Hi, my name is Dan and I'm an alcoholic...
Wait, wrong group (JK).
Actually my first intro to refrigeration was working on automotive A/C, back when R12 was $1.49 a can. During the late 70's I went into electronics as a TV repairman then copiers (dad was a nuclear instrumentaion engineer, so I was exposed to electronics since I could walk). Did some work as an electrician.
Then in '79 I was hired on at a large controls firm (that appears to get a little bashing here - pretty funny). Back then they handed you a box of books, a bag of tools, some parts, and you were a tech! Boy was I green back then, but never afraid to ask questions or admit I was over my head.
We still did a lot of pneumatic controls back then - not many of us left anymore, at least around here. Electric, electronic controls, then computers! Our first computer system (not yet DDC) was loaded via toggle switches and paper tape reader. The next one stepped up to cassette tapes, it took hours to load and verify a cpu. Now look where the industry has come, wow.
Although I have do have type I, II, III universal certification, and have done some refrigeration work, I really never could say I was a refrigeration tech. I have pretty much stuck with controls, mostly for medium/large commercial buildings.
I really enjoy writing software for complex control sequences - large chiller plants, thermal storage, etc., of course most of the work is the usual building with chiller(s), boiler(s), AH's, VAV's Fan Coils, etc. We also do a fair amount of systems integration, I got Niagara AX certified a couple years back and like it a lot.
I don't think I will ever get tired of what I do - One day I am writing software, next I am the "factory startup guy" for a bunch of VFD drives, before I know it I'm terminating a large DDC panel, then trying to coax modbus data out of a boiler control panel into a Jace. It's rarely boring.
The largest chiller plant I have done totaled 12,000 tons worth of centrifugal machines, they also had a 7 million gallon underground thermal storage tank farm. It was there I learned how to get a 36" schedule 80 chilled water line to jump 2" off it's hangers by starting a 450hp pump at the wrong time (it was a long time ago...). This was also where I was introduced to HP steam, and learned real quick I better get some training before I killed myself or someone else.
This forum looks like it has a tremendous wealth of knowledge, and I look forward to shamelessly tapping into it! Might be able to give a tidbit back too, you never know.