Christian, Husband, Father, Friend, Welder. Been blessed with many things of which I don't deserve.
I Struck my 1st arc in 1978 decided then I liked it. Welded in HS (Manufacturing Job) , US Navy, Construction (Boilers/Piping/PV), Maintenance/Repair, and Steel Fab. I have loved every bit of it and cannot think of any experience I would give up.
While I was welding, I got a little fed up with inspectors making up their own rules. I learned what codes required and as a welder, tried to stick to that. I began inspecting my own welds using the actual acceptance criteria before calling for inspection. I later became a CWI in 90 (let it drop), another #in 97(let it drop) and one more in 2007 (Did my 1st ever 9 year renewal this year).
Gone back and forth from QC to welding over the years, never got great at either but loved it.
Always wanted to be an instructor since God has blessed me with the ability to work in this field and it has been answered.
I think the old AWS forum is unmatched for its content related to welding!
I think the ability for us to share knowledge online has greatly improved the potential for people to grow professionally.