How I Became a Programmer

It all happened by accident, really. When I was nine years old my younger brother Mike brought home an Apple ][ computer from school. We started playing with the Apple Basic and were soon hooked. That Christmas we got a Commodore VIC-20, which was soon replaced by a Commodore 64 (who could ever use all 64k to write a program?) Eventually, we were using an original IBM PC with dual floppy drives.

Well, some years later I decided to get serious with the programming. In 1995, after completing a 4-year tour on the Army bomb squad in Washington, DC, I went to work for a local high-tech company. While working there I began searching for a good shareware helpdesk solution. At that time there was not much on the market in my price range so I set out to build my own helpdesk system. For the first couple years I only used the helpdesk system for myself. I then began offering the software as shareware and WN Help Desk has taken off.


I grew up in the Sacramento, California area. I graduated from El Camino Fundamental High School in 1988 and decided that the college life was not for me. I worked a few years as a mechanic, worked in construction, and pretty much did not know what to do with myself. When Desert Storm was gearing up I got the crazy idea to enlist. I joined the Army Field Artillery and it did not take long to decide that was a mistake. I spent the first year of my enlistment in Korea, digging holes and sleeping in the cold. I soon found out about an opportunity to get into the Army Bomb Squad (EOD - Explosive Ordnance Disposal.) The EOD school lasted approximately one year and took me to Florida, Maryland, and Alabama. I then spent the next 3 years in Washington, DC. Most of that time was spent working for the Secret Service performing bomb sweeps for VIPs. Finally, the enlistment came to an end and the technology career began.


I met my wife while stationed in Washington, DC. We stayed in the DC area (actually living in Northern Virginia) for two years while I worked as a Microcomputer Resource Analyst for a company in Virginia. We had our first son while living in Virginia. I then interviewed for a position with a high-tech company back in my hometown of Sacramento. I flew out for an interview and two weeks later I was back out there working. Our second son was born about a year after we moved back to the Sacramento area. When our daughter was born, completing the Wickett family, my then co-workers put together an offical press release.

  News Flash - Wickett 3.0 Released
  Folsom, CA - Congratulations to Brad and Michelle Wickett on the birth of their daughter Taylor Marie. Taylor was released on September 7 at 1:16am after 9 months of programming and QA. The specific build numbers are: 7lbs 3oz and 19.5" long.
  Taylor is expected to integrate well into the existing Wickett family. Previous versions of Wickett are still being supported and there are no plans for future releases at this time. All involved with this release are doing well and are very happy.
  One of the primary developers will be on site beginning next week for any questions the public may have. An unnamed source at Microsoft is said to be "keeping an eye on the situation".
  Several Network Services associates contributed to this story.

Late in 2002 we moved from California to Idaho. The cost of running a business in Idaho is much lower than California. With family and friends already in the Lewiston area it seemed like the perfect choice for a business relocation.


When I'm not working on software or spending time with my family I do have other hobbies. I have been playing guitar for about 23 years now.

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