Happy 18th Anniversary, Serenity

It may seem silly to celebrate the anniversary of my first Mac purchase, which I named Serenity (after the Firefly-class vessel from the TV show by the same name). But it is not silly, because without that machine which I unboxed 18 years ago today, I would not be who I am.

The author as a teen sitting in a chair with the laptop, Serenity, open on his lap.

Without Serenity I would not:

  • Have made a video game in the-then-Mac-only Unity Game Engine with my best friend (the demo was downloaded over 1 million times), which
  • Taught me to code in the Apple ecosystem (foreshadowing), which allowed me to
  • Use that game to impress professors when visiting a specific private University and feel confident that Computer Science was the ideal degree track for me, which
  • Pushed me to attend University to get a Computer Science degree, where I
    • Met my wife at that Univerity,
    • Met lifelong friends (some whom I message with on a daily basis), and which
    • Happened to be the first school in the USA to give out iPhones to all incoming Freshmen, which allowed me to
  • Port the Mac game to iOS to kickstart my iOS development career, which
  • Funded a full semester of private University using my iOS development skills, allowing me to take out fewer loans [1], and
  • Met the USAA recruiters who convinced me to take a "boring" banking job in an exciting nascent iOS development ecosystem before many banks had iPhone apps, where I
  • Built a virtual assistant before AI was a cool buzzword, which
  • Caused me to outgrow the available opporunities at USAA that challenged me, which led me to leave, and
  • Work at Big Nerd Ranch (RIP[2]), famous for their mobile developer consulting skills and educational books that taught many famous developers how to code, where I
    • Learned how to work remotely full time just before the pandemic hit
    • Made lasting friendships with brilliant people
    • Tore apart and re-architected apps for companies like Peloton, Apple, and (ironically), a white-label banking software provider.
    • Learned SwiftUI and other important cutting-edge iOS skills I wasn't getting to practice at USAA
    • Gain leadership experience (both as a tech lead, and as a manager) which,
  • Prompted me to look for Principal Engineering roles, where I
  • Joined a team at Stryker and helped build one of the first Apple Vision Pro apps for the medical industry[3].

Cheers to you, 2006 MacBook Pro with the 2GB ram upgrade. I would not be where I am without you.

  1. Kiplinger Magazine (Archived Link) ↩︎

  2. LinkedIn Page for Big Nerd Ranch (Archived Link) ↩︎

  3. 9-to-5 Mac (Archived Link) ↩︎

The author staring the the open screen of Serenity, the Mac Book Pro described in this post.
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