Been there, done it all
It probably makes sense to write about where I come from for my first HN story. My next post will be where I'm and we're going.
Personal: Army brat, lived 6 different places before I was 12. Subsequently, lived briefly in one house in the suburbs, and 12 different apartments and one house in NYC. Lived in 3 European countries for a total of 8 years. Speak fluent German and half-decent French and a smattering of a few other languages. Traveled most of Europe, including eastern. Traveled across northern Africa and bits of the middle east. Only been to Australia, Seoul, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou in the east.
Professional: Started programming in industry/engineering assembler, PL/1, PL/S, Fortran, Cobol, etc. on mainframes, Crays and minis....along with a shitload of libraries, tools, facilities, editors, etc. Moved into financial services (C/C++, Java, xNix, and a shitload of DBs, FS's, tools, libraries, frameworks, scripting languages, etc.) at investment banks and built AML/KYC, DevOps, Risk, Pricing, Trading systems, running large geo-distributed teams.
I have watched the tech world go from a place where almost all inhabitants were just about what you built and how you built it and how well, to a world where fully half or more are promoters, barkers and hangers-on of every stripe. And even the bona fide techies are under enormous pressure to self-promote.
Part of the evolution has to do with "the latest thing" and FOMO. There are good and bad reasons for this current state of things. The good are the rapid development of new and useful technology and its democratization, most of all via open source going mainstream. The bad reasons are the rise and spread of the startup culture. Yes, I did say "bad" and "startup" in the same sentence.
Where this latter bad development has reached its apotheosis is in the arrival of crypto-currencies and the attendant blockchain mania. Some of you who google me will find some irony in this, since you will have discovered that I am in some fashion part of that world. But there will be more to come on that subject.
But most importantly, the facts. And I'll amend my Joe Friday quote: all the facts, not just those selected to promote or to advocate. Only all the facts give understanding, which is going in more and more short supply in the tech world.
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