born: 1966, London, UK now living: Tunbridge Wells, UK working: London
I'm married with a 14-month-old son (who is really cool :0-)
In my teens I owned a ZX81. I don't know if any of them made it across the pond, but it was a tiny (6 inch square?) computer with a Z80 (I think?) processor and a very primitive keyboard. It plugged in to a TV for display and a tape deck for storage. It spoke Basic. I didn't do anything amazing with it, but it was the start of a long road, I guess... In 1986 I worked on a helpdesk for BP as they rolled out PCs across the company. That was great preparation for working in IT; it also helped me to make more sense of what I learned at university (1986-1989), where I did a degree in Computer Science.
When I left uni, I went back to work for BP, looking after email and shared calender stuff on an IBM 3090. We migrated over to LAN-based products (Network Courrier, which later became MS Mail), which was educational.
After I'd done that for a couple of years, I moved within BP to the first job where I really started to understand computing / IT / information... We were developing an "Executive Information System" - ie, flexible reports / queries, and we used a rapid development tool called "Forest & Trees", which was a really interesting product, and taught me a lot about abstract data modelling, and what the word "information" means.
I worked on that project for a couple of years before becomming a contractor, and over the next couple of years I drifted into Sybase and VB, as the Forest & Trees product died off (a shame, IMHO).
Contracting was good for a few years, including a long stint at Fidelity Investments, where I did a load of different stuff, including some cool work on a system that was trying to be absolutely as data-driven as possible. Probably sounds humdrum nowadays, but it was fun.
Then in 2001 the contractor market took a dive and I was forced over to the dark side and got myself a permanent job here, at CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) in their investment banking operation in London. Here, we're looking after a data warehouse churning out blood-gushingly exciting statistical reports which get shipped off to various regulatory authorities.
Really, the excitement is unbearable. Still, some of the work is actually interesting: we're moving over from VB to VB.NET (and quietly wondering why we didn't decide to use C#), and I get to do a little HTML/ASP stuff from time to time if I'm good.
Hope that's of use...