Moments With Mark: How I Got Started

In the first of our new series, “Moments With Mark,” Founding Principal Mark Anderson shares how he went from a history major to the roots of what would become Anderson Technologies.

If video isn’t for you, the transcript is below.


Mark Anderson: In college—I have a deep love of history as I think I’ve mentioned on some of these videos—and so I started out as a history major. When I realized I didn’t want to earn my PhD and become a professor, I pivoted to another love, which is the entrepreneurial spirit and business. So I declared that I was going to be a business major.

Then I met my wife, Amy, my partner, and she said, “You know, Mark, your mind works like a computer scientist’s needs to. Give Software Engineering and Computer Science another look,” which I did, and that first programming class, Computer Science 171, Amy happened to be my TA for it. She’s a year ahead of me in school.

I did work hard, but I have to say I did get an A in that class. That launched me, as it needed to, in the right direction.

In 1989, I started at McDonnell Douglas, in department 314, which was the Avionics Laboratories as a Software Engineer. And what I realized after about that first year was I loved the immediacy of helping people with problems they were experiencing with their computers. Not so much the Software Engineering, but System and Network Administration, which was something that was a field but not taught at the school that I graduated from. I saw there was a tremendous need for it.

I loved the guys in the System and Network Admin group and felt that would be something that would really pique my interest even more. So I pivoted away from Software Engineering to System and Network Administration.

Then McDonnell Douglas trained me to manage networks of Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard and Silicon Graphics, Unix computers. I guess you’d say, the rest is kind of history.