Erik started his career as a construction project manager because he had a degree in civil engineering for about 6 years then moved to custom software development which he did for about 15 years. Seems like a huge change in careers, and it was. But there was a method to his madness.
About 3 years in, he had an opportunity to interview with Microsoft. Back in the day, Microsoft was a powerhouse and every programmer wanted to work there. He applied and got a phone interview. He interviewed with another programmer and he gave him a question that really stumped Erik. He had no idea how to answer the question and upon hanging up the call, Erik felt like he’d failed.
Instead of sulking and cutting his losses, he worked to find out the answer to the question; he coded a solution, found that it wasn’t optimal, reworked it. He emailed the answer and the code he had worked to prove the answer was correct to the interviewer. And because of that, he got through to the next part of the interview process.
They flew him out to Redman, he interviewed with a whole bunch of people, he didn’t get the job which made sense because it was still so early on in his programming career.
The moral of the story: when you fail at something, don’t give up; figure out the next step and take that action.