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I’m not entirely sure why I’m starting this blog.  Do I have something to say that I think the world would be interested in?  Do I have some specialized niche knowledge that others are looking for?  Do I have nifty hobbies that photograph well?  Not really, nope.

I’m just a mom, and a software geek, and a wife, and a woman.  I have the same daily struggles that I’m sure many others do: what are we going to make for dinner tonight?  Will there be time to finish this project before I have to leave for daycare pickup?  Does my new boss have expectations that I’m not sure I can meet?

Apparently I’m also an Asker of Many Questions.

I grew up in Montana and studied journalism, eventually completing my degree in 1995.  I like to put words together in just the right way.  After graduating, I took a good look around at the opportunities available and realized that hey, this is a pretty competitive field, and I’m not sure I really want to be a reporter after all.  What I really wanted to be was an editor.  Proper grammar and spelling make me happy.  Words have meanings, y’know!  Funny thing, there aren’t a lot of entry-level postions for editors. 

However, this was in the mid-1990s, and there was something huge on the horizon: the World Wide Web.  The summer after I graduated was when URLs first started showing up in television commercials.  I had the luxury of a little time to play with, and decided what the heck, I’ll take some nondegree graduate courses in computer science.  Next thing I know, the department head was strongly encouraging me to turn that into an actual graduate degree.  Me?  The girl with the journalism degree?  Yeah, me. 

I didn’t set out to become a software tester.  I sort of fell into it when I didn’t quite fit the other disciplines for which I was interviewed.  In 1999 when I entered the real world, I was convinced that I’d been miscategorized and after a year or two I’d steer myself into where I through I really belonged.  Except something happened.  I discovered that a lot of the editing skills I’d polished in J-School could also be applied to software.  In a way, I’m an editor of not just text, but of how you, the customer, interact with an application.  The same gut feeling that told me that an article was clunky and difficult to understand can also be used to tell me that a program is uninviting and non-intuitive to work with.  The nit-pickiness that helped me place commas correctly also helps me line up buttons and pixels according to standards.

Meanwhile, my life outside work was going through some changes.  I divorced one husband and eventually married another.  As often happens, that marriage of two people morphed into a family of three people.  Now I have a toddler whose smile can light up my morning as well as a partner whose hugs can round out my evenings.

I also have a messy house.  I’m told this happens with toddlers.  And husbands.

I want to talk about the challenges of dealing with managing a family and a full-time job.  I like to write, and while I have other outlets for sharing with close friends, there’s something in me craving a more public audience.  So, here I am and here I go.  Still not entirely sure what I’m about, but open to the challenge of figuring that out as we go.


Author: Jessica Wallace

I'm a wife, mother, and software engineer living near Seattle, Washington. I like doing competitive puzzle events like the MIT Mystery Hunt and The Game. I've recently started learning a bit about candymaking, much to the delight of my husband, friends, and co-workers.

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