I am a UX researcher and front end web developer in Portland, Oregon, where I’ve been young person retired since 2001.
I first starting learning to code at 16, sitting in front of a Gateway computer powered by AOL dial up discs. The only reason I learned CSS and HTML was to make my boy crush AngelFire/Geocities sites to look as good as they deserved.
After spending (begging, stealing and borrowing) $120,000 on an education in music & art, I realized the poor financial future ahead of me. It dawned on me that that thing I did in my spare time (making websites) was, in fact, an actual profession. So I got myself an internship as a junior programmer and ended up working 3 years at a design firm, learning the ropes and making a whole lot of flash ad banners.
I left (was laid off) in 2008 and spent the next 4 years freelancing, finding the life of a freelancer (juggling different roles, managing myself, wearing pajamas all day) a natural fit. I was lucky to have pretty steady work the entire time, despite the shit economy.
I grew tired of talking to no one but my dogs all day, and in June of 2013, I decided to give up The Dream and take on a full time position with a digital agency.
That grew old after 3 1/2 years, so I resurrected The Dream and quit in January of 2017 to co-found a Service Design & UX research company, Studio VO. I am happy to have returned to the land of pajamas and dogs.