I have been in the Web Development Field for over ten years. I have done freelance web design, worked for small web deisgn agencies, and I have also done web design in a corporate environment. I first got into it as a dorky teenager, during the late 90s. I happened upon a printed issue of the now-defunct Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. The issue featured an article about basic HTML.
Armed with this article, a painfully slow 386 with a dial-up internet connection, and a free Geocities account, I started to experiment. I quickly fell in love with web design, since it allowed me to use both the creative and technical sides of my brain. Soon after high school, I decided to go to The Art Institute of Atlanta to study Interactive Media Design. While in school, I also worked for Coolblue Interactive, a web development agency in Atlanta.
Immediately after I graduated from the Art Institute, I picked up a job at BellSouth Advertising and Publishing (now known as yellowpages.com.) I started out doing both Graphic Design and HTML/CSS for small brochure-type websites. These sites could be about anything from plumbers to lawyers to clowns - pretty much any business you would find in a phone book.
It was a pretty sweet gig for a while. It was super easy and paid really well. As sappy as it sounds, I also made several lifelong friends there. However, I got really burnt out after a while because the work got so boring. Not to mention, I hated commuting 30 miles each way in Atlanta traffic. They also started outsourcing a lot of the work, and I had to help oversee the workers in India. This consisted of a lot of cultural barriers and really frustrating conference calls.
Six years in the rat race was taking a toll on me. It was time for a change. I felt like I was doing the same work over and over again. My skills were stagnating and I felt like my mind was turning to jello. I decided to brush up on my skills and look for other work. In a strange twist of fate, I happened upon a web development position at Clayton Homes here in Knoxville, TN. I decided to check it out because I was dating a guy up here (yes, we're still together) and I also thought I would enjoy living in a smaller city than Atlanta. I would up taking the job and moving really suddenly. It was a risky decision and really out of character for me.
It was a good decision! Here I am, two and a half years later, still enjoying all of the changes. I actually get to experiment with new web development techniques at my job. Not to mention, I have a lot more spare time because I don't have to sit in traffic as much. This allows me to spend more time withe my very spoiled cat, Nermal. I also enjoy cake decorating, running, and driving my '71 Super Beetle in my spare time.