Part 1: The Beginning
by Terry Langholdt
When I was 10 years old, my grandfather Russell told me, “If you want to write a good story, grab their attention. Start at the end, and then take them to the beginning.”
I am 48 years old, married, with a family and an incredible group of friends. I work for a company that “gets it.” Our company’s core, or GPS, includes leadership, faith, integrity, passion, and community. Our company’s vision consists of six words: balance, transparency, commitment, teamwork, excellence and inspire. We work hard, play hard, and I am extremely proud to say that we even pray together. Together, we are family. We celebrate together. We cry together. And we rely on each other. This togetherness makes J&M an amazing company to work for.
I have been blessed with a passion for IT, which I discovered when I was 12 years old when my math teacher introduced me to an Apple computer. It was the most pleasant green screen my eyes had ever seen. I was immediately hooked, and wanted to understand everything about this exciting new technology.
When I was 13, I worked an entire summer to save up and buy my first computer. The drive to learn how to program was so compelling that I took nighttime college courses while finishing the eighth grade. These classes were comprised of people that were much older than me, which was uncomfortable at the time. But once we got into the lessons, our shared interest and eagerness to learn allowed me to relate with them. That’s when I realized that I could
At 14, I wrote my first “system” to print customer labels for a local business. Manually writing these labels took an entire day, once a month. I was compelled to find a way to automate this repetitive, time consuming task. This was the first time I saw the value and efficiency that IT held in automation. Still, I wanted to make these systems faster. That process only took one day out of the month, but it took me almost two months to write it. It only fed my desire to find innovative ways to write programs, and to learn how to type faster. That provided the motivation I needed so that I could take the next step.
I was now 16, and this drive to improve technology led to a week-long course at a University that was reserved for college students. Imagine the tenacity of a high schooler to meet with the head of the college department and convince him to let you attend after he had rejected your application on the first attempt because you were not old enough. I worked three jobs to be able to afford this class. I wanted this more than anything and wasn’t about to miss out.
TO BE CONTINUED…