University of Wisconsin - Madison
I started my programmer life as a masters level economist working as a government contractor assessing risk on imported products.
My initial foray was janky at best. I spent dozens of hours a day ;) automating these algorithms to pull in news sources and provide me with data. Along the way, I learned a lot about biology -- as one would expect assessing rotting food.
Now, I am a PhD student in the Department of Genetics at UW - Madison interested in developing basic tools for bioinformaticians, especially those who perform genome arithmetic.