Although I've blogged for nearly two decades, I have yet to share my story with the world. Over the next few years I hope to change that.
I am the fifth-born child of a lawyer (my dad) and a teacher (my mom). Our entire family consisted of five girls and four boys. Yes, I'm one of nine kids. Being homeschooled often meant play time was all day, every day.
One day my piano teacher asked me what 60 plus 60 was. I didn't know, and I couldn't figure it out. I was 13-years-old. When she asked me what grade I was in, I had to guess, because I didn't know. That year I'm not even sure I did any school.
Sundays were always interesting days because for many years we hosted church at our house. Anywhere from five to 40 families would come over for a church service consisting of singing, bible reading, a long sermon, and lunch.
From an early age, we were involved with Vision Forum and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) from IBLP (Institute in Basic Life Principles). Most years we attended multiple events put on by this organizations. We'd travel to Knoxville, Ten., and Big Sandy, Tex. for annual conferences and family-themed events.
Recently, I decided to go to college, and UT would be my first preference for school, with Austin Community College directly behind. But what should I study in college?
This is an obvious choice. At H-E-B, I'm a software engineer. An Android Developer, more specifically. But I'm already highly skilled in computer programming and software architecture. What would I learn?
Make no mistake: reading The New York Times is the highlight of my day. I know exactly where I was when major stories break. (I was downtown eating breakfast when the Trump Tower meeting hit the world.) Reading is a hobby of mine, and the news is usually my first pick.
When I was 12 years old, my first website was a news website. I remember staying up late one night to publish an article for the outlet.
Seven months ago, I joined H-E-B Digital as an Android Developer here in beautiful Austin, Texas. It feels great being a part of a diverse, integrated team that handles all things digital for the company.
On June 20th, 2018, I drove to H-E-B's San Antonio headquarters for orientation. After a brief tour and breakfast, we sat down and listened to team leaders share some of the things that make H-E-B unique. There were about 45 new employees total at my orientation, one of the larger groups of newcomers.
At noon, I loaded my 2016 Honda Civic and drove up to Austin to meet my new Digital coworkers.
I work on H-E-B's Curbside Pickup Android app, creating the UI and adding features while writing a lot of Kotlin and XML. (Kotlin is the preferred language, although some older modules of the app still use Java.)
It's been fun, and I've learned a ton. I look forward to the day the app gets released!
All H-E-B employees get 10% off H-E-B branded products, but Partners (employees) receive their Valued Partner Perks card only after 90 days. Mine arrived a few hours ago, so new that I haven't had a chance to use it yet. The card will definitely save me some money as I go to H-E-B and Central Market nearly every day.
Saturday morning I got up early, had pancakes and fruit from Kerbey Lane Cafe then headed downtown to ask a question about my new apartment complex. (The question was about AT&T Fiber. The apartment doesn't have Google Fiber.) As I traveled down I-35 in downtown Austin and on to E 11th St. to talk to management, I came across something most non-vegans adore: Franklin's Barbecue. Being vegan, I have no desire to go to Franklin's. However, many people here in Austin disagree with me. In fact, there were about 50-60 people waiting outside Franklin's waiting to get in. My apartment is next door to Franklin's. Nuts.
Here at Regency Park Apartments for the past two years, I've used Google Fiber, which hasn't given me any problems. I consistently get super-fast internet even though my MacBook Pro goes through wireless. If I were wired, I could probably get even faster speeds. I never wanted to buy a 25' Ethernet cable, so I stuck to wireless. But about an hour ago, I opened the Google Fiber box that was shipped to me nearly two years ago to find a long ethernet cable. I could have used it all along. Free.
Last weekend I launched androidEveryday(), a new publication for Android Developers. If you're a developer and want to learn more about WorkManager, see my latest article.
I was born in Northwest Austin, and have lived near Spicewood Springs and 183 for most of my life. In 2016 I moved to South Austin for a job at AVAI Mobile, located at Southwest Parkway and Mopac. But in a few weeks, I'm moving downtown!
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?
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.
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.
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.