For most of my working life I have been a computer programmer, starting my career in the days when a computer filled an entire room and had to be controlled by feeding it punched cards and paper tape.
I joke that I am probably one of the oldest programmers in the world and that is because most people who become programmers give up after a few years. They either get promoted into managing others, or they get bored or they go mad. And, because they aren’t programming, they lose their skills. I resisted all of this because I got hooked. I love programming and I never wanted to do anything else, so I kept going.
I have programmed in most computer languages and have worked on applications as mundane as payroll and invoicing and as exotic as computer-controlled warehousing and international bond trading.
When young Bill Gates took on Big Blue (IBM) and the PC was invented, I bought a computer of my own and began to work for myself. I have freelanced for businesses great and small, including local and national government, the House of Commons, several of the major pharmaceutical companies, city banks, the motor industry and more besides.
For several years I ran my own small company in the market research/opinion polling business. Along with a group of colleages we perfected the art (science?) of computer-generated random sampling. And we were the only opinion polling company in the industry to accurately predict the outcome of the 1992 UK General Election.
Nowadays I’m still a geek but I design websites and blogs. It sure beats working for a living.
When I am not fiddling around on my laptop I like to play bridge, go skiing, indulge in guerrilla gardening, visit modern art galleries and try to find the origins of my mitochondrial DNA.