About KB3HHA - Seth Cohen

Here's some information about myself.

Who is KB3HHA - Seth Cohen

I'm a computer scientist who retired after 35 years of public service with the federal government. My hobbies include software development as well as working on, driving, and showing my 1967 Mustang. I am also an amateur radio operator (call sign KB3HHA). I operate mainly digital modes on HF using my ICOM 7300. Finally, I run a personal weather station that is a part of the Citizen's Weather Observer Program and Weather Underground.

While I don't program professionally anymore I do still write software for my own personal use when the mood (or need) strikes me. I have decided to make some of the applications that might have a wider appeal beyond myself available for download. Documentation is minimal for some of the applications but I am working on it.

Work Experience

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". 

Education

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.

Hobbies

My hobbies include:

  • Computer programming
  • Amateur radio
  • Home automation
  • Working on, driving, and showing my 1967 Ford Mustang
  • Raising tropical freshwater fish