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The first computer I laid my hands on was a Sinclair ZX81 (black and white), I was fascinated and got hooked on Basic programming. Did not think I would be doing this as a profession later on in life, evolved from Basic to VB, VB.NET and finally C#.
SuperBase rings a bell with me, I had that on my Atari 1040ST but never did anything useful with it.
Later on I thought DbaseIII+ was more interesting because of job opportunities, and to my amazement I got a job as a database programmer pretty quick !
Late 80s on a commodore64. I was sick of repeatedly estimating the number of tiles on a roof, and getting it wrong. The application reduced my error rate from about 20% to 5% and those were transposition errors because I had to write up the order manually.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
I learned in 1967, because I wanted to learn about those newfangled compputer machines. I started getting paid to program in 1972 when I took a job to pay for my university studies.I tutored and taught FORTRAN for several years, then worked for a research commision writing FORTRAN and Algol programs. I started a software business in 1990 after working as an engineer for 15 years.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software
Like you, I started in 1968 when I took a Fortran programming course at IIT. I went on to start writing programs at Argonne National Laboratory for nuclear reactor data collection and simulation. Data collection was done in assembly language for a HP 2115 mini-computer; simulation was done in PL/I on an IBM 360 Model 95 (the super-computer of the day).
When Tricky Dicky got elected, our budget was trashed, so I went to work at GTE writing factory automation software for the IBM 1800, Data General Nova, DEC PDP-11, and a few off-brands that nobody has ever heard of.
I found I had a knack for developing operating system software and communications systems. So I started my own software business in 1980. I learned that I liked sales, contract negotiation and writing, development, and a lot of other things -- except for people management! People management took me a looonnnnng time to learn and appreciate.
For me, learning a new language or system has always been a piece of cake which I attribute to a solid foundation in assembly language.
I still do a lot of development on both Windows and Linux systems. The hardest part for me nowadays is the circular definition that all too many people use in their documentation. E.g. "FunctionA -- Invokes FunctionA". Usually lacks any explanation of what FunctionA does, how it does it, what the parameters are, return values and conditions, etc.
To me, I want to know the internals so I can be effective and efficient. But that goes against many modern management and implementation models.
I could say a lot more...but I won't.
My only serious career regret is that I was writing an OS for the Intel 8080 at the same time Bill Gates was writing DOS. My system supported real-time, interrupt driven multi-tasking and multi-programming. I did mine under exclusive contract and did not retain rights of ownership -- Gate was smarter! The company subsequently went out of business. (I could have been rich!)
Because I needed a job and there was good money to be made in IT
I actually learned on the job (and in my spare time after I got my first job).
I liked it, it kind of stuck, and I've been doing it happily ever after
The year was 1992. It was DOS on a IBM386. My dad was a programmer back then, so I learned a few nifty things using his class notes...I ended up studying it in college after my hopes to pursue a career in aviation got crushed. But hey, 10 years into doing this for a living, no regrets!
Because this world needs more people doing good things to make a difference.
Last Visit: 2-Apr-20 2:50 Last Update: 2-Apr-20 2:50