Wow... So many amazing stories here! Thanks for sharing guys.. Mine is simple AND "long". But I will make it short and brief.
I picked up development as my main profession in 1997. Before then, writing code was just my hobby. During the last 18 years, I can hardly remember any time that the industry expressed so much interest in UX/UI as they do now. We had something called HCI (Human Computer Interface) taught in the degree courses during 90's, but it never became half as hot as the present UX trend. The new normal seems to be; there is no China wall separating the back-end from the front-end, you should be good at both!
So, my new mission is to learn and apply the UX philosophy. tools and techniques in my future projects.
Thanks for listening (I mean reading!)