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Author Topic: Shutting her down....  (Read 4477 times)

CommonTater

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Shutting her down....
« on: October 03, 2012, 07:33:35 am »
Well, the decision has been made.
 
After some rather convoluted discussion with family and friends, it's time to leave the programming for profit thing behind.
 
I started out pounding code in the late 1970s on an Exidy Sorcerer in Basic and z-80 asm.  In the early 1980s I had the sheer joy of being involved in the launch of the Victor 9000 and wrote a lot of code for that machine using MBasic and BASCOM as well as becoming the Canadian Service Manager for the product line. Then along came the early IBM PCs. Victor went under, I moved to private practice (which actually worked back then) and wrote a ton of Pascal code for the new wonderbox right up to 2003 when I switched to Pelles C which I still use as my primary programming tool. 
 
Back in the days of MS-DOS and early versions of Windows, programming was a challenging intellectual hobby, more fun than work and certainly a lot more successful than it is now. There were almost daily innovations as people developed new ideas and pounded out creatively written code that made the rounds of programmers on floppy disks and bar codes in magazines. Someplace in a dusty box I still have the issue of PC magazine in which the front page story was about recursion, a major breakthrough at the time. 
 
I wrote Point of Sale and Inventory management packages that still exist today, still in use after re-writes, a translation from Pascal to C and numerious updates and new features. These packages went into small to medium sized parts distributors, primarily used to inventory and catalog electronic parts, fasteners and even antique car parts. My customers were loyal and the work was challenging... what more could I ask?
 
However; things have changed these last few years. Either by the unstoppable creep of age or deliberate complication by industry giants (Microsoft in particular) programming has stopped being the interesting challenge it used to be and has now become little more than a tedius chore, mired in needless complexities such as the UAC, Manifests, active x, software stores ... Well you get the idea.  There are a hundred acronyms all attacking the freedom and success of the one time profitable game of programming.  Freeware and Shareware are slowly giving way to pressure from above as operating systems become unbearably complex, programming languages move to less and less innovative design and the work itself becomes an exercise in tedium, spending more and more time and effort on peripheral matters such as code signing, account priveledges and such.
 
And now there's all this crap about Metro interfaces....
 
So I've decided to cut and run while I'm still ahead of the game. Programming is now the undertaking of teams, not individuals, corporations not consultants, it's big not small. The adventure is dying as is the joy of success.
 
As a long term keyboard addict (as my smarter half calls me) I will still be around, I will probably still write some code... but as of this morning that will only be hobby stuff, for my own use... and maybe the occasional addon ...
 
Finally, I just want to say thanks to you all for the help and support you've given me over the years.  It has been deeply appreciated.
 

shazam

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 04:56:53 pm »
Sounds like you have had a great carrer  :D

Hope you can still hang around here and pass on you're wisdom to newbies like myself  :P

Offline DMac

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 05:37:44 pm »
My nephew mentioned to me that the industry reinvents itself about every three years.  It's awful difficult for the coding generalist to keep up.  I spent more time on my last project figuring out code signing, scripting scheduled tasks so that the application would launch without the UAC and a bunch of other stuff.  Took a lot of the fun out of the project.  The stress at release time can make a fellow sick.

I think that most of the CS grads today specialize in one aspect of a team and get very good at that.  One guy that only does builds, one guy that only maintains the deployment.  One guy that writes software tests etc...

The place where I work wants to deploy a mobile app that will work with our product.  We will need to write the same app to work on the three platforms MS, iOS, and Android it will have to be compliant with and deploy through the various stores.

Management decided to hire the job out to a firm that does just that, they have teams of developers and other people that handle each part of the whole task.

If you think about it, code is moving from the craftsman's shop to the Manufactory.  Just as the automobile did in the early 1900's.
No one cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

CLR

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 09:19:11 pm »
Hi CommonTater.
I wish you all the best!

Offline Stefan Pendl

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 09:23:06 pm »
Tater,

thanks for being a part of this community.

I really think that your better half appreciates it, if some of the now unused time is spent on her ;)

Wishing you the best.
---
Stefan

Proud member of the UltraDefrag Development Team

CommonTater

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 10:37:40 pm »
Sounds like you have had a great carrer  :D

Hope you can still hang around here and pass on you're wisdom to newbies like myself  :P

Not to worry... I'll still be around, but not as much. 

It's not like I'm uninstalling Pelles C or something.  I'm just shutting down the "for money" part of what I did.  I've sold my source to a younger programmer (recommended by a client) so it's in good hands.  Now it's going to be just some hobby stuff to fill in those quiet retirement afternoons.

And yes, it was a pretty good career... I'd do most of it over again, no hesitation.

DMac... I agree, it's moving from creativity to production... I rather favoured the former.  Never did like repetative work.

Stefan and CLR... Thanks for the good wishes.  Now where did I put that knitting bag?  :D

Offline frankie

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 10:51:53 pm »
Tater my best wishes for the future.
As you I left the active development long time ago (I wrote sw for SBC's Z80, 68k up to VMS and old Os's like RSX11 for PDP and VAX machines, prior Alpha processor, using assembler, Pascal, PL/M and C). Yes like you I'm a 'sw hobbist' now, and it's not so bad at the end.  8)
My work is quite different now, more responsabilities more efforts....., I don't know if it's really better, but it have to go on.
And when I have time I come back to my 'hobby'.
The opportunity you should get now is to open your horizons, you can develop whatever you find exciting because you don't have to sold it to anyone  ;D
By the way if you remove all the crap that you mentioned you will see that the core of all can stay in 20-30kb of kernel (if you know VMS WINNT is a toy.....  ;))

CommonTater

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 11:10:57 pm »
Hi Frankie,
Thanks for an interesting reply.  Yeah... sounds like we have similar histories, although my PDP-11 time was very breif.  I mostly stayed with ASM on z-80 and 6800, then higher level languages like Pascal and C on x80 and x86 stuff.
 
I am indeed looking forward to some experimental coding.  I have a couple of projects in mind, including a small script interpreter, that I want to write just so I can say I did it. It's also a good chance to update my HTPC remote control package... which may, once again, go out as freeware.
 
At the same time, without the pressures of deadlines, I'm looking back to my audio days and thinking about some semi-serious design work for mid-range Home Theatre applications.  The times I was happiest were when I was doing audio design.  LOL... Maybe I'm a real old hat... still messing with transistors.
 
Selling my source code wasn't especially lucrative but I can afford a few thousand transistors now. :D

So... it's all good so far.
 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 11:49:44 pm by CommonTater »

Offline frankie

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 05:11:50 pm »
Tater Sometime I go back to solder & tin, and it is very fun 8)
Old good days with a multimeter an oscilloscope adjusting trimmers instead of "change parameter, recompile test"  ;D
I should still have a bunch of radio-shack parts (transistor, diodes, resistors....). Knock if need something  :D

CommonTater

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 12:43:30 am »
Tater Sometime I go back to solder & tin, and it is very fun 8)
Old good days with a multimeter an oscilloscope adjusting trimmers instead of "change parameter, recompile test"  ;D
I should still have a bunch of radio-shack parts (transistor, diodes, resistors....). Knock if need something  :D

I just might... Someplace around here, probably in some dusty box, I should have a couple of bins of parts... perhaps I should inventory them. 

I can hardly wait for my first solder bridge, my first solder burn, the smell of burnt resistors... all the things to keep any hobbiest happy :D

Offline TimoVJL

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 12:54:44 am »

I just might... Someplace around here, probably in some dusty box, I should have a couple of bins of parts... perhaps I should inventory them. 
And possible create program for that, won't you ???
May the source be with you

CommonTater

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Re: Shutting her down....
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2012, 01:09:21 am »

I just might... Someplace around here, probably in some dusty box, I should have a couple of bins of parts... perhaps I should inventory them. 
And possible create program for that, won't you ???

ROFL ... yes, quite likely I will ....