A bit about me for the curious...

A California native, I grew up in Carmel on the very beautiful but often foggy Monterey Peninsula. Yes, the place where Clint was mayor.

From there I matriculated to the University of California, San Diego franchise. Thus I was able to get as far away from home as I could without leaving the state and enjoy a good deal more of sunshine in the process. Once there, I decided to major in Computer Science and never got around to changing my mind. Of course, due to the amount of ridiculous undergraduate requirements, I didn't get around to any real CS courses until my third year.

Near the end of my undergraduate career, I managed to sneak into the foreign exchange program and got sent to the only country where I could speak the language: England. Having watched many classic old British comedies (The Good Life, Butterflies,) and a large amount of Doctor Who, I figured I could speak English well enough to get by. I did some extensive research into my choices for universities that I could take CS courses at that would allow me to get proper credit, listed five of them on my application, and was sent to a school that wasn't on my list. Fortunately, being sent to Sheffield was a blessing and despite living in a dorm full of freshmen, I managed to survive in tact.

Returning home, I graduated in slightly under five years with only a year and a half of spurious credits. During my tenure at UCSD, the quarterly fees went from about $500 per quarter to about $1000 per quarter. Now they are more than $2000 per quarter. Wish I could invest.

At the time that I graduated, there weren't a lot of tech jobs in San Diego. I went through the motions of applying for jobs, but at the same time I sent out a few applications for graduate school. The main criteria I had for this venture was anywhere that didn't force me to take the CS specialty test. The GRE was enough. I was sick of paying the College Board for these things. Luckily, I actually got into a couple of places and ended up at my next destination.

Next up was Stanford, again staying in California. At orientation, I found out why I got in here. I applied for a Masters degree in the Computer Science department. They must have let in at least 100 Masters students -- this is compared to a handful of PhD students. At this orientation I also found out that it was nearly impossible to get a TAship as a Masters student and by the time you could get a paying research gig, you would graduate. In addition, they had a long list of "required" basic courses, and if your undergraduate education wasn't up to snuff, you had to take or retake these undergrad courses here. All of this is at about $6000 per quarter. Two words apply to this: Cash Cow.

Knowing that I was going to have to borrow money for the majority of the tuition, I bulldozed my way through and graduated in a year. After graduation, I only owed about $30 grand -- a whopping sum to me, but a spit in the ocean for all of those future doctors and lawyers, I'm sure.

Looking lost while looking for a job after graduation, my research advisor took pity on me and steered me toward the company where her husband was the CEO. Needless to say they hired me and I've now been there over ten years.

The best way to describe Teknowledge is a permanent public startup company. Before I got there, they had their IPO, grew, then blew up and shrank down to a startup size again. That is when I entered. However, there has never been another influx of IPO-like cash, so the company footprint stays the same.

So while I have been at Teknowledge, I missed the tech boom and all of the tech layoffs. And that is where things stand now. Still in California, a stone's throw from my parents and my sister, and enjoying the sunshine.

esincoff _AT_ cs.stanford.edu