I have worked with computers since the sixties, so there are very few systems I have not worked on. My background is Civil Engineering, where I was introduced to computers. They provided a way of automating the repetitive calculations for highway design. I was fortunate enough to have courses on languages considered as art’s electives. Courses on Assembler, COBOL, PL/1 Pascal and Fortran. The university did close that loophole.
I have worked for a univeristy doing automated testing for the Pyschology department. Working for a large service bureau doing OS development taught me that there must be a better way of doing software testing than at 2am Sunday morning. From the slow pace of batch processing I went to the real time world of software design of PBXes in the telecom industry. I was then drawn back into the main frame industry when a nice tool for automating business diagrams hit my radar. Visio by Shapeware. Shortly after the product was released, I was answering more questions than asking them on their section on CompuServe. After almost thirty years, I am still answering questions on that product and every year, since Microsoft acquried the product in 1999, I have received an MVP award from Microsoft. When I can, I try to help out at any of the local Microsoft events. I have been the technical editor for many of the books on Visio and helped create the certification exam for Visio developers.
I also went through the fun and frustration of writing for the Windows Phone. Too bad the platform was dropped.
In 2008 I cofounded the Ottawa Code Camp. I was told there was not enough interest in the local community for a Saturday event, but attendance was triple what we had expected.
John… The original Visio MVP