten a job at Home Depot and I worked my ass off.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
After three short months I was sent to their training program to become a department supervisor. Ultimately, I was given the Garden department. I couldn’t believe how far I had come in a year. Ok now for the part you probably care about.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I started programming again. I already knew some .NET from way back so I decided to pick that up again. I was working 40-50 hours a week at HD and I was coding in ALL of my spare time. I actually met my wife on a dating site.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
In my bio I wrote, “Dept supervisor at Home Depot and I develop software one the side. I mean in my spare time, not like on the side of the Home Depot” She thought that was funny so we started talking. Dammit! I digress again!!!
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
A lot of the coding came back to me...parameterized constructors, inheritance, polymorphism, garbage collection, abstraction, etc. But it was a totally new paradigm for me having been out of the game for 10+ years.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I was not happy at HD and they had put me on the overnight shift which really cut into my coding practice so one night I just walked away. I grabbed my stuff and went home.
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Denver Coder Dec 29
Replying to @denvercoder
I was sure my wife was going to divorce me, (oh yeah we were married a month after we met and we’re still going strong after 5 years...so SUCK IT statistics). But she was like, “follow your heart” and all that junk.
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