I started my journey as a software engineer at Northern Telecom, where I developed proprietary software for carrier-grade telephone switches. Although I learned Pascal while in college, at Northern Telecom I was trained in a proprietary programming language based on C. I also used a proprietary operating system and a proprietary version-control software.
I enjoyed working in the proprietary environment and had opportunities to do some interesting work. Then I had a turning point in my career that made me think about things. It happened at a career fair. I was invited to speak at a STEM career panel at a local middle school. I shared with the students my day-to-day responsibilities as a software engineer, and one of the students asked me a question: “Is this really what you always wanted to do in life? Do you enjoy and love what you are doing?”