Twenty-Three

October 18, 2006

Almost without my noticing it, the twenty-third anniversary of the start of my career as a programmer / analyst / architect in the Information Technology industry passed earlier this week. I'm now in the twenty-forth year of employment as a "data processing professional."

That, and five bucks, will get you a cup of coffee.

The IT industry has never stood still, and in recent years the pace of change has steadily increased. I began my career as a COBOL programmer and quickly added NOMAD/2 (a 4GL) to my resume, along with IMS, and then CICS. The first major paradigm shift was to using Case tools and modeling software to be generated rather than coding it all by hand.

Client-server development with Powersoft followed, along with a stint as a LAN database administrator managing Microsoft and Sybase SQL server databases. Jumping away from procedural to object oriented introduced me to Forte TOOL - still the best development and deployment environment I've used. Along with the switch to OO development came adoption of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and more modeling / code generation tools.

Being proprietary Forte was never widely adopted and, with its purchase by Sun Microsystems, the writing was on the wall - time to shift gears again, this time to J2EE development and Java. Already in the Java world I've undergone shifts from Struts to Spring MVC, and embraced the adoption of Hibernate Object to Relationship Mapping (ORM) and dependency injection and aspect oriented development with the Spring Framework.

All in a mere twenty-three years. With perhaps twenty or twenty-five years left in my career I can only imagine what this posting will look like in 2026 or 2031.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.