I worked for the Federal government for 35 years as an IT Specialist and then as a Computer Scientist.
I started out developing in COBOL on UNIVAC mainframe computers. I actually learned using punched cards, although
that only lasted through the training class. I learned a lot about analysis and design, indexed sequential files, databases,
and real time application programming.
After 5 years of that I was transferred to a project that used some very early "laptop" computers that had no hard drive and were only
portable for the users that were sufficiently physically fit to carry them around. Unfortunately they only ran MS-DOS
(Windows hadn't been invented yet and the computers weren't powerful enough to run any version of Unix). That project was written using
a combination of Turbo Pascal and Microsoft C. I wrote tons of C and Pascal code during that time, along with a small handful of 8088
assembly language programming. I also worked on some Unix projects written in C.
2 years later I switched jobs to another division within the agency that was working on a large modernization project with a lot of
analysis paralysis and churn within the project. This resulted in multiple direction changes. When I first arrived at the project the
direction was client server using Solaris and X-Windows. This gave me the opportunity to learn some about X-Windows user interface programming.
Then the project dabbled a little with OS/2. Does anybody even remember OS/2? Management next wanted to use Java, so I received training
in Java. Unfortunately that movement died just after the training stage and before it ever really got started. Then management had
Microsoft consultants come in and were advised that since we used the full suite of Microsoft Office applications that we should develop all
of our applications using Visual Basic so we could integrate our applications with the Microsoft Office applications. So now I was
working with Visual Basic. I started with VB3 and moved through VB6 and then VB .Net as the software evolved. I developed a number of
desktop applications with Visual Basic and learned quite a bit about user interface design and Windows NT. I also developed a Web
based reporting tool after we moved away from desktop applications and towards more Web based applications.
My next move was to a lead architect role on a high volume customer service web site and automated phone system. Now I was back to Unix
and Java with some C thrown in for good measure. My role was mostly in an engineering capacity, but I also had the opportunity to
do some coding, mainly for prototyping and performance testing. Much of the new work was focused more on the Web based portion of the
system, but there was plenty of work on the phone side as well.
I retired in 2013 so that I could, as some of my friends like to say "live the good life".
I received a Batchelor of Science degree in Computer Science from University of Maryland University College. My coursework included
language translation theory, data structures, algorithm analysis and optimization, distributed systems, and several programming
languages including Pascal, C, Java, Lisp, and C++.
I received a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Johns's Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. My course work there
included software engineering, database systems, object oriented programming, object oriented analysis and design, enterprise Java
beans and web services, microcomputer hardware interfacing, multimedia systems, computer security, and Web development.
My hobbies include:
- Computer programming
- Amateur radio
- Home automation
- Working on, driving, and showing my 1967 Ford Mustang
- Raising tropical freshwater fish