I have a long history with technology, It all started with my first Atari which led me to programming my Commodore 64 in grade school. Ah, the memories! My grandpa programmed for banks and the defense department when the interwebs were just a twinkle in Al Gore's eye, my dad did similar work for banks and express shipping companies. Step-mom, yep same thing... I was thouroughly immersed in tech and had the gift to go with it.
Despite, or in spite of my aptitude I actually came to programming through a circuitous route. I went to the University of Montana, Missoula, Montana and received a BA in Biology with an Environmental Emphasis (with honors thank you!). I did a number of survey projects in Montana and Washington before getting hired on to assist the Bureau of Land Management doing Riparian Survey at their Medford Office. I stayed with the job a couple years and ended up being responsible for programming the field computers and integrating and validating the survey data they collected. I taught myself to program C++ and do data queries during this time.
After my last season of collecting data I turned an eye on how I could use my newfound skills to pay the bills. I saw an ad in the Mail Tribune for a company hiring in Ashland, Triad Inc., that sounded a lot like what I was already doing. They hired me and put me under one of Microsoft's original 100 employees, Ellen Wright. Triad (now Plexis) specialized in managed care software and encoding the logic behind medical claim adjudication and processing... what diagnosis codes go with which payment codes, who to pay, how much to pay, etc. I ended up getting pretty deep into the Electronic Data Interchange side of things, eventually taking over lead on the team.
Plexis was a good opportunity to refine my abilities and my passion for technology suddenly became my career. My mother claims she always knew I would be a programmer. In any case, it was work I was well suited to and excelled at, eventually settling into the specialty of data analysis and systems integration. I expanded my skill-set into internet as I worked for Plexis, Bear Creek, Project A and eventually my own companies (Ashland Interactive, Rogue Data Vault, Oregon DataWorks).
The path I was on was divergent from my partners and working seventy hour weeks didn't allow me the time I desired to travel and pursue my volunteer activities. So after some long introspection about why I live where I do and what my values are I divested from the company just after my thirty-second birthday to pursue personal interests. The change turned out to be well timed, as an opportunity to work for the City of Ashland soon followed and resparked the creative process I most enjoyed. I have enjoyed the chance to work with emerging and cutting edge technologies in my role at Asante. Information Technology is about getting the right information to the people who need it in an efficient manner. I work hard every day to make Asante and every project I work on both more efficient, and user friendly for our medical and clinical teams so they can serve you... our community customers!