My Journey to H-E-B

7:59am, San Antonio

I rush to The Arsenal, H-E-B's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, trying to stay dry. Orientation starts in a mere one minute and I don't want to be late. I pass through security and open the door I find 40 people standing in a circle around the outside perimeter of the medium-sized room. Some of them have badges, some don't. I see few people in line, to get badges, I assume. As I stand in line to check in, I gaze around the room. Then it hits me: I'm an H-E-B employee now, an accomplishment that I had only dreamed about 7 years earlier. How is this possible?

December, 2010

My freelance business was a disaster. After spending many hours and hundreds of dollars on hosting and related startup costs, I didn't have a lot to show. I was advertising on craigslist and using Google AdWords, but received only a few leads. In general, things didn't pan in my favor.

August, 2011

I had just joined the team at Saccone's Pizza, a local pizzeria that served pizza "with a Jersey attitude." The pizza was good, and I was making (some) money: $7.50/hr., to be exact. While working part-time, I was still struggling to launch Malone Web Solutions, my business.

November, 2011

It's around 10am and I'm in my bedroom, reading on my computer when I get a call from Larry Hines, a neighbor. "I'm at Starbucks," he says. "I'm with a friend who might have work for you." I was all in. Fifteen minutes later I find myself at the coffee shop talking to Tom, a local small-business owner. After a brief conversation -- in which I show him some of my web development work -- we agree to meet at his office.

I had never worked in an office environment, but was excited and nervous about the opportunity. After pulling into the parking lot, I was surprised at how small the business was. I was expecting hundreds of people, but in reality Tom only had about 25 employees. The first person I meet is Rebecca, a designer who Tom says I will be working with.

(To be continued.)

By Daniel Malone

Daniel Malone is an Android Developer in Austin, Texas. He enjoys writing code, whether it be HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Java, XML or Kotlin. Daniel started writing code at age 12. By the time he was 15, he had a technology news website that received about 200 visitors a day. His first computer was a Dell Dimension 3000, with an 80GB hard drive, 512MB RAM and a broken DVD drive.