I’m Gerry Pass. I live in Atlanta, where I build a better future.
Most devs who make a portfolio site like this one tell a story of how they've loved computers and programming since they were a kid. My story is a little different.
While I did enjoy computers as a kid, it was mostly for gaming, socializing on AOL Instant Messenger (lol), and making Angelfire sites. When I was a freshman in college, my colleague and I would barter programming homework for physics homework. I was the one who did the physics homework.
A couple years later when I was a junior, I was working on a homework assignment that could've been solved in less than 100 lines of code. Instead, I made a giant Excel file that spanned multiple sheets. My classmates who did it programmatically finished hours before me, but I was stubborn and wasn't interested in programming.
After college, the reality of my career choice being a poor fit finally hit. I knew I wanted out, but didn't know where to go. That's when I took a systematic approach to choosing a new career.
Combining the results from “top 100 happiest jobs,” “top 100 most in demand jobs,” and a matrix of my strengths & interests, there was a clear winner: software development, specifically web development.
A few months later, I put in my two-week notice to teach myself Ruby on Rails full-time, starting with Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial. I chose Rails because I had just quit the 3rd largest company in the world and I wanted to work where people were passionate about the company's mission and where I wouldn't be a cog in the wheel. Knowing that Rails was the go-to language of startups at the time, it was a no-brainer.
Since then, I've come to realize it was one of the best decisions of my life. It's allowed me to work with smart, yet humble, people who are passionate about creating a better future through software.