Software Development Meme

| posted in: life 

I’m not sure I can really call this a “meme” since I was tagged with it by someone else but rather am borrowing it from the Petzold Book Blog.


How old were you when you first started programming? 


How did you get started in programming?

Self-taught BASIC using time-sharing on a thermal paper terminal.

What was your first language? 


What was the first real program you wrote? 

First non-paid program was a lottery simulation that, after 96 hours of continuously running, hadn’t matched more than 4 or 5 numbers out of 6.  First paid program was state veterinary laboratory billing system.

What languages have you used since you started programming? 

COBOL, PL/I, JCL, Forte TOOL, Java.

What was your first professional programming gig? 

I worked as a summer intern for a grain wet-miller on a COBOL conversion project.  Re-writing Honeywell code to run cleanly on IBM hardware.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming? 

Without a doubt.  It’s a meta-job; I get to learn about all the other jobs as I develop automated processes to augment them.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be? 

Always, always, ALWAYS take the time to explore new software.  Learn the shortcut keys, fiddle with all the settings, explore the entire interface.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had … programming? 

Developing a brand new interface for large inter-agency intake system.  It was the perfect combination of stress, deadline, challenge, learning curve, and, ultimately, accomplishment.


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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 Mastodon.