Hi there! Annie writing. Michael and I started our journey together in 1997 and married in 2002. We met in college and married shortly after. Michael managed to start his career a month before 9/11 happened, thankfully securing a stable job and place in technology before it quickly became difficult to do so. I started out as a casting director in my 20s then stayed home with kids and did some side hustles. When I wanted to go back to the workforce, my resume was abysmal. I had spent 10 years at home with kids and was scared of reentering the workforce—not because I didn’t think I could do it, quite the opposite. I had a ton of energy and drive and was chomping at the bit to prove myself. My fear was that no one would believe in me.
I knew that casting was no longer an option for me since I’d have to start back at the bottom, and I didn’t have the patience for that. I honestly just wanted to make my own money as quickly as possible. I needed that for myself after being home for so long. So after a series of experiments to determine what I could possibly transition into, Michael suggested that I get into technology. To say that I was skeptical is an extreme understatement. But we happened upon a technology called InSpec that really lowered the barrier to entry for me, and the rest is history.
But my story is so dramatically unrealistic! I have never met anyone who has been able to pull off what I did the way that I did it. And I owe all of that to Michael. Without his commitment to my growth and learning, I would not have had the direction that I needed. At the time our kids were 5, 8, and 10 years old, and life was hard, as it tends to be with young kids. He would stay up with me until midnight or 1AM teaching me the basics of technology and the prerequisites to know how to use Chef and InSpec, and then he would formulate lessons for me to go through in order to learn those more deeply. Teaching comes so naturally to him, and I was grateful to be the recipient. I admit that this is not the ideal situation for most couples. It’s not a fun time to be your husband’s pupil, but I was so very desperate to learn so that I could make a successful reentry into the workforce and debut into tech.
We have learned so much over the last decade because of this adventure. And while this is only one aspect of Michael’s persona as a technologist and leader, I think it’s a pretty good defining story for his life. He’s selfless in his pursuit for others’ growth, and he knows the steps to get there. It sums me up in a good way, too. I am a workhorse who will do what it takes to get the job done, using every single ingredient at my disposal. (Incidentally, that is how I cook, too—no recipes, just use what’s there.)
So here we are! We’re just trying to help others avoid some mistakes we’ve made and share the secrets to our successes along the way!
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