Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Today marks 4 years of working at Google, which is 20% of another anniversary: 20 years of somebody being nice...


Today marks 4 years of working at Google, which is 20% of another anniversary: 20 years of somebody being nice enough to give me money for programming.
It all started in 1994 at a company called Integrated CASE and Concepts that hired me as an after-school-job to copy their manuals and floppy disks and then needed a website – with all their highly skilled Smalltalk engineers having no idea how this crazy new HTML thing worked. 

CASE, or Computer Aided Software Engineering, for you kids out there, was the dream of the 90s that if you would just punch at the problem long enough, some diagram drawing thing would bring the same productivity gains to software engineering that CAD brought to drawing complicated 3D models by hand. And here I am still typing this into a text editor.

It was great to learn Smalltalk (the programming language, the social skills came later or never) from some of the original OO people. I then proceeded to forget everything they taught me at least 3 times (after sufficient exposure to Perl, University and JavaScript) but enlightenment always slowly came back to me. Definitely being reminded of the VisualWorks debugger is the #1 trigger that brings out the grumpy-old-man in me.

Here is to another 20 years and the hope that we'll have time traveling debuggers[1] in 2024.

[1] Doesn't require major advances in physics although those would also help.