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Iím a software engineer. As far as Iím concerned titles in the IT field donít mean much really.  I started out as a computer programmer and as Iíve gone through my career my job title has gotten bigger and better sounding.  I pretty much do now what Iíve done for years; solve problems.  That means if thereís a need for me to design a piece of software or for me to write a program, then thatís what I do.

In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living.  I remember worrying about it.  There was a time I thought Iíd be a mechanic.  My best friend and I both rebuilt old mustangs and spent some time at the drag races and looking back it was a blast.  My senior year of high school found me working as the head mechanic for the Chevrolet house in Kermit.  That title was a bit artificial.  The owner of the dealership was a real asshole and his entire staff walked out and he hired me as the head (only) mechanic.  I didnít like working for him either.  I got married in august of 1980 and started school that fall at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. 

At the time I was thinking of a career in aerodynamics but the first semester at WTC I took a course in computer programming in the language BASIC.  Another great friend of mine was attending Texas Tech and told me about his computer programming courses.  Iíd never seen a computer before except in movies and television and they seemed intimidating.  I remember the instructor telling us that when we went into the computer room, weíd find the power switch in the lower right hand corner.  I literally worried about being able to find that switch assuming that the computer would have all manner of switches and blinking lights.  As it turned out, the computer looked very much like the computers of today; a main chassis with a single switch and a monitor and keyboard.  (This was before mice.)  The only difference was the dual 8 inch floppy drive that set next to the computer.  It was about the size of a toaster oven.  It definitely wasnít intimidating and I learned a valuable lesson then and there.  Computers were only intimidating because I was unfamiliar with them.  I think most everything is like that.

I fell in love with programming from that first course.  Looking back it was an easy class, much easier than I would make a first programming course, but I inhaled the knowledge of that class and spent many hours on my own just playing around and learning the nuances of how computers worked.  I would finish my class assignments and then work on my own trying each and ever programming command, inventing problems in order to solve them using techniques that I would make up.

One day one of the instructors from the English department asked if I could write a program to analyze written text.  He wanted to be able to assign a readability index to written text.  I was able to write that although looking back at it now reminds me of how everything has advanced.  The interface to that program was ridiculous.  The program would start and the text had to be typed in before running the analysis.  Now days youíd just write a vb macro to read the text of a word document.

My wife was working as a secretary for the department of Occupational Technology and during the summer of 1981, I took classes.   Since she was working for the college, Iíd hang around all day and work on the computer.  I spent that whole summer writing computer games.  This was the early 80s and I only knew BASIC so the games were not very sophisticated.  They were simple games with some graphics that were based on the ASCII character set.  It was incredible fun. I remember a couple of times being run out of the computer room because the other students needed the computer to do assignments.  That was the only computer on the campus except for the big computer used for college administration.

Ö to be continued. 

 

My Job Content

Resume
Web Consulting
iSeries Object Viewer
508 Complicance

What's New! 

April 4, 2010 - It's mum's birthday today. 

March 24, 2010 - Updated notes.  Changed Dory's name away from Stuka.

March 13, 2010 - Added a picture of Stuka on the home page and I've added the source code to my projection program.  Of course I also updated the daily notes as well.

March 10, 2010 - Updated notes and updated the section on Rotations.

March 6, 2010 - I added to the daily notes. 

February 24, 2010 - I added some links on the front page and updated the link archive.  Updated notes.  Today was no fun.

February 15, 2010 - I wrote on the Quantum page tonight and updated my daily notes.

 

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Copyright 2009 - K.D. Young

Never underestimate the insignificance of almost everything.   

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