My true path in life, finally diagrammed

It’s my birthday. What better time to reflect upon where I’ve been, and what I’ve become? Thankfully, Curiosity Counts (formerly a Maria Popova joint) has today linked to a flowchart, courtesy of Fast Company, that may explain it all.

A few of the details miss the mark: I taught myself BASIC, not Pascal (although I did try to make sense of Pascal while tinkering with my uncle’s IBM 5150 when I was 8), and I specialize in PHP, not Perl (distant cousins). But the lower left corner pretty much covers that, and also explains away the fact that I am married, for good measure.

Going back earlier in time, it even captures (and I’m being quite serious here) what might be the ultimate pivot point in my life: being massively obsessed with Atari but not getting into the next-generation game systems that followed it. It wasn’t for lack of interest; my parents simply refused to buy me an NES, and got me a Tandy computer (not a TRS-80, but close enough) instead. So thanks, Mom and Dad, for making a decision 25 years ago that set me on the path of lucrative uses of computers, instead of fantasy baseball and MMORPGs.

Here’s my version of the flowchart, with my path highlighted in yellow. Click the image below to see the full version, and be sure to check out the source, Taschen’s massive tome of infographics, while your at it.