Trying to Catch Up with the 30 Years of Software Development

Back in the Eighties, I worked as a Programmer, or Software Developer. I got into this by accident.

I was working as a Technical Writer and needed to make block diagrams of the Software I was writing about. I had a printer that could make all the components of these blocks (horizontal line, vertical line, upper left corner, etc.) and I thought it would be easy to make a program that would do this for me.

The C language was the language of the time, and I learned how to use that. Writing the program was more of an effort than I realized – but I stubbornly kept working at it. I was in the same room as the Programmers, and I kept them informed of my progress. They offered me a job as a Programmer – and I took it!

But the company folded, I lost my job, and went back to technical writing – using the first portable computer, that made me much more productive! It was easy to get a job as a technical writer that way – and it paid even more!

I remained a technical writer for the next 20 years – but kept my eye on what was happening in Software. The Internet was invented – and produced an amazing boom – as did the Java programming language. Software was taking off! But the boom became a bust, and I retired and left the country.

In the next 10 years, in Costa Rica, I got a laptop computer – and a fast Internet connection. I could play at being a programmer again – something I could not resist. But I had a lot of catching up to do.

I am out of sync with my times – 79 years old, but trying to think like a 50-year old! But I do have an advantage – no one notices if I am a good programmer, or not.


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