My career has been anything but linear and crosses a number of different fields, so the best way to describe my UX story is as an 'ongoing, emergent bricolage' of diverse practices responding to often surprising challenges. (Those artsy words alone should hint at some of my history!)
The formative years.
I was on track toward a computer science degree but then spent a year in Bolivia on student exchange. On my return, I dropped complex numbers and molar masses for Media and Literature and headed for the world of filmmaking.
While ostensibly a film production course, my degree was in Media Arts and so my studies also traversed visual art, animation, media theory, photography, sound production and multimedia (it was the 90s) as well a few Spanish subjects along the way.
Another semester living in Spain, an Honours degree (that considered video performance as an exercise in experience creation) - I worked at a couple commercial film production companies part time while I pursued a career as an artist (FWIW I primarily worked in video installation).
During a brief stint at an arts institution, I worked with the founder of [Artabase.net. We were part of [URL="http://mega.org.au/"]MEGA - a pre iPhone era incubator - and worked on developing the product. Not long after that experience, I joined a company called Someones which only recently (and finally!) released the app we worked on(http://www.artabase.net/) all those years ago.
While I didn't know it then, that period was immensely formative in my development of what I'd now call an 'experience designer.'
I moved to Brazil and Argentina for a year where I started to focus more on working with startups (probably because the appeal of an illusory upside to working hard for little short term reward jived well with my arts background ). On returning to Australia, I joined Uber and with Jase and Tim M, launched it in Melbourne. While I wasn't working in a UX role, I had a lot to do with the mobile team. I was fortunate to be with Uber during a time of such rapid growth and gleaned a lot of knowledge on building both a product and a business. Being at the coalface taught me about other aspects of UX - namely customer success - and how even subtle design decisions can impact user goals.
This year, I joined another young company called Kllective and wear both a UX and product hat.
My first post on UX Mastery was that I'm a newbie with a diverse background. I've been speaking with a number of you as to bring myself up to speed and I've been pleasantly surprised to discover the relevance of a background in relational aesthetics, literary theory and wrangling people aged 5 to 75 in filmmaking workshops. Not to mention the seminal 90s HCI and VR books that were part of my studies!
I'm looking forward to learning from and sharing knowledge with you all here.