Greetings everyone, I'm Steve Mushero, Engineer.
I'm based in Shanghai, China, where I moved to from Silicon Valley about 10 years ago (though heading back to SF/SV this year). Before that I was in Seattle and New York for many years. Originally I'm from the great state of Maine.
I guess I somewhat qualify as a beard-less graybeard these days, though those guys are really old, and I'm still very young, at heart.
Actually, I JUST missed the punched card era, as my university (Rensselaer, RPI to use) moved to real-time terminals and away from cards a year or two before I arrived in the 1980s - Alas, I never punched a card in anger, though I wish I had worked in cards as I'd surely be a more accurate typist today.
I also managed to just avoid real work on mainframes or in COBOL or FORTRAN as a real programmer. Though did play on PDP-lls, VAX, Prime 750s, IBM 4325s, etc. and built lots of interfaces to COBOL, IMS, and related systems.
I start programming on Radio Shack Tandy TRS-80 Model 1s in about 1980, some 37 years ago. BASIC, of course - I've used every version of BASIC up until late-model Visual Basic in the early 21st Century.
Wrote my first commercial software at about 16, a dating / matching system for high-schools, which was a popular service at the time - did that on a DEC RAINBOW, I think in DOS mode, using the floppy drive as data swap; I think I had 16-32KB of RAM, though I don't recall exactly - not super easy to pack a dozen questions / answers for a thousand students and match them - took 24 hours or so to run, I think (mostly floppy time).
I also did a lot of work on Industrial PLCs, in Ladder Logic, something I encourage you to learn as a totally different way of thinking, and doing logic. I loved Ladder and used a very structured approach to quite large-scale complex systems. Most unusual feature of PLC/Ladder is you update the programs while they (and the machines they control) are running - can be quite dangerous, even lethal.
I did hard-core manufacturing & automation engineering along the way, on large-scale machinery, in power, motors, fluids, gas, air, pumps, etc. That's still my first love & I love the smell and sounds of hydraulics in the morning.
Then I worked in Client-Server as it became hot, mostly in PowerBuilder and Sybase, including supporting others users in my spare time on CompuServe. We built very large insurance processing systems in these technologies, for a product still in use today, 25 years later, processing billions in premiums.
Finally on to the Internet in 1995 as an early architect of what was called "Push Technology" for which I have a few patents; the simplest of which evolved into RSS via NetScape.
Been doing Internet stuff, Silicon Valley stuff, and now Cloud Stuff, ever since, usually as CTO or Chief Architect. Lots of fun stuff for MicroFinance, World Health, Biotech, and lots more.
Now I build systems to manage the clouds and IT Operations - today we are in PHP, Laravel, React, MySQL, JS, and so on.
Still so much to learn - decades of tech and I still love building things . . .
I'm at www.SteveMushero.com & www.linkedin.com/in/stevemushero/ & @stevemushero
Top comments (1)
As a stone-age CS major, punch cards did nothing to improve my typing, and it did not take long for me to figure out how to use the terminals in the computer cluster. Timesharing was a big improvement over cards, once you learned how to use a text editor. I think the professors started students out on cards just so they wouldn't have to spend classroom time teaching how to use the command line and an editor. But for students the mainframe only allowed login sessions of one hour on, and two hours off (unless you were logged in during the wee hours of the morning). You quickly learned to write out your code on paper before heading to the terminal cluster. Good times.