This entry is inspired by a discussion thread at The Association of Knowledge Work.
I have always been interested in how technology can be a tool to make things easier. The fact that knowledge management consists of much more than technology didn't strike me until the last several years.
My start in this field was in the early 80's with the family purchase of an IBM PC with modem and the connection into communities of like-minded people, whether that was for trading PC software at 1200 baud or discussing music. From there, I went into engineering, where the computer became a tool for simulating the real world. In graduate school, I dove into artificial intelligence applications in engineering, and learned about expert systems and machine learning and such topics that have ended up in the wide world of knowledge management. I stayed focused on computer-aided engineering (simulations, etc) for the years following graduate school.
At some point, I became aware of knowledge management through trade associations, voracious reading, and colleagues who were also interested in the topic. I don't know that there was a single event or book that made this happen for me. The idea of KM crystallized a lot of the ideas in my mind that good technology could be an excellent platform to grow organizations. I have been able to parlay my excitement in the concept to a KM job in which I am responsible for building the KM practice in my organization. And I fully intend my next position to have similar responsibilities.