I began my journey into IT beginning in the fourth grade. Seriously! I remember bringing a college book about programming in BASICA to school for a reading period. From there, I began tinkering in programming, and while it has never become a life long passion, I have worked my way through BASICA, QBASIC, Turbo Pascal, Turbo C++, VBA 6, C#, *cough*COBOL*cough, and VB.NET at various points along the way.
During college, I picked up an interest in Japanese culture and language. I studied abroad for one semester, becoming fully immersed in the Japanese way of life. Not content with just studying abroad, I also returned twice to work at summer English camps. I returned twice more for pure recreational purposes, once on a trip that included Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and the final trip only to Japan.
After college, I had anticipated taking on a project position in the Web Development office with UW-Whitewater, but as luck would have it, the IT department put a hiring freeze in place and began reorganizing the entire department. As I was now a new graduate, and broke, I took a job with a company who worked with bank transaction data.
This new job afforded me the opportunity to continue working with SQL, as I more or less became the de facto team DBA. In addition, I was able to work with System Administration, Virtualization, Network Design, and also dabbled with Active Directory and Security. What was another large stepping stone was my exposure to SQL 2005.
My next job was more of a Production Support role, but eventually I was able to take the job I have today: that of a Production DBA, working with SQL versions ranging from SQL 7 to SQL 2012. I still wear the programmer hat, primarily writing utilities to make everyday work easier, now using Powershell as the latest addition to the toolbelt.