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
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.
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
to be continued.
|My Job Content
|April 4, 2010
- It's mum's birthday today.
24, 2010 - Updated notes. Changed Dory's name away from Stuka.
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.
10, 2010 - Updated notes and updated the section on
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.