In the late 1990s I was working at a job doing a mix of Foxpro development, windows system administration, and help desk. I enjoyed the Foxpro development (laugh if you will) and despised the other stuff. So I was always looking for work in other places where I could be doing pure development. However, lacking much work experience at that time, or knowledge of other programming languages, or a college degree, that made switching positions really hard.
Well, one day, probably in 1999, I stumbled across a job opportunity down in Fredericksburg. I I got an email inviting me down for an interview for Zope Corporation, or maybe its predecessor. The job meant working with an obscure language called Python and a web based development system called Zope. Python seemed pretty interesting, and doing development through the browser seemed fascinating. I even looked up some articles on Yahoo (this was before Google and Wikipedia).
Alas, I did not take the job. Python seemed too different and obscure and I was already stuck in the closet with Foxpro. Fredericksburg would have involved a move from the Washington, DC area and my ex-wife and I were even then scraping the bottom of the barrel for money. We lived on the metro, lacking a vehicle between us, so just getting down to Fredericksburg was nigh impossible. So I stayed with Foxpro, eventually finding work in a few other languages before finding my current home in Python in 2005.
What might have been
In an alternative history had I interviewed and been hired for the Python/Zope job I might have worked with Guido van Rossum during his tenure at Zope Corp! I might still be deeply entrenched with Zope and subsequently Plone. My linux skills would be much better. Fredericksburg would be my home, not Arlington so I probably would not be working for NASA right now. I would have never founded NOVA-Django. Finally, the armies of Iceland would have conquered the world.
A very different universe indeed.
Next: My history with Plone