The Association of Software Professionals started out back in 1987. Our members invented try-before-you-buy, and changed how software is sold. Now, we have everyone from app builders to web developers benefiting from our private newsgroups, member discounts, and our shared experience on how to market software.
Here’s another in our series of profiles of our members. All we asked was this: How did you get started?
David Hyde, of HydeSoft Computing, joined the ASP July 23, 2002, and is online at www.dplot.com
Jerry Stern, Editor, ASPects
My college training was rudimentary at best (CS majors would say non-existent): Introduction to FORTRAN and a steel frame analysis class that involved hours and hours of typing punch cards, standing in line (don’t you DARE drop that stack!), then several minutes after feeding the cards in, getting a syntax error due to a typo on card 786 of 1324. One diagnostic at a time, so the cycle was repeated MANY times. What I learned from that class was mostly that I didn’t want to work with computers :-), though I did pick up enough FORTRAN to get by.
In ‘82 I went to work at an engineering lab. Most computer work was done at a dumb Tektronix terminal (that had REALLY good graphics for the day–no pixels, instead vectors were… well, vectors) hooked to a Honeywell mainframe. And then PCs came along and POW. I fooled around a lot with BASICA and IBM’s FORTRAN offering and hoped that jazzing up my hotrod 6Mhz system with a 9Mhz clock crystal wouldn’t cause the building to catch on fire. I fooled around with a lot of graphing stuff and pretty basic physics problems. I also taught myself assembly language to optimize graphics and create my own menu system (all of which became irrelevant when Windows took over the world, but it was good experience).
Then in ~’88 our director dictated that each of five labs should publish a report/manual in some sort of electronic format, and I jumped at it thinking it sounded like fun. At the time I was involved with a big test series and figured I’d come up with an electronic version of my report, complete with 16-color pictures (How in the world did we put up with that?) Thankfully that project got delayed and delayed and delayed some more and, because the deadline for an “electronic version of
If the test program had kept to the schedule… well, I’d most likely not be an ASP member or have ever heard of the other ASP members in our newsgroups, and that would be a tragedy.