Science History About Me

My career...

Beginnings  Cheyenne Days  CommVault  Venture  To Consulting  A Venture, Contracting, and Bio Science

Computer technology, software in particular, which has been the expressive form of my career became a part of my life at age ten. After the requisite grandiose attempts to write new games including a national security simulation based on the movie War Games, my professional career began at 16 when I started work in the "computer department" at a local bank. I worked there full time for the two of the three months of my summer vacations and in the evenings during the school year. From that time I remember creating my obsessively illustrated notebooks for Physics class and also an event that would humoursly foreshadow events to come.

One of my responsibilities at the bank was to transmit large volumes of data into a clearinghouse which left me with periods of waiting. Never being one who could resist the temptation to learn when idle, I started pouring into the manuals for the Honeywell minicomputer we had at our disposal. My intent, as I remember was to learn how to develop custom software on the platform to increase our productivity. However, as it turns out, I only needed to read the feature list to discover one feature that would accomplish this far more quickly; multitasking.

Though it may seem quaint today at that time, all jobs we gave to this computer were submitted sequentially. The results of this approach were that some people in the bank didn't receive their reports until after 4:00. Thinking this was the limit of the machine's capacity, no one complained. However, once I started utilizing this knowledge and submitting the jobs concurently, those reports were ready after lunch. People approached the vice president in charge of our department to inquire as to the source of the funding he used for the new computer they assumed he purchased. There were quite a few happy people when the truth was revealed that he hadn't diverted funds, but rather it was my full utilization of the equipment we already had that resulted in the welcomed change in the delivery schedule.

At this point one might understandably expect a happy close to this anecdote, however, the reality was quite different. Not everyone was happy about my making this discovery and my work and attendance to the start and end times of the work day came under intense scrutiny. I noticed that any mistake I made was highlight and arriving as little as three or four minutes after 8:00 would quickly escalate through the chain. Soon after I found myself being offered a "change in responsibilities" which would find me organizing files in the basement. That offer quickly became an ultimatum and my departure soon followed.