What was your first 'big' programming project?

brandonskerritt profile image Brandon ・1 min read

Whether its personal projects, or something you did at work 😁


Editor guide

I was the lead dev for the Gentoo/amd64 team in 2005 - 2006. Lots of Python and C/C++. I was also the release engineer for that architecture, which also used Python but was less about programming and more about compilation.


I think the first big side project I did was a dependency injection framework back in the days of Java 1.6. I never published it anywhere, but I used it in a few other projects later on. I think I might still have the code laying somewhere.


Hmm. Thirteen years ago I was part of a small team (4) bootstrapping multipath support for SAS devices on a new platform. Distributed between Beijing, Melbourne and Brisbane we had a very interesting time discovering some foibles between our default platform and the new one.

My task was to ensure that we could boot with the new drivers. Our boot architecture at the time was ... intricate, and I had to figure out some rather gnarly ways to go from single-path to multi-path and back again without losing device path configuration info.


Nothing 'big' in my personal space, but at work, back in '89, job #1 was writing the system software for a distributed, MS-DOS & OS/2 based telephone banking platform. Front-end was multiple racks of custom hardware: pairs of networked x86 CPU boards and our proprietary speech recognition/telephone interface cards - running MS-DOS on the x86, these handled user interaction by voice or DTMF. Middleware was written on OS/2 by a team in Belfast, to provide a gateway into the bank's mainframes (hence OS/2 apparently), and manage the front-end configurations. Back end was on the bank's IBM CICS system. In addition we held shared files on a Netware server which also provided network boot for the front ends. All networking was IPX/SPX.

15 person-years of effort went into this thing, and we installed the platform into a <popular Scottish bank>'s data centre around '92. Their data centre was awesome - several football fields of mainframes, many varieties (IBM, Stratos, ICL, ...), follow lighting, halon fire protection, copper bus bars along the wall for low voltage power.. cool stuff :)