Like most children of the 80’s, I loved playing with LEGO. By mixing and matching bricks, you could physically manifest your imagination.

My first LEGO set was the Blacktron – Renegade.

Blacktron Renegade

By following the instructions, I was able to explore space and move strange and dangerous cargo from distant planets. By moving the wings around, I was able to make the Batwing and fly around Gotham. (Well before anyone else realized that potential.)

This was an immensely rewarding experience that I’ve carried with me through my professional career.

Naturally, the toys of the child lead us to adulthood. I knew I wanted to spend my life building. Creating. Spawning new ideas. I wanted to physically manifest my ideas into structures that others would see, admire and even work/play/live in. When I learned that you could get a job doing this, I was elated. I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do. My mission in life was set.

One fateful day, when I was sharing my new life mission with my Godmother she informed me: “To be an architect you have to know how to draw.” Anyone who’s seen me sign a check, write on a whiteboard, or even attempt to draw a square knows artistry genes were not bestowed upon me. I was crushed. My life’s mission was aborted and I was unsure what to do with myself.

My first drawing of the Falgout Family (I ran out of time for arms)
To quote my wife: “Those are people? I thought those were windows…”

I drew this
I drew this. Not sure what my obsession with blue people was. That drawing is nightmare fuel for me.

In High School, when Career Day came I didn’t care about any session other than the local architect. As torturous as it was, I still wanted to know what it was like. All I remember was “hard work…something something…dedication”.

Fast forward to the last 12 months. I made an exciting and brave leap to join Microsoft, and am now a “Cloud Solution Architect”. I’m an Architect. I’m a real, bonafide Architect. (I’m literally crying as I write this as I’m so overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment.) My bricks aren’t 8x8x9.6 mm, they’re CPU Cores. I no longer have one toychest, I have 36 datacenter regions, spanned across the world.

Thankfully, I’m not planning to give up on those plastic pieces of creativity, as I’ve currently got a Star Destroyer hanging from the ceiling of my man cave. And even more sets left to complete.

LEGO Star Destroyer hanging from the ceiling.

If I could go back and comfort my younger self during that heartbreaking moment, I’m sure I would have told him: “hard work…something something…dedication”.