Hi, I'm Paul.
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, moving to the middle of nowhere in Minnesota in my teenage years. Even before the move I had already started taking an interest in computers and development. It was a regular occurrence for me to crack open StarCraft libraries and make custom mods or staying up late reading programming books to maximize what I could do on the family computer when I got my turn. Going into High School I took a few independent studies on software development, joined what amounts to a geek club (anything related to computers and business), and started getting into 3d Animation too.
I started out going to public college for Graphic Design, which was the closest the school offered to what I really wanted, but wound up not being close enough. After a year I switched to one of those "commercials on daytime TV" schools that offered a Programming and Game Design major. That wound up being a perfect fit, letting me dive deep into software, AI, graphics, and design, which I've been able to apply to my job and life nearly every day during and since.
While I was in school, and for a while after, I started working in manufacturing roles at a med device company. I held a half dozen titles at the company, being promoted and cross trained over the years to have experience in assembly, logistics, and engineering. In most of the positions I was able to use my software background to help solve problems, and this is where my interest in manufacturing technologies came about. (As an aside, have you ever seen boiling sand? It's used in some heat treatment processes and is crazy awesome to experience!)
Eventually I was grabbed by the IT department, still at the same company, since my software solutions had been making enough (good) waves. I, with a small team, was able to start helping the rest of the company with their processes and software solutions, and it's a surprisingly regular occurrence to get praise from all levels of the business - from entry level employees up to CXOs. Ultimately, I still have a lot of love for the manufacturing software aspects of development, but have a suitable amount of experience to jump in wherever needed.
In my personal life during all that, I met a lady friend and we got hitched after a while. We've now got two awesome daughters that are taking an interest in some of the crazy manufacturing stuff that I do. From pretending to read stories to the tree frogs being printed on the 3d printer, to falling in love with gigantic industrial robots, it's been awesome to see them learning and geeking out with me. As much as people talk about how kids know computers so early, there's just something cool about seeing a 3 year old girl change over a 3d printer between prints, on her own, because she wants to.
On a more philosophical and personal level, I tend to be big into STEM education, not because I think people need to go into STEM fields, but because the problem solving tools the education gives you can be applied to any fields. Just like how knowing about art can help make a better looking machine, knowing about machining can give you more tools to make art. I try to stay fairly laid back, like anyone I have stress and worries, but on a long enough time line most of that stuff doesn't really matter. Keeping an even head in the face of adversity today is one of the surest ways to make tomorrow the best it can be.
Oh, and if you couldn't tell by the giant cryptocurrency ticker, I'm into cryptocurrencies. Besides the investment potential, there's a lot of cool technology behind them and how they create artificial scarcity in a digital good.