But First, a Message from Grampy...
The unavoidable introduction post
Let me start by saying, I am not yet a grandparent, to my knowledge anyway. But I am pushing sixty and in the tech world, that makes me a relic. I work every day as a Software Engineer, with people in some cases who are younger than my kids. (It’s never not going to be weird for me to say that.) So, no question that I’m an old guy. And yet, they still put me in charge of things! I’m a senior staff member where I work, managing teams and projects, and still write code every day. Not out to pasture. I feel young, still enjoy work and the challenges I am offered every day.
But things move fast in tech. Old knowledge is not always good or useful knowledge, in my field. A master brick layer can teach an an apprentice half their age how to improve his or her craft, using knowledge built over a lifetime. The good ‘old’ computer engineers are the ones who can put aside past ways when necessary, and are willing to give up on the idea that just because you have been around a long time, you are a better engineer than someone more junior.
I think I do a fair job of keeping up. But I can see that a day will come eventually when I either cannot do what is required, or no longer want to. I would prefer it is the latter, and I am able to retire on my own terms, but it is really hard to predict what will happen over even a short period of time in the high tech world.
Whichever the case though, when that day comes, I do not think I will be sad. I can see there are so many exciting new things on the horizon, and sure I’ll miss being in the middle of it all at some future point. But I am very satisfied with my journey so far, and I look back and feel I was pretty lucky to have had a career that spans the time period it did. It’s in many ways the start of the world we all just take for granted today.
I built my own computer and learned to program at the end of the ‘Mainframe Era’, in the mid 1970’s, during a time when no one had a computer in their house, and no one wanted one. They were complex, expensive, and limited beasts. And back then no one really thought computers were cool - (well, maybe not no one, but very few) - they were these giant things that banks and insurance companies bought, and kept in secure rooms. Very few ever saw one or interacted with one.
Its been a crazy journey from that point up to now, and what I want to do here is cover some of that ground, in a way that doesn’t sound too much like “Grampy story time”. Probably that is unavoidable to some degree, but I will try my best to cull the past 40 years of my gaming, hacking, coding, nerding at work and play to the most interesting and crazy parts. Hope you come along for the ride!