My career was in the design and development of software. Here is my LinkedIn page. My interest in computers began during a field trip to Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley my junior year of high school, circa 1977. My mom’s brother, who worked in the field of computers, advised me to major in computer science.
At college (Cal Poly SLO) my computer science classes included programming languages, data structures, compilers, operating systems, file systems, databases, computer architecture, software engineering, and more, with concentrations in statistics, business, and mini/micro computers. For my free electives I took classes in music theory and composition, almost minoring in music. To make a little money beyond what I got in student loans, I tutored high school students in geometry and was a grader for a calculus class, statistics class, and music theory class.
After graduating I worked full-time as a software engineer for almost 19 years. Within the first couple years, I took some early-bird classes at Santa Clara University towards a graduate degree in Engineering Management. The classes included software engineering economics, engineering management, project management, computer graphics, computer networks, and technical writing.
Since retiring as a software engineer I have become a mom to Emma. I enjoy gardening, reading, playing the piano, educating my daughter, and maintaining our home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In my spare time I update this web site. To stay in shape for gardening, I work out to fitness DVD’s at home.
My greatest passion (or obsession?) is organizing home improvement projects, much to Mike’s dismay! We did some major improvements to and fixed some major problems with Mike’s San Carlos Home. To escape all the house problems, we took a vacation to Orcas Island in September 2003. While on vacation we looked at properties, found one we liked, and made an offer a month after we returned from vacation (once Mike discussed the move with his employer).
We moved to Orcas Island in January 2004, when Emma was 19 months old, and got to experience the quiet, rural life on a mountain top in our Orcas Home. Shortly after moving, we sold Mike’s San Carlos home (once we found a realtor who knew how to market the house!). Mike continued to work for his company, Actional, by telecommuting and traveling once a quarter. In January 2009, Mike’s telecommuting job came to an end and he found a new job with Disney in downtown Seattle.
We moved to our Seattle Home in September 2009, just in time for Emma to start 2nd grade in the fall. For almost three years, we traveled to Orcas Island about twice a month to maintain our Orcas home until we finally sold it in June 2012.
I grew up in the Central Valley of California and lived on a 40-acre vineyard. My (identical) twin sister Jackie, brother Jim, and I helped our dad by planting, tying, suckering, pruning (once), and weeding the vines. Thankfully we never had to harvest grapes, but did count and collect raisin trays during one harvest. Later Jim helped with irrigating, spraying, and disking while Jackie and I helped with bookkeeping and payroll (we got paid). Jackie and I also helped take care of our younger sister Diana, cleaned house on weekends, fed farm animals twice a day, and shoveled lots of horse manure!
We were very active in 4-H. I learned to sew, cook, bake bread, raise and show sheep, ride and care for horses, and give presentations. I learned leadership skills by assisting younger members with sewing projects and holding various offices at club meetings. My dad was Community Leader of our 4-H club and organized many community service activities (like painting park benches, picking up trash, etc). Our club won the Community Pride Award almost every year that he was the leader. My mom was project leader for the sewing and horse projects (horses were her passion).
To escape all the home chores, I joined the Girls’ Track team the spring of my freshman year of high school. I also successfully campaigned with friends to start a Girls’ Cross Country team in the fall of my sophomore year. Running was the highlight of my high school years.
To make a little money during high school, I did baby sitting jobs on Saturday nights. I made up to $20 a night and got to watch the original Saturday Night Live after the kids went to bed! To make extra money for college, I worked full-time at Taco Bell as a cook, cashier, and server for two summers. The third summer Jackie and I decided to clean other people’s homes, which was a degrading job, worse than the short term jobs I had working in the fields hoeing cotton and packing peaches at a local packing shed. My easiest short term job was answering phones at the local Farm Bureau. The low-skill, low-paying jobs motivated me to spend my fourth summer at college (between junior and senior years) so I could graduate on time and start my professional career as a Software Engineer.
I’m 5th generation Californian on my mom’s side of the family, which makes Emma 6th generation. My mom, Carmen Ewing, grew up in Pasadena, California. Her maternal grandfather, Reginald Bland, was founder and the first music director of the Pasadena Civic Orchestra. Her maternal grandmother, Flavilla Corson, had an architecture degree from Throop University (later became Caltech). Her mother, Judith Bland, was a concert cellist and portrait sculptor. Her father, Fred Ewing, got a PhD in Chemistry from Caltech and worked there as a research chemist with Linus Pauling. Her brother, Bland Ewing, taught entomology classes at UC Berkeley in the 1970s and co-founded a computer graphics company called GraphOn in 1982. I’ve created and continue to update my family tree on the free genealogy site WikiTree.com using source data from the free genealogy site FamilySearch.org.