I’ve always been interested in technology and computers, and I was programming and fixing computers as I grew up. My first computer was a Commodore-16 and Commodore Plus4 (never had a C64). Taught myself BASIC by typing programs in from the back of the tech magazines. I surfed BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems) before the Internet existed as we know it now.
I started my career in technology selling and fixing computers. While working at a local computer store (Computer Renaissance), I learned to listen to customers to find out what they needed in a new PC, or to find out exactly what was causing problems so we could fix them properly. That experience prepared me to help customers find the perfect solution for their needs, rather than forcing my ideas on them. It was also invaluable in teaching me how to explain things to those less technologically versed than myself in a clear and understandable way.
I spent a number of year doing computer repair and support for friends, family and others in the local area. I don’t take on any new clients in this arena, but I learned a lot of freelance work and working with clients through that work. As the Internet grew in popularity, I found I enjoyed building website, and started to teach myself the ins and outs of website development.
Desiring more information than I was able to gain on my own, I started taking formal classes at the local community college, Washtenaw Community College. For me, I found that being self-taught lead to some blind spots. I had learned what I needed to learn to solve a problem, and formal schooling pushed me to learn better ways to code and design. Washtenaw Community College has a great Internet Professional program that stays very current with web trends.
Formerly I was a Senior User Interface Engineer for Perficient Digital in Ann Arbor, MI. At Perficient Digital, I get a chance to work on websites for both small and large clients in a variety of fields. It keeps me busy and I am constantly learning new things.
Now I spend my time working on the JOOL Health application, helping people find and align with their purpose. Of course, anything written here on this blog is my words alone, and may not reflect the views of my employer.
- Mike Behnke