I left high school after two years, attending Heald College to learn electronics and computer technology. I worked my way up into design engineering groups as an engineering technician and took classes in VLSI chip design. My claim to fame from that era is that I designed the Silicon Graphics (SGI) Indigo O2 flat panel adapter:

SGI O2 circuit board

I had taken a class in C programming at a junior college at night, but when I needed to re-arrange circuit board netlists, I was told to learn Perl, which was fairly new in 1994. I always wanted to live in a rural area, and in 1994 purchased a six acre property in the foothills above Chico, California. I moved up there to fix up an abandoned mobile home, thinking I'd have to move back down to the SF bay area to work again, but it turns out I found a full-time position as a software engineer in Chico at SciTech Software, writing graphics card drivers in C and assembly language for four years.

When the dot-com boom happened in 2001, I was recruited to work at Walmart.com and that really began my serious work in Perl. While obtaining my master's degree in biology, I also did contract software development work for ZoneAlarm and small websites. Although I worked for a couple months at Stanford HIV Database, that didn't work out and I was back to Walmart.com until I began my PhD. program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at UC Davis in 2007.

I then spent 2 1/2 years at Qiagen Bioinformatics, where I used Perl and Python to custom design backend bioinformatics data pipelines, and later completed a postdoctoral position with Jeremy Chien at UC Davis medical center, where used R to analyze both RNA-Seq and high-content imaging data. I am now using R, SQL and Python at Butte College to create reports and do data analysis of student success metrics and academic program effectiveness.