Friday, June 5, 2009

How did YOU get into the technology business?

Frieze with line from Tennyson, Engineering Faculty, Birmingham University by Felix O (sludgegulper) used under a Creative Commons License

For my readers who have graduated from college and are now in the working world, and are working in some type of technological field, take a moment and ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

In my case, probably the most important factor that got me where I am today was a first-year physics class that I took in Reed College. Not that I'm a Nobel Prize-winning physicist or anything, but for part of the year our physics lab consisted of Pascal programming on a Unix computer. This experience opened up many opportunities to me in future years - not in programming, but primarily in support and marketing functions.

My story, however, pales in comparison to James Johnson's story. If you read my Empoprise-IE blog on the Inland Empire, you may have seen me reference Johnson from time to time. But his post May 35. Why I do what I do. is a very powerful post. I encourage you to read the entire thing, but I'll give you a little snippet of it.

One day I received an invitation (think WAY before email) from IBM to come and see their new technology called “Ultimedia”. I made arrangements to go to see what this was all about. The presentation consisted of a computer attached to a laser disc player displaying on a very large monitor. The presenter started in about how he could access different parts of the laser disc in a random fashion to make a presentation and teach. I was interested in what he was demonstrating – the beginnings of technolust – and I started thinking about how this could be used in the classroom, I was working at a college by the way.

The laser disc contained various pieces of information about Tennyson’s epic poem, Ulysses. The entire poem was available, with dissertations and explanations by literature professors and experts. Different Shakespearian actors would recite the poem in various tones and intonations. All the while, I kept thinking how cool this was.

The presenter began to end the presentation by saying, “that’s not all, look what I can do with this information.”

Read the rest.

So now that it's May 36th, why do YOU do what you do?
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